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Eco-friendly Wedding Guide

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Your wedding day will probably be one of the most important days of your life and making sure you tie the knot at the perfectly planned wedding that represents you both is important. Choosing a theme that isn’t too tricky can test the organising skills. Some may think an eco-friendly wedding is in the too hard basket, but we have put together a guide that shows you it can be done.

The Invitations Some would say that sending invites via email is the most eco-friendly way to do it. But there is something about snail mail invites and save-the-dates cards that keeps it traditional. In order to stick to this, keep an eye out for stores or suppliers that offer recycled paper products and vegetable-based inks. Reducing the number of inserts in invites can also be another step towards an eco wedding.

The dresses When thinking eco friendly dress, first pops to mind is a pre-loved dress, this could be a dress passed down through the family from your grandmother to your mother. Alterations to the dress to make it more in style can be done too. If your mums dress is out of the question, shopping at second hand wedding dress stores can be the next step. But if you prefer to wear a brand new dress, try find a designer that uses sustainable fabrics, like silk or hemp, and organic cotton. Doing the same for the bridesmaids dresses can also be fun.

The catering Food is the centre of most celebrations, and choosing the eco path does not mean you have to sacrifice what you love to eat. When you’re budgeting or looking for a venue, keep in mind that organic foods may cost a bit more. Sourcing locally-grown products can keep the cost down too. When bought directly from growers, food needs less time in the fridge and less packaging to stay fresh!

The venue As we know, choosing the venue should be the first step to organising the wedding around. One of the best eco-friendly venues is outdoors. New Zealand’s gorgeous vineyards and gardens are an example of this. But outdoor ceremonies don’t always work for everyone, especially those wanting to tie the knot in winter. In terms of being energy efficient, choose a venue with plenty of sunlight so avoid using lights.

Whether you want to completely plan your wedding, head-to-toe, with the motivation of being eco-friendly, or if you just want aspects of the day to cover this, anything is possible. Just keep in mind the season you want to marry in order to find the perfect venue, and the rest will fall into place.

Choosing your Wedding Theme

A wedding theme as we've previously discussed, is not a necessity, the only thing you need to factor in is 'Rhonnie's rule of cohesion' (a rule our director speaks passionately about.) but if you will opt for a theme or you need help working to that rule of cohesion, we have put together a list to make sure you both choose the perfect theme that reflects you both. Right from the start, it is good to have an idea of what your wedding vision is. This can help with planning from the beginning and avoid any finer details issues.

The season

Knowing what season you want to be married in can help with the colour palettes, flowers and venue. If you have always dreamed of being married in the summer where guests can use umbrellas to shade from the sun, or in the winter where a large fire can warm the reception area for guests. Choosing the right season can have an effect on many things such as venue bookings and weather. Just like any part of the wedding, but organised is key.

The couple

Because the wedding is celebrating both the bride and groom, drawing on something that you both share can make your day even more special and individual. This could be anything from something simple like a favourite colour you both share, to your favourite restaurant or a hobby that you both love. Whatever it is, it can be incorporated through the table settings, props for photos, colours and even dresses and outfit.

The wedding venue

Venues can be seen as inspiration for other details of the wedding. Sometimes it is best to have the wedding venue decided before taking the next steps, it is easier to work with it rather than not. Similar to choosing a season, once a venue is chosen, the colours and additional features fall into place so they can compliment the venue.

Personal connection

Having a culture that is close to both your hearts, whether is be a religion, tradition, or even a language, drawing on that can be a powerful addition to the wedding. This can be drawn on anywhere, from the ceremony style and vows, to the type of food or outfits. Culture can be a visual impact such as colours and flowers too.

Research

Once you have chosen, or even just thought of, a theme, research. Making sure you have the right food for the right theme, or the correct phrase from a religious reading can be vital on the day. You don’t want to look foolish for using the wrong details within the theme of your perfect day.

Choosing Your Wedding Season

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Image via: 

Your wedding day will probably be one of the most important days of your life and making sure you tie the knot in the perfect weather can be tricky. So to help make sure you pick a season, and venue to go with it, we have crafted together the go-to list:

New Zealand can offer some of the most stunning venues In the world. Depending on the season, landscape backdrops can include waterfalls and the beaches in the summer and snowy mountains in the winter. Different seasons can alter the menu, colour scheme, dresses, flowers and so much more.

Summer

If you have always dreamed of a beach wedding, New Zealand can be less temperamental throughout the summer. While the North Island beaches are typically warmer, some northern South Island beaches such as Golden Bay are picturesque at this time of year.

Some would argue that everywhere in New Zealand is beautiful in the summer and while this may be true, some places stand out more than others. For a warmer more humid climate, try the Bay of Islands, East Coast and Northland. For a hot, dry temperature where the afternoon sun leads well into the night, central Otago can be at the top of the list.

Autumn

A typical New Zealand autumn day can be described as a clear blue sky with a touch of winter’s fresh crisp air. Imagine walking up the path of one of Wellington's idyllic historic churches amongst a backdrop of autumn's stunning natural colours. Or down the streets in Arrowtown with the array of orange and yellow leafed trees lining the paths.

Central Otago can be breathtaking in the autumn with its colour scheme from the trees’ leaves changing and the dry hills in the distance.

Winter

The cooler season can often be overlooked as the one to say ‘I do’ in, but if planned correctly, winter can offer so much. Venues can be less busy meaning higher chance of securing them, and if you’re after a snowy backdrop, this could be on the cards.

The winter months can be perfect for cosy, candlelit celebrations. Imagine the setting at one of Canterbury’s charming venues with a cosy log fire, creamy hot chocolates and fair lights. It's the time of year that suits warmer decorations and a hearty menu.

Spring

While the season can sometimes be unpredictable with fluctuating temperatures, and thehours of sunlight increase. It is also the month of greener growth and beautiful spring flowers, there can even still be snow capped mountains with the warmer air lingering. Spring offers the most amazing garden setting with perfect outdoor venues amongst native bush or country styled venues.

Whichever season you choose, consider that each one can influence the theme, colour and added extras for guests comfort. Some pastel shades complement a spring wedding, while an autumn celebration would suit a palette of gold and rustic tones.

And don’t forget to take the climate of your honeymoon destination into consideration, too.

Easily Forgotten Wedding Details

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A wedding day can be just as nerve-racking for the bridesmaid as it is for the bride. To each bridesmaid the pressure of the role will vary, but if it’s your first time, making sure you do all the right things at the right times can be daunting. It is inevitable that certain smaller details can slip through the cracks. Making a list early and ticking off each detail is important to ensure they aren’t overlooked.

Directions and signs

You don’t want guests getting lost at the wedding let alone on their way to the venue. If you spell it out to them on the invitations they’re more likely to arrive on time. Making sure they know the right path to the function, or where the bathrooms are at the venue are quite important. Place some signs around the venue so guests know they’re on the right path.

Bouquet accessories

Personalising yours and your bridesmaid bouquets with unique accessories to match the wedding theme can complete each outfit. From delicate ribbons to vintage lace or the bouquet stems wrapped with greenery, each accessory can be important. Depending on the theme and your style, an attached locket or brooch to the bouquet can add deeper meaning to the bunch of flowers.

Weather plans

No matter where your wedding is, planning for various unexpected weather events such as rain, wind, cold and heat, is a pretty big detail. Discussing these options with the venue can avoid any disruption and discomfort to the day. This could include back up plans such as having a marquee instead of in the open or having an indoor rooms as back up. If you have a wedding planner, this will have been discussed and pre-empted very early on.

Specific guest dietary requirements

Various dietary requirements can pose a complicated situation for menu decisions. It can range from vegan, vegetarian, dairy and gluten free and any allergies. Ensuring you know well in advance of making any final menu decisions is vital. There’s no one correct way to approach the topic but asking for details on the response cards is a simple start.

On-the-day helpers

As we all know, the wedding day can be a whirlwind event where you may not get enough time to chat to certain family members or make sure everyone is happy. Support from friends and family throughout the day can be a lifesaver to help things run smoothly. Some common wedding responsibilities can include gathering guests for photographs, helping guests to find their seat and helping with gifts.

The Morning of Your Wedding

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A wedding day can be just as nerve-racking for the bridesmaid as it is for the bride. To each bridesmaid the pressure of the role will vary, but if it’s your first time, making sure you do all the right things at the right times can be daunting. So ensuring you have the most relaxing and glamorous wedding morning is the only way to start the day. On the morning of the most important day of your life, it is worth taking that extra time to make sure it runs along smoothly.

Choose a stylish pre-gown outfit

On the morning of the wedding it’s essential that you look and feel good! A current theme trending is for bridesmaids wearing matching outfits, such as floral dressing gowns. This glamorous matching look can kick off the day, but also ease the bride into the gown.

Serve decadent food and drink

The morning is best spent with your girlfriends eating light delicious food, and enjoying a glass of champagne. Hydrating and eating in the morning can set a good base for the rest of the long day ahead. Depending on the time you’ll be getting ready, this might be for breakfast, brunch, lunch or just snacks to keep energy levels up. The same can be done for drinks, if you prefer. Create a DIY mimosa bar with fruit slices or pretty stirrers.

Make sure it’s stress free

Ensuring that the morning runs along smoothly can be a combination of things including, a clutter-free and tidy room or location, or only a small number of people. While you don’t want an empty space, little visual distractions can make for better getting ready photographs.

Timelines are key

Getting ready with your most vibrant and fun friends and family can cause time to fly by. Making sure you, as the bride, do whatever it is to make you feel energised and glowing for the wedding. This could include a yoga session or a brisk walk, maybe even fitting in time with family.

Raise a toast and have fun

This is obviously an important aspect of the day. Having fun in the beginning can set up for a relaxing day that will be one of the many memories.