Credit: Getty Images
Credit: Queen B
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Green and glamourous go together in our guide to a planet-friendly, eco-fabulous celebration.
Did you know that the average 100-guest wedding creates 7.7 tonnes of greenhouse gas? That’s close to the amount created by one return flight from Sydney to Paris! And think of the figures when you multiply that by the estimated 116,000 weddings in Australia each year.
Thankfully, making your wedding eco-friendly doesn’t mean scrapping your princess-inspired dream for a D-list drama starring paper-bag brown invites, hessian-style dresses, dreary bouquets and an insipidly bland reception.
Pick and mix from the following expert tips and tricks to reduce your wedding’s carbon footprint, without scrimping on quality and style. (And remember, you don’t have to do everything on this list! Just do what you can and want to – every little bit makes a difference.)
Recycled paper uses 70 per cent less energy to make than paper made from scratch, and looks just as gorgeous – if not more. Alternative tree-free papers include those made from recycled denim – or even elephant poo! (Rest assured, the droppings are treated to extract only the plant fibres and none of the yucky stuff.)
Recycled seeded paper is cute too: “Once it’s served its purpose as an invitation, your guests then plant the paper and the tree becomes an everlasting reminder of your wedding,” says Melissa Horton, a graphic designer and founder of invitation design company, A Little Birdie Design Studio.
• Use soy or vegetable inks for printing
• Have guests RSVP via email or phone
• Make your own recycled paper with a DIY kit
• Send email invitations – you’ll save $50 in postage per 100 invitations
“Try secondhand and vintage stores. There are some beautiful pieces out there just waiting to continue their story with someone else...alter that dress to make it your own, for a fraction of the price,” says eco-wedding expert Renai Page, who runs www.ecofriendlyweddings.com.au.
If buying new, choose eco-friendly fabrics including organic cotton, hemp and silk – though the most ethical silk to use is ‘peace’ or ‘ahimsa’ (non-violence) silk, produced naturally by semi-wild silk worms (as opposed to conventional silk farming, which kills silk worms in boiling water as part of the process).
You can also explore more luxurious variations such as hemp silk, bamboo lightweight satin, silk charmeuse and hemp-silk satin. Try www.hempco.net.au, www.alleco.com.au and www.hempgallery.com.au for beautiful eco-chic fabrics.
Australia has yet to catch on to the eco-wedding gear trend, but you can buy elegant dresses, as well as hemp tencel or herringbone suits for him, via many international online stores.
• Hire or borrow a dress – from $150 for simple dresses and from $350 for more elaborate styles
• Donate your dress to charity afterwards
• Choose a dress you can wear or adapt to wear after the wedding (also a great tip for bridesmaid outfits)
• Find a local dressmaker to reduce the driving distance to and from fittings