Are you a "bride-zilla"? Hopefully not. This term was of course coined for the bride who goes overboard in her demands for her wedding, even throwing temper tantrums when things aren't quite going her way. Fortunately, not all brides are like this, and not only are they absolutely joyful during "their" day, but some couples even use the occasion of their wedding to express their concern for others, and concern for the environment. Any bride and groom can use their big day as an opportunity to give back to the community and to show respect for the earth, with the right socially conscious wedding ideas. Here are just a few: Stay simple and as small as possible. More guests mean more transportation, more food, and more energy.
Fewer guests mean less waste and less consumption. Keep all your wedding ideas tasteful but modest. Cut down on the auto emissions by using fewer cars to and from the ceremony. If you must use limos, use just one for the men and one for the women. Better yet, skip the limousines and use compact cars. If you can find a horse-drawn carriage, consider this as an eco-friendly wedding idea, not just a romantic one! Many brides are setting up websites to share with friends and family all the plans they're making for the wedding and to post photos, the story of how the couple met, and so on.
Another eco-friendly wedding idea is to use this website as a means of getting your invitation RSVPs as well, to eliminate both the paper used for the cards and the gasoline used to deliver them. Use recycled material as much as possible. This means napkins, place cards for the seating chart, matchbook covers, and whatever other paper wedding ideas you have at your reception. You can even shop for wedding favors and invitations that are made from recycled paper as well; many invitation companies offer this option.
Avoid the word "disposable." This only refers to something that's going to be used once and thrown away. For some years, a popular wedding idea has been to leave disposable cameras at each table of the reception hall for guests to take candid shots, but this means several dozen disposable cameras thrown away within a few days. Multiply that by the number of weddings that happen across the U.S.
every weekend and you see why the landfills are so … full. In addition to recycled material, cut down on WHAT you use as well. Have one main menu for each table placed attractively in the middle rather than a separate menu for each guest. This principle can apply for all your wedding ideas that are printed – forego so many of the inserts in your invitations that are unnecessary, such as the blotter sheet, the inner envelope, and so on. And the decorations are another area where you can be simple to conserve and cut back on energy usage.
Everyone wants a breathtaking venue and reception hall and your wedding ideas may be something grand in scale, but consider getting creative with decorations that can be reused. For example, stringing lights around artificial trees can add a beautiful touch to any wedding – both the lights and the trees can be taken home to reuse. Potted plants are better than cut flowers, balloons, and crepe paper, all of which will just be thrown away. Speak with your florist about what wedding ideas there are for blooming plants that will add just the right color and style for your location; guests can then take the plants home afterward. Use candles for the ceremony and reception as much as possible (being mindful of safety of course).
This wedding idea will not only add a romantic feel, it will cut back on energy usage from lights. Making things simple can also apply to your menu. Many couples forego a full dinner because of budget reasons, but think about how much energy is used to make a multiple-course meal for hundreds. To save some energy, make your reception wedding ideas simple. By having a smaller wedding later in the evening you can offer a simple appetizer and dessert menu, saving not only energy but money as well. Speak to your caterer openly and candidly about what you're looking for.
And be mindful of your wedding ideas when it comes to wedding favors as well. Make sure you're choosing items that will be used and appreciated; many brides have given up the option of bottled water with personalized labels, as some fail to recycle the bottles. Whatever your choice of favors, be sure that it's something that guests will keep and appreciate.
And the most responsible and conscientious thing that couples are doing today with their wedding ideas is making sure that not even the leftover food goes to waste. Before your ceremony, get in touch with a local soup kitchen and arrange to have any leftovers donated, if possible. You can even get your guests involved and ask that they donate to a favorite charity in lieu of gifts to you, or choose gifts that can be given to a local children's hospital, homeless shelter, and so on. These are great socially conscious wedding ideas for the couple that is getting married after having already established a household, meaning that they have little need for the typical blenders, toasters, and so on. All of these socially conscious wedding ideas are just some ways that brides and grooms can show their concern and respect for the environment and for others.
Many are keeping in mind that while it's "their" day, it's "our" planet, and there's no better time to show your appreciation for that than with your own generous and original wedding ideas.
Linda Ellison is a freelance writer who specializes in trends and lifestyles. Her previously published fiction works, including the Dana Ford Mystery Series, have been on bookshelves nationwide. Visit www.FavorsAndWraps.com to read more about the latest trends in wedding favors.