The things eco-ethical wedding businesses wish you knew

The things eco-ethical wedding businesses wish you knew
September 26, 2018 Sandra Henri
When I meet new people, and explain what Less Stuff – More Meaning is all about; an online resource to help couples plan an eco-friendly and ethical wedding, something I often hear is “why would people want to do this?”. Then I take a deep breath, explaining that when couples get engaged, often it’s not the first thing you think of. Yet it’s simply bringing our values from our everyday life into our wedding.
That’s where we come in, making it easy for couples, by giving HOW TO information and directing couples to SUPPLIERS that are on the same page.
But seeing we are among friends here, this is what I really feel like saying!
“If you knew how to reduce the footprint of your wedding, choose cruelty free, and support sustainable businesses, why wouldn’t you?”.
What do you think, should I try it??
That’s why we believe it’s equally important to have the eco-ethical wedding conversation not only with couples, but also wedding businesses. Why should all the onus be on couples to educate themselves? Lets spread the word far and wide, so eco-ethical is at the forefront of our minds when planning a wedding.
And finally, let’s make it easy. So we’ve asked some eco-ethical wedding businesses on the South Coast of NSW, to give us some insights into the things they wish you knew…
Sandra x
Nicola and Hilary, from Hilary Cam Photography, explain:
“You don’t need to spend a fortune on flowers or a venue to have spectacular wedding photos. The most important thing is beautiful light and a nice outdoor location. If you time your couples portraits in the hour before sunset, even an empty cow paddock will glow and look romantic, a patch of tall grass could make a beautiful backdrop and even a simple dam can look magical. You don’t need extravagant decorations or backdrops or flower walls, let nature work its magic”.
“Planning ahead and making little changes on your wedding day can make a big impact on the environment, your budget and waste. The reception can be the most wasteful part of a wedding. We’ve seen entire meals scraped into the bin, cheese plates chucked, boxes and boxes of flowers thrown out, and un eaten wedding cake at nearly every wedding. Consider serving your wedding cake and desserts on a dessert table with take home bags instead of individual plates to ensure it can be taken home to be enjoyed later and saves you buying bonbonerie. Or serving your dessert before the dance floor opens gives guests the chance to enjoy their meal, instead of returning to a plate of melted ice-cream that more often than not gets thrown out. A simple announcement from the MC telling guests to take home flowers, can prevent them ending up in landfill”.
Cake pictured by: Sweet Cake Collection
Dinah from Pearl Button Bridal explains:
“I wish all people and not just brides had greater awareness about the environmental and social impact the clothing and textile industries have on the planet and people. I can take them on a deep dive into the nitty gritty of the issues if they wish, but for most people this would mean questioning their choices and that’s a hard thing to do. It means making big changes. Instead I think I’m creating a quiet revolution in wedding dresses by example.
My advice is to wear a dress that can be reborn after the wedding. (Ha auto corrected to reborn instead of reworn, I quite like that). This could be wearing separates, or a dress that can be dyed or adapted in some other way. This is the sort of challenge I and many of my brides love. They have gone on to wear elements of their wedding dresses for years after the wedding.
How good will you feel knowing that your choices not only look good on the outside but are good on the inside too?”
We can highly recommend watching The True Cost Movie or listening to Clare Press’ podcast Wardrobe Crisis.
Elizabeth of ELK Prints, stationery and event decor designer, explains:
“There a number of really beautiful and elegant paper stocks out there nowadays that have good eco-credentials whilst still having a crisp modern contemporary and sophisticated look. In the past eco-papers tended to always be a recycled brown kraft paper stock but there is now a wonderful variety of papers to choose from so it is possible to choose an eco-paper without having to be restricted to a certain style or look.
The events I’ve loved working with is where a couple have chosen one beautifully designed and made piece instead of doing a full range of pieces. A hand-painted and hand-written note with the guests name that they can take home and keep as a reminder of your special day is sufficient. Or perhaps guests can sit themselves wherever they wish and a single beautifully illustrated menu as a centrepiece to the table would be perfect.
I think there is a temptation to cut corners by choosing a fast cheap printing technology on ordinary paper so that you can spread your budget out across multiple pieces. Instead you could spend that money towards one beautifully made piece. I’d love to see more couples being really discerning in the choices they make about their stationery and choosing to invest only in the pieces they need for their event and skipping past the “extras”.
For this photoshoot I used a paper stock called Indie Handmade. Each sheet of this paper stock is individually made by hand, leaving it’s natural deckle edging. The stock is made from 100% recycled cotton rag, is acid free, chlorine free, bleach free and archival. For the main invitation and envelopes these were hand-painted and hand-calligraphed so that no printing inks or processes were used in their production, only the little map was printed using conventional printing techniques”.


Dianna from Dragonfly & Magnolia explains:
“Seasonal locally grown flowers are far more economical and fresher, plus much more fragrant. Don’t get Pinterest blind be open to other local options. Overseas flowers are drowned in chemicals and the pickers and packers of these flowers are exposed to these conditions and unethical practices. Spending your money in the right places is so much better for you and our environment .
I find couples that celebrate eco ethical weddings find the experience much more meaningful and intimate and so do their families and friends. What a beautiful way to start your life together”.
Yvette from Ethix explains:
“Many of the big name makeup companies so many makeup artists proudly claim to use, are all sold to China, and therefore tested on animals. Using your own mascara on the wedding day saves a makeup artist using a disposable brush for hygiene reasons which many then throw into the bin after use. Buy your lipstick from your makeup artist and do not ask her/him to supply you with a sample jar and brush as both will end up in your bin when you have finished”.
“Going eco ethical for your wedding is a choice you make for your future on this planet. One day of celebration creates so much waste, that it will affect the future planet your children will live on. By choosing to go eco ethical, you are not only celebrating your love, but the love you will have for your children and your grandchildren”. Yvette Van Schie, Ethix Beauty and Styling. 
If you’d like to learn more about planning an eco-ethical wedding, make it easy for yourself by grabbing our comprehensive Mindfully Wed E-Guide. We’ve done all the research so you don’t need to!
And in the meantime, enjoy some more wintery eco-ethical wedding inspo, brought to you by the South Coast team of suppliers:
 If you’re a wedding business with an eco-ethical approach, and would like to become an ambassador for mindful weddings, please do GET IN TOUCH! More and more couples are searching our directory yet we still have areas within Australia and NZ with no available members…let’s fill the gap and fill our world with eco-ethical wedding love.


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