Today we’re so excited to be featuring not one but two eco-friendly wedding planners as our experts! We feel strongly about finding ways to get greener with weddings—most have a carbon footprint that’s far from romantic— and we’re guessing a lot of you feel the same away. So, who better to help you figure out how to do that than Amy and Kamelli, the lovely ladies who operate All & Sundry wedding planning in Vancouver and Edmonton?
Now let’s get to the good stuff. Scroll on to find out all their advice and insider tips, and come back next week for part two.
WiV: What do you see as the biggest area of environmental impact from weddings?
A&S: Weddings are often regarded as grand affairs requiring numerous elements in order to satisfy any one couple’s definition of an “ideal” wedding. Unfortunately, without some forethought and guidance, the details that go into making these personalized and unique events can result in unnecessary waste that ends up in the landfill instead of being recycled or re-purposed.
WiV: Does planning an eco-friendly wedding mean spending more money?
A&S: Definitely not. In fact, planning an eco-friendly wedding can save you money. Being conscious of your carbon footprint means you’ll likely be looking towards local, non-traditional vendors to supply what you need, and our experience has shown us that sourcing items like food, flowers, and decor elements closer to home often results in lower costs and higher quality.
The majority of savings from an eco-friendly wedding, however, come from shifting focus away from unnecessary ‘stuff’ and refocusing your attention on highlighting what’s really important: you, your friends, and your family.
WiV: On a similar track, does planning an eco-friendly wedding mean you have to have a rustic, natural theme?
A&S: We believe that any wedding, no matter the theme, can be planned in an eco-friendly way. Being eco-friendly has more to do with a mindset that takes into account your impact on the environment and on your local community, as opposed to a certain aesthetic. As eco-conscious wedding planners, we are able to provide our clients with the guidance and connections to like-minded local vendors needed to plan the perfect day, whether your theme is one of modern elegance, or one of rustic simplicity. Really, it’s all in the planning, and All & Sundry can help you create the wedding of your dreams in a way that’s personalized, beautiful, and eco-friendly.
WiV: What are three ways to improve the eco-friendliness of your wedding?
Do more with less and think bigger. Pinpoint what truly matters to you as a couple and leave out any unnecessary details. For the things that are important to you, think about how they can function in various ways at your wedding (e.g. favours doubling as table décor), or how they can be repurposed, recycled, or composted after the event is over.
Consider your own backyard. We don’t necessarily mean having a backyard wedding (though these often make for wonderful parties) but think about the time, energy, and fuel it takes for you and your guests to travel from location to location on your wedding day. Instead of renting multiple venues, think about choosing a single location and having it do double-duty as both ceremony site and reception venue. If you’re hankering to get away for a little while, we love the idea of opting for a “mini destination wedding” in places like the Sunshine Coast or Vancouver Island; close to home, but still a getaway, all at the same time.
Keep it local. Support the local economy and community by serving food that is seasonal, locally-sourced, and sustainable; use local flowers and plants grown without resource-gobbling methods like irrigation, heat lamps, and pesticides, and turn to local vendors for décor, stationery, and gifts.
WiV: Do you think the Vancouver wedding scene has reached a point where you can find most things locally?
A&S: Definitely. Vancouver has an abundance of resources, as well as people who ply their craft in sustainable ways to create anything from unique and lovely floral arrangements to amazing meals using eco-conscious foods. There’s a tremendous amount of entrepreneurial talent in Vancouver, directly wedding-related and not, and we encourage couples as well as our colleagues to seek out these potential collaborators and their services and products whenever possible.
Come back next week for part two, and get the scoop on why you should hire a wedding planner, how to do it on a tight budget, and what trends are in store for 2013.