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Planning an Eco-Friendly Wedding: 5 Places to Start

Sponsored Content
Oregon is leading the way in environmental friendliness. We’ve got five ways to make sure your wedding stays green.
Emma Franke
A Clean Origin lab-grown diamond, princess-cut

Sponsored by Clean Origin

We all try to make good choices for the environment in little ways each day – skipping plastic straws, learning recycling etiquette and carrying reusable water bottles around everywhere. When it comes to wedding planning, it can feel overwhelming to think of every possible way to minimize waste. Thankfully, the Oregon wedding community is on your side, and you’ll find that your team is full of good ideas for ways to keep your wedding sustainable. Below, we’ve got five areas where you can get started.

1. Rings

Diamonds have been a symbol of love and commitment for a long time. However, “natural”, or mined diamonds, come at a cost. Traditional mining practices involve deforestation, soil erosion and even disruption of sea life, depending on the technique used. Mining also typically requires heavy equipment, large explosives and often a heavy cost in human labor. 

Over the last decade or so, awareness of these issues has increased in popular culture. At the same time, techniques for lab-grown diamonds have improved to the point where all certified lab-grown diamonds are chemically, optically and physically the same as any mined gem. These sustainable diamonds require none of the detrimental processes that mined jewels do, and because they go from the lab to the jeweler without as many middlemen, you’ll pay significantly less for a ring that’s equal quality and better for the environment. To browse styles and learn more, click here. 

2. Dress

Rather than opting for a brand-new gown, consider going second-hand. Oregonians love to thrift shop – finding your perfect gown could be a testament to your sharp thrifting eye. If you have access to your mother’s or grandmother’s gown, work with an alterations boutique to repurpose a treasured family heirloom for your special day. Going for a gown that’s been worn before means you’re skipping out on the environmental costs of manufacturing and shipping a brand-new dress. Plus, a vintage gown comes with extra character built in.

3. Flowers

It’s no secret that we think Oregon is a gorgeous place to live. So why not celebrate it with local flowers at your wedding? Rather than splurging on expensive, out-of-season blooms that may have to be shipped from other environments, stick with what your florist can find at local farms and growers. This can end up saving money, and it’s a great way to incorporate local flair to your day. Wild roses, ferns and irises make for a beautiful bouquet.

4. Catering

The truth is, the food is a big part of weddings. Your guests will likely come hungry, and one of the best ways to feed them is by sticking with local, organic and seasonal foods. Importing exotic ingredients can be tempting but shipping long-distance takes a toll on the environment. Sticking with local farmers and a farm-to-table menu often means you’ll have more flexibility when it comes to vegetarian or vegan menu alternatives.

5. Décor

The glamorous tablescapes you see all over Pinterest come with a secret: most of the materials are rented. Renting, rather than buying, is a huge way to make a difference for the environment. You’re ensuring that after you finish with the materials you need to make your space pop, they’ll re-enter the marketplace and get used many more times. Look for soy-based candles, naturally-made materials and reusable tableware to set off the look.

The wedding industry is seeing a huge shift as couples continue to prioritize sustainability. As brides and grooms learn more about throwing eco-friendly weddings, it continues to get easier to make positive choices. 

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