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.