Inspirations for Weddings & Debuts Magazine / Plan Your Wedding / September 25, 2019

A Nod to Nature

Celebrate milestones the cleaner,
greener, and more sustainable way

Written by: Marielle Ong

Once-in-a-lifetime events deserve special care and attention, but so do our planet and the people who live in it. This is the time to be more aware of our actions and their effects on the world around us, and this applies to both big days and everyday life. If you’d like to adopt some conscious consumption practices for your milestone event, here are some small steps that can make a big difference.
All in One : A one-stop-shop celebration venue is a dream in more ways than one. First, you and your guests will only have to look for parking spaces once. Second, the wedding party can go from the ceremony to the reception without having to sit through traffic a second time. Third, event venues usually have complete and customizable packages, so you won’t have to scout for suppliers far and wide. Fourth, plenty of venues come with gardens or have palace-like exteriors, so there’ll be plenty of opportunities for photo ops. That’s practical and a great reduction in carbon footprint for you and all your guests. Flip to “It’s All About Location” on page 49 for venues that can hold both your ceremony and reception.
Spacing Out : What’s totally free and will look good in photos? Natural light! It’s the photographer’s best friend that reduces electricity consumption. Get the most out of the free lighting by hosting a morning wedding at an outdoor venue, or at least opt for a venue with well placed skylights.
Sensible Styling : Seek out an event stylist who doesn’t just have a creative eye, but also one with a knack for repurposing and reinventing the decor from his or her other events. Those candelabras and fairy lights will look just as good at your bash as it did the previous event. It’s only a matter of getting crafty to make the details look fresh every time.
Room for Growth : Cut flowers are gorgeous, but you can level up the sustainability factor of your event by picking up potted plants instead. Pots can easily be dressed up with pretty stones, ribbons, and fabric. Recycled jars and pails can look just as fetching. These can also double as your giveaway to guests.
Perfectly Imperfect : In deciding an aesthetic and theme for your celebration, try something that won’t require matchy-matchy perfection. A rustic theme usually leaves a lot of room for mismatched elements, like differently sized chairs, mixed glassware, and assortments of vases. Thus, you can source some of the decor from thrift shops, saving some money in the process and repurposing pre-loved items. They can even double as party favors or decor for your shared home.
Love Local : 
Show the local food industry some love by supporting locally produced ingredients for your menu. You and your potential caterer should discuss the sourcing of ingredients and how you can include more local finds to the mix. This may mean going the Filipino, Asian, or fusion food route. A good chef will appreciate the challenge. The same goes for drinks. Support local and artisanal distilleries, but make sure that the products from smaller distilleries are certified safe to drink.
Veg Out : The reality is that meat has quite a lot of carbon emissions compared to vegetables. And while you can’t force your guests to go vegetarian, you can up the veggie dishes served at the reception while keeping the meat to a minimum.
Let Them Eat Cake : Say no to styro by requesting an all-edible cake or an assortment of smaller cakes that can also be served to guests for dessert. For decor, replace plastic toppers with fresh fruits
The Written Word : The extreme way of cutting down on paper usage is to embrace being digitally savvy and eschew the printed invitations altogether. Facebook Events can be quite effective in disseminating reminders to those near and dear to you, and digital e-vites can be laid out beautifully at minimal cost. But if you would prefer physical copies, try reducing the number of pages to print or springing for recycled paper. Read more about it on page 48.
Digging for Treasure : When it comes to accessories, the goal is to reduce mining. The rest of your big day bling can double as your “something borrowed” from close friends and relatives. If there are loose stones and heirlooms around, you can have them set or reset to your specifications. Purchasing vintage jewelry is another option, and you’ll be getting a side of history to boot.
Dress Accordingly : When outfitting your entourage, welcome classic cuts and designs that they can wear to other special occasions. It’ll be flattering to see them enjoy your sartorial options over and over.
The Vintage Edit : Not quite comfortable with the concept of a wedding outfit you can only wear once? How about revamping that “something old”? You can alter or embellish Mom’s wedding dress and maybe spice it up while you’re at it. Then there’s the option to rent a dress or buy a cleaned pre-loved one, as there are many brides who sell their wedding gowns online and sometimes donate the sales to a good cause. Another way is to resell your new gown your