Sustainability involves enabling people to satisfy their basic needs and enjoy a better quality of life while protecting the environment, and avoiding the depletion of natural resources for future generations (Cheshire, Attenborough, & Grant, 2007; Mason, n.d.). However, in events, little attention has been paid to the impact that it could have on the natural and built environment (Mokhtar & Deng, 2014). Events produce major carbon emissions due to the fuel used in transportation and energy from event venues and equipment, which contribute greatly to global warming. These built environment and infrastructure can gradually be affected due to the increase in crowds and usage. As cited by Ahmad, Rashid, Razak, Yusof, & Shah (2013), J. Allen, W. O‟Toole, I. McDonnell, and R. Harris stated that “hosting an event requires great amounts of water, energy, and materials that result in waste and greenhouse gas emissions”. Therefore, it is crucial that event planners should consciously attempt to green their events before, during and after.
Sustainability and eco-friendliness are rising trends that many corporations are attempting to incorporate into their business practices (Hwee, 2017; YouGov",2018). For example, restaurant chains such as Burger King and Koufu are eliminating straw usage. There are varying categories of going green (Sena, 2018); from landscaping to decorations to restaurants using fresh organic produce, and all these are involved in the elaborate preparation and holding of a wedding. However, when it comes to weddings, people tend to ignore the possible negative impacts on the environment. Waste generated are but not limited to; leftover foods, decorations, paper-printed food menus and invitation cards. Generally, couples tend to focus on four factors for their weddings; convenience, cost, reviews and overall wedding outlook (bridestory, 2018; Varma, 2017). For a sustainable wedding, there are more considerations such as specially choosing green vendors and venues, which would likely push couples to opt for off-the-shelf products for convenience’s sake (Diproperzio, 2017). In 2016, the ‘Masdar Gen Z Global Sustainability Survey’ revealed that youths in developed countries are generally more concerned about the financial costs involved in going green (Masdar, 2016). With the perception of sustainable weddings being expensive, it may also deter couples from the sustainable option. Furthermore, young couples tend to envision their wedding to be luxurious and worthy to flaunt on social media (Varma, 2017). For that, they may choose to opt for readily-available packages that are visually pleasing and aesthetically designed.
The objective of this proposed research is to examine the motivation behind a couple’s choice when choosing a wedding planner and venue, as well as discover ways to encourage sustainable weddings. It is to also determine if one’s view on sustainability is impactful to opt for a sustainable wedding. A qualitative research is proposed to understand locals’ perceptions on sustainable weddings. Interviews will be conducted and this exploratory research will be designed to gather information about the respondents’ lifestyle, related knowledge and perspectives on sustainability. Due to the varying reasons for adopting or promoting sustainability in their weddings, couples, wedding planners, suppliers, and venue managers will be this research’s selected sample. Academic journals and articles from the media are also utilised to study the trend of sustainable weddings. Thereafter, data collected will be analysed to brainstorm for methods to encourage couples to choose sustainable weddings.
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Varma, A. (2017, July 30). The Straits Times. Retrieved from Wedding banquets are passe: Now, millennials want Instagram-worthy nuptials : https://www.straitstimes.com/lifestyle/wedding-banquets-are-passe-now- millennials-want-instagram-worthy-nuptials
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