15 Tips for Eco Friendly Wedding Planning in New Zealand

New Zealand is proud of green and environmentally friendly image on the international stage. It is only fair that we talk about Eco-weddings. Summer from The Vintage Party – Boutique hire of vintage and boho party props, shares with us her valuable insights on this interesting and hot wedding trend.

Eco-weddings are all about minimizing the impact on the earth and it’s inhabitants (yes that’s us!) by reducing the size of the carbon footprint created. Your New Zealand wedding is a rare event that you get to decide on every detail, so what better opportunity to stand up for what you stand on? It just requires a bit of research, creativity, and dedication to the cause. But that’s true for wedding planning in general, right? Here are some things to consider if you like the idea of an environmentally-friendly NZ wedding:

The Wedding Bands:

Are your diamonds conflict-free and fair trade? If so, the jeweler should be able to provide you with supporting certification. Or you could look into Moissanite, a sustainable and budget-friendly alternative to diamonds that are more brilliant, and almost as durable as diamonds.

Wedding Invitations:

We are in the 21st century with plenty of technology at our disposal. Go electronic, or, if you have your heart set on paper stationery, use recycled or biodegradable paper and request RSVPs via email.

Gifts:

If you have a gift registry, choose eco-friendly products. Or instead of gifts, you could have guests donate to a honeymoon or house deposit fund. The last thing you want is gifts that are not really needed or don’t fit with your style.

Flowers:

Keep it seasonal, locally-sourced, and check with your New Zealand wedding florist that they don’t use floral foam/oasis. This is not only a single-use product that won’t decompose any time soon but can also leach nasty and harmful chemicals via dust into the air and lungs. Give some thought to what will happen to the wedding flower after the big day…perhaps they can be given to family & friends, or donated and delivered to the local hospital or rest home while they are still fresh.

The Gown / Wedding Dress:

Have a vintage wedding dress restored, or choose an ethical designer who uses sustainable materials. See if there is a pair of vegan shoes that take your fancy – these are becoming more popular and accessible.

The Groom’s suit:

Choose a suit he’ll wear again for formal occasions (let’s face it, this is more achievable for a suit than a wedding dress!)

Hair & Makeup:

Choose wedding hair and make-up artist who is in line with your beliefs and uses organic, cruelty-free products.

Food:

Go fully vegetarian/vegan – a big call, I know. This might be especially appealing if you are both already this way inclined and you want to show others how amazing and delicious vege/vegan food can be! Plus it helps prevent wildlife extinction, reduce mass land and water use, and cut down on greenhouse gas emissions.  You never know, there may even be some converts!

Just like the flowers, leftover food can be donated to whomever you please – it will just need to be pre-arranged with your caterer so it can be packaged up at the end of the night so it’s ready to go.

Alcohol:

Buy in bulk, with as little packaging as possible. Ask whether you can return any surplus to your supplier afterward.

Serveware:

It’s a no to plastic cups, straws, or stirrers – either choose reusables or if that is not practical, go compostable. There’s no shortage of options these days.

Favors:

Something edible always goes down a treat, think honey, jams, and chutneys, olive oil, etc. Packets of seeds or seedlings also fit the bill –  succulents are great as they are super hardy and require very little care or attention. You don’t need a green thumb to keep them alive!

Transportation:

Provide group transport like a bus for example for your guests to travel together from the ceremony to the reception, or arrange for car-pooling. Aside from the environmental benefits, this will be a novel and memorable experience for your guests!

Décor:

Make, borrow, or hire rather than buy wherever possible (hello, I can help with that!) 😉

Rubbish:

Plan ahead to provide separate bins for landfill/recyclables/compost and also arrange for its disposal.

Confetti:

Confetti makes for fantastic photos! Take a hole punch to some leaves or other organic material. Place names can be painted onto small pieces of driftwood, large leaves, shells, flat rocks, pieces of fruit…you get the idea. Either do it yourself or ask an arty friend to help out. Keep packaging in mind throughout the planning process, and aim to keep it to a minimum, especially when it’s plastic.

Conclusion:

So there you have it, some things to consider. Bear in mind that even if you do just one or two of these things, you are having an impact and making a difference!  The most important thing is to enjoy the planning process so don’t place any extra pressure on yourself – do what feels right for you!

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