Bangladesh Artisans

kristenray (157 of 594)Most girls dream of their wedding day … and I was no exception. Last year, I was able to say ‘I do’ to my best friend and marry him under a beautiful August sky.

Getting to that perfect day, however, was full of many details, one of which was particularly important to us: How can we add Fair Trade products to our wedding, and stay within budget?

Working at Ten Thousand Villages for the last nine years has had a deep and profound effect on my life. I understand how the things I buy affect those who made them, and this knowledge drives the decisions I make every day.

I’ve seen the impact choosing Fair Trade products has on artisans around the world, so including Fair Trade elements in our wedding was very important to us. My husband and I felt good about making as many socially conscious decisions as possible in our planning, but our budget put some constraints on the choices we could make.

Here are the six ways we incorporated Fair Trade into our big day:

1.  Ten Thousand Villages Gift Registry
Our first decision was the easiest, and that was to register with Ten Thousand Villages. This ensured that guests could purchase gifts we would feel good about receiving. But just as important, this also gave us the opportunity to introduce many family and friends to Fair Trade – a win-win situation!

Check out the Ten Thousand Villages Gift Registry!

2.  Bridal Shower and Wedding Thank-You Gifts
Ten Thousand Villages has an incredible array of fun, yet practical, items that I found to be perfect for bridal shower prizes. We also went back to Ten Thousand Villages when it came time to select thoughtful and unique thank-you gifts for friends and family members who helped make our special day come together flawlessly (almost!).

3.  Fair Trade Beverages
Upon our request, our caterer served Fair Trade coffee with dessert.

4.  Wedding Favours
IMG_1368Traditional wedding favours, such as bubbles, candles or anything with our initials on it, did not appeal to us. We try to avoid filling our lives with more “stuff” and didn’t want our guests to go home with the same. Our solution was to present guests with Fair Trade chocolate bars with a hand-stamped thank-you message attached to each one. These were practical – and best of all, edible and tasty! (Most were unwrapped and enjoyed before the night was over!)

5.  Décor
With the theme we chose for our DIY décor, the bamboo sticks sold at Ten Thousand Villages were a lovely way to add a Fair Trade presence to the wedding. We glued a few strands of ribbon to them, turning them into beautiful aisle markers for our ceremony.

6.  Accessories
I adorned my lovely bridesmaids in Fair Trade jewellery. They loved the earrings and necklaces so much that they all started wearing them weeks before the wedding! I was thrilled to think that I gave them a gift they can wear again and again.

kristenray (364 of 594)Our wedding is now several months in the past, but the touch of Fair Trade we added made a powerful and positive impact for the future of artisans and their families around the world. I never dreamed I would be able to do that.

Adding Fair Trade elements to your big day can be both simple and affordable.

 {Wedding photos by Jonathon Bowman}

 

New Items Spring 2013 PhotoShop Background Chocolate bars Background Exquisite Flower Earrings
Columbian Coffee Camino Chocolate Bars Exquisite Flower Earrings

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  1. Jenni Leister says:

    Thanks Kristen for this awesome article. Indeed, making fair trade a part of your life is quite attainable when one puts it as a priority. Now may I suggest that when and if a little one comes down the pike, I hear a fair trade Bunyaad rug is the best for all messes little ones can dish out! 🙂 http://rugs.tenthousandvillages.com