As vegan and feminist wedding photographers we see many things that should change in the wedding world. As your photographers, we want to help you create a beautiful, meaningful day that gives back to your guests, the earth and the community around you. Below are a few things to consider when planning your wedding day.
Instead of giving out knick-knacks to your guests, you can provide edible wedding favors (Brewing Good Coffee provides bags of beans for your guests) or give out seedlings, homemade jams, succulents or even potted herbs. One of my couples went to goodwill and bought fun vintage coffee mugs for their guests. I drink coffee from that mug every single day. An added plus is when your guests go to use the herbs or drink the coffee they will think of your wedding!
If you’re like me you love the look and feel of beautifully printed stationery. So don’t fret, I’ve gathered a few places that provide gorgeous eco-friendly invitations, some including plantable seeds in the stationary and some used recycled paper and soy-based inks. Greenwhich Letterpress , MOO and Botanical Paper Works are wonderful places that provide quality products.
When choosing a dress or suit head to thrift stores and antique stores. We also sell vintage dresses. Remember you can always have a seamstress alter the clothing. Looking at antique stores for bridal jewelry is always a good choice, you can find unique pieces that show your personality. For the wedding party consider having your crew mix and match vintage clothing. When choosing accessories for your big day consider nonleather options. You still achieve the classy look you’re going for without the environmental impacts. Keep an eye out for tags that say “Man-Made Materials”.
Make sure your makeup artist is using cruelty-free makeup. Elf and Kat Von D makeup are eco-friendly and not tested on animals.
Rather than requesting physical gifts from your guests consider asking them to donate to a cause you are passionate about. A donation to a cause that you and your guests care about is an investment in creating the world you want to see.
When thinking about catering, consider local vegan options. They not only taste great but are better for the environment and the animals, and they are healthier for your guests! Choosing organic locally sourced food cuts back on greenhouse gas emitted during transportation, positively impacts the local economy and helps local farmers. Also if your caterer is using disposable plates make sure they are compostable. There are plates made from corn that are affordable and biodegradable or you could rent washable plates and skip the waste altogether. Normally there is excess food at the end of the night. Make sure to tell your caterer you want to keep it or have a local shelter pick up the extra to feed the community. Also when creating your cake remember to keep it simple and sustainable!
Think about having your wedding at a state park, in your backyard or a conservatory. Generally, the entire fee for a conservatory or state park goes back into improving the land. It also provides beautiful backdrops for photos. Backyard weddings generally just require a tent and string lights so that creates a beautiful and affordable venue.
At the reception use tons of candles to light the venue instead of bright lights. It also adds a more romantic feel to the evening.
Remember less is more when it comes to decorating your venue. Go to thrift stores and scour your grandmother’s house for vases, centerpieces and other things you’d want to decorate with. You can use potted plants as centerpieces as well. You can make beautiful place cards by writing on with white ink on eucalyptus. Don’t forget this is your wedding and it can look however you want it to!
A way to save money and produce less waste is to buy kegs of local beer instead of individual bottles. Also, look to your local wineries and order from them instead of ordering and importing from far and wide. That also helps your local economy by supporting small businesses in their craft.
Really awesome send off options are birdseed, lavender, ribbon wands, and rose petals.
Consider providing transportation to your wedding if the majority of your guests are staying in the same place. That will cut down on car usage and provides a safe way to get home if you have an open bar.
One way to provide a beautiful backyard for butterflies and bees is to grow your own flowers then harvest them before your wedding! When choosing a florist research experts that specialize and grow local flowers. Ordering flowers from across the country can increase pollution and greenhouse gas. Local Color Flowers provide flowers locally sourced within a 100-mile radius of Baltimore and are a very talented company!
Also if you have any questions feel free to shoot me a message. I hope you enjoy the researching, DIY, and challenge of it all! Also, check out my Pinterest board to help you plan your eco-friendly wedding!
Coral Dove Photography is a gritty, ethereal, documentary, wedding photography team serving Frederick, Maryland and beyond.