Celebrations can be festive, extraordinary, and even ornate; but these days, there’s no need for them to be wasteful or unethical. Here’s how you can feel good about your wedding.
Sometime last year, we chatted with the good folks at Less Stuff – More Meaning – they help brides-and-grooms-to-be to create meaningful weddings that don’t take a toll on our earth and people. Their website is a treasure trove for ethical wedding planning, filled with resources and advice, and Gardens of the Sun was featured as a go-to brand for ethical jewelry.
Whilst we're still sheepishly blushing at the fact that we even made the list, we are fiercely aligned with LSMM’s ethos and purpose, and there’s nothing sheepish about how strongly we feel about it. There is already so much waste in this world, and many things are done unethically and unsustainably for the sake of profit, so if there’s an opportunity to do better, why not take it?
Why not take a chapter from Less Stuff – More Meaning’s book (or their blog, rather), and find out how you can create meaningful memories at your wedding while also making tangible social change by being sustainable and ethical? Here’s a handy excerpt from their blog:
Ethical jeweler Meri Geraldine advises couples: “Ask your jeweller about the origin of your diamond or gemstones. All diamonds should be Kimberley Process certified, which means that they do not support violent conflict”. You can also find jewellers who go beyond this certification, sourcing from Australia [or locally] and using recycled gold. Yet Meri describes what is our favorite option: “A choice that is very much in line with Less Stuff – More Meaning, is melting a family heirloom into a bespoke ring.”
Gowns and clothing
“Who made my clothes?” takes on fresh meaning when it comes to choosing a wedding gown. We encourage brides to ask questions as to where fabrics are sourced and gowns created. A treasured piece such as a wedding gown can be filled with love when artisans are paid fairly and work in safe conditions. Resources to help you make more ethical clothing choices include Good on You app, Behind the Barcode and Ethical Clothing Australia.
We love savvy designers such as Lost in Paris and Fabled and True who create custom made dresses out of vintage lace and fabrics. Hooray for Australia’s very first ECA accredited bridal designer Lenka Couture. Still White is one of many pre-loved gown options, and who doesn’t love a vintage find!
Many venues pride themselves on sourcing locally and using organic produce. As we learn more about the impact of animal agriculture on climate change (50% of Australian greenhouse gas emissions come from livestock agriculture), we can go a step further with red meat-reduced wedding cuisine. An easy option is to go for a plant-based entree, allowing red meat to shine for the main course. What difference would this make? Switching one beef serving for a vegetable-based meal for 100 people would result in a savings of 1,164 kilograms of carbon dioxide. This is equivalent to three one-way flights from Sydney to Bali. What an easy way to carbon offset your honeymoon travel! Stats via Less Meat Less Heat. Learn more here.
Small, intimate weddings have many advantages, with couples opting for simplicity of design and smaller guest lists, not only to save on costs and minimise stress, but also to allow more time to savour the meaning of the day. As one of our lovely brides Georgie mused, “I guess without thinking about it really, we just forgot the whole word ‘wedding’ as best we could, and remembered the day wasn’t about anything other than getting married. While all the extra stuff is lovely, it doesn’t make the day any less or any more important.” You’ll find many examples of minimalist weddings on our blog.
Imagine a world where weddings become known for not only celebrating the love you share between each other, but also for all humans. Where giving back and contributing to a cause becomes a new wedding tradition. This is our dream here at LSMM. There are many opportunities to make a difference throughout the wedding planning process. This may include donating to a loved charity in lieu of engagement/wedding gifts or guest favours. Or travelling responsibly with organisations who give back to local communities as part of your honeymoon. Donating leftover food and flowers to charity or community services is another simple way in which weddings can pay it forward.
Image credits Less Stuff More Meaning
Do you have more links or advice on how to throw an ethical party or wedding? We’d love to hear them if so, and we’d love to share them on here too. Better yet, please pass this article on and help spread the good!
If topics like this keep you up at night, you'll love our love letters. We don't spam, and we send them out sparingly. So, where shall we send you yours?