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Wedding Guide

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                                When girls start to fantasize            up at least 137,570 wedding cars,     turn, massively reduce the wed-
                                about their wedding day (usually         137,570 white polyester dresses,      ding’s overall impact on the envi-
                                around age 6) they don’t envisage        and some 27,514,000 traveling         ronment; a venue close to home,
                                the start of matrimonial bliss with      guests bent on scattering truck-      or close to where the majority of
                                an aisle composed of cow patties         loads of paper.                       people live, is eco-friendly and
                                and damp straw; picture a dress                                                convenient. Many venues have the
                                fashioned from recycled toilet           But reducing this impact need not     facilities to house the ceremony
                                paper; or forgo ‘Here comes the          include a muddy field or clothing     and reception, thereby cutting out
                                bride’ for the accompaniment of a        made from bog roll (Glastonbury       transport between the two. And
                                homemade rice shaker. They want          chic is soooo 1977.) As we wake up    for the bridal party why not ditch
                                Cinderella’s wedding! And into           to dawn of the Green Age, brewing     the limo and try a romantic horse-
                                adulthood, even if they become the       our Fair Trade coffee by the light    drawn carriage or a more adven-
                                most enthusiastic of recyclers,          of an energy saving bulb, those       turous rickshaw?
                                green issues can take a back seat        couples destined for nuptial bind-
                                when it comes to planning their          ing have a host of simple steps to    But it’s not just the people who
                                Big Day.                                 help greenify their big day, with-    travel in for the big day. Food,
                                                                         out losing the glam-factor. A green   drink and even flowers can easily
                                However, if just half of the             wedding can be an easy sacrifice      clock up air miles. The simple so-
                                275,140 UK couples (Office for Na-       and cowpat free.                      lution: source all three from local
                                tional Statistics) that said ‘I do’ in                                         producers. Locally produced food
                                2006 opted for the full-on fairy-        First and foremost, reducing the      will be fresh, seasonal and even
                                tale, then such big days clocked         amount your guests travel will, in    the wedding cake can be made by



Illustration: Danny Ohnesorge
a local baker from organic ingredi-     wedding dress’ is unlikely to be        Cred Jewelery www.credjew-
ents. The greenest route to flower-     tolerated by even the most eco-         ellery.com. Or, have an existing
powering the day is to use locally      conscious bride-to-be. But green        piece of jewelry melted down and
grown pesticide-free blooms –           and ethical are firmly ‘in’, and it     turned into something new.
compare prices between nearby           doesn’t take a lot of effort to avoid   If you already own the required
florists and nurseries - and make       a polyester creation with a history     amount of napkin holders and
sure their final resting place is a     of air miles, poor labor conditions     spatulas to ensure a comfortable
compost bin.                            and harmful chemicals. If hiring a      domestic existence, and are feel-
                                        designer, ask them to source Fair       ing particularly saintly, there are
Carbon emissions are not just a         Trade or natural fabrics; for some-     several fantastically ethical ways
concern for the wedding itself, but
also for the hoopla leading up to
it. The modern trend of budget                                     "                          !
flight piss-ups to Europe for stag
and hen parties is not an eco-
friendly one. Opt for a camping                                                                            "
trip or again, plan a party close to
home. Likewise, honeymooning in
the UK is a much greener alterna-
tive to the all-inclusive-Costa del     thing equally unique, scout out a       to do some real good with your gift
Sol-package deal. But if the urge       vintage number and have it modi-        list: www.goodgifts.org and
to depart UK shores just has to be      fied with embroidery and beads.         www.oxfamunwrapped.com en-
obeyed then see www.responsible-        An increasingly popular option          able the most poverty stricken cor-
travel.com for a wide choice exotic     are second hand wedding dresses,        ners of the world to directly
options.                                see www.oxfam.org.uk/shops/con-         benefit from your wedding, with
                                        tent/bridal.html, and for the less      items ranging from bags of seed to
When it comes to planning the re-       sentimental bride, hiring a dress       whole classrooms.
ception, an ethical option for lubri-   just for the day is an effective way
cating proceedings is Fair Trade        of saving time and money.               On the day, lighting and heating
wine. For us South Easterners,                                                  can be cut down with an outdoor
this choice is practically in your      In the same way a whiter -than-         wedding, although with our UK
back garden with one of the UK’s        white wedding dress can be the          skies a marquee is certainly advis-
leading sparkling white producers       result of overworked hands and          able. And this energy saving can
(stockists include Harvey Nichols       damaging chemicals, the shiny           be taken further by ditching DJ
and Fortnum and Mason) is found         gold bands symbolizing holy mat-        Donald’s Dad-friendly disco and
at Sussex vineyard Nyetimber,           rimony can have equally unset-          hiring instrumentalists and vocal-
www.nyetimber.com. And for the          tling beginnings. Much of the           ists for an acoustic set.
taste of the countryside Middle         world’s gold mining is unsustain-
Farm www.middlefarm.com offer           able and irreversibly damaging to       While it might take a little more
a party-starting array of cider and     the land, with highly poisonous         thought to planning a greener
perry.                                  chemicals involved in the mineral       wedding, there are several sites
                                        extraction process. If rings are        set on assisting your eco-friendly
It may be a little tough to envis-      being made especially, think about      intentions. We like
age a green adaptation of the all-      sourcing recycled gold and ethical      www.greenunion.co.uk, www.ethi-
important dress: the scratchy           diamonds (i.e conflict free dia-        calweddings.com, www.thenatu-
brown hemp affair conjured by the       monds). To be sure, try ethical         ralweddingcompany.co.uk and
words ‘environmentally friendly         jewelers such as Sussex based           www.eco-friendlyweddings.co.uk