First off, I want to say that I know travelling in itself isn’t exactly sustainable, but we did it this way because, we could make the exception to only invite immediate/close family, and 3 friends, keeping our numbers low, and the wedding small, therefor less waste and things we needed overall!
Also, we just love Hawaiian culture! We love how it encompasses the beauty of nature and spirituality, and we knew we wanted to include this into our ceremony! Lastly, we wanted to do something special, where both sides of our families got to meet and get to know each other over the course of nearly two weeks. Some of us stayed in one big house that we rented all together, where the others stayed close by. We carpooled, and did lots of outdoor activity, like group hikes, kayaking and exploring the towns – we even checked out a local farmers market, which was super awesome!
*Be sure to see my other post under TRAVEL “The Most Instagrammable Spots in Kauai” for fun things to do in and around the island of Kauai!
The DressSustainability Tip: it pays to be patient!
The one thing about my wedding day that I knew I wanted to be perfect, was my dress! So I thought I better get hunting right away! After poking around a few different shops in a few different cities I was visiting at the time, I ended up finding my dream dress in a small bridal boutique in my home town! It was the only one left, in the exact style that I wanted, off the rack, HALF PRICE! Who cared if it was a couple sizes too big, I had it altered by a local seamstress, and she made it fit perfectly! I couldn’t of dreamed of a better dress to be married in!
Supporting Local Businesses
Nearly all of our wedding plans involved supporting small and local businesses at home and in Hawaii.
Half of our floral arrangements, we made ourselves from local flowers, for the ceremony circle and dinner tables. As for my bouquet, my husbands boutineer, and leis we had hand made from a local Hawaiian!
I wanted it to be essentially like an elopement, no chairs or fancy arch, no groomsmen or bridesmaids, just us and our closest family to witness. Everyone could wear whatever they wanted, or already had, no set attire. Our officiant, who was the most amazing man, was a local Hawaiian who knew everything about the balance of peace, love, nature and the harmony of it all coming together! He was truly a gift and made our ceremony so memorable! He shared his traditional Hawaiian wedding culture with us and even provided his own coconut and shell for the ritual. The ceremony licensing was all done online, so that was also a bonus!
We hired a local photographer for just two hours to capture the most important parts, like the ceremony and photos with the family afterward. We also just delegated our friends and family to take photos throughout the day and night, to avoid a lot of extra cost! We couldn’t beat this amazing spot for nature provided us the perfect backdrop to exchange our vows!
Again, we bought from a small, local business jeweler, where we had made sure that the diamonds were sustainable, ethically sourced and conflict free! But what does that all mean?
It means that the diamonds are ethically mined and sold without any connection to terror and war crimes. They are sold and traded legally. Absolutely no child labor or harm to any people. Our rings are also from Canadian diamonds mines, which is another bonus because Canadian mines are not allowed to use hazardous materials on site, they must fill holes back up once they have finished digging and replant trees for new growth!
After the ceremony we had a bus and limo service transport all of us, to save on emissions with carpooling! We planned for the beach ceremony, and our home where we hosted the dinner, and took photos, were all within minutes of each other!
Catering & Reception
We decided, instead of renting an expensive hall, that we host the dinner at the home we had rented. We hired an amazing husband and wife private chef service that uses local produce from their very own local farm and they even specialize in plant based, low waste services. They provided all reusable cutlery, dinner & glass ware, napkins and utensils – everything reusable and plastic free! Everything on the menu was vegan except for one of the mains for a select amount of guests.
The cake was made by a small local company that used seasonal roses and greenery for the decorations. We even used a biodegradable all wooden cake topper for our Mr & Mrs!
We did not ask for any gifts, nor provided gift bags. We simply mentioned that if anyone wanted to contribute to the cost of our honeymoon to Africa, that it would be greatly appreciated. All we wanted was the gift of everyone coming together on the beautiful island of Kauai to celebrate our new marriage!
We had the most amazing nature inspired, low waste, affordable, lower stress, wedding we could plan in the beautiful island of Kauai, Hawaii! And we are all so thankful that we had the opportunity to travel with all of our closest friends and family before everything happened!
Cheers to 2021 being a happy, healthy year for everyone!