Ethical Weddings: Simple Tips to Plan Your Special Day

  • Mata Traders
  • 20 May, 2019


ethical wedding fashion by Mata Traders
Image: Kelly Ginn Photography

Weddings: exciting events with surprisingly stressful planning processes. The last thing you need is more To-Do’s, but on top of assuring a fun time for your friends and family, you can’t ignore your passion for workers’ rights and sustainable living. Wondering how to incorporate these values into planning your special day? We’re here to help. Keep reading for simple ways to host an ethically-curated wedding.

4 Tips to Curate the Perfect Ethical Wedding

1. Rethink Your Registry

After the wedding, it’ll be great to make your morning smoothies with the fancy Vitamix off your registry, but maybe forgo adding that dog-shaped umbrella holder you’ll never use. Instead, give your guests the option of making a donation to a cause that’s meaningful to you and your partner. Create your own cash fund using Zola, or try Good Beginning, where you can enter up to five charities to which your guests can donate. A month after your wedding, one group donation is made to each charity on your behalf.

In addition to a thank you note, a few months after your wedding, send your guests a note about the organization(s) they donated to and the impact of their donation.

2. Forgo Fancy Florals

As a result of cheap foreign labor, many flowers sold in the U.S. are sourced from abroad. Cut your carbon footprint and support your local economy. When hosting a spring, summer, or fall wedding, source your florals locally. Ask a local gardener at the farmer’s market or community garden if they can supply fresh flowers for your bouquets and centerpieces.

After your wedding, donate your flowers to local assisted living homes, hospitals, and shelters. Don’t have time? Use a service like Repeat Roses, which turns your arrangements into bouquets and delivers them for you. They even collect and compost the bouquets afterwards through their nonprofit partners to keep waste out of landfills.

Try renting vases, so they can be reused for other events. Or, give your day an eclectic vibe: mix and match your glassware from the shelves of a neighborhood secondhand shop.

Getting married in the winter in a city like Chicago? Swap flowers for colorful candles in unique vases.

3. Cater Consciously

If using reusable tableware isn’t possible due to space or budget, use tableware that’s biodegradable. When deciding on food for the big day, use a zero-waste caterer or conscious caterer, like Blue Plate in Chicago, which turns their excess food and organic waste into renewable energy or compost for landscaping.

Sourcing wine, beer, and liquor from nearby distributors is also a great way to minimize your effect on the environment.

4. Dress in Your (Ethical) Best

With so many options for a bridal gown, why not narrow down your selection from the start of your search? Opt for brands that use sustainably sourced materials and ethical manufacturing practices, like Wear Your Love, Celia Grace, and Leanne Marshall.

Another option is to go secondhand with your wedding day style. Check out Once Wed and Borrowing Magnolia. Or, choose a dress that you can rewear to other occasions. Whenever you wear it, you’ll be reminded of your special day!

When it comes your bridesmaids, dress your gals in fair trade dresses and ethical jewelry from brands like Mata! Our prints will add a playful pop of color, and our styles can be worn even after the big day. Scroll for some inspiration:

tips to ethically curate your wedding by Mata Traders

fair trade wedding

ethical wedding by mata traders

fair trade bridesmaid dresses by Mata Traders

ethical bridesmaid dresses by Mata Traders

ethical wedding dresses by Mata Traders

fair trade wedding dresses



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