ETHICAL WEDDINGS BLOG CONTRIBUTOR
Your name: Helen and Mike
Wedding date: April 2009
Venue and location: local parish church and village hall
What inspired you to have an ethical wedding?
The fact that people are expected to have to make an inspired choice just to see that their wedding, a celebration of love and life and truth, does not cause harm to other people, animals and the planet just goes to show how badly out of balance modern consumer society has become!
But, since things are that way: Well, we’re both environmentally minded people (and climate scientists too!) and try to have as low a negative, and as high a positive impact on the planet and its people as we can – whether we’re doing our weekly shop or planning a wedding!
There’s also the spiritual element, since we’re also Christians – we believe that we shouldn’t do anything to exploit or harm anyone (or the Earth), everyone and everything is precious to God, and so it should be to us.
So with that in mind, we’re going to try to do things as greenly as possible whilst still having a massive party!
What has been the most difficult bit so far?
Convincing ourselves and our families that a DIY wedding is possible! And dealing with people’s overly expensive and meaningless expectations about what a wedding must entail.
Also, justifying spending a lot of money on one event (even as a one-off) has gone against the grain, particularly with the honeymoon, as we’re more comfortable keeping things simple.
What has been the most fun bit?
Hopefully the wedding itself will be!
But so far…
- watching our ‘engagement rings’ (a pair of baby cherry trees!) grow
- brainstorming sessions on what to do for the wedding with felt-tips on a huge piece of paper!
- looking round the church and village hall and imagining what it will be like there on the day
- the look on the best man’s face when he was asked!
- gathering berries and apples from the wild and baking lots of blackberry and apple pies!
What are your 5 top tips for brides and grooms planning an ethical wedding?
1. Keep focused on your forthcoming marriage – the relationship is more important than the wedding! (As in the end are relationships with family and friends!)
2. Think through all options, rather than assuming things have to be done a certain way or buying the first option you come across, and stick to your own values.
3. Hope for change and a love of people and the Earth are more meaningful and lasting motivations for ethical living, rather than guilt or making yourself look or feel better – these can be overcome over time, but a well informed passion for making things better will only get stronger.
4. Make your wedding as inclusive as possible – we’re hoping that involving friends and family in the wedding preparations and service, and making sure people don’t feel left out at the event, will be a good first step to creating a marriage that welcomes others in rather than being ‘just the two of us’
5. It’s just one day, don’t go crazy!