Congratulations on your engagement! You are about to embark on a whirlwind of wedding planning that can be exciting, frustrating, and simply amazing. You are ready to plan one of the biggest events of your life.
But be warned: That big event could leave a big environmentally negative footprint. The fact that you have picked up this book means you are aware of the fragility of the earth and the changes that need to be made to save it. Living in harmony with the earth would be much simpler without the consumer mentality that is programmed into us. We have lost the ability to live simple lives. We have been brainwashed into thinking that money buys happiness and that the more stuff we have, the happier we'll be. We've forgotten how to listen to and follow our hearts. Instead, we listen to the constant buzz of what the media tells us to think, do, or buy. Greed drives our economy and pulls the strings of politicians. We buy, buy, buy, always wanting and thinking we need more — the latest fashions, the newest technology. Our lives are filled with things we don't need, and landfills quickly pile up with items we quickly cast off and replace with equally unnecessary objects.
This excessive spending has overflowed into the wedding industry. In 2006, the average American wedding cost $27,825. Every year, more than $125 billion is spent on weddings in the United States alone, and the costs keep going up. According to the Fairchild Bridal Group, the amount spent on photography and videography leapt 103 percent in the six years from 1999 to 2005. In the same time period, music for the ceremony and reception jumped 68 percent, and the cost of the rehearsal dinner increased 51 percent.
Increasingly, brides and grooms like you want to spend their wedding dollars on environmentally friendly products and services. In the past five years, more and more couples are including green concepts in their special day, from hemp wedding gowns to eco-responsible honeymoons. They want a day to remember, not one that remembers them.
Perhaps you are already living a green lifestyle but you're not sure how to incorporate that into your wedding. Maybe preparing for a new life together has inspired you to think about the future. You may wonder how that future is going to look. You want to do your part to save the environment, and what better way to start than by including eco-friendly choices in your big day? Your celebration of love for each other can also celebrate your love of the earth. Diving into this book is the first step. Enjoy the journey!