I’m getting married this coming weekend. I had wanted to elope for several reasons, but in the end my fiancée and I decided to have an informal ceremony and party-like reception. I thought that would make it an affordable option… Now that seems very laughable and naïve. The wedding industry is just that: an industry. It is big business. I had to wonder, at what expense to the planet?
Being cost conscious, we could have opted for disposable plates, cups, napkins, etc. That would have saved us a lot of money. Renting all those things, along with linens and catering staff, was a big chunk of our budget. But we had to do it, as I couldn’t stomach the thought of all the waste of disposables. Even if you opt for the “green” version of compostable plates that is only green if you have a municipal composting facility that can handle them. Unfortunately most of the time those “green” plates and cups are sent to the landfill where they won’t break down as they’re supposed to. Now, washing all that silverware and glassware isn’t all that great either, but what’s the alternative? Not serve food? Drink directly from the wine bottle? I’m ok with that, but not with sharing. 🙂
We are keeping the decorations to a minimum. We tried to borrow white string lights where we could. The centerpieces are very small and use dried grasses and flowers rather than fresh roses shipped from a former rain forest in South America. But what will happen to these 2 dozen decorations after the wedding? They’re made in beer growlers so I hope some people will put them to good use in their home – either as a decoration or a beverage holder. But for the others I hope I can find someone on the internet or my home town to buy/take them for their next special event. I wonder how many people actually try to upsell their wedding décor? Most brides are key on saving money where they can and most couples will have no money after their wedding so recouping some of their investment makes sense. And it makes huge sense for the environment; more materials reused means fewer materials created from scratch.
I would love to hear from brides and grooms about how they tried to have as environmentally-friendly a wedding as possible and whether or not that raised the price of things considerably. Can it be cost-effective to have a “green” wedding without having to know someone who owns a farm where you can hold your wedding for free with flowers from the grounds and grass-fed beef from the pastures? Cause unfortunately I don’t know anyone like that and chances are, you don’t either. What a wonderful world it would be if we all did!