In the early stages of planning a wedding, couples tend to stick to an idea of a theme that creates the entire basis of their event. We have seen numerous repeat trends- you have the DIY rustic pine wood slices, bringing back the feathers and flappers theme, a backyard tent BBQ, or elaborate seashell- turquoise beach weddings- we have seen it all with new popular trends generating every so many years. In the past 5 years and growing more popular each week, we are seeing the focus being “sustainability” moving to the forefront of “must haves” in the overall vision of the day. So while you can still do any of those themes above, couples are toning it back and planning their day in a smarter way!
The word “sustainability” can mean a number of things! What does it mean when it comes to the events surrounding a wedding? Think of it as reducing waste, sparing a carbon footprint. Reduce, reuse, recycle all things decor! Some of the most tastefully done and decorated events were quite simplistic!
At New Hampshire Wedding Magazine, we have noticed this trend going strong and becoming something we see in almost all weddings to a certain aspect. In my experience, eco-friendly choices have become a vastly growing requirement in choosing decor, vendors, and foods served. If you’re forced to limit your guests, you’re off the hook of feeling guilty about who to and not to invite and you can hone in on the details of what will make your wedding day TRULY about you and your lifetime lover! There’s something so SEXY ABOUT THAT.
2020 and Covid restrictions forcefully brought in the trend of micro-weddings whether a family was welcoming to the idea or not. In doing so, the smaller the wedding- the smaller the carbon footprint. You may not have been able to invite your “mother’s co-worker’s cousin’s daughter,” so to say, but the event size restrictions left weddings feeling quaint, intimate and less overwhelming from what I can see and feel as a photographer.
Whether you are eloping to the mountains, or celebrating ballroom style, there are always ways to re-evaluate what is incorporated in the day and what is left over in your “happily ever after,” post wedding world.
Being a New Hampshire native, one thing we can celebrate is how fortunate we are to have a naturally beautiful backdrop almost anywhere! Instead of striving to draw attention to the decor featured IN the wedding, what if we looked outward to the vast landscapes, lakes, stunning beach fronts and of course, the White Mountains! You have many more options of venues if you’re not limiting yourself to an establishment that needs to accommodate a giant group. On the other hand, as party size restrictions have lifted we thankfully have an abundance of businesses that can happily host your group of family and friends.
Here are a few simple ideas to assist with your event planning!
Choosing a venue is what will set the stage for your wedding day,. If “being green” is a priority, make sure the establishment holds a similar mindset. Do they recycle? How many guests are allowed? Sometimes the smaller venues are able to cater to your earth friendly plan better versus the larger 200+ guest count venues.
The days of needing to invite your parents’ entire office staff are a thing of the past, although it is tempting to invite everyone you know to join you in celebration. The smaller the count on your guest list, the less waste you will be producing. A bonus to our lives being played out on social media is that your photos and videos can be shared and lived through anyone you feel you want to share it with! You have the ability to hold the true attendance list to the people you are the closest with.
Write this down: Plantable paper. It is as good as it sounds! This paper is a biodegradable eco-paper that is made with post-consumer materials that are embedded with seeds. When the paper is planted in a pot of soil, the seeds grow & the paper composts away. All that is left behind is flowers or herbs!! I have found these on Etsy.com and we all know how when you purchase on sites like this, you are supporting small businesses as well! It’s a win/win/win all around. Of course there are also good old EVITES! This option is also a HUGE money saver. Most people on your guest list have an email address, so why not save some money?! Evite has several options for wedding stationary. Especially if you are planning to send invites for bachelor parties, bridal showers, rehearsal dinner, engagement parties..etc.. there is so much, I know, then this is such a perfect way to do it for all of those special occasions! Even if you plan to send stationary for the big event, you can use this for the smaller ones! If we are going to live in a digital world, this can be a bonus. The money it saves on postage alone is huge!
I’m seeing this at SO many weddings. FAKE FLOWERS. You read that right. I have seen some of the most gorgeous bouquets and centerpieces that were constructed with artificial flowers so guests could take them home as decor for a keepsake. Also another idea is wildflowers right from your own garden. They can make for that rustic earthy feel a lot of couples are going for.
Gone are the days of cheaply little made favors in bulk just to get thrown in the trash or left to collect dust. Pick a charity close to your heart, use the favor budget and make a donation in honor of each guest. Create a tastefully made sign explaining that in lue of favors you decided to do that and why. It’s very special and a gift that keeps giving.
Friends and Marketplace
Search Marketplace to buy recycled wedding pieces from other brides and grooms that are local to you! Ask around to friends and see if they have any boxes of vases, placement cards, decorations from their weddings left waiting in their basement! Between all of your friends and family, you may have enough stuff to collect to decorate a whole venue.
Research and Pinterest
Pinterest is still around! Because this “green” idea is becoming so hot, there are MANY blog posts and pictures circulating the internet about this very topic for weddings.
Wherever you choose to have your event, whatever you choose for decorations, whoever you choose to invite- what I want to stress to you is that you shouldn’t add EXTRA STRESS to you! IT SHOULD BE FUN! Don’t get lost in the chaos of planning, make sure you enjoy the process!
Written by: Kassandra Russell of Granite Stag Photography