Feature

Nice day for a... green wedding

LJ-and-Tom-story

LJ and Tom on their wedding day.

Credit: Jonathan Ong

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Bomboniere

Traditionally, sugared almonds were given to guests as a symbol of health, wealth, fertility, happiness and longevity. Nowadays, everything from soft toys to elaborately wrapped personalised candles await guests at their tables.

“Gifts that will actually be used, or can be easily recycled or composted, make the best bomboniere,” says Milne. “Gifts that guests can eat, such as preserves, or plant in their garden are fabulous.” Try a small potted easy-to-grow herb for each guest, or homemade jams, chocolates or cookies.

Photography

Resist the glitz and glam of proof books and choose a photographer who will provide you with digital copies of all your images, from which you can select your favourites. Avoid paper and chemicals and share all your photos easily and efficiently via email, or photo-sharing sites such as Flickr or even Facebook. Print only those images you plan to frame, send to relatives or include in an album.

Honeymoon

With so many relaxing destinations and picturesque beaches in Australia, how far do you really need to travel? “Honeymoon locally, offset your flights if necessary and choose accredited eco-tourism options,” suggests Milne. Try one of the many great eco resorts around Australia. Furthermore, consider how you’re getting to your destination. If there’s an option to travel by land rather than flying, it will significantly lower your impact.

Cake

In the age of four-tiered masterpieces, Marie Antoniette has a lot to answer for. How much cake will your guests actually eat? Aim for one small piece per guest plus a small portion for you to save for your first anniversary or the birth of your first child. And if tradition isn’t your thing, don’t worry about saving a portion for yourself. Alternatively, do cupcakes that then double up as your bomboniere.

Top tip

It is very important to consider the life cycle of the products you choose,” says Gillian Milne, director of Grassroots Productions. “What are they made of and how were they made? Are they useful? Can they be reused or recycled; will they biodegrade or go straight in the bin? Apply this thinking as you plan and you will reduce the eco-footprint of your wedding naturally.

Real wedding: LJ and Tom

Why did you decide to have a green wedding?

"We try to live sustainably and we wanted our wedding to embody who we are as people in our daily lives. We are aware that there can be so much waste after celebrations, especially big events like weddings, and we wanted to celebrate mindfully. We value nature, handmade things and home-grown produce, and we wanted to incorporate all these elements."

What eco-friendly components did you include?

"We propagated and potted rosemary cuttings from our garden in recycled tin cans collected over the course of a year. We wrapped the tin cans in burlap donated to us by a local cafe. Our guests placed them in a circle under a 200-year-old walnut tree, where we said our vows, and later took the rosemary cuttings home with them to plant in their own gardens. We rescued fallen tree branches from a gum tree near our home and used them to create unique branch chandeliers, which hung above each table at our reception. Recycled jars were lit with home-poured Australian beeswax tealight candles. We also made our own table names (using the names of herbs) with pieces of an old fence paling we rescued from a nature strip, and some white paint we had at home."

Did you find a green wedding to be more affordable than a traditional wedding?

"Yes, it was definitely more affordable in terms of decorating our wedding. Having lots of handmade elements reduced our costs and allowed us to have the fairytale wedding we wanted within our budget."

Websites we love

www.grassrootsproductions.com.au
Professional events management with personal bespoke wedding planning services.

www.daisyandjack.com.au
Stationary and paper goods that are too charming to throw away.

www.ewedding.com
Plan your wedding and share all the details of your big day with guests.

www.theorganiccupcake.com
Organic cupcakes with options to satisfy everyone’s sweet-tooth.

www.greenbrideguide.com
Australia’s largest green wedding directory, with top honeymoon tips.

www.australseedlings.com.au
Organic seedlings that’ll grow into useful gifts for your guests.

www.naturalweddings.com.au
Ideas and advice, including a green gift registry & mineral makeup tips.

www.organicpassioncatering.com
Organic vegan and vegie cuisine, using the best natural ingredients.

www.ecofriendlyweddings.com.au
Tips galore with everything from ceremony venues to eco-catering.

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