These days it’s more or less possible to get whatever flowers you want at any time of year. But just like going local with the food, more and more people are choosing to use flowers that are seasonal, arranging their floral displays around the flowers in bloom when the choose to get married.
And here in Portugal, there’s an extensive calendar of flowers running right through the year.
In January, February and March you should be looking at camellias, orchids and hyacinths. May through July is time for hydrangeas, carnations and lavender (which has the added bonus of smelling incredible).
Roses and sunflowers are big in July and August, with gladiola and irises coming in September to November.
If you’re going for a winter wedding, then white lilies usually flower in December. Plan your wedding around these beautiful plants and you’ve got a ready made colour and design scheme from Mother Nature herself. Add some native foliage, such as olive branches and you can dress your wedding without the environmental impact.
Everyone wants their wedding day to be the most special and perfect of their lives. But nowhere does it say that it can’t also be a sustainable and low impact affair.
For more and more brides and grooms, keeping their big day green is a big part of the celebration. So here are some top tips on how to reduce your wedding footprint.
Dressing the venue is very important but try and use materials that you can reuse or recycle. Even better if you can source recycled materials to begin with. Think paper, card and glass rather than plastic.
Local and seasonal food
Here in Portugal there’s an incredible range of local and seasonal produce to choose from. From classics like sardines and cod, to olives, chorizo and olive oil, keep your food miles to a minimum.
It wouldn’t be a wedding without flowers but try and use native flower species that haven’t been treated with pesticides and other nasty chemicals. You can even add foliage like olive leaves to keep it greener.
Invites, wedding info, photos and more can all be sent and stored online (just make sure you back up). This will help to keep your paper trail to a minimum.
These days most couples have already set up home or at least have plenty of stuff so the traditional wedding gift list is dying out. Think about if you really need any more stuff or ask for donations to a worthwhile charity instead.
So Donald Trump might not think the future of the planet is worth bothering about. But, as with a few other of the President’s opinions, we don’t necessarily agree. So if you want to keep your wedding green and do your bit for Mother Nature, here are some top ideas.
Some of your guests might have to travel to your wedding but there’s no reason your food and drink has to come from far away. Source locally and reduce your food miles, plus you’ll be sure you’re getting fresher and better quality produce. Here in Portugal, sourcing local food is an absolute must, from freshly caught fish to freshly pressed olive oil.
Wedding invites, decorations, place settings – there’s a fair amount of paper and card being used in any wedding. So make sure you’re using recycled products. Then, when the big day is over, recycle it all over again. The same goes for glass too.
Reduce the damage
Try to limit the amount of non-recyclable materials used. Keep plastics to a minimum and ask your guests that they don’t buy gifts with harmful chemicals. In fact, environmentally responsible gifts is a great way to go in general.
Off set the rest
It’s likely that your event is going to have some kind of impact so think about giving back in a positive way. Find an off setter like Terrapass or Native Energy and make a contribution that covers your wedding. If you can leave the planet no worse off after your big day that’s a great wedding present.
If you think about it, getting married is all about sustainability. You’re making plans for a long term future that provides the best possible world for you and any potential little yous that might come along.
So, it’s no surprise that in 2017 having a green wedding is more important than ever. So what are the five best ways of looking after Mother Nature this year?
Think about the trees
There’s a lot of admin that goes with a wedding, not least countless invitations. So why not use the technology available and keep it all online. A website and email invitations can be just as stylish.
Keep your wedding miles low by sourcing food and flowers from close by. Plus, seasonal and organic food is a great way to keep things tasty.
There are plenty of eco friendly designers out there for both dresses and suits. And if you choose a gown that you can wear again, then you’ll also be reducing your footprint.
Usable favours are another way of keeping it green. Think about favours that you can plant or at least that won’t end up in the garbage.
Wedding list donations
The wedding gift list is becoming a thing of the past. With most couples already happily set up in homes, a new toaster is not such a good gift. Encourage your guests rather to donate to a charity of your choosing.
What’s going to be on your wedding menu in 2016? That is, in reality, the big question that many of your guests will be asking. Not that they’re only interested in their stomachs, of course.
If you really want to keep your guests happy, as well as staying bang on trend, check out these top gastronomic ideas for Portuguese weddings in 2016.
Dinner party style
Serving your food in the style of an intimate dinner party is big in 2016. Make it look and feel like its come straight out of a friendly kitchen, serving it as you would at a cozy dinner.
Shake things up by serving up some new and innovative cocktails. Think homemade concoctions and you can even spend a few evenings before the big day trying out ideas.
It doesn’t all have to be about big meals. Try having several small bite size stations around the room. You can even serve meals that have a special place in your heart.
Involve the chefs
The people cooking the food don’t have to be hidden away. Chefs can be out front and interacting with the guests, creating a memorable dinner service.
Why serve just one meal early on when you can keep them coming throughout the night? People usually get hungry late on so surprise them with another dish.
Baking is hot right now, so why serve ordinary bread when you can get a bit wild and whacky with your choices? Think brioche, grissini, sourdough and more.
Ditch the meat
It’s getting harder and harder to justify eating meat, so why not dispense with it altogether and opt for some healthy and delicious veggie treats?
We have to take our responsibility to the planet seriously these days, even if it is our wedding day. That’s why we are seeing more and more couples asking us to plan low impact weddings that don’t damage the environment. With all those people travelling and so much planning to do it might not seem easy to keep things simple, but trust us, it might be easier than you think.
The key is to think local. Use the materials and environments around you to both connect you with place and reduce transportation. In Portugal, that means using olives…
decorations and props…
and of course, the array of stunning wedding destinations and venues on offer…
As this F&F wedding in Portugal proves, you can keep things simple, use local produce, facilities and venues, and still have a stunning wedding that’s as green as possible. We told you it was easy. Oh yes, and don’t forget the haystacks for seating. Can’t get greener than that.
Your wedding day is supposed to be the biggest day of your life and all about you – the happy couple. But more and more people are realising that in this life, it’s never just about us. That’s why green weddings are becoming more common, with more couples looking to celebrate their special day without having a detrimental impact on the environment. Every event carries with it a potential for environmental consequences. There’s energy consumption, emissions and waste to think about to begin with, as well as the indirect impact of renting cars, cleaning products and so on. With a little thought, however, it really is possible to significantly reduce the impact of your wedding, especially here in Portugal. This is a country blessed with an abundance of natural food, light and energy. It’s possible to celebrate your wedding at a venue where almost all the food and drink you’ll consume has been grown on site or at least sourced nearby. In other words, it comes from the farm to your table. Delicious and colourful local fruits, regional wines and a natural outdoor environment all add to the low impact, green effect of your wedding. Get married under the olive groves or vines, using local produce and you’re also cutting back on waste products, transfer costs, and packing, which are a serious concern at some wedding events. Portugal is also blessed with a huge range of gorgeous wildflowers that can be picked on the very morning of the big day. There’s no costly florists bills and transport to worry about. It’s all grown, picked and arranged on site. Using locally sourced ingredients and produce is also a real boost for the local economy, meaning that you can offset some of the footprint of the big event against the benefits this will have for your chosen destination. With so much natural and organic beauty, Portugal is truly a dream green wedding destination.