It’s easier than ever to lead a greener lifestyle. From energy saving light bulbs and appliances, recycled products, solar energy to environmentally friendly house products. Now we can even make choices on what and how we eat….organic produce, meat, well, food in general versus food that was chemically and genetically modified/treated. We are definitely on the right track and should support the cause by making every effort to participate.
Even more so, I am all for a “green” wedding. Living in this wonderful destination, I am talking from experience when I tell you that the Yucatan has so much to offer which we can integrate into a more environmentally friendly wedding. I have even created a “green wedding package” which you can find in our website under “packages”.
Here are some ideas to “green” up your destination wedding.
Use the Light Nature Gives Us
It is not difficult for any wedding planner to propose an outdoor wedding in this area J. My suggestion is to make as much use as you can of the natural light. Start your wedding about 30 minutes earlier than you would have and perhaps finish a tab bit earlier at night (save energy).
I know destination wedding brides dream of using candles all over the place (not a bad thought and if you do, ask your wedding planner to get you hand-made, beeswax or vegetable-oil based candles) but being that the wedding reception will most take place on the beach, the possibility of the candles being blown out is high. Still they sure make great décor on the table.
Use as many tiki torches as you can. They will kill 2 birds with one stone. Soft lightning for your wedding area and mosquito “preventer” at the same time. Add citronella y voila. Bye bye mossis.
Eco Friendly Flowers
Unfortunately Cancun and area is not blessed with a wealth of natural flowers. You would think so being in the tropics and all. Hence flowers are being flown in from all over the world. Our main sources are the huge flower markets in Mexico City followed by suppliers in the US and even as far as Europe. Not only does this make flowers expensive but I guess you can also say, not very environmentally friendly.
The other day I flipped though a bridal magazine and I found a stunning bridal bouquet made out of curled up palm leaves (which we have here plentiful) and just 2 white calla lilies. The arrangement look extremely elegant and definitely made a statement for being something completely different.
I stumbled over this bouquet and give it a thumbs up for being unique and original. Could be even something for your bridesmaids.
I can come up with a wealth of ideas for boutonnieres from using shells, recycled paper to twigs with old bottoms. I guess though for a destination wedding, shells will come in handy. A few days before your wedding you two love birds can take a romantic stroll on the beach and gather the material needed. The florist will be more than happy to assemble a very exceptional piece of what you found.
As for centerpieces, I suggest using natural products like coconuts, again palm leaves and plenty of hand- hade candles. Or use potted plants in place of cut flowers as centerpieces.
What we typically do after the wedding, is to donate the arrangements to a retirement home or orphanage.
Save Even More Energy
Eliminate the use of electricity while walking down the aisle. Use as much life music as possible for your events, a beautiful harp, a duet of cello and violin, even a drum and fire show for dinner will do the trick.
Support the local community. 99% of the time the welcome gift at a beach destination wedding ends up being a bag stuffed with all sorts of goodies. Here is my suggestion… welcome bags made out of the native product called “yute“ filled with local biodegradable mosquito repellant and sun protection, deliciously smelling hand-made tropical soaps and creams, some scrumptious Mexican sweets and a hand-woven sunhat.
Wedding Favors and Gifts
Instead of favors, let your guests know in your wedding program that you have donated $1-$2 per guest to your favorite environmental organization.
If you are already settled into a home, and do not need kitchenware or furnishings, you may prefer to state on your invitations: “Please no gifts” or “Your presence at our wedding is your gift to us”, or recommend that your guests do a small collection during their stay and have the proceeds donated a local orphanage.
In case you are still establishing a home, think about registering with an eco-conscious retailer to minimize receiving unnecessary trinkets from guests who aren’t sure what you need.
If you are going to be buying gifts for the people standing up in your wedding, consider non consumptive options like massage at the hotel (no one will say no to a massage!), an ecological tour to our world famous ruins and Mayan villages or an food and beverage amenity for their room.
Save a Tree
Eco Friendly Invitations – set your wedding style by your invitation…. send online or use un-dyed and recycles paper, tree free paper or plantable seed paper – I LOVE this idea. There are also companies using now soy or vegetable ink for print. Look at the list below of what is typically printed.
- engagement announcements
- save the date cards
- shower invitations
- shower thank you notes
- wedding invitaitons
- ceremony programs
- place cards
- menu cards
- wedding announcements
- thank you notes
With millions of weddings this year, if each integrated only 1 to 2 GREEN elements, it would make big impact on environment. Also, please do not let this just be a trend because it is “hot” right now to have an eco friendly wedding. Spread the word and let´s keep this “trendy” trend a trend that lasts forever.