Sunday, 27 April 2008

Manchester Evening News tips for an ethical wedding

My local paper, the Manchester Evening News, ran a green weddings piece - see the post below. Here's the 'top tips' and 'eco-chic made easy' sections which weren't reproduced in the main article.

Top tips to going ethical on your big day
- go green with your accessories, like charm bracelets from [Fair Trade retailer] Traidcraft
- Green gifts [like a photo frame, also from Traidcraft] can be chic as well as sustainable
- Eat, drink and be merry - with a healthy conscience - with a Fairtrade wine mixed case from Traidcraft
- Instead of favours on the tables, why not do something different and donate the money through Oxfam's Unwrapped - the money you spend on sweets for each guest could pay for a goat for a nomadic family

Eco-chic made easy for brides
Liz Taylor (yes, really) of TLC has these top tips to getting a bit of eco chic as you walk up the aisle:
- stay local - choose a venue as close to home as possible to reduce car travel;
- send invitations by email - or printed locally on recycled card using vegetable-based inks;
- source food and drink locally where possible - also look at local brews or high-quality English wine instead of champagne [for some suggestions, see the Fizz section of this blog];
- go vintage with your wedding dress to tick that recycled box;
- get guests to join in the green theme by getting the train to the venue instead of driving.

On this last point, OA and I are trying to make it easier for guests to get to our wedding by public transport. One of the ways we're doing that is to hire a double-decker bus to get everyone from the registry office in Manchester city centre out to the community centre where we're having the reception - so no-one has an excuse to bring a car to get from one to the other (although we figure it's only fair to make exceptions for my 93-year-old Gran and the aunt and uncle bringing her from North Wales, and one set of friends who have two children under 3 to transport... we're nothing if not reasonable ;-))

Green brides in the press

This is something that I need to do a proper trawl of, but the number of articles about green weddings seems to be growing at a rate of knots. Even the notoriously eco-sceptic Manchester Evenings News has managed to run one. The online version misses out the tips section, which is a pity because it's quite good, but there's nothing in it that isn't somewhere in this blog...

Monday, 7 April 2008

The extra benefits of wedding presents...

Well, the side benefits of ethical weddings are lovely sometimes...
I finally managed to get as far as sending out our invitations the other day, and got a very quick response from OA's second cousin Diana, who sent a very generous cheque with instructions to spend part of it on our honeymoon and part on one of the charities we picked for donations instead of gifts, from those who felt so inclined. This was the Freedom Theatre in Jenin, a city in the North of the West Bank which has been very hard hit by the Israeli military occupation. The Theatre, which was founded by an Israeli woman called Arna, provides an amazing outlet for young people living in the refugee camp of Jenin to express themselves and learn artistic and multimedia skills.
Having visited the Freedom Theatre last January and been very impressed and moved by the young people who showed us round and let us look in on rehearsals, it occurred to me that it might be nice for them to know that we'd done this, and the lovely message I got back included these words:
"Dear Sarah, thank you very much for this wonderful and unexpected sign of solidarity and support. And our united congratulations on your upcoming marriage!"
Which gives me a warmer glow and a tearier eye than any toaster is likely to manage...

Friday, 4 April 2008


Looks like more and more ethical companies are getting in on the wedding theme. Latest are the lovely GreenKnickers. Having worked their way through global warming pants that change colour with your body heat, suggestive slogans about organics, and padded cycling knickers, they're now introducing special Wedding knickers which incorporate your something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue, all into one pair of pants. Their knickers are beautifully made and very comfy, although several of my pairs are still in their boxes coz somehow they seem too nice to wear. The wedding knickers are available at the end of April, but you can reserve a pair via

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