A Low Impact Wedding

Doing something very different is often far more memorable than doing the “normal”. Planning and preparing for a low-impact wedding will bring such pleasure and GRACE to your nuptial experience. Surprisingly, you will probably find you can also save an immense amount of money for example; this is the amount of money some couple used for their wedding:

$ 420 – Attire

$ 170 – Ceremony location and cost of officiant

$ 225 – Reception site rental and linens

$ 585 – Food and Drink for 100 people (we had a pancake and Mimosa brunch)

$ 210 – Stationary (Paper, ink, envelopes and stamps)

$ 25 – Flowers and Decorations

$ 5 – Music (We had a friend play his Cello for the wedding)

$2300 – Photographer

$ 300 – Wedding rings

$ 150 – Gifts for our attendants and other helpful individuals

$ 125 – Wedding Favors – Etched wine glasses


$4515 Total cost of wedding

With the average cost of a US wedding running at around $20,000 it seems obvious that weddings have a huge footprint, both ecological and economical. Going green doesn’t?

What about having a very small, immediate family wedding, a larger reception (but still small) and a green voluntary honeymoon (separate article)? Wow! Let’s see how that can be done and still have an incredibly memorable experience.

OK, you want to be married in Costa Rica on the South coast. Everything is already naturally GREEN. How can you have a wedding that barely impacts the environment. Find a hotel equipped to handle your very special green wedding.

  1. You can totally eliminate stationary by using the Internet, Facebook or if you must use paper, use recycled “green” paper with natural dye inks. If you use the Internet or Facebook maybe you might want to make the background green. Also, be sure to indicate that you are hosting a green wedding in small print some place on the page.
  2. Set up a website for RSVP’s.
  3. Flowers should be readily available in any hotel with lush gardens. At the most all could be decorated lavishly with leaves and flowers and bouquet for very little. Most should be free.
  4. Material stores in Costa Rica sell material very suitable for a wedding dress. A dress to your taste could be made by a local seamstress for a minimal amount of money. Or. you could bring a heirloom dress, or, since we are very tropical you might want a very light long beautiful sundress. In Costa Rica there are stores called “Ropa Americana” and it is even possible to find a suitable dress for several dollars.
  5. Catering the wedding is always doable and should easily be 1/3 of the cost in the States. If you want to go totally green you could have a raw food wedding, or even vegetarian. There are local beers available and local wine makers. Having a keg of beer, wine and water would avoid bottles and plastic waste. Also, by using re-useable glasses, plates and dinner ware you will be doing your part in preventing unnecessary waste.
  6. While it is traditional to give a small gift to the guests, you could provide a small plant or a flower depending if they lived here or were visiting. Or, giving a small gift from the local economy would aid aa local merchant.
  7. Photography can be hired by a local photographer. Because so much cost and paper are involved in traditional methods of wedding photography, your family and friends could all be asked to bring their cameras and take pictures. Create a website for all to upload to and then everyone could download and have copies of the pictures they wanted. And for sure.
  8. You may want to find an Eco-Logde type of hotel, small, elegant and green.
  9. Plan a daytime wedding in natural light. Find a hotel with an outdoor Rancho, perfect for the small outdoor, green wedding. The Rancho is a multi-purpose space that is open but covered in case of rain or blazing sun. (With a daytime wedding, you will be saving electricity.

Another option would be to ask a good friend to be the photographer and take all the pictures. Again, download to a single website to view and distribute.

A wedding like this, kept small and green and very conscience could be done for very little money…only the hotel rooms, facility rental, food and beverage, minimal costs for dress, flowers and drink. The best part is you would remember how hard you and others worked to create minimal impact on the environment and you would be married feeling good about doing your part to keep that small piece of the world in time and space green.

Source by Rosemary Mac Gregor

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