Wedding Planning

Why the long silence I hear you ask?

Welllll… We got engaged over Christmas. So I’ve been hopelessly distracted planning the wedding. A sustainable wedding – obviously.

So let me share with you some of the marriage minefield that I’ve discovered.

Rings
A gold, diamond ring is a must have engagement ring right? Well…. there was some disagreement about this. I wanted something flat (read: practical) he wanted something traditional. But Gold is a really dirty business, using mercury and sometimes just destroying whole mountains. Diamonds can be the income of repressive regimes or the product of slave labour (watch ‘Blood Diamond’ for a good portrayal of this). Now, vintage is a good option because any damage is already done. But there just wasn’t anything that was right available, which is the problem with vintage – it’s unpredicatble.
So I went to an independent jewler in Bristol to look at rings and ask them about the origin of their gold and diamonds. They had some gorgeous rings and assured me that all diamonds over .3 of a carat were certified by the (flawed) Kimberley Process. Eventually, after enquiring a second time, the shop assistant said that they get the gold from a distributor in Manchester and that it wasn’t possible to trace gold back to individual mines.
Except, she was wrong. Cred Jewelry know exactly where their gold comes from, how it was mined and can provide certification for diamonds smaller than .3 carat. So we agreed on this ring. 🙂

And the best thing? It was only about £20 more than the company I looked at in Bristol. Perfect.

Dress
Yeh, well, I’m still in the process of doing this. But here’s what I’ve found out.

There are lots of alternatives the classic new white snowdrift from a hopelessly (offhand and) expensive bridal shop. So – vintage, second hand, ethical/organic fabric or any colour other than white are the basic sustainable options.
Oxfam sell second hand dresses from £250 or you can buy second hand dresses from the Dressmarket, where brides sell on their dresses rather than letting it rot in the attic.
The place to get vintage dresses is reputably vintage clothes fairs. There are a few vintage dress online shops, but they mostly seem to be hopelessly expensive or just don’t reply to my emails.
Organic and ethical dresses are another option, that I think I’ll go for with the bridesmaid dresses (four – what was I thinking – hardly sustainable… but really nice… 🙂 ). Conscious Elegance seem like one of the best (for a ‘sustainable’ – read ‘realistic’ budget).

More sustainable wedding stuff as it develops….

References

http://www.theecologist.org/pages/archive_detail.asp?content_id=1194
http://www.globalwitness.org/media_library_detail.php/407/en/making_it_work_why_the_kimberley_process_must_do_m
http://www.credjewellery.com/
http://www.oxfam.org.uk/shops/content/bridal.html
http://www.thedressmarket.net
http://www.blindlemonvintage.co.uk/