Green weddings 'becoming more popular'

Eco-friendly, green and energy efficient have become buzzwords in recent times, with environmental considerations even extending to wedding preparations.

Kate Haines, founder of Greenfinder, one of the organisers of the Eco Chic Wedding and Home Show, confirms: "I think brides and grooms are thinking a bit more long-term about their wedding and the effects that it will have on the environment."

Eco-friendly weddings are even helping the economy during the current financial downturn, according to the Scotsman, which reports that Scottish craft shops have seen an increase in sales as cash-strapped couples look to make their own invitations.

There is a multitude of ways that couples can give their ceremony a green makeover and Ms Haines says it is "easy" to organise an eco-wedding, asserting that using local suppliers is often cheaper.

"You can have a horse and carriage, you can have a local florist that uses organic flowers, you might want Fairtrade chocolate favours, organic wine - there are quite a few organic ranges of wine and soft drinks. You could have quite a fantastic reception with the best food but obviously it would be local and seasonal and perhaps organic," Ms Haines asserts.

She states that her friend bought a dress from a charity shop for just £20, made her own bouquet and head wreath and used a local organic caterer.

Events planners suggest that nearly every aspect of a wedding can be eco-friendly, from confetti and catering to favours and flowers.

For example, recycled paper and card can be used for stationary and albums, the bride could wear a family heirloom or reworked vintage piece and a friend or relative could make the wedding cake using fair trade ingredients.

Newlyweds can reduce their carbon footprint by taking the train to their honeymoon destination, while giving guests seedlings is a perfect green favour as they can go home and plant a tree, which helps the environment and serves as a reminder of the special day, Ethical Weddings magazine suggests.

The publication reveals how eco-wedding have been organised by real-life couples such as Marissa-Catherine and Tom, who used an eco-designer and dressmaker to make the bridal gown and had an ethical wedding list from an eco-emporium.

The pair went for a simple do, spending their money on local and organic food as well as a "stunning" venue. They advise other couples to believe in what they are doing, even if other people are not so convinced about an eco-friendly wedding.

Ms Haines asserts that Marissa-Catherine and Tom's simple strategy is one that many environmentally conscious couples adopt: "Brides and grooms will focus on the important things rather than maybe lots and lots of accessories and lots of extra things that you don't actually need."

She states that even those who are on a budget can afford an eco-friendly wedding, suggesting that they hold the event locally so that there are fewer transport costs involved.

"Nowadays a lot of venues are considering introducing eco-options, whether that be sourcing vegetarian or local food to include on the menu, thinking about energy usage and perhaps even using biodegradable decorations," she concludes.

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