When you get into the wedding business you learn firsthand how much waste is really produced in order to create one day. For many years this is something that I looked past as weddings where my passion and I thought that was just the way things had to be.
I think many things in life we just look past because we believe or have been told it is the norm or it is better to not say anything outside of the traditional way things are done.
Going with the crowds and being a part of the “norm” makes us feel safe, accepted, “normal”. Because of this for many years I truly believed that in order to create the kind of weddings that I loved, for something to be beautiful, it had to be the way it was, which was wasteful and not the most eco friendly experience.
Well….. I have exciting news for your ladies and gentleman. I have discovered that “It doesn’t need to be that way”.
You can stand up for what you believe in, you can make a difference, you can live not in the “norm” and that is okay. It works and it is amazing!
It is completely possible to be conscious of the environment and sustainable yet still have a stunning and memorable event. And the best news is that it’s not even hard to make that possible.
There are MANY easy, simple steps that you can take in order to make your wedding/event environmentally conscious and exactly what you desire. Using this thought process can actually make it even more personal and memorable.
This is a service that is a part of every event that we create at Direction Event Planning, however we want everyone weather working with us or not to have the information they need in order to make this possible for their own events. We don’t do this for our company. We do this for our beliefs and for this planet and for each and every one of you. We want everyone to be able to be a part of celebrating in style and consciousness.
Here are a few simple tips, tricks and ideas that can help everyone get started to make the environment at the forefront you’re planning decisions. This information is also on our website and can be accessed regularly but we want to share in every way we can. We will continue to share new and innovative ideas in our blogs as we build and grow with our amazing team and clients.
#1 thing that we want everyone to remember is that you do not need to sacrifice the overall vision you dream of. You can have the magical experience you desire and you can make a difference at the same time.
I know ( from experience) it is very easy for people to say that one event won’t make a difference , or one plastic cup won’t change the world but I am here to tell you that every single effort, every little change CAN make a difference and is leading us in the direction of making the change the earth desires. We are here to support you and we can all make a difference together.
Ideas for when you are getting started:
*This information is directed towards destination weddings in Cayman but can be adjusted for any location. If you have questions about ways to use these suggestions in your area please feel free to send us a note. We are always happy to help in any way we can.
Understand some of your options like Carbon Credits to help in reducing your impact while still having the wedding of your dreams.
1) Wedding Location
We are very aware that the biggest carbon footprint of you’re wedding is the travel. We also understand that we are in a location that is a destination venue meaning the majority of your guests will need to fly to get here. Even though this not something that is the most eco friendly we also understand that people want to get married on the island and we know better than anyone why. The island is a magical paradise and what a better place to celebrate your love.
There are a few points to remember when making this choice though.
- It is okay to get married in a destination location, we are able to have our dreams become a reality and do it the most ethical way possible.
- Majority of destination weddings are smaller groups of people which is a reduction of a lot of other waste from a traditional at home wedding.
- Once on island you can use group transportation to get around.
- When inviting your guests you can mention Carbon Offsets. You do not have to push your guests to purchase however it is a great way to try and balance your carbon footprint and make a difference. Some airlines even offer for you to purchase carbon offsets upon purchasing as well as some as tax deductible. This is a great way to enjoy your destination holiday/event and reduce your impact.
When staying with Luxury Cayman Villas luxury and consciousness are in the package.
2) Wedding Venue
- Choose a venue that has eco-friendly and sustainable practices in place.
- Make sure that proper recycling and composting is available for waste.
- Choosing spaces that are more intimate which mean a lower guest count is also a great way to reduce your impact.
- When possible choose spaces that use LED lighting, solar power, wind turbines, rain water etc.
These dreamy Palo Santo Favors by the ever inspiring Kelsie Mae O’Connor of Burn & Bloom are perfection.
3) Wedding Favors
Forget sweet wrappers and cellophane gift bags: an eco-favour is much better for the planet. There are many ways to cut down your waste on wedding favors.
- You can double up your place settings and favours.
- Choose local products that people will actually use and come in recyclable and reusable containers or no containers at all.
- Incorporate small plants and succulents for special take homes or seeds to grow at home if better for traveling.
- Purchase favors that are already recycled items. In Cayman we currently have a company making amazing products out of recycled plastic.
- Edible favors to enjoy on the day of.
The list can go on and on.
The amazing ethical and eco conscious bridal designer Leila Hafzi
4) Wedding Dresses
Consider how many outfits you’re buying for your wedding, from your dress to suits, bridesmaid dresses and flower girl clothes.
- When purchasing wedding attire consider purchasing a vintage or pre loved dress.
- If you want to purchase a dress or suit that will start your own memories and tradition than consider an ethical designer. There are now so many amazing ethical designer out there that create the most amazing pieces. Seek out designers committed to environmentally-friendly fabrics and ethical production.
- When purchasing do so in a way that you can reuse, pass on or sell.
Especially for bridesmaids and the men these dress and suit purchases can be for many more amazing memories to come.
Companies like Paper Culture creating these dreamy pieces made of natural, compostable material and seeds so you can replant them #reducereuserecycle
5) Wedding Stationary
Wedding Stationary means lots and lots of paper. There’s several ways to reduce the environmental impact of sending all those paper invites, but the principles of reduce, reuse, recycle are key here.
- A few ways you can reduce this waste is by send e invites. We know that this is not for everyone and can take a way that touch of tradition so if looking to send paper invites recycled and recyclable products.
- Cotton paper is the least impactful and there are even invitations that are seed paper so your guests can plant them and have beautiful flowers to remember this time forever.
- Also consider the ink, vegetable and soy based inks give of the least toxic emissions when breaking down.
Using local products and harvest from companies like Farmacy in Grand Cayman
6) Wedding Catering
Food and Beverage tend to be the largest part of the wedding experience. When choosing your catering company whether in house or contracted out of house be sure to find out what there environmental practices are.
- Make choices that reduce waste and excess.
- Opt for companies that do not use disposable products as much as possible.
- Try to work with companies that use local and organic products where ever they can.
Change it up and use plants like these beauties from Plant Based Studio.. So dreamy!
7) Wedding Florals
Flowers really are key to the overall feel of a wedding. They are something that for many people are very crucial in making their vision a reality. We understand and completely agree. This is not something that we would ever ask our couples to remove; however there are ways that we can use them responsibly.
- Wherever possible try to use local and in season florals.
- Reduce the overall abundance of florals and try to incorporate in a way that they can be reused from each location ( ie. Ceremony, reception etc).
- Ask your floral artist to not provide florals in Oasis (plastic foam) or to wrap them in plastic wrap.
- Try incorporating potted plants and air plants and flowers instead of cut florals. They are gorgeous and add a stunning ambiance.
The key with florals is to use them in their most natural state as possible, forage the land and embrace the beauty.
8) Wedding Decor
When choosing your wedding decor there are MANY ways that you can reduce your waste and make a beautiful space
- Rental companies have not only tables and chairs but also lots of personal and unique rental items.
- Scour local second hand and antique shops for special touches.
- Choose items that have been or can be reused.
- Use decor items that you or your loved ones already have or if purchasing items that you can continue to use in the future. Weddings are so personal so what better way to show your style than by incorporating things that you already have.
- Use candle light to create ambiance and mood, you will reduce on electricity and create a welcoming space.
Follow us on our weekly blog as we talk about new ideas, host guests that help us inspire and show glimpses into the dreamy weddings and events we create.
Can’t wait to share more. If you have questions, suggestions or things you want to share send us a note. It takes a tribe and we can’t do it alone.
Till next week love bugs
About the Author
Amanda Jane has been in the Wedding Industry for over 10 years and is an expert in creating events that are both memorable and magical. Amanda is a passionate lover of all things wedding, believer that every event no matter how big or small should be special and the little things really are the big things.