Spring is here, which means wedding season is ramping up! If you’re like me, you have a number of them to attend this year. And although each wedding is unique, I love that all weddings ultimately do the same thing: they tell stories. A wedding is the story of how two people fell in love; of the family (either given or chosen) that has supported them; of the journeys they have completed; and of the adventures yet to come.
In that way, a wedding is the expression of not just love, but of values and ideas as well. And for those who are excited about doing good (not just looking good), supporting local wedding vendors and gift stores is not the only option. In fact, you can literally go global while still making a big difference in small communities – with a fair trade wedding.
I am a big fan of sourcing fair trade products and gifts for any occasion because, again, I’m drawn to the stories. Fair trade is steeped in stories of empowerment, self-determination, equality, stewardship, craftsmanship, and global goods on a local scale – and wedding planners and guests alike can weave those narratives into an already storybook wedding.
Not sure where to get started? Here are 4 wedding areas that can be transformed by fair trade:
Down the Aisle Style
Jewellery can make quite the impression on a wedding day – so why not make your statement piece a fair trade one? You can give a nod to the two peas in a pod; feel the love all day long, put your heart out there; or find that something blue. Whether the bride is going for glamorous or girl-next-door, bombshell or bohemian, flapper chic or funky, fair trade makers produce beautiful and sophisticated pieces to suit anyone’s tastes.
As for wedding bands and engagement rings, a growing number of jewelers are incorporating fair trade gold, platinum, and precious stones into their work. A one-of-a-kind ring that is kind to the world? Sounds like a great way to begin married life!
Eat, Drink, and Be Fair
The wedding reception is another place where fair trade products can shine (in some cases, literally)! Set the table for a perfect meal with coordinated linens, or mix and match to give each table a unique look. You can expect to raise a glass a number of times to the happy couple, so take those moments to also celebrate the artistic talent of makers from around the world. And because lots of fun can still be had after the sun goes down, be sure to add some sparkle or extra love to evening conversations.
Fair Trade Favours and VIP Gifts
Fair trade wedding favours and wedding party gifts are ideal for giving thanks to your guests while also giving opportunities and stability to global communities.
More and more couples are opting for edible favours – an easy and delicious way to celebrate the big day! If your guests are pun lovers and/or a foodies (I’m both!), they will love favours that remind them to spice up their lives; cherish the sweet things; and to always start the day with a smile.
Don’t forget to give special thanks to the wedding party – whose heroic efforts keep the couple sane before, during, and after the wedding! Opting for wearables such as cufflinks and earrings adds to the party’s coordinated look and is a great way to introduce them to the stories (and style) that fair trade has to offer.
There are so many great fair trade products out there, that I have a wishlist of “someday soon” purchases. If you’re in the same boat, then turn that wishlist into a wedding registry! It’s a simple way for you to fill your home with lifelong treasures and keep conversations about fair trade going for years to come.
Need some inspiration about what to add to the registry? Check out the Ten Thousand Villages blog and other ethically-minded blogs for ideas.
Happily (and Fairly) Ever After
Your love story is just beginning – so why not add a chapter on fair trade? Whether it’s just on the big day or for years to come, fair trade products add meaning and value. With every fair trade wedding product or present, you and your guests know that you’re making a difference – and that’s worthy of celebration every day.