wedding

Why Finances Matter Long Before Your Wedding
Finances matter long before the wedding takes place.

Finances matter long before the wedding takes place.

The idea of marriage has changed a lot over the centuries. Once upon a time, most couples wed for the sake of their families and futures. When two families would join together as a result of a marital union, it would often bring forth plenty of financial benefits to both sides. In fact, many brides and grooms were sized up by potential partners based solely on how much wealth or property their families possessed. These days, the reasons people marry are different, but there are some similarities when it comes to financial matters.

Getting married means sharing everything with your significant other. This, of course, means finances will often be included. People usually get weird when pressed to talk about money. If you and your significant other have not had a conversation about money and the future, then now is an important time to begin. Without this discussion, you could be in for some upsetting or confusing surprises that add stress to the bonds of marital bliss. Take a moment to look over these tips and see what makes the most sense for your situation.

The Practical Side

When you are marrying someone, you are taking on everything this person embodies or possesses and you are making it a part of your life. The good and the bad come along with this. If your partner has a lot of debt, then you might be taking on this debt with your union. Before you get married, you are going to want to sit down with your partner and begin to discuss financial matters and how you will both be impacted by the wedding.

It might not even matter much to you that your partner is currently in debt. Still, you could want to make a plan to help remove this situation from your lives. Having this talk about money early can help both of you to make plans for the future. Discuss how to get out of debt and what you can both do to create a chunk of savings that will last a good long while. The earlier you have this talk, the less stressful it may wind up being when you enter married life. 

Finances After the Wedding

In many cases, a talk about finances is about a lot more than money. You and your significant other might not really have a clear idea of what either of you would like to do for work after marriage. When you both work all the time, it can make it difficult to take the next step in your relationship. Namely, this means finding time to have and raise children. Now is the right time for you to start these conversations. Hopefully by this point the topic of children has come up. If not, now is your chance.

Children are quite a big responsibility to take on. Not only do you need to have the time to raise them, you also need a significant amount of money. During your talk about your future finances, you may want to breach the topic of children. Discuss the best possible paths for making your dreams into a reality. You might discover that it is possible for one of you to work and the other to take care of the family. You’ll never know until you have the talk.

Tomorrow Starts Today 

Most people feel weird discussing money. While this is a natural feeling, it also can be problematic to avoid these conversations with your significant other. To truly enjoy married life, it is a good idea to have open conversations about finances early. Beginning this chat with enough time to spare can allow both of you a bit of room to figure out any snags or issues that you might predict along the way.

For a Unique Wedding Cake Option, Try a Croquembouche
A French Croquembouche can be a delicious alternative to a traditional wedding cake.

A Croquembouche can be a unique wedding cake option.

With the number of French contributions to our culture, you probably won’t be surprised to find a croquembouche at a Canadian wedding. However, you might not be familiar with the history, details and preparation behind these fascinating pastry desserts. Whether you’ve adopted a French theme for your festivities or just want a different type of wedding cake for your reception, this delightful tower of goodness might be just right for your crowd.

Origins in 19th Century France 

While much of Canada was still under British rule, a young Parisian baker began crafting a pastry creation that would become his enduring legacy. In January 2017, the U.S. media network National Public Radio website published a piece on legendary French chef Marie-Antoine Carême, the famed inventor of the croquembouche. Born to an impoverished family around 1783 or 1784, he was presumably orphaned by social turmoil resulting from the French revolution. Carême began working in a Paris kitchen at the age of eight, and by the time he was 15 years old, he’d landed a position as an apprentice to top-rated pastry chef Sylvain Bailly.

As Carême honed his craft during his late teen years, Bailly regularly displayed Carême’s stunningly elaborate pastries in his bakery shop window. By the late 1700s, this young sensation had fashioned a tower of small, round cream puffs called “choux” festooned with spun sugar. A recipe for this dessert, which he called a croquembouche, was published in his 1815 cookbook “Le Pâtissier royal parisien.” Meanwhile, Carême continued to rise to culinary stardom, designing lavish, beautiful sweets for the likes of Napoleon, Russia’s Czar Alexander I and prince regent George IV of England.

The Croquembouche in the Modern World

While there are many modern variations on this delicious pastry, they still follow the same basic format: a tall mountain of cream puffs covered in spun sugar and other wonderful edibles. You’ll probably have no difficulty finding bakers in any province to supply one for your special day, and it’s an appropriate wedding cake for many types of wedding themes. Wedding Bells Magazine showcased a French vintage matrimonial affair in a 2012 piece on its website, adding that the couple chose a croquembouche to add a delicate grandeur to their festivities.

If you think that such a spectacular wedding cake should get its own entrance and fanfare, you’re absolutely right. In fact, contributor Kim Petyt on The Good Life France blog revealed that a croquembouche is usually not presented until dessert time. With the lights dimmed and celebratory music playing, guests typically begin chanting “Le gateau! Le gateau!” as the star of the hour is brought out to the dining hall while decorated in small, sizzling fireworks. Once the display is over, the staff serves each guest three or four of the sweet, creamy choux to enjoy.

Flavorful Possibilities Abound

In both exterior decorative touches and inner fillings, the croquembouche presents a wide variety of lovely flavors. Traditionally, each choux contains vanilla-bourbon crème in the center. Nevertheless, bakeries offer several popular filling choices which can include favorites such as caramel and chocolate, or less common tastes like rose, pistachio or orange blossom. Besides spun sugar or pastel-tinted icing, a croquembouche wedding cake can be decked out in sugared almonds, chocolate, candied ribbons or even edible flowers.

A Delicious Wedding Cake Idea for Your Nuptial Affair 

The croquembouche is a distinctive and delightful wedding cake that offers a complex combination of aesthetics, French culture and flavor. Its name appropriately translates to “crunch in the mouth,” and your guests will enjoy the taste and texture of this now-classic sweet treat. Add to that the customary celebratory fanfare with which it’s presented during your festivities, and your croquembouche will certainly be a memorable part of your wedding day.

Wedding Registry Basics: A Quick Guide
More and more couples put together a wedding registry for their big day.

A wedding registry is a great way for a newlywed couple to save money by having loved ones purchase various household needs for them.

Among the customary wedding traditions, many couples opt to open a gift wedding registry. When wisely implemented, it can be a wonderful tool that makes gift selection easier for your guests. However, you should keep a few things in mind as you proceed. Following some simple practices and observing etiquette guidelines can help ensure that your registry is a convenient and well-executed part of your nuptials instead of a massive headache for you and your guests.

The Origins of the Gift Registry 

Although the wedding gift registry is now a customary tradition among Canadian couples, the practice has surprisingly recent origins. Racked contributor Erika Adams explains that guests were not expected to bring presents to matrimonial celebrations prior to the twentieth century. In time past, European and American brides collected goods to take to their future homes inside their wedding chests, which were also sometimes called “hope chests.” Once department stores began to offer bridal registries, many women were encouraged to include household goods such as crystal, silverware, and china.

Do You Need a Wedding Registry?

Western society has changed much over the last century, and it’s now common for couples to marry later in life or to wed multiple times. As a result, many adults have homes of their own and already own a substantial collection of household goods. If this description sounds like you and your sweetie, take heart. You may decide you don’t need to open a gift registry, as advice columnist Liz Moorehead of A Practical Wedding points out. She suggests relying on your family members to spread the word. Bride Online also suggests setting aside a preferred charity for guests’ donations in lieu of a registry.

Some Prudent Suggestions

Hana Abaza of Huffington Post Canada encourages newlyweds-to-be to think beyond the typical “big box” retail stores and investigate online wedding registries. Instead of feeling pressured to add items that you don’t really need, a virtual gift listing may permit more flexibility as well as the chance to include products you and your future spouse will actually use.

Abaza also provides some sage advice to help couples observe good etiquette practices and avoid offending family and friends. She suggests the inclusion of a wide variety of entries in the lower, mid-range, and upper price points. Furthermore, she stresses the importance of keeping your registry updated. Many retailers will help you track yours online. You may even be able to see what guests have purchased (but not necessarily who made the purchases). If you can, try to add more items to give your guests additional options from which to choose.

Have Fun With Your Registry

If you decide to skip a registry, that’s a perfectly valid choice. For newlyweds-to-be who choose to register, it’s wise to remember some useful suggestions during planning. Be sure to include entries at many different price points, and don’t add any products you don’t really want. Be sure to keep yours up to date. Remember that a donation to a designated charity organization is a great alternative. Whatever you decide, the goal is to tailor your wedding to reflect your wishes and those of and your partner.

A Quick Guide to Planning Your Backyard Wedding
A backyard wedding can be way more cost effective than the bloated chapel-centered counterparts.

A backyard wedding can be closer and more intimate than the traditional church wedding.

A backyard wedding can be a great alternative to traditional nuptials in a house of worship or an expensive venue. This is great for couples who want to publicly celebrate their love and long-term commitment while saving money. Arranging such an affair takes some time and careful planning to ensure you don’t miss any of the important details. Before you dive headfirst into pulling together your intimate backyard wedding, consider these important tips.

Decide on Your Backyard Wedding Budget Early

As couples like Leigha and Todd from Ontario frequently prove, it is possible to hold a lovely affair for less. Intimate Weddings profiled the pair in a 2015 featured post, detailing how they planned their 2014 ceremony and reception. They opted to keep the guest list small, with only 24 people in attendance. They also opted for a backyard wedding with home-cooked food for their guests. As Leigha revealed, this allowed them to devote significant portions of their budget to food, flowers, and photography. Overall, the couple spent less than $5,000. Similarly, if you know your own upper limits for what you and your sweetie can set aside for your nuptials, it will enable you to make decisions and prioritise where you spend your money.

Is Your Backyard Ready?

Of course, the backyard or acreage in which you hold your nuptials must be prepared for you, your sweetie, and your guests. HGTV Canada published several tips in an October 2016 article about backyard weddings, recommending that you examine the land and layout of your yard first. The level of the ground is important, as you’ll need to know whether your land is flat or sloping, as well as the approximate number of people it can realistically hold. If you evaluate your yard and then realise it will not hold 100 people comfortably, you have a crucial choice to make: Either invite fewer people or decide on another location for your nuptials.

In addition, you must consider other factors besides the size and layout of your yard while planning. If your location boasts a lot of natural flora and greenery, you could save significantly when it comes to site decorations and flower arrangements. Moreover, you should think about how to accommodate parking for your guests as well as be prepared for any potential noise concerns from your neighbours.

A Wedding at Home Isnt Always Cheaper

With a backyard wedding, the costs can be as much or as little as you make them. In other words, you can plan anything from a lavish, extravagant affair to a simple yet tasteful celebration. It’s all in the details—or rather, the prices of them. Shop wisely, and get a good idea of what each item will cost before paying any money or signing contracts. You’ll need to factor in extra items that you don’t require for an indoor celebration, like tents, tables, and seating. If you’re aiming for less expensive nuptials, consider these cost-cutting ideas:

  • Hold a breakfast, brunch, or lunchtime reception.
  • Choose fresh flowers for only the wedding party and ceremonial focal points.
  • Wed on an off-peak day or time, avoiding Saturday evenings.
  • Purchase inexpensive party decorations in bulk.
  • Design and print your own invitations and programs.

Planning Your Affair Takes Attention to Detail and Forethought

There’s no need to stress over your upcoming nuptials. Nevertheless, making sure that you take the time to plan the details is important to ensuring your backyard wedding happens with as few complications as possible. Thinking of the size of your guest list, your budget, your physical location, and other important factors will aid you in successfully arranging your special day.

Your Wedding Is Just the Beginning
Your wedding is simply the starting point of your new life.

People tend to think of a wedding as an end, however is should be viewed as a beginning of a new life with your partner.

Getting hitched to your significant other can be a fantastic move to make. While you may have been dating your partner for several years at this point, it is important for you to keep in mind that your wedding is the start of a completely different chapter of your lives together. Of course, a wedding can also add a ton of stress to your shoulders. You and your significant other are likely to bump heads once or twice throughout the process. How you handle these encounters will set the stage for your future as a married couple.

Since planning for your wedding can bring forth some tense situations, it is helpful to use this process as a way of working through your own relationship issues. If you do not address problems in the relationship before the wedding, then they are only going to get worse as the years go on. Take a look at a couple of these simple ways to use your wedding planning as a form of couples therapy and see how you can strengthen your bond while getting ready for your big day.

After the Wedding: Cohabitation

Times have changed. Once, it was common for a couple to live separate lives until the day where they joined in matrimony. The wedding would mark the first time the bride and groom would sleep in the same bed. Of course, this is a trend that has changed greatly. Nowadays, most couples live together for years before deciding to get married. Whether to live with your partner can be a big thing to consider before you go about the process of planning for your wedding.

Learning how to cohabitate in advance is very important. You do not want to marry someone and discover that he or she is a completely different person at home. Easing yourselves into domestic life together before the wedding can help you to learn about each other in new ways. Have discussions about things like household chores, bills, owning versus renting, and anything else that is important to you about your home. Having these conversations and trying your hand at cohabitation early can help you to see what you are in store for with your partner.

Disagreements Are Good 

You and your significant other are going to disagree a lot while planning for your wedding. There are very few instances where a couple comes to agreement on every little detail. While you might feel uncomfortable with disagreeing with your partner, it is very healthy to learn how to handle altercations. Your knee-jerk reaction might be to fight your partner on something as simple as the color palette of the reception, but there are much bigger issues in life that you are going to have to face together.

Learning to disagree early in the relationship can help you to build a strong foundation for your future. The moments that matter are going to be the ones that appear out of the blue and blindside you both. When the time comes to make an important and difficult decision, you want to be sure that you can turn to your partner and work through the problem without it devolving into an argument. Use your wedding planning as a chance to grow better at dealing with disagreements.

Many Years Ahead

A wedding marks a very big day for you and your partner. After you have tied the knot, you will be together for the foreseeable future. If you want your marriage to go well, be sure to get off on the right foot by learning as you go. Use your wedding planning as a way to handle disagreements, and you will discover new ways to work through your problems as a couple.

Sticking Close to Home for Your Honeymoon
There are plenty of places around Canada to spend your honeymoon.

When planning your honeymoon, it may be more financially sound to stay around your home.

Getting married can be an expensive endeavor. Even a small reception might wind up costing you way more than you anticipated. It might be useful for you to consider ways to cut back on your expenses. The costs don’t stop coming once the wedding has ended. Your honeymoon is also a financial hit. Instead of rushing off to some far-flung corner of the globe for your romantic getaway, it might be more exciting to take a look at what Canada has to offer.

There are some absolutely lovely destinations located across Canada for you and your spouse to explore. No matter what you enjoy doing on your vacations, you can be sure you’ll find something worth your time when you begin your search. To get you started, here are a few wonderful spots to consider for your honeymoon.

By the Bay

Many couples determine their honeymoon destinations based on what they are hoping to get from the trip. For some, the dream honeymoon is one that provides ample time to unwind. You and your new spouse want to spend time alone together. This means you could gain a lot from a trip to Ontario to relax at Georgian Bay. If you enjoy the thought of sitting in a lodge, watching the sunlight sparkle over the lazy waters of the bay, then this might be for you.

Immersing yourself in the splendor of nature has a way of revitalizing the spirits. There are tons of exciting activities to take part in during this trip as well. When you’re done with relaxation for a bit, take a boat out on the water and explore some of the islands located throughout the bay. Adventure awaits you when you decide to visit this amazing destination right in Ontario.

Something Different for Your Honeymoon

Those born and raised in Canada are usually well aware of the beauty of the land. This is one of the reasons some couples don’t consider sticking close to home for the honeymoon. If you’ve already been on endless hikes through the woods and seen many of the sights the country has to offer, you may want to think about something a bit different. A trip to Yukon can allow you a totally new experience with a visit to Kluane.

Kluane National Park has a diverse and appealing geography that offers couples a wealth of different activities to explore. You and your partner can hit the trails and see Canada from an entirely new perspective by hiking through a truly remarkable environment. Thrillseekers will have the opportunity to kayak in a rushing river, scale some wild heights and engage with the natural world in a spectacular manner.

City Life

Where you visit in Canada for your honeymoon will have a lot to do with where you currently live. One might find the idea of a trip to Quebec City to be quite appealing. The hustle and bustle of the city might not be the right place for everyone to live but there is a ton of fun to be had during a vacation. You and your partner will be able to take in all of the sights of the city during the day and indulge in some amazing nightlife activities after sunset.

There are many wonderful destinations to explore right in your own backyard. Instead of traveling across the planet for your honeymoon, think about the fun that can be had here in Canada. Explore all of your options and you’re bound to discover an amazing trip.

How to Honor Lost Loved Ones at Your Wedding
It is always great to have a moment to remember lost loved ones and celebrate the memories that you shared with them.

Remembering lost loved ones at your wedding is a great way to honor the lives that they lived.

A wedding is a special and joyous occasion for most people. Still, the events can be tinged with a bit of sadness in certain circumstances. When close loved ones or a relative has passed away before your wedding, it can leave a void. While coping with your sadness is a personal journey, there are ways to use your wedding to honor those who would have been there for you. A wedding is a celebration, so you want to avoid bringing down the mood too much. Luckily, there are several methods you can use to pay respect to those who have gone on.

It is very important to consider a few details before you come up with a plan for how to honor your lost loved ones. When someone has only recently passed away, the wound can still be quite raw and hard to deal with. Be sure to avoid upsetting your guests, especially if the person who has passed away was very close to the people in attendance. You will be able to properly pay tribute without ruining the overall celebratory mood of your special day when you use tact and caution while planning.

Incorporate a Memento For Your Lost Loved Ones

There are several natural ways to honor the people who have died during your wedding. We always carry the people we have lost with us in some way. You can take this sentiment to a very literal degree on your special day. Taking an article of clothing that once belonged to your departed loved one and incorporating it into your wedding attire can help you to add an emotional touch to your ensemble. This can be as simple as tying a ribbon from your grandmother’s hat around your bouquet or as complex as having a father’s suit re-tailored for a groom.

You also can incorporate mementos into the ceremony and reception in other ways. Instead of adding articles of clothing to your own outfit, you might want to think about adding different little touches. If the person who has passed on loved to play poker, for example, add a playing card to each of the centerpieces during the reception. The cards can even have a personalized inscription paying tribute to your departed loved one. These small adjustments to the décor can be subtle and still incredibly powerful.

A Simple Reminder

You also might want to think about adding a simple message about your deceased loved ones to the wedding program. While not all weddings feature programs, those that do can benefit from using some of the space to display a special sentiment. It can also be an interesting idea to consider speaking with the officiant before the ceremony and asking about different ways you can have the names of the departed incorporated into the readings. There are several easy ways to add in a moving tribute without having to weigh on the lighthearted atmosphere of the wedding.

Photos can be a good idea, too. Creating a touching collage of photos of you and the departed can create a nice walk down memory lane. You may also want to consider adding just one framed photo to the table where the guest book and table cards are located. This allows guests to pay their respects to the departed upon entering without feeling too emotionally upset by the reminder. Strike a balance that works for you and the situation, and the results will be effective.

Raise a Glass 

There are many different ways to use your wedding to honor the departed in your life. When all else fails, you might want to think about simply raising a glass and toasting to those who have passed away. Find the right fit for your big day without compromising the joyous celebration of the event, and you will be able to show your proper respects.

Responsibilities of a Wedding Guest
A great wedding guest can make or break your wedding experience.

To be a great wedding guest, make sure that you are polite and courteous.

April showers bring May flowers, but for brides, April showers bring June flowers. Summer is a popular time for weddings, so you might start getting invitations from your friends who are getting married. To survive wedding season, be the best wedding guest you can. Here are a few tips to help you:

  • RSVP by the date requested. Do not put the invitation aside for a few days, because you’ll forget. Don’t make the couple track you down for an answer.
  • Look at the invitation to see who was invited. Do not invite anyone yourself. If your children aren’t mentioned on the envelope, they are not invited to the wedding. It is customary to invite partners, but if you aren’t married or in a long-term relationship, you may have to go single.
  • Show up if you RSVP “yes.” Barring an emergency, don’t change plans at the last minute. The caterer will charge the couple for your plate, whether you show up or not.
  • Do not talk about the wedding with friends who may not have been invited. This means on social media too. You don’t want to come off as boasting or make others feel bad because they were not invited.
  • Be on time for the ceremony. Better yet, be there 10 to 15 minutes early to get the lay of the land. When you arrive late, you disrupt the flow of the ceremony. If you do arrive late, wait for a break in the action to sneak in.
  • Dress appropriately. If the invitation says “semi-formal,” don’t wear jeans. For a beach wedding, dress more casually. Don’t wear white.
  • Put your phone on silent during the ceremony. Let your babysitter know your phone will be off for a half-hour to forty-five minutes and promise to check immediately after.
  • Don’t take pictures during the ceremony. Respect the wedding photographer.
  • Ask the couple if you can share pictures on social media before you do.
  • Send the gift, if you do, to the home of the bride or groom. Don’t make them deal with more stuff at the reception.
  • During the reception, sit where the bride and groom have placed you. Make conversation with those around you. It’s only for a couple of hours. Your phone will wait.

What About the Rights of a Wedding Guest?

Wedding guests also have rights that come with their invitation:

  • You can expect to receive an invitation if you received a save-the-date card.
  • You have the right to decline the invitation if you cannot attend. No explanation needed, just say, “Thank you, I’d love to be there, but I can’t.”
  • You can ask the couple if you need clarification about your invitation. Maybe you want to make sure you understand the dress code or are confused about the plus one.
  • You have a right to not send a gift at all. You also have up to a year to send a wedding gift.
  • If you do send a gift, you have a right to expect a timely thank-you note. You might want to give the couple a few weeks after the wedding to wrap up all their duties, but if you don’t receive a thank-you note within three months, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask if they received your gift.
  • You should take advantage of the open bar, but don’t overdo it.

Have a Good Time

A wedding is a celebration, and you should have a good time. Thank the host and hostess, typically the bride’s parents, before you leave. Don’t be offended if you don’t get a few minutes with the bride and groom. One of the best things you can do as a wedding guest is to be flexible and gracious, no matter what happens at the ceremony or reception.

Wedding Photographer: Tips for Choosing The Right One
The proper wedding photographer will make your ceremony one worth remembering.

When choosing a wedding photographer, make sure that they are experienced and professional.

You’ll probably spend more time with your wedding photographer on the day of your wedding than any other professional or person. Although many wedding magazines recommend that you ask about equipment and style, it’s more important to choose a photographer with whom you can relax and who will provide what you’re looking for. Here are seven tips to help you select the right person.

  1. There are probably hundreds of listings in your area for wedding photographers. Browse through their portfolios and find three or four with images that you like. Once you’ve narrowed your choices, set up a time to meet with the photographer. Make sure you’re meeting with the person who will be at your wedding, not a sales person/consultant or the owner of the studio. You’re putting your wedding memories in the photographer’s hands. You have to like and trust this person.
  1. Don’t choose a photographer for these reasons:
    • He or she is family or the friend of a family member. Just imagine if something goes wrong. You have to face this person at family reunions for the rest of your life.
    • The venue made the recommendation. There are some venues that actually allow vendors to pay to be on the “preferred list.” It’s marketing, not preference.
    • The wedding photographer is running a sale. Good photographers have to invest in professional equipment and pay taxes and insurance. If they’re offering a deep discount, you have to ask yourself, “Where are they cutting corners?”
    • They’re popular and booked out for 300 weddings this year. Think about the logistics of doing 300 weddings in one year. Who knows who will be actually taking pictures of you on your wedding day?
  1. Ask what you get for their services. On average, you should expect 50 to 100 photos for each hour the photographer works.  Who owns the rights to the photographs? How will you get reprints? How many of the pictures will be edited in post-production?
  2. Will the photographer do a first-look session? A first look is when the bride and groom spend a few minutes alone together before the ceremony. It helps to get the jitters out and lets you have that real moment of seeing each other in private. Your photographer can capture those raw emotions before the ceremony and then you can enjoy the cocktail hour after the ceremony.
  3. What happens if the photographer is sick? Although it is unlikely that the photographer you choose will get sick, you should know what the contingency plan is.
  4. Find out how much experience the wedding photographer has. Don’t simply look at years in business, but consider how many weddings the person has actually shot in that time frame. Someone with five years of experience who has only done 10 weddings may not compare to someone with just one year of experience who has done 50 weddings over that time.
  5. Do you get a contract that clearly outlines the details of the services? Be extremely wary of photographers who do not have a contract that offers pricing, resolution terms and cancellation terms. This is for your protection as much as theirs. Once you have a contract, any verbal statements that change the terms of the contract should be obtained in writing.

Choose Your Wedding Photographer Sooner Rather Than Later

You may need to book your photographer right after you choose the date of the wedding. However, don’t panic if you don’t get your first choice. You may be able to get a referral to someone with a similar style who doesn’t have a full schedule. Should you tip your photographer? While most photographers don’t expect tips, most will appreciate one if it is given.

Eco-Friendly Wedding Ideas
Having a more eco-friendly wedding helps reduce our carbon footprint.

Using used goods, having an outdoor ceremony, and using recyclables are a good way to have a more eco-friendly wedding.

One environmentally friendly philosophy has entered the wedding industry. If you want to reduce your carbon footprint during your special day, you don’t have to give up the vision you have for your wedding. Here are some tips to help you find ways to turn your ceremony and reception into an eco-friendly wedding.

  1. Choose an outdoor venue where the sun can provide the lighting. Many outdoor venues have the modern conveniences of toilets and sinks, making a more comfortable atmosphere for your guests.
  2. If an outdoor venue is not an option, hold the ceremony and reception during the day in a venue that offers natural lighting. Host all the festivities during the day to avoid having to use electricity.
  3. Also, hold your ceremony and reception in the same place. This will reduce the fuel emissions from guests.
  4. Look for a venue that is environmentally friendly.
  5. Print up wedding invitations on recycled paper, but instead of multiple inserts in the envelope, send your guests to your wedding website for more information. Go paperless with save-the-date notices.
  6. Buy seasonal flowers from local vendors. Use potted plants or topiaries as centerpieces. You could also use silk flowers for your bouquet and decorate with items that can be reused later. There are also many options for decorations that can be found in your garden, such as twigs, moss and ivy.
  7. Rent hybrid vehicles or use a horse and carriage to arrive and leave the wedding venue, if you must have a special moment.
  8. Rent linen napkins instead of paper. Ask for glass tabletops and forego tablecloths.
  9. Choose caterers that source from local farms and dairies. You can also serve local wines, champagnes and beers. Ask your caterer about its green philosophy. Does the company use eco-friendly cleaning products and is it careful with its paper consumption? Your cake baker should also use organic products and source locally as much as possible.
  10. Avoid sturgeon caviar or Chilean sea bass and other threatened species.
  11. Choose a honeymoon location that keeps your green vision in mind. Travel in eco-friendly methods and look for a hotel that is designed to be environmentally friendly.

What to Wear for an Eco-Friendly Wedding

For the bridal party’s attire, go eco-friendly by reusing garments. Many brides wear a gown from their mom or grandma, but if that is not an option, shop at a vintage clothing or consignment store. You can also rent gowns, much like you rent tuxedoes. If you want your own dress, look for one made of sustainable fabrics, such as silk, hemp or organic cotton.

Instead of choosing specific bridal party dresses, allow the bridesmaids to wear dresses they already own or give just a few guidelines to allow them to choose a dress that can be worn again. Your bridal party can show off their own style while finding dresses they love.

For the groom, instead of wearing a tux that might never come out of the closet again, invest in a good suit that can be used for other special occasions. Allow the groom’s attendants to wear nice pants, button-down shirts and matching vests instead of jackets.

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

You might have to ask your vendors what they are doing to reduce their carbon footprint. Find ways to reuse items from your eco-friendly wedding. Shop at flea markets or antique stores for decorations. Ask your decorator or designer about what he or she already has in inventory. Talk to your friends about reusing wedding decorations. It might take a little more effort on your part to be environmentally conscious, but it can also make for a beautiful wedding that matches your philosophy.