SUSTAINABILITY

BYRON BAY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER

SUSTAINABLE VENDORS BYRON BAY

 

Here is a list of my favourite local Byron Bay vendors, who take sustainability and mindfulness to their heart.

 

catering

https://www.burburywholefoods.com/

http://www.thesecretkitchen.net/organic-cakes

https://www.om-cade.com/

http://www.elixiba.com/catering/

decoration, furniture and prop hire

https://arcticfoxevents.com.au/

http://www.theweddingshed.com.au

 

experience

moonshinewomen.com.au

www.instagram.com/theblissedbride

flowers

www.weddings.anamundistudio.com

www.northernriversplanthire.com.au

SUSTAINABLE ECO-ETHICAL WEDDINGS

I am what I am because of who we all are. - African Proverb

 

Having a sustainable wedding, means to ask how we can minimise our impact on the earth, and how we can give back to our greater community. In essence, an eco-ethical wedding becomes a celebration of the love two people share between each other and ALL humans. Sustainable and mindful weddings include

  • having an appreciation of the beauty in simplicity and a return to more minimalist weddings

  • Consuming mindfully with care for our earth and people

The unfortunate truth is that many, if not most engaged couples fill their minds, lives, schedules with everything but the matters of the heart. And within a materialistic, consumer-driven wedding culture, this doesn’t come as much of a surprise. If you’d rather plan a wedding based on the mainstream wedding culture’s story of excess and unreasonable glamour, don’t be surprised when you’re surrounded by a ton of stuff but feel painfully empty, stressed and disconnected.

 

When it comes to weddings, it takes a lot of thought and effort to be conscious of the environment, but it’s worth it. Your wedding can even promote the care of our planet and urge your guests to become conscious of their everyday decisions.

 

Questions you can ask to start with ...

  • Where was it made? And was it made fairly? Does it have to be new? Do we really need this? Can we borrow or hire instead of buying, or sell after the wedding day? How much of our wedding budget is being spent on consumables vs things that last?

  • How can we reduce waste?

  • How can we benefit our local community? How far has he travelled? How can we carbon offset our wedding and honeymoon? How does this add meaning to our day? How does this enrich our relationship?

The Ring

  • ASK YOUR JEWELLER: HOW HAVE THEY ENSURED YOUR GEM IS CONFLICT FREE?

  • ASK YOUR JEWELLER IF THEIR GOLD IS SOURCED FROM A COUNTRY WHEREBY THE MINING PROCESS IS MECHANISED, OR HAS FAIR TRADE CERTIFICATION

  • THINK BEYOND DIAMONDS, DISCOVER OTHER GEMSTONES OR EVEN LAB CREATED DIAMONDS

  • WINNING THE ECO GAME IS WORKING WITH PRE-LOVED JEWELLERY OR RECLAIMED MATERIALS

  • CHOOSE HANDMADE RINGS BY LOCAL ARTISANS, INSTEAD OF MASS PRODUCED 3D-PRINTED RINGS, WHICH NEED MORE ENERGY AND PRODUCE MORE WASTE

 

 

The Dress

  • CONSIDER ORGANIC PEACE-SILK, LINEN, RECYCLED POLYESTER AND NYLON (MADE FROM PLASTIC BOTTLES).

  • CHOOSE A DESIGNER WORKING WITH SUSTAINABLE OR VINTAGE FABRICS, THEY WILL OFTEN BE SPECIALISTS.

  • ASK YOUR DESIGNER HOW THEY SOURCE THEIR FABRICS AND WHERE THEIR GOWNS ARE MADE. ETHICAL FASHION CERTIFICATION IS NEW IN THE BRIDAL WORLD, BUT LET’S START ASKING THE QUESTIONS AND BUSINESSES WILL START LISTENING!

  • DON’T LET THE WORD “DEAD STOCK” PUT YOU OFF! ALL THIS MEANS THEY ARE THE FABRIC REMNANTS FROM THE END OF THE SEASON. GO SEARCHING YOURSELF OR ASK YOUR DESIGNER TO FIND THESE GEMS, YOU’LL HAVE CREATED A BESPOKE GOWN OUT OF FABRIC THAT WOULD OTHERWISE HAVE ENDED IN LANDFILL.

  • ASK YOUR DESIGNER ABOUT ZERO OR LOW WASTE PATTERN CUTTING, OR ASK FOR THE OFFCUTS SO YOU CAN RE-USE THEM AS BOUQUET RIBBONS OR TABLE DECORATIONS.

  • BUY PRE-LOVED. CONSIDERING WEDDING DRESSES ARE ONLY WORN FOR A DAY, MOST ARE STILL IN FANTASTIC CONDITION. AND VINTAGE GOWNS ARE SWOON WORTHY! FOR THE MODERN BRIDE, BUYING A PRELOVED GOWN HAS NEVER BEEN EASIER. WEBSITES LIKE "STILL WHITE", "TRADESY," "I DO GOWNS", "ONCE WED" AND "LOVE ME TWICE" PROVIDE HUGE SELECTION OF GOWN STYLES AND SIZES.

  • NEW TO THE AUSTRALIAN MARKET, DRESS RENTAL IS AN UP AND COMING OPTION.

  • HIT THE OP SHOPS. YOU’LL BE SURPRISED WHAT IS AVAILABLE AND IT MAY BE AS SIMPLE AS HAVING A TAILOR MAKE SOME MODIFICATIONS.

 

The Bridesmaid Dress

  • ALLOW BRIDESMAIDS TO CHOOSE COLOUR AND STYLE TO INCREASE CHANCES OF THEM WEARING IT AGAIN

  • PURCHASE PRELOVED BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES AND SUITS

  • FIND ETHICALLY OR LOCALLY MADE DRESSES AND SUITS.

  • CHOOSE A COLOUR PALETTE TO INCREASE THE SCOPE OF DRESSES. THIS WILL ALSO ALLOW YOUR BRIDESMAIDS TO FIND A TONE THAT SUITS THEM

  • CHOOSE THE COLOUR AND ALLOW YOUR WEDDING PARTY TO CHOOSE THE STYLE

 

Decoration, Furniture and Props

  • HIRE THEM

 

 

Flowers

 

  • MARY IN NATURE - THEN YOU WON'T NEED ANY OR AT LEAST NOT AS MANY FLOWERS AND PLANTS FOR DECORATION

  • IT'S NOT JUST THE FLOWER'S POTENTIAL CHEMICALS AND TRAVELING EMISSIONS THAT HURT THE ENVIRONMENT, IT'S THE QUANTITY OF FLOWERS THEMSELVES. THE BRIDE'S BOUQUET, AND BOUQUETS FOR ALL OF HER BRIDESMAIDS, THE GROOM'S BOUTONNIERE, AND THE BOUTONNIERES FOR ALL OF HIS GROOMSMEN, FLOWER ARCHES OR AISLE ARRANGEMENTS AT THE WEDDING CEREMONY, AND CENTREPIECES FOR THE RECEPTIONS - WE ARE TALKING ABOUT THOUSANDS OF FLOWERS THAT, AT THE END OF THE NIGHT, USUALLY GET TOSSED IN THE TRASH.

  • SOURCE LOCALLY GROWN ORGANIC FLOWERS DIRECT FROM THE GROWER OR ASK FOR LOCAL AT THE MARKETS. HEAD TO WWW.CONSORTIUMBOTANICUS.COM.AU TO FIND A LOCAL ‘SLOW FLOWER’ GROWER AND GET TO MEET THE MAKER

  • GIVE YOUR FLORIST THE CREATIVITY TO WORK WITH WHAT IS IN SEASON AND GROWN IN AUSTRALIA

  • IF YOU HAVE ENOUGH LEAD TIME, CONSIDER GROWING YOUR OWN FLOWERS

  • SAY NO TO TOXIC AND NON-BIO-DEGRADABLE FLORAL FOAM

  • SAY NO TO NOXIOUS WEEDS IN STYLING SUCH AS PAMPAS GRASS

  • SAY YES TO DRIED AND EDIBLE ELEMENTS IN YOUR BOUQUET

  • RE-GIFT FLOWERS AFTER THE BIG DAY. NOTHING IS MORE REWARDING THAN SURPRISING OTHERS WITH A BEAUTIFUL BUNCH OF BLOOMS.

  • HANG, DRY AND HAVE FOREVER. NATIVES ARE GREAT FOR THIS AS THEY HOLD THEIR FORM AND BEAUTY

  • MAKE SMUDGE STICKS FROM YOUR LEFT-OVER WEDDING FLOWERS

  • MAKE YOUR OWN CONFETTI WITH DRIED LEAVES AND A HOLE PUNCH

 

The Wedding Venue

  • HOW MANY TRAVEL MILES ARE INVOLVED IN GUESTS ACCESSING YOUR VENUE?

  • WHAT SUSTAINABILITY PRACTICES DOES THE VENUE HAVE IN PLACE? SUCH AS WASTE MANAGEMENT, WATER TANKS AND RECYCLING, KITCHEN GARDENS AND COMPOSTING.

  • DO THEY USE REUSABLE GLASS AND DINNERWARE OR BAMBOO DISPOSABLES?

  • DO THEY RECYCLE BEER BOTTLES AND OTHER GLASSWARE?

  • HOW IS THE MENU PORTIONED PER PERSON TO REDUCE WASTE?

  • WHAT HAPPENS TO THE LEFTOVER MEALS AND FOOD SCRAPS? SOME VENUES WILL FEED THEIR STAFF, THE PHOTOGRAPHER AND DJ WITH EXCESS MEALS AND SOME EVEN USE THE SCRAPS AS COMPOST FOR THE RESTAURANT GAR- DENS. OR DO THEY DONATE LEFTOVER FOOD TO CHARITY?

  • CAN YOU BRING YOUR OWN ALCOHOL (ORGANIC AND/OR LOCAL SELECTION) OR CAN YOU CHOOSE WHAT THEY PROVIDE?

  • CONSIDER POP-UP WEDDINGS - THIS IS WHERE A PLANNER SETS UP A WEDDING VENUE FOR COUPLES TO SHARE THE SPACE ACROSS THE DAY, EACH OF YOU BEING ALLOCATED A FEW HOURS EACH. POPULAR FOR EASE AND REDUCED COST, WE LOVE THE CONCEPT FROM AN ECO-POINT OF VEW AS THIS MEANS ELEMENTS ARE RE-USED AND SHARED BETWEEN COUPLES, SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCING A WEDDINGS' FOOTPRINT.

 

Catering

  • GO VEGETARIAN / PLANT-BASED ON YOUR WEDDING DAY

  • IF AT ALL - HAVE ONLY MINIMAL ETHICALLY SOURCED MEAT AND FISH

  • GRAZING TABLES ARE A POPULAR CHOICE SO YOUR GUESTS CAN MAKE THEIR OWN MEAL CHOICES

  • CHOOSE A VENUE OR CATERER THAT SOURCES LOCAL, WHOLESOME AND ORGANIC PRODUCE, AND WHO HAVE FOR EXAMPLE THEIR OWN GARDEN-TO-PLATE PRACTICES.

  • REPLACE PLASTIC DISPOSABLES WITH COMPOSTABLE SUCH AS BAMBOO

  • USE FABRIC NAPKINS RATHER THAN PAPER

  • EXPLORE COMPOSTING OR DONATING LEFT-OVERS

  • PORTIONED SERVINGS ARE LIKELY TO RESULT IN LESS WASTE

 

 

Invitation and Wedding Favours

 

Heading online is an easy way in which you can cut one layer of wedding waste. Consider setting up your own wedding website, or using e-invite and rsvp tracking sites such as Greenvelope. Or go green for your traditional invitations or thank-you cards by choosing recycled or sustainably sourced paper with natural inks.

Choose sustainable and self-made Wedding Favours. Here are some ideas:

  • DIY bath salts in recycled jars

  • homemade jam 

  • baby cactus or plants

  • plant seeds

  • homemade lemonade

  • beautiful stones or rocks with their name written on it

  • Donate that portion of your budget to a charitable cause

 

Elope 

  • CONSIDER TO ELOPE IN AN INTIMATE CIRCLE OR JUST BETWEEN YOU TOO - INSTEAD OF OPTING FOR A BIG WEDDING

  • ELOPING COULD REDUCE CARBON EMISSION DUE TO TRAVELLING

  • ELOPING LESSENS CONSUMABLES AND WASTE

  • ELOPE IN NATURE, THEREFORE YOU WON'T NEED DECORATION/FURNITURE/FLORALS

Source: "Mindfully Wedding E-Guide" by lessstuffmoremeaning.org