Green weddings on the rise

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3015-Bridal-GreenWeddingsWhen you hear “‘green’ wedding,” does the image of a barefoot, hippie bride with a flower halo getting married in a field come to mind?  Think again. “Green” weddings — which incorporate environmentally friendly practices — are on the rise all over the country with all types of people.

It’s not just for hippies anymore. “Green” is en vogue. Chic, even. And people are finding unique ways to be “green” in their nuptials.  Will “going green” be part of your wedding?

Here in the Lowcountry, we are seeing a rising trend of those who want to plan more carefully, not waste as much and overall be more harmonious with the environment on the big day. Gone are the days when people spend exorbitant amounts of money on items that won’t be used again or that will be thrown out as soon as the day is over. Couples want to reuse, recycle and be more mindful. Brides and grooms generally seem to think more about their purchases, how items will be used and if they can be used again.

When it comes to food, sometimes less is more; carefully plan the amount of food served to fit the number of guests attending. Instead of over-the-top shellfish displays, bountiful buffets with mounds of food and too many offerings for the number of guests that are attending (leaving a lot of wasted, uneaten food), there is more careful attention and execution so there is not so much waste. (Do you really need the bacon-wrapped scallops, the chicken satay, the tuna sashimi crudo, the gazpacho soup spoons AND the appetizer stations? Sometimes less can be more when the food is artfully presented and tastes delicious. Too many options can also overwhelm guests. Just make sure you aren’t sacrificing so much that your guests go hungry!

Thousands of couples flock to Hilton Head Island and Bluffton to get married with their toes in the sand. A casual wedding on the beach, on a golf course or in an outdoor setting naturally pays homage to being eco-friendly. This “going green” wedding trend can particularly be seen down here with the number of people who choose to get married outdoors. The Lowcountry’s (mostly nice year-round) weather makes that possible.

We’ve seen the “green” wedding trend on the rise when it comes to décor, too.  Mason jars, burlap, lace and the chalkboard-style décor that has been so popular over the past two years were a direct correlation of this eco-friendly movement. And even as that décor trend has faded (in February, we reported bolder, more modern aesthetics are coming this spring), it doesn’t mean that couples aren’t following eco-friendly practices when it comes to the styling of their weddings. They are just finding more innovative and unique ways to incorporate those “green” practices in the design.  

When sourcing vendors and assembling a team of professionals to put together their weddings, couples are realizing local is best. Instead of hiring a planner from Charleston, they’ll work with planner experts from Hilton Head and Bluffton. And the same with the rest of their wedding dream teams of lighting experts, caterers, florists, musicians and more — local is better. Not only is it easier logistically and more cost effective to keep things local, it reduces everyone’s travel time, carbon footprint and environmental impact.

Keeping guests’ travel considerations in mind is something that is also particularly en vogue for couples thinking “green” during their weddings. Though our area is often a destination wedding location, there are ways to reduce environmental impact. Transportation considerations are one. Renting a large house for family members to stay in on the beach is a great way to all get together. There are plenty of trusted vacation rental companies that can assist with the transportation logistics and lodging logistics.

So now that you see “green” weddings are on the rise in a variety of ways, are you ready to get started planning a wedding with “green” ideas? Check out our next article on tips for planning an eco-friendly wedding. Hilton Head Monthly of course has you covered — whether you just want to include a few ideas or really go all out. Hippies and non-hippies, rejoice.