Our guidelines were, it had to be second-hand, recyclable, biodegradable, and/or useful or re-sellable post-wedding. I’m proud to say we achieved our goal and created very little waste.
For me, being concerned about the negative human impact on our natural environment is not trendy. I was the President of my high school’s Environment Club! I am happy to see how our Western society has collectively increased its awareness and concern for this issue in the last few decades. “Green weddings” are definitely a trend I can get behind. I’d like to share how our wedding décor was eco-friendly.
For our aisle décor, we used potted mini rose bushes. They looked great, were easy to move around (our space was used for both the ceremony and reception, so required a quick turn-over), and doubled as a favour since some of our guests with gardens took them home to plant. We purchased them from Whole Foods, and they were very affordable.
To save costs, my fiancée and I did a lot of DIY décor crafts involving paper: heart strings, petal cones, our custom designed guestbook pages, mini-banner for our Treasure Chest card box, heart buntings, as well as our wedding invitations.
Now, to be honest, if I was going to be super eco, I would have used 100% post-consumer recycled paper. But I didn’t. I bought a large booklet of acid-free scrapbooking paper from Michael’s that came in tons of patterns and colours. I still consider this eco-wedding décor however, because it is recyclable after the event, and also re-usable – the heart strings now decorate our home.
I must admit, I was getting stressed over lighting for our reception. We had already purchased white Moroccan lanterns for our centerpieces, to use with votive candles, but I wanted more lights to take advantage of the fantastic rafters in our venue. However, most options required extension cords, worrying about electrical outlets, or figuring out how to turn them on. I didn’t want someone having to go around with a ladder when it was getting dark! We see so many beautiful wedding photos with cafe lighting, coloured uplighting, or tons of paper lanterns- only to covet something we simply cannot afford. The expense of mood lighting! Oi.
Then I discovered Soji Solar lanterns and my lighting and budget concerns were solved! They are easy to assemble, and the solar panel charges during the day and automatically turns on when the sun goes down. They are an affordable, easy-to-use, eco option. One thing to note however, is that they won’t turn on if they are close to artificial light, due to the sensor. So they are ideal for outdoor weddings, and areas that are poorly lit.
So that’s how we decorated our eco-wedding! It looked beautiful and didn’t all get thrown out at the end of the night. In fact, the venue ended up buying most of the Moroccan lanterns from me, on the spot! It sure was nice to receive a cheque after the wedding, Lol!
Weddings don’t need to be wasteful affairs. And you can still have a fabulously chic event! For a more complete list of how you can plan a green wedding, check this out. It’s worth it!