The Socially Conscious Wedding

I think we can all agree that it is WILD how much we spend on weddings. The Canadian Wedding Industry is a  $5 Billion per year industry.* $5 BILLION. The average Canadian spends $30,717 on their wedding.** This means that Brides and Grooms hold a lot of purchasing power and can use that power to support companies, charities and movements that are important to them and their local or global community! Weddings are a big production, regardless of if you're having a small intimate wedding or a large wedding. You're creating an experience from start to finish for your guests and that includes purchasing products and services from several different vendors. There are many opportunities throughout the planning process to use your purchasing power for good and create a socially conscious wedding and we've listed just a few of them below!

1. Give donations in lieu of favours

We've all left a wedding with a trinket of some kind that sadly made it into the trash shortly after we got home. The gesture is lovely but it's often difficult to find a Instead of spending $2-$4 on a small gift for each of your guests why not consider picking a charity that you and your partner support and make a donation in honour of your guests?! You reduce unnecessary waste and instead support a cause you care about. 

Wedding at Artscape Gibraltar Point  Photo by Sara Monika

Wedding at Artscape Gibraltar Point

Photo by Sara Monika

2. Host your wedding at a non-profit event space

There are spaces in every city that are run by non-profit organizations that benefit from the proceeds of event rentals. A prime example of this type of venue is Artcape in Toronto, Artscape is a not-for-profit urban development organization that makes space for creativity and transforms communities. Artscape has five event venues across Toronto that are ideal for weddings, corporate events and workshops. 

3. Buy your wedding dress second hand/through a non-profit organization

For this one we're going to refer you back to our Blog post Wedding Dresses That Drop Jaws & Don't Break The Bank check out #3, 4 and 5 for some amazing second hand dress shops!

4. Choose locally sourced food and flowers

Hop on the 'slow food' and 'slow flower' movement and work with vendors that provide locally sourced food and flowers. When these items are not sources locally there is an additional environmental cost due to travel, packaging and chemicals used in the process of getting flowers that are grown in another country all the way over to your local flower shop. 

5. Minimize waste by providing guests with take-away boxes for left over food and dessert

Sarah Nixon from My Luscious Backyard based in Toronto, ON  Photo Kristin Sjaarda

Sarah Nixon from My Luscious Backyard based in Toronto, ON

Photo Kristin Sjaarda

It's 10pm and your guests are busy busting out dance moves like it's nobody's business. The only problem is that they were too busy doing 'the shopping cart' to listen when dessert was announced. It's such a shame to have your cake or whatever alternative dessert you may go to waste because your guests were having too much fun. Plan to have to-go containers so your guests can take desert home and your food doesn't go to waste! They will be so grateful when they have a little slice of heaven to eat in the cab back to their hotel. 

6. Provide group transportation to and from the wedding to minimize the number of vehicles driving the distance

If your wedding reception is not within walking distance of where your guests are staying for the night, it is always a nice gesture to provide transportation to/from the wedding location. Hire a bus to pick guests up and drop them off at central locations. There are a number of reasons this is an ideal service to offer:

a. You're making life easy for your guests logistically.

b. You're removing the risk of drinking and driving.

c.  It's environmentally friendly by reducing the number of vehicles driving to and from your celebration. 

7. Allow your guests to give to your favourite charity in lieu of buying you gifts

Encourage your guests to donate to a charity you're passionate about in lieu of giving a gift OR sign-up for a program like The Knot Gifts Back! You register for gifts on The Knot and for each gift your guests buy from the registry The Knot will donate up to 3% to the charity of your choice, at no extra cost. Get creative and find ways to make an impact through gifting! 

8. Gift your wedding party cause associated gift boxes

Wedding party gifts have become a BIG thing. Why not give a gift that has an impact?! Check out these gift box companies that are stylish, practical and socially conscious!

The Little Market Rose Gift Box

The Little Market Rose Gift Box

a. Haute Hope

b. Gratitude Collaborative

c. The Little Market

d. Ames and Oates

*Source: Weddingbells Mariage Quebec 2015 Readers Survey.

**Source: https://globalnews.ca/news/3559608/how-much-do-canadians-spend-on-weddings-the-cost-breakdown-will-surprise-you/

michellle davis