How to plan a wedding that doesn’t cost the earth

Published by Aoife Rose O'Reilly on

[cs_content][cs_section parallax=”false” style=”margin: 0px;padding: 45px 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text class=”cs-ta-right”]December 1st, 2016[/cs_text][cs_text]You know what’s awesome? Weddings! They seem like so much fun that I’m having one myself! You know what’s less awesome? Environmental degradation. You know what’s hilarious though? Using your wedding to make your climate-change denying relatives do some good in the world. Ye all are getting tiny trees as wedding favours!

Save the Date and Invitations

Depending on your inclinations and budget, you can go fully or partially electronic with your stationary. There are a variety of very pretty save the dates and e-invites to be had. It also saves you having to figure out the addresses of various relatives.

If you’d prefer something solid to hold, many companies now offer recycled paper and vegetable based inks as invite options. For even more fun, you can get plantable stationary- invites that bloom into flowers and herbs in memory of your day. How adorable is that?

If you want to go very unique, cotton invites and bamboo stationary have been making waves recently. Imagine embroidered hankierchief invites. Super cute and useful for when people start crying.

There will be crying.


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If possible, hold the ceremony and reception in the same venue. No driving between them cuts fuel emissions. Also its handier- people can go straight from ceremony to party. No aunties getting lost up the mountains or danger of the photographer driving into a lake.

If you’re going for a hotel you can investigate their policies on recycling and biodegradable products. Most venues will also let you have ceremonies on the grounds outside which allows you to use the natural lighting and save on electricity. Even if the weather turns, rainy-day wedding photos can look really dramatic and fun.


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If you have time, DIY as much as you can. Reuse and recycle! Its also handy for keeping your budget down as there’s something about the word wedding that makes design companies go €€€ . Any nice bits of fabric existing in your general sphere can become bunting. Its also a great way to incorporate anyone who wants to help but don’t quite know how. With bunting it’s go big or go home- you want a lot of it.

While balloons and candle-lanterns are pretty and popular, the sad fact of the matter is that what goes up must come down. Balloons- even ‘bio-degradable’ ones- don’t decay over time and lead to the deaths of sea creatures. Worse again lanterns coming to earth often are not extinguished and cause fires. The fires of love are supposed to be metaphorical. Not actual forest fires.

Fortunately there are many alternatives. Garden spinners and pinwheels come in all colours and are sturdy and easy to add into your decor- they can also be enjoyed for years after your wedding. Painting rocks and floating petals can also be excellent decorative features.

Confetti is awesome. It’s an excuse to fling many small colourful things at people you love without hurting feelings. Cool! But rice and paper are boring and also sicken birds. Cups of petals are prettier as are mixtures of petals and flower seeds. Bubbles are another option. Think how pretty that will look in photographs! Just be mindful of your dress- bubble mix can stain fabric.


Bouquets! Another thing you can throw at your loved ones. While a lot of flowers have horrifying air miles attached it is possible to source local alternatives. Alternately if you and your S.O. plant now you could provide many of your own flowers for next year. Your bouquets and bouillinares could come with the personal touch.

This also allows you to control pesticide use. Pesticides are heavily used in many commercial flower farms and work by been incredibly destructive- they don’t only kill greenfly but everything else they happen to come into contact with. Try to go organic with your flowers.

Depending on your creativity and inclinations a bouquet doesnt have to be entirely floral- broach bouquets are becoming increasingly popular. Imagine upcycling some sentimental keepsakes into your wedding day? Also this gives it nice heft for tossing later. Accidentally knock out your drunken uncle.

Herbs and feathers are also becoming popular to bulk out a bouquet, having the benefits of been season-free and very light. Imagine how pretty a bouquet with rosemary and lavender would smell.

If you’re having a two day event, turn your flowers into a crafting station! Flower-crown workshops are becoming increasingly popular and are a great bonding activity.

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Aoife Rose O'Reilly

Aoife is a contributor to Green News. She has a degree in Natural Sciences from Trinity College Dublin and an MSC in Evolutionary Biology from UCD. She also volunteers with Dublin Zoo.