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Planning an Environmentally Friendly Wedding

25 Nov 13
Megan
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I promised a few of you a post about planning my wedding, so here it is. Please note that this post is very photo heavy.

After E proposed I had 18 months to plan our wedding. We had a few key criteria that were very important to us:

  • The wedding had to have as little impact on the environment as possible
  • We had to keep the wedding under $10,000
  • We wanted to keep the wedding as small as possible (which is difficult with a large family)

So keeping those points in mind I began planning.

I didn’t want the traditional sit down reception and I wanted the wedding to be as intimate and personal as possible.

To do this I enlisted the help of family and friends for different aspects of the wedding.

The wedding car was driven by E’s grandfather, and the cups for coffee and cake were supplied by E’s grandma and mum. His grandma also made the wedding cake and one of my friends and I baked all the cupcakes that were served.

Photo (c) Doug Quine Photography, November 2011

Photo (c) Doug Quine Photography, November 2011

Photo (c) VSL, November 2011

Photo (c) VSL, November 2011

I made my own bouquet with roses from a friends garden.

Photo (c) J. Sanderson, November 2011

Photo (c) J. Sanderson, November 2011

And my step father, Uncle and Aunty played the music during the ceremony.

Family and friends all kicked in to help set up the hall and the ceremony site (E’s grandparents backyard) the night before the wedding.

I know not everyone has the ability to accept help from family and friends but if you can it is a great way to make the wedding more personal.

Considering the criteria I outlined above I decided that as much as possible the items used in our wedding had to be recycled, reused or reusable.

The following items were recycled:

Decorations for the hall were made from scrap paper I made into origami hearts and strung up

Photo (c) J. Sanderson, November 2011

Photo (c) J. Sanderson, November 2011

I made my own veil, using some netting I bought and left over material from the alterations of my wedding dress

Photo (c) Doug Quine Photography, November 2011

Photo (c) Doug Quine Photography, November 2011

Reused items in my wedding included:

My necklace was my great grandma’s, the brooch was E’s grandma’s (see photo above for both).

My wedding dress was an Op Shop find that fit perfectly, the only alterations were changing the sleeves from big bows to simple cuff sleeves.

Photo (c) Doug Quine Photography, November 2011

Photo (c) Doug Quine Photography, November 2011

All the boys suits (apart from their tie, which was their gift from us) were one’s they owned themselves.

Photo (c) Doug Quine Photography, November 2011

Photo (c) Doug Quine Photography, November 2011

As mentioned previously, the wedding car was E’s grandparent’s car,

Photo (c) Doug Quine Photography, November 2011

Photo (c) Doug Quine Photography, November 2011

and the cups, saucers and cake plates (all Royal Vale) were from E’s mum and grandma’s kitchens.

Photo (c) Doug Quine Photography, November 2011

Photo (c) Doug Quine Photography, November 2011

Even my engagement ring was reused (it was my great grandmother’s ring)

Photo (c) Doug Quine Photography, November 2011

Photo (c) Doug Quine Photography, November 2011

The majority of the things I had at my wedding were reusable (including most the things I’ve already listed above):

For example, since the wedding I have already reused my veil as a hair clip by pulling in the veil part to form a puff around the rose. I’ve also reused all the jewellery I had at the wedding.

All the gifts we gave our bridal party and our guests were reusable. As mentioned above the boys got the ties they wore at the wedding, and I know I’ve seen them all wearing them again since then. The girls received a tote bag from Vistaprint with their name, the wedding date and our wedding bird on the front. In the bags were a necklace and the clutch that they held instead of a bouquet.

Photo (c) J Sanderson, November 2011

Photo (c) J Sanderson, November 2011

The gifts for the guests were the glasses that they used at the reception (stemless wine glasses) and for people who helped us out the picnic baskets and blankets from the reception.

Photo (c) VSL, November 2011

Photo (c) VSL, November 2011

Photo (c) Doug Quine Photography, November 2011

Photo (c) Doug Quine Photography, November 2011

I bought the book I used as the reading at the wedding so that I can share the story with our children in the future (or re-read it myself when I wanted to). It’s a beautiful story and I’ll share it in another post.

Overall, our personalised home wedding ceremony and picnic reception made the day memorable; not only for us but for many of our guests as well, some of whom still bring it up today.

Photo (c) J. Sanderson, November 2011

Photo (c) J. Sanderson, November 2011

Have you planned your own wedding, or are you at the moment?

Let me know if there is anything you’d like to hear more about in regards to our wedding and the planning process.

No Comments

  1. dawnhosking November 25, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    Your dress is absolutely gorgeous, you look stunning. Wow. Cupcakes — I love cupcakes. I’ve been married some years now but my daughter will be marrying in the future so that will be most exciting and tips are always great to have xx

    • Megan S November 26, 2013 at 7:57 am

      Thanks! I love cupcakes as well, that’s why I decided we needed to have them. It also meant we didn’t have to have a massive cake or use our energy cutting the cake up.

  2. Zyp Czyk November 26, 2013 at 6:22 am

    I enthusiastically support your ideas about making a wedding personally involving for your guests. So many weddings are a display of outrageous spending on a just a few hours of luxurious ceremony completely unrelated to the couple’s real lives. By involving the guests, you create an ambiance of active participation, rather than just passive attendance.

    My hubby and I (16 yrs married) did what you did, only more extreme and not nearly as pretty. We rented the amphitheater of the campground in our local redwood forest (Big Basin Redwoods State Park) for our ceremony and enlisted a wonderful “little old lady” preacher (we’re not religious, but family is) to get married in cowboy boots. On our home-printed invitations, we very strongly stated that we wanted no gifts, since we live in the cramped quarters of a 600sq ft cabin. Instead, we asked everyone to help create the event – with no central organization of any kind. The morning of my wedding, I drove to the park with our 2 dogs (who walked each of us down the aisle), having no idea what my own wedding would look like!

    So the whole wedding/reception itself was a gift from friends and a few family members (most didn’t come because they didn’t approve: he’s 14 years younger than I). Yes, it was primitive and uncoordinated, but people brought flowers/plants and enough food and drink to make it a success. Afterward, we and a few other couples hit the trails on mountain bikes to complete the day.

    Though this was before I got really sick, I can now see that I was desperate to avoid the hard work and huge stress of planning and preparing. Even then I knew I’d have to minimize my effort so that I’d be able to enjoy the event. We make constant adjustments for being less than healthy without even being aware of it, and I can look back and see these energy-saving strategies as an early indication of my declining health.

    One of the biggest hits was the early tapping of the beer keg. Before the ceremony, my brother-in-law had set up the keg he’d brought, and when he asked me when we would want it opened, I said “Why not now?”. Being able to drink even before and during the ceremony was greatly appreciated by some of the guys 🙂

    • Megan S November 26, 2013 at 8:01 am

      That sounds amazing! I left the ceremony site for others to set up so I had no idea what the ceremony site was going to look like, but I helped out with the hall. I definitely loved the relaxed atmosphere we had. My uncle even brought along his dog who had fun running around us during the ceremony (he was one of the people taking photos for us).

  3. Jumping_Jenny_444 November 26, 2013 at 8:13 am

    Hello! I have nominated you for the Blog of the Year award—come on over to my blog and check out the reasons why I love your blog so much!
    http://myfibrotasticlife.com/2013/11/25/nominated-blog-of-the-year/

    • Megan S November 26, 2013 at 9:05 am

      Wow! Thanks for the Jenn, I’ll definitely come over a bit later. Need to rest up now for my doctors appointments 🙂

  4. Claire November 26, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    I am amazed – you did an amazing job organising all of this while managing your chronic illness. Well done! And you look simply gorgeous too! (I am now going to keep my eye out for wedding dresses in op shops. I am not even close to being engaged, but it seems like a good idea!)
    And I love the sustainable philosophy behind it all.
    Thanks for sharing your special day with us!

    • Megan S November 26, 2013 at 1:23 pm

      Thank you and no problems, I’m happy to share 🙂 I wasn’t as bad back then, this was 2 years before my major crash which made me realise I had a chronic illness.

  5. NaBloPoMo Wrap Up | my chronic life journey November 30, 2013 at 8:27 am

    […] and I celebrated our 2 year anniversary (so I shared some details from our wedding) we had a friends wedding, E’s dad’s 60th, and E participated in a ride for […]

  6. treadingmyownpath December 2, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    We’re planning on getting married next year and really want a low-key, low-cost, low impact wedding. Thanks so much for sharing, there’s some great ideas there! : )

    • Megan S December 3, 2013 at 7:33 am

      No problems 🙂 happy to share more ideas if you need them.

  7. I like you and I know why… | my chronic life journey December 8, 2013 at 9:01 am

    […] promised when telling you about my Environmentally Friendly Wedding, here is the text from my reading. I absolutely love this story! It’s a very long story […]

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