Nowadays, we all need to be conscious about the amount of waste we produce. Huge events like weddings contribute rubbish to landfills and pollution. But your wedding doesn’t have to be an environmental disaster. Here are a few ideas to not only save the environment with your wedding, but to save yourself some money, too.
Cut back on the paper consumables
A wedding with 100 guests might include save-the-date cards, multi-page invitations with maps, registry cards, RSVP cards, dress codes and information guides for out-of-towners, programs, seating cards, menus, guestbook pages, napkins, placecards, favor tags, favor boxes, cake boxes, thank you cards, thank you postcards, change of address cards and “go to the photographers website to see our photos” cards.
That’s an awful lot of paper. And you certainly don’t need all these items. Keep your invites to one page each, and, if you have to include driving instructions or maps, put them on the back. Set up a wedding website for all the other stuff. Combine your favor boxes and placecards, if you’re having them. Instead of sending out thank you cards, you could give each guest a call to thank them for coming.
Rent, instead of buy
Rental companies offer everything from table linens to candelabras to ornate cake-cutting knives. You’ll be surprised by the items they offer – many would suit a gothic, steampunk or rockabilly wedding. They often rent Halloween and medieval decorations, too.
You can even rent attire. My bridesmaids rented dresses and big, chunky cross necklaces from an amazing costume designer. This saved all of us money buying new dresses, and they didn’t get stuck with a dress they might never wear again.
Buy things you’ll use again.
Many gothic brides incorporate corsetry into their wedding gowns. I love the ladies who choose a corset design they’ll wear again and again. Simple, two-piece gowns can also be worn as seperates. I wear the jacket from my wedding at many outings, and I’ll be re-using my wedding dress for some photoshoots and a ball next year.
What other things do you need to buy that you could re-use? We brought candles as centerpieces, which we use in our home. Instead of flowers I carried a lantern, which we also use as part of our décor. I love using our wedding seal to write special letters to friends.
Reclaim and Recycle
Find things around your home for your wedding. We used lego from our own collection to make our cake topper. CDH wore boots and trousers he already owned. We toasted with heirloom goblets handed down to me by my great grandmother.
Buying second-hand isn’t filthy – it’s a great way to find a bargain and save a little space in the landfill. Search online for vintage dresses and shoes. Check the Goth Auction sites for wicked second hand alternative clothing. Borrow your sister’s shoes.
Forgo items you don’t need.
Favors, who needs them? Not you! They’re a product of the wedding industry: a cute invention to cajole you into buying more wedding ephemera. Often, guests aren’t sure what to do with them – my sister spend money on making cute paper bags filled with expensive chocolates, and half of them were left on the tables when we cleaned up the wedding!
Save-the-dates: what are these, really? I can understand the necessity of finalizing the date with out-of-towners as soon as possible, so they can plan transport, but wouldn’t a phone call suffice? That way, you could save yourself some money, and you could have a chat with your family and friends.
Seating cards? Itineraries? Wedding Programs? You don’t need them. Seriously, why do we stress ourselves out with all this stuff? It all gets thrown out at the end of the night.
In the end, having a green, eco-friendly wedding doesn’t mean you have to become a tree-hugging hippy. No one expects you to walk barefoot through the forest, unless of course, that’s your thing. When you’re progressing through wedding plans, simply ask yourself “am I doing this in a way that impacts negatively on the environment? Can I find an alternative that is less wasteful?”
Want more ideas on eco-friendly gothic weddings? The Gothic Wedding Planner is full of ideas!