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Recently, I went to a fabulous wedding, truly one of the best ones ever. Like all Christ-centered weddings, it was filled with praise and worship, scripture, and the deep symbolism that facilitates the embedding of Truth into our hearts. I cried. I always do. It was beautiful and joyous, and a reminder of the love and life my husband and I share together. It was simple yet profound. And then we went to the reception.

        Wedding receptions are one of the few true celebrations of sacraments we still honor in our post Christian society. They are filled with food, music, and laughter. Everything at this reception was Pinterest perfect. And what did I take a picture of? The plates. I’d call them paper plates, but I’m not sure they can be called “paper” as they were made from palm leaves, completely biodegradable, and as they don’t destroy trees, they are environmentally friendly. I’d seen a video on them prior to the wedding, but I wasn’t aware they were available already. (Yes, I have already purchased some for my next family affair.)


        The wedding got me thinking about previous weddings we had been to and creative ideas I have seen that could make your upcoming wedding a little more justice focused. A few years back, friends of ours decided to do away with the traditional wedding favors, and instead gave guests a choice of three different charities to choose from. They donated $1 per person to the charity they selected. Not only was this a better use of their money and a time saver, but it opened up conversation around the table as we all talked about which charity we liked best and learned a bit about them.

Here are some ideas you could use in addition to palm leaf plates and charitable donations.

  • Start with an ethically traded engagement ring and wedding bands from a company like Do Amore.
  • Buy a fair trade wedding dress from a company like Celia Grace.
  • Invite your bridesmaids to join you for your special day with Mercy House bridesmaid invitation card and earring set.
  • Find your wedding day accessories from a fair trade organization such as Trades of Hope, Noonday Collection, or War Chest Boutique.
  • Decorate with white lights from Holiday LED and candles from Thistle Farms.
  • Serve Equal Exchange coffee, tea, and chocolate.
  • Consider getting your meal catered by an organization that is helping people such as Thistle Stop Café or Edwin’s Restaurant.
  • Donate your leftover to a local soup kitchen, rescue mission, or other organization.
  • Order your thank you notes from To the Market or  Ten Thousand Villages.
  • Consider checking out Love Gives Way, an organization that helps people find vendors who donate a portion of their profits to ending  sex trafficking.
  • Reduce the use of cheaper dollar store type items that creates a marketing demand for products that would be difficult to produce in an ethical manner.

I discovered a number of organizations devoted to ethical weddings, but they were located in the United Kingdom and Australia, so less helpful in the United States. A quick internet search will give you plenty of other ideas to chose from.   

Happy planning!

Written by Barbara Seidle

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