Everyone is looking to shrink their carbon footprint these days, and for many couples that mindset extends to their wedding. Eco-friendly ideas are taking the wedding industry by storm – probably because of their DIY simplicity and indelible beauty. If you’ve got a passion for protecting Mother Nature and you want a beautiful, green celebration, here are some tips and tricks for planning an environmental wedding.
Location, Location, Location
Choosing a venue is a paramount decision for any wedding, but add a green agenda and it becomes even more important. You’ll want your venue to use minimal electricity and water, so maybe opt for an outdoor location.
Local farms, meadows, or parks use less energy than big banquet halls, but they’ll still provide you with modern conveniences (such as toilets and sinks – can’t go without those). Plus, these natural wedding sites are often lush with flowers and grassy knolls: the perfect setting for a green-loving couple! Just make sure you pick a venue relatively close to your family and friends; less driving from your guests is better for the environment!
Think Globally With Your Fashion
Every bride, even one who couldn’t care less about fashion, has thought about her wedding dress. It is emblematic in American culture and arguably the focal point of many nuptials. But let’s be honest: it’s also a dress you’ll never wear again. Save the fabric, bleach, and hours of sewing and opt for a used gown (maybe a family member’s). Or, if you’d really prefer a dress of your own, seek out eco-friendly options like this collection from H&M.
And don’t forget that your union can be globally conscious from the very first. The American engagement ring is a $16 billion industry; make sure ethical, environmentally responsible jewelers get their cut, by making sure that engagement ring is conflict-free!
Act Locally With Your Food and Drink
Choosing vendors that are local to your ceremony space will cut down on carbon emissions, as well as support your local economy. Seeking out these vendors can also be a treat for you and your fiancee - who knows? You may stumble upon your new favorite flower shop, organic eatery or a bakery that makes unbelievable vegan desserts.
And speaking of dessert, has anyone ever really eaten all that cake? Save your money and skip the seven-tier tower of frosting. As beautiful as it may be, you’re better off with a smaller, simpler cake that won’t end up going to waste.
Welcome to the Digital Age
This can be a sticking point for many wedding planners and brides, because traditional paper invitations are so… well, traditional. However, the environmental costs of paper products are too high for any brides looking to have a truly green wedding. Sending out E-invitations and building an easy-to-navigate wedding website will save forests from the dangers of paper production.
Of course, if you do opt for snail-mail invitations instead, try for a more sustainable approach. Try printing your invitations on seeded paper, which contain a tiny flower or herb that will sprout when buried outside. Not only will your invite encourage new growth among your guests, they will have a memento of your wedding in their own backyard!
Decorate with the Three R’s
We learned them all in school: reduce, reuse, recycle. Following that old adage is a great way to keep your wedding environmental, not to mention an ingenious way to keep costs down. Whether you’re wearing a “gently used dress” or lighting up the reception with mason jars and handmade candles, reusing materials for your wedding will keep it green and oh-so-cute.
Making new decorations from other items is also a way to unlock your creativity and make your wedding a unique event your guests won’t soon forget (especially if you give them a cute, DIY party favor upon departure)!
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