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Every time June rolls around the letters, whispers, excitement – all the ‘buzz’ begins regarding the perfect wedding day. No one really knows if this is just something in the air, or not, but June brides are numerous. And the brides in 2012 who are planning their big day (for next June, most likely), want answers to their questions regarding how to have that June wedding of their dreams.
The Green Register understands the questions regarding the ‘big day,’ and have the information on all the companies and products that are out there that completely support the bride and want nothing more than for her to have her perfect day while still doing an amazing job of helping the environment. Oh, yes, this is a definite available choice in this big universe. We can find the perfect products, the most stunning dresses – everything that’s needed from the invitations to the centerpieces, and save the environment all at the same time.
The Green Wedding is a trend that has exploded over the past decade – with more and more brides finding ways to be ecologically safe and make that perfect memory all at the same time.
Scary fact? The average wedding in 2012 costs well over 15,000 dollars when all is said and done. Yet the green wedding is costing less but looking better! What do I mean? A green wedding is usually stunningly romantic. Think about it… an outdoor setting, the vibrancy of the flowers and plants, it’s like something out of Shakespeare. There are fresh faces having a good time and celebrating love – not the latest Vera Wang creation. And the bride is also that fresh, beautiful face not covered in eighty pounds of makeup like the cover girls or the faces on a Modern Bride catalog.
What are the goals of a green wedding?
The first is not to harm. The green bride avoids products or activities that compromise the environment. What are some minor things that are a major harm to our natural resources that can be changed at weddings? Beeswax candles should be avoided, as well as the use of Styrofoam or soft plastics at the reception; glass is substituted and, frankly, it’s far more elegant.
Hemp is a widely respected product that, unlike cotton, can be grown without pesticides and returns most of its nutrients to the soil. When the green bride buys a new gown, she looks to hemp fabrics. I know. This was a tough one for me as well, considering we’re all raised on that diamond-studded belief that when we walk down the aisle the gown has to be 30,000 dollars. Some of us hear the word “hemp” and automatically see a barley sack of grain thrown over our shoulders. I can’t even tell you how far off the mark that is. Hemp is extremely up-market, with even a line of hemp satin that is being used by premier designers. Not only is this stunningly beautiful, but it saves the environment as well.
There are Earth-Friendly vendors located all across the globe. Flower petals in paper cones are environmentally friendly and far more unique than bubble solution in plastic containers, and require no clean-up whatsoever. There are harm-free favors that can be passed out, such as sachets made of pesticide-free herbs, live flowers, tree seedlings, or small packets of organic tea. And one of the loveliest things that has begun to be a growing trend is the fact that brides are registering at charitable organizations instead of department stores; they are contributing to environmentally-active organizations instead of handing out favors. A big YAY! on that one.
And, of course, the biggest area of a green wedding is to reuse and recycle. A great example is delivering leftover food from the reception to food banks, and dropping off your flowers at a hospital or rest home. Doesn’t that make much more sense than throwing these things away?
Some truly beautiful wedding announcements or invitations are available in 2012; 100% recycled, partially recycled, or completely tree-free papers are available from wedding invitation suppliers. Not to mention, engagement announcements, save the date cards, shower invitations, shower thank you notes, wedding invitations, ceremony programs, place cards, menu cards, wedding announcements, and thank you notes. Of course, it also helps that we live in an electronic age, so many brides are communicating electronically and completely cutting out the paper and waste.
Now… the ring. This is truly important. No, not because the girl needs you to spend two months’ salary on the item you put on her finger, but because it’s a vow – a lifelong vow that means, “I will be yours forever.” No one NEEDS a brand new diamond. In fact, vintage rings are far more beautiful. And gold is something to think about, considering gold mining is one of the dirtiest businesses in the world. Did you know that the production of one single gold ring produces 20 tons of mine waste?
The most important thing for the bride is the dress. Let’s face it – this is a memory – this is a day that you want to last forever in your mind, pictures, videos, etc. No matter what your budget, the wedding gown industry is offering more and more conscientious fashion options, the easiest of which is to re-use a gown already worn. Buying vintage is just as beautiful as the vintage ring and SO unique. There’s also a fantastic company called Encore Bridal that offers pre-owned couture wedding dresses and bridal accessories. They are committed to using green business practices, and earth-friendly fabrics such as hemp, organic cotton, linen, tencel and silk.
Tuxedos for the men are available, as well. Tuxedos Direct makes a complete line of traditional tuxedos and accessories including jackets, trousers, shirts, vests, cummerbunds, ties, and patent leather shoes from top names like Perry Ellis and Lord West.
The flowers are necessary!! Dried or silk flowers are an eco-friendly alternative. And after the party, you can donate them to a local hospital or senior center or send them home with your guests. The centerpieces can be stunningly beautiful – eco-friendly favors on the tables! If you are looking for a vessel for the center of your table to hold sea shells or colorful rocks, consider vases made from recycled glass or a bamboo bowl, due to renewable tendencies.
There are some helpful books out there that can advise the green bride on everything. One is: The Everything Green Wedding Book: Plan an Elegant, Affordable, Earth-Friendly Wedding by Wenona Napolitano. This incredible guide focuses on how easy and affordable it is to choose a stylish, environmentally-friendly wedding.
Another is the: Green Bride Guide: How to Create an Earth-friendly Wedding on Any Budget by Kate L. Harrison. This is a true encyclopedia filled with great information and ideas for the engagement through the wedding, including choosing a location, bridal gowns and makeup, invitations, flowers, the ceremony, and the honeymoon. If you are just going to buy one book -pick this one!
Be the perfect bride! Have the perfect day! And save the environment! You are marrying the love of your life…what more could you ask for?
The Green Register sends their congratulations and best wishes to both the bride and groom!
Until Next Time, Everybody.