Wedding lanterns look beautiful and have been suggested as the most romantic send-off fo the bride and groom – the guests light the lanterns and let them go, watching the little lights rising into the nights sky.
I must admit it does look stunning. Standing on the cliff-top in Cornwall this week, we watched the lanterns from a beach wedding rising up over our heads like a column of stars.
But do we think about what happens to them after the flame has gone out and the remnants come in to land? It saddened me the next morning to see the paper and frames scattered about the fields on the cliff top, and being washed onto the beach by the incoming tide. It looked horrible, littering the beautiful countryside and leaving a mess for the locals to clean up.
When planning a wedding there are various decisions to be made on the materials and resources. To go organic or not, to use local flowers or import. These lanterns showed to me the impact of decisions in a more immediate way than other things. We may not see an immediate benefit of avoiding throw-away crockery or having an organic wedding dress, but these small decisions add up to minimising the negative impact of our wedding.
When planning an ethical wedding there is all sorts of information available about rings, dresses and flowers. But what about choosing a photographer? What is an ethical photographer? Is there a photographer out there who has a small carbon footprint?
Here are a few things to consider:
– On a simple level, do they do proof albums by CD, saving on printing and allowing you to choose your album shots in a digital format?
– It always pays, in anything, to follow recommendations from friends. If they have had a good experience then that is a top priority.
– Have a good look at the photographer’s website to check out their portfolio, but don’t skip the ‘about us’ page as this will tell you about their passions or their philosophy.
Photographers Cat and Suzanne from CTimages in Manchester really caught my eye as understanding the importance of their craft on a social level. From their background in fashion and social photography, as well as weddings they offer photo parties for young girls, which were initially developed to aid female youth groups discuss self esteem issues.
Cat & Suzanne wanted girls to understand the airbrushing that goes on in the fashion world, and the unique beauty that each one of them has. Cat says ‘Our aim was to inspire confidence in our clients by explaining and demonstrating poses and creating a relaxed and encouraging environment. We believe women, especially girls in their teenage years need good role models and lots of positive words said about them. The vision of the photo sessions is not only to have a fun experience and high quality pictures to take home, but to inspire young women to be an encouragement to one another and to celebrate each others uniqueness!’
I was recently shown the Dove campaign for real beauty which made me laugh, but really did hit home about what ‘role models’ we are measuring ourselves against…
Last month Eastenders star Samantha Janus wed her long-term partner Mark Womak at Claridges in London at a vintage inspired ceremony attended by her fellow cast members and other celebrities such as Melanie Blatt and Natalie & Nicole Appleton, formerly of girl band All Saints.Celebrity weddings are not always about the flamboyance and excess that we have seen covered in reality TV shows following well-known brides. When planning her wedding Janus kept in mind the theme she had chosen for her Spring wedding – The traditional wedding with the combination of classic and vintage. She didn’t want frills or taffeta and the result was a stunningly sleek and elegant affair – thankfully with less of the drama than a typical Eastenders on-screen wedding!
Why not take some tips from Janus’ wedding style:
– Buy a vintage ring – Mark bought Samantha’s ring at a Paris flea market. Have a unique ring with a story behind it by going vintage. You could even ask if there is a family ring from either side that you could wear. Vintage and second had rings also avoids the excesive manufature and mining of new resources of gold and precious stones.
– Simple style – Janus carried a simple posy of Lily of the Valley, her favourite flowers. By keeping it personal you can avoid spending over the odds for extravagant blooms that distract from your dress. also, chosing in season, locally grown flowers cuts the air miles of the product.
– Work the theme and dress together – Janus’s theme saw her in a 20′s inspired dress, such as those from Jenny Packham. If you want the designer dress but don’t have the budget try sample sale shops or end-of-season sales.
So, incase you have stumbled across this site and happen not to be engaged to be married, you may be interested in this eco-speed-dating event happening next Saturday in a lavender field near you…
Following the success of BTCV in York, Carshalton Lavender, the Observer Ethical Award-winning community group based in the London Borough of Sutton, is introducing eco-dating, a new form of match-making for environmentally-conscious singles aged 30-50, to London on Saturday 18th April.
Eco-dating takes the speed dating idea and aims do a little for the environment at the same time – helping to prepare Carshalton Lavender’s field for this year’s annual lavender harvest. Whilst going about the tasks at hand you will be paired with a different partner every 10 minutes, and the small sum of £5 includes all the hot drinks and cake you could need…
Sign up quickly whilst there are still places available. and dont forget to let us know how you got on…