April showers bring May flowers, and May flowers are made into beautiful bouquets for June, the most popular wedding month out of the year. What makes June a bridal favorite? The answer is steeped in superstition, dating all the way back to the Roman Empire and their mythology. While the Romans had honored numerous gods and goddesses that they prayed to throughout the year, one of the most celebrated was Juno, the patroness of marriage and childbirth. Whether out of love or fear for the goddess (after reading about what she did to Zeus’s mistresses, I’m leaning towards the latter), they held several festivals and termed an entire month in her honor. Couples married during this time in hopes of receiving her blessing and good fortune.
While the reason behind the tradition may have been watered down from pious devotion to simple good luck, June still remains the most popular month to tie the knot. And wedding bells haven’t been the only things chiming in, as people from all walks of life have been leaning towards more sustainable trends. While these celebrations have been typically associated with wasteful and excessive practices (Facebook co-founder Sean Parker serving as the latest example with his $10 million marital trashing of a redwood forest), lately brides and grooms have been taking their ethics and values as seriously as their vows. There are numerous creative and beautiful ways to make your wedding a little more eco-friendly, but some of the most popular are.
- Rock a green rock. I’m not saying you should wear an emerald over a diamond (unless that’s your personal preference), but that you should make sure it’s ethically responsible. You could go for:
- Our very own Storied Diamond™. These up-cycled stones come with our assurance and verification from our independent auditor SCS Global Services to be renewed, environmentally friendly, and conflict-free.
- Fair trade stones. While they still cause harm to the environment, they are mined responsibly and alleviate unfair treatment of miners in other countries.
- Go beyond conflict-free. Canadian, Australian, Namibian, and Botswanian diamonds are just a few alternatives that meet ISO standards and work to lessen their impact on the earth. Ultimately, it is up to you to research your options and make an informed, responsible decision. It’s an financial and ethical investment.
- Eco-friendly invites. Even a small affair can result in dozens of invitations being sent. Use either recycled paper options with soy ink or go the electronic route with e-vites. Many wedding planning sites like The Knot will give you customizable templates and calendars for sending out your invitations. (P.S. – This is also great for thank-yous!)
- Have the world celebrate with you. Give back to the world by giving guests the option to donate to a green charity on your behalf. The novelty of “His” and “Hers” towels can wear off pretty quickly (especially if “His” is in the laundry basket and he uses “Hers”), but having trees planted in your name or enough renewable energy credits to offset your wedding’s environmental footprint is a gift that will benefit not only you, but the planet.
- Get familiar with your food. Your guests may choose between beef and vegetarian plates, but you ultimately decide what options are available. Go for organic, locally grown/raised food; the smaller carbon footprint and healthier alternatives will keep your guests full and happy.
- Honeymoon closer to home. The most important part of the honeymoon is being able to get away with the one you love, not how far you go. Opt for in-state locales, or if your heart is set on an exotic getaway, use LEED or GSTC certified hotels.
- Wedding dress: renew, reuse, recycle. With designer gowns using valuable resources in manufacturing and transportation, a wedding dress can end up leaving a massive carbon footprint. Opt for a pre-owned, gently used one or alter an old family heirloom in a modern marvel with vintage flair. Also look for a gown that you can alter after the wedding into a cute cocktail dress, so you can enjoy it more than once. If your dress is a one-time affair, then resell it to gain back some of your expense or donate your gown so other brides-to-be can look as good as you on their big day.
Classic or contemporary, traditional or avant-garde, your wedding day is meant to be a celebration of everlasting love and memories. Sharing your love with the world will make those memories all the more special and treasured. This is your special day, so go green when and where it feels right for you, and take pride in knowing that your union makes a difference.