Our Smart Wedding

7 January 2017 , In: wedding , With: No Comments

Bride and groom dancing at a Melbourne wedding

We are married!!! It’s hard to believe, 55 days and a whirlwind honeymoon later, but it’s absolutely awesome to be married to such an amazing man! Of course in keeping with our philosophy of doing things the smart way, we tried to have a personal, sustainable ceremony that reflected us.

Sustainable Rings
Our rings were made by DoAmore – one of the priciest items in our budget but well worth it. They served as both engagement rings (on the right hand) and wedding rings (on the left). They’re made from recycled gold and copper (strong elements of our home countries!) and we have each other’s fingerprints on top. The rings also came with a water well project through water.org that promises two people water for life…

Invitations & RSVPs
We designed our invitations digitally and sent them out by email. RSVPs were to our website (as well as meal selection) to keep the process as paper free as possible. We created (and hosted) the website ourselves which meant it worked for streaming as well.

We asked for no gifts but gave our guests the option of contributing to our reforestation project in Patagonia – a great website that allows people to purchase a tree for $USD4 and receive co-ordinates and live updates as it grows!

We chose a social enterprise as a venue – Charcoal Lane – a Mission Australia project that provides young indigenous people in need of a fresh start training in hospitality skills. They also have the best native (local!) Australian food in the country! There was enough space for a dance (the Chilean cueca) and speeches as well as a small courtyard for our younger guests to run around. The short ceremony at the registry office just prior was simple and just right. We also had a lunchtime reception so we were able to (generously) have the entire restaurant to ourselves until ~5pm – thanks Charcoal Lane!

Instead of asking Carlos’s (large!) family to fly over from Chile we setup a live stream for friends and family to watch using our existing camera equipment. We also had our guests transported the 1km from the registry office to the restaurant by human powered rickshaws courtesy of GreenCabs.

My talented aunt created our beautiful table decorations out of old books and tea cups from Grandma’s and flowers from her garden – stunning! We contributed with some handmade place tags and menus and we were able to hire the table cloths and napkins from Charcoal Lane. We also found an amazing deal on ebay for secondhand table runners  – a box of 7 for $5 – which we can pass on to the next couple for their big day.

Charcoal Lane makes the most incredible desserts (try the Lemon myrtle creme brulee!) out of locally sourced ingredients so instead of a wedding cake we gave our guests take home vegan cupcakes in reusable boxes that we made out of recycled paper… With a very small individual cake for us to cut with just enough for a piece on our first wedding anniversary.

We kept the guest list small and had about 40 friends & family join us to celebrate the big day (and a few more via live stream!). This helped to lower our carbon footprint but also the event budget.

The Dress (And the Suit!)
The dress was difficult! With a budget of $300 or less I scoured the secondhand wedding shops without luck. Wedding dresses are still traditionally floor length and that was most of what was available. I ended up with a white sun dress that I accessorised with some funky yellow heals from Etsy, a yellow ribbon and a handmade yellow shrug. Carlos spent a bit more on his suit, but he’ll be able to wear it again and again.

Guest Book
Instead of a paper book we used an old polaroid camera we had and let guests take photos for a handmade board. It provided lots of entertainment during the ceremony and left us with a lovely piece to hang on our wall at home as a memory of the day.

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