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Eco-chic Receptions

April 18, 2018 by Rita Neri Event Planners

“Each person on the planet has their own footprint that represents the amount of energy they consume, waste they produce, and impact their buying decisions make on the global community” Emily Elizabeth Anderson

Let’s face it, when you are planning your wedding the last thing you are going to prioritize is making it an eco-friendly one. The “W” in weddings can also stand for wastage. What happens to that gorgeous wedding cake after? Leftover food? Invitations not delivered? Flowers & foliage left behind? This is a shout-out to all couples to just be a little more conscious of choices made during the planning of the wedding so as to minimize any wastage possible.

Being eco-friendly for your wedding is being aware that choices & decisions must benefit the environment and society as well as being stylish and beautiful. While the wedding business has had a major impact in today’s marketplace, there is also another consumer-trend that has gained ground - the eco-minded, socially responsible and sustainable movement. Unfortunately, there is much in weddings that negate the latter.

Eco-chic weddings are very doable up to a certain degree. No way is any Filipina bride walking down the aisle in sack cloth jute material no matters which trendy designer made it, right? But we can apply the principles of REDUCE, REUSE & RECYCLE in many aspects of the wedding especially in the reception.

 

Reduce

Let’s not add our wedding trash to our over-filled landfills and pollute the skies with the incinerators. Simplify whenever you can, wherever you can, without compromising your style. Less is really more. Does your wedding giveaway really need that extra acetate packaging? Will a ribbon do or even a biodegradable material instead?

Point of fact - do you need to give out wedding favors at all? Simplify by sharing your blessings to more people by giving whatever amount allocated for the give-aways to ecology based agencies like Save the Whales, Habitat for Humanity, World Wildlife foundation, etc.

Should you still decide to have wedding favors, opt for something edible from candies, cakes and cookies to jams, teas & coffee all of which should be packaged in biodegradable material like paper, cloth or glass. I still like the idea of giving live plants like herbs, flowers & fruit trees potted containers because it will forever be a reminder of your special day.

For decor, feature an edible arrangement using fruits or vegetables and not just flowers. A grouping of cupcakes also reduces using too much flowers.

Reduce and save money by using candle in centerpieces. Go for the unscented, soy based kind. Did you know that there are NO earth-friendly balloons, no matter how you look at it. Balloons have been responsible for the death of thousands of sea animals who end up eating them. So skip the balloons, please.

 

Reuse

According to author, Emily Elizabeth Anderson on her book, “eco-chic weddings”, that when you buy items that are reusable in their present form, you are practicing what experts refer to as the “cradle to cradle” philosophy. Reusing items means that you check if you can use borrowed, rented or secondhand items. This will definitely have an impact on decreasing your wedding expenses.

Use your parent’s bible, yourn married sister’s arrhae, your best friend’s tiara. Check garden stores for your trellis background and just rent it. Choose reusable decorations from ribbons, fabric and even table signs.

For the bigger volume items such as the floral centerpieces & foliage backdrops, those not taken home by the guests should be given to the nearest church or chapel. You can assign this to one of the groomsmen and if cared for well, can even be done a day after the wedding. Note: most hospitals will not accept flowers because they may cause allergic reactions to some patients.

Use re-used containers for your flowers arrangements. Go to the nearest junk shop and buy from their stock of assorted mayonnaise and jam jars and event stylist to use. Now that vintage is still in, it’s perfect for those floral cluster arrangements. Plus you can have all the guests bring home one arrangement. Make sure the cost of the containers is deducted from your event stylist costs.

Almost half of your wedding budget is for the food and beverage served during the wedding. Of course, it is important to serve quality food but do check on these following suggestions such as, serve your wedding cake as your dessert. Don’t have a separate dessert since most guests won’t eat both. You will not only reduce excess waste but also lessen the cost of your menu.

Go organic as much as you can. From organic beef, salmon, coffee, teas, chocolate and sugar, organic is saer and higher./

 

Recycle

Recycling is nothing more than the process of making something new out of an old item or material. Example - discarded wine bottles can be recycled into vases, lamps and containers for other liquid products.

Try and use materials that can be recycled or composted or at the least, not create unnecessary waste or worse, harm the environment.

Set a good example by even inquiring about the recycling policies of your caterer or hotel. You can make a positive contribution to sustainable business by hiring suppliers who use recycled materials.

Encourage recycling by just even requesting from all your suppliers to be conscious of how they manage their waste and how it is disposed.

There really isn’t a wrong or right way to have a wedding - what it all comes down to is personal choice. May our choice for your wedding leave as little as possible “footprint” on planet earth.

 

Originally Published in Wedding Essentials, July

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