Why ethical weddings?
The idea of having an ethical wedding came about partly as a result of our growing interest in fair trade and what it can achieve, and partly because our 2005 April wedding was fast approaching. As we began to rifle through the wedding magazines the message was clear: this day is going to cost you...a lot!
Average wedding costs were bandied about but were generally around the £17,000 mark. Although we had no intention of spending anywhere near this figure it made us think: if people are spending so much money on one day - and some couples must be spending a lot more than £17,000 for this to be the average – why not spend it where it can do some good, with fair trade, organic and local products and services, where you know the provenance and the people involved, and at least where it will not do any harm: avoiding conflict diamonds, hothouse flowers saturated with chemicals, and dresses which could be the product of sweatshop labour.
We began to trawl the internet for organic and fair trade caterers, dressmakers working with fair trade and organic fabrics, fair trade wine and recycled stationery. Once you begin to consider the different elements that make up a wedding, the possibilities for going ethical are endless - and sometimes overwhelming.
After hours on the internet, emailing all the fair trade clothing companies we could find in the Good Consumer Guide about wedding dresses, and regional catering organisations about organic caterers, we thought: wouldn't it be great to have everything in one place? All these suppliers and service providers listed regionally, according to the service or product, or budget? And this is why we have set up ethicalweddings.com
What is ethicalweddings.com?
As well as providing ethical options for spending your money, we will also be suggesting tips for saving it, such as listing charity shops which specialise in wedding dresses (allowing you to save money and give something back at the same time) and recipes for making your own fair trade wedding cake (if you’re feeling brave!). In the same vein, we will be looking at ways of downsizing, reducing the ecological footprint of your wedding, travelling by rickshaw instead of by car, perhaps?
And remember you don’t have to do everything, anything you can do - even just finding our site! - shows that you are thinking about these issues and that’s great. Reading some of the articles on the internet about ‘green’ and ethical weddings, we started to feel guilty about some of the things we hadn’t managed to do (e.g. getting church and reception venue in the same town), rather than being happy about the things we had succeeded in (e.g. organic fabric dresses for me and all 6 bridesmaids). Please, whatever else you do, don’t forget to enjoy your big day!
This site is here to help you, not to preach at you. We want to bring together all those little companies that perhaps don’t come up on the first two pages of your Google search. As couples often go back home to their parents’ town or village to get married, they may have lost touch with the local companies which could serve them well on such an occasion – our aim is for them all to be here at ethicalweddings.com, ready and waiting for your call.
If you want a great day but don’t want it to be at someone else’s expense why not use the contacts on our site, then you really can give everyone something to celebrate.