Eco-Friendly Wedding Planning Guide
You shouldn’t have to compromise on your wedding day to be more conscious about your consumer decisions. But did you know you can choose sustainable and eco-friendly options while planning your wedding without sacrificing your budget, your vision, & your sanity? Check out our best industry tips for going green on your wedding day.
How can flowers play a big part in combating wedding waste?
The majority of flowers sold in Canada are imported; meaning that unless you make an effort, your wedding flowers come from overseas countries with limited regulation on agricultural chemicals and safe labour conditions. Choosing locally grown is an easy way to caste your vote for better labour practices, while simultaneously supporting sustainable agriculture, young farmers, and greatly reducing your weddings carbon footprint.
Vancouver Island has one of the best growing seasons in Canada, giving us access to a wide range of locally grown flowers. To learn what's growing in season during your wedding month, research local flower farms in the area, take a visit to your local farmers market, or scroll around on Instagram while searching hashtags like #canadiangrownflowers or #islandgrownflowers. Want to learn more about what fresh flowers are blooming when? Visit our Pinterest page to view flowers by their bloom month.
Be unique and don't go with the standard idea of wedding flowers. Be prepared to share your vision and colour palette and allow your florist/flower farmer to use their industry experience to show you the freshest and most beautiful options in peak bloom for your wedding day.
Ask your florist/flower farmer to design without floral foam in your wedding work. This toxic foam is standard in the floral industry, and more prevalent in wedding work. Floral foam is highly toxic, containing formaldehyde and carbon black to name a few (both are known carcinogenic). This product is not biodegradable; Once the arrangements have faded, massive quantities of foam end up in landfills forever. In this day and age, many eco-friendly alternatives are in existence and achieve the same outcome.
What To Do With Leftovers?
Did you know that you can compost your flowers after the wedding? Imported flowers are better put into the garbage (because of the chemicals they may carry), but locally grown can be added to your compost pile.
What to do with the flowers after your wedding? Pass the flower love along and consider donating your leftover wedding flowers. There are many local senior homes, hospitals, and hospices in the Vancouver Island area that would gladly accept leftover arrangements. You'd be putting smiles on so many faces.
The Dress & Beauty Details
Eco-conscious and ethical fashion is a little bit more difficult to come by. A few options to consider is to opt for a dress made in Canada, or going the second-hand route, or even wearing a dress created with natural fibres/materials. When shopping, remember to ask "Where was the dress made, and what fabric is it made out of?"
Makeup & Hair
When choosing a hairstylist/makeup artist, ask what type of products they use. Are they knowledgeable in eco-friendly and natural products? Forgo toxic haircare and makeup items by choosing a vendor whose a leader in green initiatives, and opt for products that won't harm your body or the earth.
Venues - There are many farms opening their rustic barns and scenic fields to weddings on the Island. Every farm employs a different set of principals about land stewardship. Some may align with yours, others may not. Compare farm venues/wineries based on their approach and commitment to environmental practices. Do they implement organic practices? What does sustainability look like to them? We always recommend the more environmentally friendly option, although it may not directly effect your wedding, you can feel good about voting with your dollars for a local business that operates at a high standard of sustainability and integrity.
Wedding Favours - Consider wedding favours that reflect the soul of Vancouver Island, from local artisan food products like honey and preserves, seeds from a local farm, potted plants/succulents, or a donation made in the guests name.
Single-Use Items & Plastic - Helium Balloons, plastic packaged confetti, and plastic bubble blowers don't stand the test of time, and after being left at a wedding often end up in our ocean. If Princess Eugene of York can host a plastic-free wedding, than you and your partner easily can, and should. A culmination of plastic the size of Texas is drifting through the Pacific Ocean (let that one sink in), but there are many alternatives and easy solutions to go plastic-free. Skip the plastic plates, cutlery, and cups. A more earth-friendly alternative is to ensure your venue uses reusable dinnerware, or consider buying your guests their own glass cup for cocktail hour, along with a metal straw to double as a wedding favour, both have a long-term post-wedding shelf life. (Another one of the simplest ways to opt out of plastic on your wedding day is to rely on reusable rentals.)
At the end of the day, find what works best for you.
It's up to us to pave a greener path.
From all of us at the farm, Happy Wedding Planning!
One of the biggest environmental impacts of your wedding comes from your food. Think local, and think seasonal.
Find a caterer who is passionate about the locality and seasonality of food. Don't be afraid to ask them about HOW they source their products. Do they purchase from local farms, or do they rely mostly on food distributors for the bulk of their orders?
Unsure of what food is in season during the year? Do a little google search or ask your caterer for some seasonal suggestions. The Island is home to an abundance of amazing food producers, from Cideries & Vineyards, to local Cheesemakers, Organic Farmers, and Bakers - you'll never be in short supply of good food. If you're willing to embrace seasonality, you won't be disappointed. Click HERE to learn more about local and seasonal food availability in B.C.
Post-Wedding Waste. Weddings often generate a lot of waste that you don't always have the time to deal with. Consider donating the leftover food to a local food bank, or homeless shelter. If those options don't work, the compost is the next best choice. Ask vendors ahead of time if they recycle or have alternatives - paper goods, plastics, metal, glass - it can all be reused.