Are you planning a wedding and considering what can be done to make it a green wedding? There are many choices which fit in perfectly with this site’s theme of Shades of Going Green. You can choose a few of the following suggestions to make your big event a more environmentally friendly wedding or look at every detail to see how to take the greener route. You can have a traditional wedding with a touch of green or go all out and make a statement with your eco wedding. Let’s look at some ideas for greening your wedding.
Where you decide to hold your wedding ceremony and the reception will have an effect on how green your wedding is. Holding both at the same location will reduce the amount of travel needed which is more environmentally friendly. You may decide to fly to an island resort specializing in weddings. That will likely reduce your green factor. But, you won’t have to travel for your honeymoon.
If you are marrying during a warm weather season, consider an outdoor wedding at a country club, a beach, a favorite spot, on a cruise, even your own backyard. It is your day and your choice. Here are some additional suggestions for venues of all kinds.
Will you be wearing a white gown or considering something less traditional? If you will be wearing a gown and want to take the greener route with an eco wedding dress, think about these options:
- make your own dress or hire a dressmaker
- wear a gown handed down in the family
- rent a wedding dress
- check the upper end consignment shops. Remember the dress was only worn once.
- borrow one (your something borrowed)
- check eBay and other online auction sites
- select an eco friendly wedding dress made of organic fabrics
If you’ll have only a maid of honor stand up with you, then the choices for her outfit will be fairly open. However, if you’ll also have several bridesmaids, the selection will be more limited to get a unified look. Look for dresses with with natural fabrics.
For garden and beach weddings, avoid wearing high heels with narrow heels. It will look like the lawn was aerated.
The groom could wear a suit he already owns or rent a tux. For many years, the men in the wedding party rented their outfits, even shoes. A much more eco friendly idea.
Planning a green reception can be easy when selecting food and beverages. Choose locally grown and organic when possible. If you have local wineries, select some of their vintages. Similarly with beer, there are many micro-brewers these days. Of course, if French champagne is a necessity, go for it. Go a bit green in one area, and not another. Do it your way.
Will you have a wedding cake? Be creative here. You can have one made with organic and natural ingredients. Or you can rent one (not edible) decorated in whatever colors you choose. Or go for cupcakes on a tiered tray.
Florists bring in flowers from around the world. The transportation required is not beneficial for the environment If you have a favorite flower you want in your bouquet, that’s fine. If not, consider using locally grown flowers. You can even take some from your own garden to be added to your bouquet or used in a centerpiece. Small potted plants in bloom can be used on the dining tables and the guests can take them home.
Your choice of wedding stationary will announce the style of your wedding day. You can make an eco chic statement right from the start with eco friendly wedding invitations. Even if you decide on traditional invitations, consider having them printed on recycled or tree free paper using vegetable inks. This is the earth friendly option. Another idea to reduce paper, is creating the RSVP as a postcard with a picture of the couple on one side and the response on the back. This eliminates the envelope.
You could send invitations by email as was recommended for the baby shower invites. This saves both paper and postage.
To help your guests, design a website with pertinent information such as date, time and location of the ceremony and reception, maps, accommodation in the area, and your own gift registry. Be sure to include the website address on your invitations.
Favors for the Guests
Keep the green theme going with eco wedding favors you give to those attending your wedding. Earlier I mentioned a small plant in a lovely container. Other possibilities are a jar of home made jam, or local honey, strawberries dipped in chocolate, homemade chocolates, soy or beeswax candles, a notebook made of recycled paper. There are lots of green ideas for useful, natural gifts.
Gifts for Bridal Party Attendants and Groomsmen
For the gals that have supported you for months leading up to your wedding with showers, fittings, planning, and more, how about a spa package of pampering with organic products. Help them relax and rejuvenate.
Natural beeswax and soy candles are another welcome gift.
Local handmade jewelry, perhaps with gemstones, can be given to the gals as earrings or a necklace and to the groomsmen as cuff links.
You could also make a donation to their favorite charity in lieu of a gift.
Your Gift Registry
Even large department stores now carry green products such as organic bedding and towels. If you have a couple of favorite eco shops, list them on your website with any items you would like.
If you already have your home set up and don’t feel you need much, consider listing a couple of charities guests can donate to on your behalf instead of purchasing a gift.
Wondering how eco friendly your wedding will be? Use this wedding carbon footprint calculator to find out.
Here are some more tips for a green wedding from Kate Harrison of the Green Bride Guide.
Enjoy planning your wedding and making it as green as you wish.