The couple: Henriette and John
Wedding date: 30 May 2009
Venue and location: Parents’ garden, Denmark
What inspired you to have an ethical wedding?
I have never wanted a princess wedding and I have always had a very untraditional view of special occasions.
My fiancé and I always agreed that we didn’t want a large wedding and that our dream wedding was a BBQ with close family and friends.
As I am Danish and my fiancé is British we will be having a bi-national and bi-lingual wedding. From early on I wished to have the wedding in my parents’ garden. Neither of us is religious and the local authorities where my parents live do not do wedding ceremonies outside the very ugly town hall built in the ’70s. So we have agreed on a humanist ceremony.
As our wedding is already going to be very untraditional and we already live in a fairly ethically conscious way it seemed natural to try and incorporate these ethical ideas into the wedding.
Also the whole princess wedding and spending so much money and resources on a party makes me feel very uncomfortable.
What has been the most difficult bit so far?
The most difficult part has been to get over the green guilt and just accept that it won’t be squeaky-clean green but that we are doing our best.
Another difficulty is planning a wedding in Denmark while being in the UK. But lots of things can be found over the internet and of course I have my parents and family to take care of many things.
Having the wedding in Denmark poses some extra problems when trying to do it green. Denmark is a much smaller and less diverse country than the UK. Organic and fair trade products and food are available but there is much less to choose from and it is more expensive than over here.
But getting over the green guilt and just remembering that we never wanted our wedding to be perfect helps a lot. We are just going to have to do our best and compromise when needed.
What has been the most fun bit so far?
I really enjoy planning stuff and this has been no exception. It has been great getting inspiration, coming up with ideas and creating stuff from scratch.
Also involving other people in doing things for the wedding that they are good at has provided me with much joy. For example, my sister loves making cards and to see her having so much fun designing and making our invitations was one of the top moments so far.
What are your top tips for brides and grooms planning an ethical wedding?
1. Enjoy the planning process; it can actually be really fun.
2. Don’t give in to the green guilt, every little thing you do helps.
3. Involve those close to you but don’t pressure anyone else into being green.