Ethical Choices

We’re trying to make our wedding as ethical as possible. Actually, that’s a lie. We’re trying to make our wedding as ethical as possible within the scale of what we want and what we can afford and without getting obsessively guilty about it, which as I’m sure you’ll appreciate is something slightly different.

Nonetheless, we have tried to keep an eye on these things. A good example would be the people we’ve chosen to have as our caterers. Our remit was that we wanted someone who would do vegetarian food, who would be able to cater for vegans and at least the fairly standard set of allergies, and who would be able to do more than just a finger buffet – I get grumpy very quickly when I get hungry, and my wedding day will be no exception!

Local is better, naturally, but we compromised on Nottingham (~50 miles) in order to have these people, who are a community association helping socially disadvantaged people through their organic allotment volunteering schemes. Sounds too good to be true? That’s what we thought. The thing that pushed us over the edge was the fact that if you want, they will come and serve you out of their solar-powered converted 1970s camper van! Oh yes! We are not, alas, going for this option – we decided on reflection that a sit-down meal might be that bit more practical.

In other news, our vegan-friendly wedding cupcakes are being made by a woman who we discovered at a local ethical fair who donates 100% of her profits to animal charities (we’ve chosen the Sumatran Orangatans), our plates and bowels come from here*, and we’ve been lucky enough to have both wedding and reception venues within easy walking distance of both each other and good public transport links.

To put a slightly different slant on things, my wedding dress may not be re-used but it did come from a one-woman independent business. The wedding reception venue is a church-based community centre on the edge of a public park. Not sending out paper invites may have saved us money but it will also have saved us a heck of a lot of paper.

To an extent, we’ve gone for all of this because we are left-wing hippy liberals and that’s just the sort of thing we like anyway. But to an extent it is about practising what you preach and making choices that you genuinely feel are right for this world. I think that once again we are reaping the benefit of feeling the freedom to do things differently.

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*Though yes, I do appreciate the fact that there is a bit of an ethical minefield with this sort of thing. Reusable versus compostable. Natural materials versus natural destruction. Proximity and transportation. Third world trade versus third world exploitation. Is there even such a thing as an purely ethical choice? Probably not.

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