I just got married! If I learned anything about being engaged it’s that planning a wedding is not all fun and games and giggles and snuggles. It’s stressful! I gathered some tips to assist and inspire other nature-loving couples who have decided to plan a wedding…
- My fiancé and I already live together and don’t need more kitchen clutter! Instead of a traditional registry, suggest that your guests donate to an organization that supports wildlife conservation or another environmental cause important to you and your partner. I chose the Snow Leopard Trust. My fiancé chose 350, an organization that works to solve the climate crisis. While many people did not take our suggestion, some did- and that made us happy!
- Send electronic invitations! We used a site called Greenvelope, designed a beautiful card, emailed it to all our guests, tracked RSVPs right from there, sent reminder emails, AND used it to create the world’s most painless seating chart. Save trees and stress less.
- Get married outside! Save money on decorations and make nature the backdrop for the celebration of your love. Our ceremony took place on a patio with guests facing my beloved, wild and wonderful West Virginia hills. All we added was this beautiful, birch arch my dad constructed.
- Make your pet a part of your ceremony. My dog walked down the aisle, with two human ring-bearers, wearing a bandana that says I do, too (an idea I stole from Pinterest). They were an adorable trio!
- Use minimal flowers or a combination of artificial and real flowers. I’ve never loved the idea of cutting hundreds of fresh flowers and arranging them for one day just to toss them all out at the end of the event. We used mostly baby’s breath. I also handmade my hairpiece using artificial flowers.
- Incorporate animals into your wedding decorations. I folded paper birds to put in bouquets and centerpieces and to hang from our ceremony arch. We also used animals instead of table numbers. There was a pangolin table, a kingfisher table, a macaque table, a salamander table, etc. I don’t know what the guests thought, but the idea gave me great joy. I mod-podged pictures of the animals onto small canvasses which sat on easels as part of the table centerpieces. Maybe someone got curious, googled an animal, and learned something new!
- Consider limiting the amount of meat you serve. We only offered chicken and seafood, along with a variety of vegetarian options. My brother and his wife had a vegan wedding last year. The food was delicious, and everyone’s bellies were filled!
- Write your love for nature into your ceremony. I wrote our entire script which included our intent as a couple to respect the planet and our larger community of fellow beings, both human and nonhuman.
- Choose environmentally-responsible wedding favors. We gave away herbal tea from Open Source Farm, my brother’s small community farm in north Florida. The tea is delicious, the packaging is compostable, and the tea bags are reuseable. (Check them out!)
OR, you could forget all the above tips and simply replace the humans on your guest list with woodland creatures. You’ll have to change your menu, but your budget will thank you…
Just kidding! Our wedding was the best day of my life and I wouldn’t change a thing. Jokes aside, no matter what kind of wedding you decide to have, thank your loving fiancé often for supporting your passion for nature and wildlife 😊
Photographs by: Caitlin’s Living Photography