I spotted a great article in the Family section of the Guardian last weekend. Called ‘Our secret weddings‘, it brought together the stories of couples who had, for one reason or another (anarchic leanings, unwanted guests, fear of frills and flounces), stepped away from the big white wedding.
Reading these tales of knot-tying on the sly – some defiant, some joyful, some tinged with regret – it occurred to me that they were probably among the greenest weddings you could hope to find.
The couples formalised their union with the minimum of fuss: no expensive dress, no multitudes of guests waiting to be fed and watered, just a simple jaunt to the registry office with 2 witnesses – job done!
Often, when we’re telling someone about the ideas behind Ethical Weddings, these are the type of wedding stories our listener will wave triumphantly in our faces in the manner of a barrister brandishing the undeniable evidence of ‘Exhibit A’.
“Ha!” (he or she will probably say) “But isn’t the most ethical wedding just a registry office and 2 witnesses? No cake, no dress, no guests, no bridesmaids, no groomsmen, no flowers, no gift lists?” (and so on and so on).
And we would have to say: yes. Certainly when it comes to their impact on the planet, these weddings are very low-carbon indeed.
So why Ethical Weddings?
But we think, or hope, that Ethical Weddings still has a role to play. We’re here to share ideas and advice with couples who have already decided that they do want a get-together with family and friends to celebrate their marriage. The question they are then asking us is how they can do that in the fairest, most eco-friendly way.
What can they recycle? What can they find second-hand? What can they give away again after the day? And how can they have a positive impact too – for example, buying a Fairtrade wedding ring that could benefit an artisan in Columbia?
If you’re having a no-fuss, just-the-2-of-you wedding, we salute you – you’re doing your bit for the planet too.
If you’re throwing a bit more of a party, we’re over here. Ready to share our tips and ideas – and hopefully some of yours too!