Earth Day will celebrate its 40th Anniversary next week on April 22. Going green is an inspiring way to make a wedding day unforgettable. It is also a great way to share how easy, fun & beautiful a sustainable lifestyle can be.

With green weddings being all the rage, what are you doing to support this eco-friendly movement? Personally, sometimes I hear “green wedding” and I get stumped because I don’t know how to go about creating such an event.

I’ve recently chatted with Sheila Sheffield of Tree Beginnings, an organization that operates out of an old farmhouse in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. Since 1992, Tree Beginnings has been offering quality tree seedlings, flower bulbs, plantable handmade papers, unique seed favors and centerpieces for Wedding favors. Sheila was kind enough to share the following eco-friendly wedding advice.

Five Steps to a Greener Wedding:

1. Give guests green favors. These attractive, unique gifts create lasting memories while reducing your carbon footprint. Eco-friendly favors can be reasonably priced and beautifully packaged. All favors include complete growing instructions to help your guests create amazing gardens and landscapes. To view some green favor ideas, visit Bulb Favors, Tree Favors, Flower Favors or Herb Favors. Tree Beginnings wants to encourage everyone to plant a tree for a greener tomorrow. If you place an order during Earth Month (April), you will automatically be given a free gift to plant your own tree!

2. Give guests eco-gift boxes made of 100% recycled paper, which include a natural clay pot and seed. This unique gift is also finished with an adorable personalized card and your choice of brilliantly colored ribbon. This popular favor is available in an amazing selection of flower, herb and tree seeds for all fashions of gardeners. To view this entire collection, please visit Eco-Gift Boxes.

3. Have an eco-friendly guest book. Beautiful handmade paper guest books can enhance a wedding reception with their elegance and originality. For guest book ideas, visit Guest Books.

4. Present guests with seed place cards. Customize these place cards by printing or writing your guests’ names on them. Feel free to add ribbon to match your wedding theme. Here’s another idea - outside the reception area, hang your place cards on a small tree with invisible thread. This creates a fun opportunity for guests to find their names on the place cards. For seed place card ideas, visit Seed Place Cards.

5. Place tree centerpieces on tables. Grow your own or visit a local nursery for a 3-4 year old mini-evergreen tree in a decorative pot. What a socially conscious way to support local business and to celebrate the outdoors.

Now, let's all take the Green Wedding Challenge! Visit Tree Beginning's blog and write a comment about how you plan to add green to your wedding.

About This Blog: Christine Dyer is the Creator and Founder of BridalTweet. Christine has an MBA in marketing and shares over ten years of marketing expertise with the wedding community. In this weekly blog called Supercharge Your Wedding Business, you'll find advice on an array of wedding business topics such as how to market to brides, social networking, wedding PR, wedding sales, vendor networking, branding, pricing and much more. Please pass this news along to your own professional wedding network. To receive this advice in your email inbox each week, Sign Up for a Free BridalTweet Membership.

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Comment by Celestial Event on April 12, 2010 at 12:10pm
Not only is it green but its picturesque and unique. A Bride and Groom can choose a location to share their vows for its views and natural ambiance rather than its access to a power outlet.
Celestial Event has been doing completely off the grid wedding ceremonies in Colorado for over a year now. Our Bose audio system operates on battery power (no noisy and smelly generator) with up to 3.5 hours of music and audio support including concealed wireless lapel microphones and support for musicians and vocalists.
This season we are gearing up to provide up to 7 hours of off the grid music, entertainment and audio support for both the Ceremony and the Reception.
Comment by Heather Kotok on April 12, 2010 at 1:06pm
Thanks Christine! Going Green can be incorporated into every aspect of designing and organizing a wedding. My approach is to design the dream wedding with my clients and then look at each area where going green is a possibility. Every aspect has some area where we can look to organic, re-usable or renewable products, supporting companies that offer fair-trade or sustainability practices, from the simplest of options like using environmentally friendly cleaners at your venue to recycling practices of your equipment rental company. If you find an area where 'Going Green' is not a possibility, I offer the suggestion of donating 'off-sets' for our impacts to organizations or companies that are creating sustainability for our alternative energy companies or local based companies that are helping our environment like the butterfly farm or bee farms...

Happy Planning!
Comment by Denee King on April 12, 2010 at 6:01pm
Great post with fantastic ideas! But keep it going AFTER the wedding. Why box it up, never to be seen or used again (even though you THINK it will be in future generations). Our Boutique for buying and selling gently used wedding apparel and accessories uses the motto.."Share the Love...Save the Planet". Together we can make it happen! :-)
~ Denée
Comment by Celestial Event on April 12, 2010 at 10:48pm
I don’t like “off-sets”. They are not properly regulated and are akin to the former policy of the Catholic Church of purchasing indulgences to get ones deceased relatives into heaven sooner. You can’t pay a 3rd party to call yourself green. Either you walk the walk or you don’t.
BTW, the energy we use to charge our batteries comes from renewable sources, whenever possible, and we also charge them from our vehicle's alternator while driving to the event.
Comment by Taryn Westberg on April 13, 2010 at 11:46am
Great post Christine! Love the ideas. I can also recommend going paperless for wedding invitations - online wedding invitations aren't for every couple, but those who are using Glö tell us that they love the eco-friendly aspect, as well as the convenience of doing everything online without giving up a sophisticated look. Some of our couples are sending eco-friendly paper invites and using Glö to send a matching online invite and then collect all their RSVPs online - eliminating the need for an RSVP card and return envelope. Every little bit counts! - Taryn
Comment by Sally Lorensen Conant, Ph.D. on April 13, 2010 at 2:16pm
Still another green element for the wedding--a ZeroCarbonTM gown cleaning or gown cleaning and preservation from a member of the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists. You can read all about it at All the advantages of our trademarked MuseumCare preservations plus our donation to
Comment by Shereé Bochenek on April 13, 2010 at 6:52pm

Renting items for a wedding and reception is the greenest way to go! It is green in the perfect sense of the word, as renting simply re-uses items already in existence.

Also, many think that 100% cotton is the most eco-friendly table linen available. But this is only true if the cotton is grown organically, uses non-toxic dye, and already exists in a rental inventory. If not, any existing table linen (even one made from a synthetic) would be a better choice. The attached image is a great "natural" look in table linen. It is a cotton blend called Maple Woven, and available at
Comment by Honolulu Horse and Carriage on April 16, 2010 at 5:51pm
There are many horse--drawn carriage companies across the US and you can find them @ They are GREEN TRANSPORTATION and add a perfect touch to any wedding!

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