Nice day for a green wedding
A growing number of eco brides-to-be are opting to tie the knot with an organic cotton dress, biodegradable confetti and a low-key camping trip for a honeymoon
I NEED a new dress: the default response of the female who has received a wedding invitation. I'm currently running around trying to find the perfect floral tea dress and matching wellies. Yes, wellies. The wedding in question is going to take place in a beautiful garden setting under five old oak trees. It's the wedding I dreamed of having myself, but my betrothed put his foot down when I explained I'd be dressed as Maid Marion and he'd be sporting green tights. Whatever happened to "The bride is always right"?
This being May and the Scottish weather being so refreshingly unpredictable, wellies and brollies have been sanctioned, nay encouraged, by the bride and groom. Rain or shine, I can't wait for this most natural of wedding settings. Along with the website the couple have created to provide guests with information about the big day (saving paper), it has a suitably eco-chic feel to it. With the average British wedding now costing more than 17,000, it seems that a determined batch of brides are turning their backs on the materialistic version of the fairy tale and replacing it with something altogether greener.
Eco weddings were named as one of the top ten marriage trends for 2009 by The Knot magazine. According to Google's Insights for Search service, online searches for "eco-friendly weddings" and "green weddings" have increased by over 5,000 per cent in the last five years in the UK. The first ever Eco Chic Wedding Show was held earlier this year in Birmingham, books such as the Green Guide to Weddings are available to help ethical brides plan the big day, and websites such as Ethical Weddings (www.ethicalweddings.com) and Green Union (www.greenunion.co.uk) fulfill the same role. Changed days, indeed. The only green thing about my wedding was the colour of my face the morning after.
Anyone with a wedding band on their finger will know there's a whole industry set up to prise open your wallet in return for promises of the perfect day. Are eco weddings simply the latest way for the industry to extract cash from young lovers? A little research seems to suggest not. Green weddings are more likely to be organised by a clear-headed bride than a wedding planner with pound signs in her eyes.
First the food: local, organic and fairly traded are the green bride's best options. Wait, I hear you cry, what caterer is going to supply those, and won't they charge a premium? Possibly, but nobody said being green was easy. The thrifty green bride simply persuades friends and family to do the catering, telling them it means so much to have their love, care, attention and organic ingredients going into the buffet. A bill for 17,000? Not with this mindset.
Invitations will be via e-mail or printed on recycled card. The rings will contain conflict-free stones. The bride's dress will be a vintage find or fashioned from organic cotton. Getting to the event will be via public transport, bicycle or on foot, and the honeymoon will be camping rather than long-haul flights. The bouquet will be made from local, seasonal flowers. Electricity will be saved by having a candlelit ceremony, and the band will be acoustic.
Green gift lists for the couple that have everything are flourishing. Some companies, such as www.thegreengiftlist. co.uk, specialise in donations to charities, while others sell ethical sheets, towels and whatnot – www.ourgreenweddinglist.com is a good example. Biodegradable confetti is available, while Friends of the Earth suggests throwing bird seed. I would advise caution on this one. Even the most natural bride in the world doesn't want to risk pigeon droppings on her bustle.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 8 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: West