Green weddings are very popular around the country. Brides and grooms want to be socially conscience. It doesn’t matter if you spend $5,000 or $50,000. Decisions can be made in the purchasing process to be more environmentally friendly. We would like to offer a few suggestions to help you on your way.
Having a Green Wedding
1) Hire a photographer that takes all pictures in digital format. This way there is no need for proofing individually printed pictures as no pictures are printed. All pictures taken can be viewed online! If you are going to have a photo album, consider albums with recycled materials such as the paper and album cover.
2) Just as in hand-made products, so are some services such as musicians. Brides and Grooms can hire acoustic music players for their ceremony like harpists, guitarists, violinists and more. This way there is no use of electricity. If you do hire music entertainment, the shorter driving distance the better. Also, check if they use energy efficient sound equipment and LED lighting.
3) Wedding dresses are one of the most important purchases for brides. One green option is to wear a previously worn dress by another family member. If you happen to purchase a dress, select organic materials such as bamboo and hemp silk. For Grooms, consider renting a tuxedo versus purchasing one. Also, consider purchasing dress shoes that you can wear over and over again or just rent with your tuxedo.
4) A green option in food and drink is purchasing organic food. Ask food suppliers like bakers and caterers if they purchase organic food. Organic foods are produced without chemicals and avoid environmentally destructive actions. Some manufacturers of drinks such as champagne, wine and beer offer certified organic products.
5) Be sure to recycle as much as you can at your wedding reception. Items to recycle include bottles, cans, paper products, and cardboard. In addition, what about sending any leftover food to charity? Check to see if your venues also support recycling projects.
6) When creating gift registries, green offerings include donations to charity. We can recommend two websites that let wedding planners choose from a number of charities to make donations, I Do Foundation and JustGive. Another suggestion is to create registries at stores that offer items made from sustainable products or refurbished products. Green gift registries can be created through stores like Branch, Greenfeet, GreenSage, Relish and Restoration Hardware. Brides and Grooms can create a registry with sustainable building products for their home.
7) Wedding reception venues can be decorated beautifully with green products. Green decor items include bamboo plants, soy candles, recycled glassware and tableware and real flowers from a local grower. Table centerpieces can also be made with recycled materials or pre-owned.
8) Finally, there are many great recycled paper products available. We know invitations are available on Etsy that contain seeds that can be planted after the wedding. Besides the invitation itself, you can also find 100% recycled paper for envelopes, R.S.V.P. cards and other inserts.
Doing our part – however small – to save the environment is a step in the right direction. And earth-loving brides everywhere are choosing to tie the knot in a more eco-friendly way. The push for recycled, organic, do-it-yourself green wedding fetes is growing in popularity as more couples want to do their part for the environment. And for couples on a budget, an eco-friendly wedding helps you save a little cash in the process.
Many couples erroneously believe that a green wedding equates to tacky, bohemian, and an overall sacrifice of quality. If done properly, your own green wedding will be just as elegant or upscale as you want it to be, though more environmentally conscious of course. Many bakeries are now experts at whipping up organic, eco-friendly wedding cakes that are just as beautiful as their non-organic counterparts, while locally grown flowers are likely even fresher than exotic arrangements that have been flown or trucked in.
So, when it comes time to plan your big day, consider some of these eco-friendly wedding ideas to help the earth in your own way.
Invitations: Many stationary and bridal supply companies now offer green wedding invitations and save the date cards on 100% recycled paper or tree-free paper products. Some of the more gung-ho green wedding experts recommend getting rid of the paper altogether by using electronic invitation programs. This is probably not the best idea; your guests will enjoy receiving something in the mail that informs them of your wedding day. And as far as etiquette goes, electronic invitations are a little impersonal. For a dual purpose invitation that encourages your guests to put their green thumbs to work, select stationary companies sell invitations with seeds imbedded into the paper, so guests just plant your green wedding invite and wait for it to grow! Another option is to send pretty postcards (made from recycled paper of course), which will cost you a lot less in postage prices.
Flowers: Those pretty flowers you see at every wedding are, in fact, likely quite toxic. Sprayed with dozens of chemicals to prevent insects from eating their beautiful blooms, these flowers are that not great for the environment, and even the workers who handle them on a daily basis have fallen ill. And if you order birds of paradise, gardenias, or other exotic flowers that must be shipped from abroad, you’re permitting yet another truck, loaded with diesel fuel, to get on the road. Instead, choose seasonal flowers that are homegrown, thereby supporting your local farm subsidiary. Another great green wedding idea is to grow your own flowers, though you’ll have to start months in advance. If you choose this method, you can keep the flowers in the pots, leaving them just as they are – simplistic, but elegant centerpieces.
Dress: A quick search online for ‘green wedding dresses’ will turn up dozens of websites offering eco-friendly wedding gown material, and if you’re willing, you can have your green wedding dress made from hemp, cotton, or silk – organic of course – just for you. You can also re-fashion a vintage wedding dress, taking it to an alterations specialist so it fits perfectly, or purchase a simple, white cotton dress while holding your own homegrown bouquet of tulips. Some designers, such as Adele Wechsler’s Eco Couture and Tara Lynn Studios, are finally catching on and creating whole lines of eco-friendly wedding dresses with one thing in mind – helping the environment and using earth-nurturing materials.
Refreshments: The food is perhaps the easiest part, and many guests will appreciate the fresh taste of organically made dishes at your eco-friendly wedding! Many catering companies can usually comply with your request to make the food wholly organic. You can also opt to make the food for your green wedding yourself (with the help of some trusty friends who know their way around the kitchen). Organic wines and beverages are also available on the market at many stores around the country. And if you want to go all the way, you can set up tables with tablecloths made from eco-friendly material.
Reception Venue: Choose a location close to the wedding ceremony. Not only will your guests appreciate a spot that limits driving to the nether regions, but you’ll also avoid the extra pollution of 200 cars on the road for 15 to 20 minutes. One estimate puts this amount of travel at 6,014 pounds of carbon dioxide . To calculate the carbon footprint of your wedding for various modes of travel, try http://www.terrapass.com/wedding/ and plug in the required information to find out the impact your own eco-friendly wedding has on the environment. If you elect not to register for gifts, many couples decide to place a donation jar in a strategic place asking guests to contribute to an environmental charity or cause that’s close to the couple’s hearts.
Save the Earth without Sacrificing Beauty
Other options, such as candle centerpieces (which double as lighting) and weddings bands recycled from older jewelry pieces, are just a few additional ideas that add a unique twist to your eco-friendly wedding bash. From purchasing a secondhand wedding dress to using tree-free, green wedding invitations, there are limitless ways to celebrate your love the green way. And whether you choose to infuse your eco-friendly wedding day with just one or two green elements or host an entire day in honor of the earth, make sure it’s a special day between you and your loved one that you’ll remember forever.
About the Author: Cherie Johnson is the founder and owner of Creative Bride, a one-stop shop for personalized, unique baby and bridal shower, graduation, quinceañera, anniversary, and wedding favors, helping countless couples and families make their big events a success. Before she launched the company in 2006, Cherie worked as a professional wedding photographer, capturing the most special moments of the bride and groom’s big day. For more information on Creative Bride or to find a variety of colorful, customizable gifts and favors, please visit www.Creative-Bride.com.
Global warming. Holes in the ozone layer. Extinction of species. Climate shifts. The side effects of our use of fossil fuels and a century of conspicuous consumption are readily apparent, and only by changing our ways can we begin to reverse the process that brought us to where we are today.
Many people are already doing what they can to preserve the environment by recycling, composting, using green or recycled products, buying natural or organic foods (or even growing their own) and cutting energy consumption through a number of means. If you’re a green-leaning bride or groom and want to extend your conservation efforts to your wedding, here are a few things you can do to ensure the only mark your wedding leaves is on the minds of your guests. Call it wedding planning with a decidedly green perspective.
1. Reduce your paper usage
Elaborate printed wedding invitations and save-the-dates are a time-honored tradition in announcing weddings, but they are also resource intensive. Now there are many e-mail programs and services available that allow you to send creative e-invitations from your computer, saving paper as well as the fuel required to deliver all those printed missives.
In addition, there are many paper products used at weddings and receptions (programs, napkins, table coverings, etc.). Find out if there are viable alternatives to these products or if you can use recycled versions.
2. Minimize and streamline guest travel
Take a moment to think of all the guests attending your wedding and the distances they will have to cover in getting there. That’s probably quite a bit of fuel. In fact, airline travel is one of the most fuel-intensive methods of travel period, and if your guests are traveling one or two people to a car, that isn’t exactly efficient, either.
One way you can cut down on the energy consumed through guest travel is to arrange carpools for your guests traveling from the same areas. In addition, you can contract vans or shuttles to haul groups of guests from your hotel, ceremony and reception locations to mitigate having everyone driving separate cars to each destination.
3. Use recycled or re-usable items whenever possible
Instead of buying decorations that will be thrown away after one use, rent your decorations from a local rental vendor so that they can be reused. Or instead of wasting rice or releasing helium balloons when you leave the church, use biodegradable confetti that will quickly turn to compost. Whatever wedding product you need, there’s probably a green alternative now being offered.
4. Take a green approach to wedding gifts
Unfortunately, many of the gifts on the typical wedding registry come enclosed by lots of earth-unfriendly packaging, and sometimes the gifts themselves may not have been made with eco-friendly processes. When filling our your registry, take the extra time to make sure your desired gifts are as kind to the environment as you are. In addition, forgo all the fancy wrapping paper and instruct your guests to either leave your gift unwrapped or to wrap it in newsprint.
5. Select green vendors
Many green vendors often have earth-friendly practices that will make a big difference when it comes to conserving the environment. For example, photographers can shoot with digital equipment instead of using film, and they can also preview your shots electronically instead of printing them all out for your initial review. And caterers can use organic or naturally grown produce and range-fed meats.
6. Offset your carbon footprint with carbon credits
No wedding is going to be completely off the grid, and it’s virtually impossible in your wedding planning to eliminate all consumption. So for the amount of carbon that you will use, you can purchase what are called carbon credits to offset your wedding’s carbon footprint. Carbon credits can be purchased from organizations that invest in carbon reduction products, so every credit you purchase goes to counterbalancing the carbon you have used or will use. TerraPass is such a company and has a calculator for determining the carbon usage of a wedding at http://www.terrapass.com/wedding/.
About the author: Jeff Kear is co-owner of My Wedding Workbook, the next-generation online wedding planning software that’s free, easy-to-use and helps engaged couples manage every wedding detail, from your engagement to your honeymoon and everything in between. Copyright My Wedding Workbook 2009 All rights reserved
Living in a new environmentally conscious age, we try to incorporate being “green” in every part of our life. You can make eco-friendly choices while planning your wedding, too. Now if you have not currently pursued green alternatives, the idea of introducing “green” elements on your special day might be scary. Fear not for going green is not only easy but it is elegant and affordable. When creating a “green” wedding you want to keep a certain principle in mind, how to create an elegant affair with the least amount of impact to the environment. This principle can help direct your every step as you plan a great, elegant and eco-friendly event. There are several areas in which you can incorporate environmentally friendly elements.
One of the most important parts of your wedding is your wedding dress, you can go “green” in this area. There are many options that will allow you to combine eco-friendly choices with your wedding dress style to choose a beautiful dress with minimal impact on the environment.
Choosing an eco-friendly wedding dress consist of finding a dress that is made from natural and organic fibers that are not animal byproducts. Dress that has been made using eco-friendly options, such as eco-friendly dyes. A dress that uses recycled fabrics will qualify as an eco-friendly dress. Or simply your dress can be reused. Sustainable, recycled and reused are characteristics to look for when shopping for a “green” wedding dress.
An eco-friendly wedding dress should be made of sustainable materials. There are many choices for wedding dress fabrics which include cotton, peace silk, hemp, bamboo, lyocell, soy and milk. Various styles can be found on the Internet and various wedding publications.
Designers like Adele Wechsler and Jessica Iverson with her Terra Amore line have combined couture with eco-friendly materials. Jessica Iverson’s line consist of earth friendly silk fabrics. They are vegan friendly and uses eco-friendly dyes. 100% sweatshop free. The company also plants a tree for every purchase made.
You can also make an eco-friendly decision to purchase a gently used gown instead of buying a new one. You can visit local consignment stores and organizations, vintage boutiques that can also be found online. Choosing to wear your mother’s or grandmother’s gown is another eco-friendly decision.
There are many options for eco-friendly invitations. You can consider 100% recycled paper, partially recycled paper, or completely tree free paper for your wedding invitations and other stationery.
Earthly Affair is company who grew out of the lack of environmentally friendly invitations that were also stylish. This company is “green” not only in the finished product, but also in their production methods, shipping methods and other recycling efforts. They offer two options for their invitations. One is a 100% pcw, which means it uses no new trees and averts waste from landfills. The second is a cotton paper, FSC certified for responsible forest management and consists of partially recycled content.
Sweet Invitations offers an elegant line of handmade papers, made entirely from tree-free and recycled materials. These handmade papers are made from discarded cotton cloth. Visit their site for additional recycling fun facts. Primarily they are a handmade paper supplier, however, they will provide printed invitations at an additional cost.
Bella Figura has an exquisite line of invitations. They use environmental papers, either tree-free or a high recycled content and soy inks. 100% cotton paper made from reclaimed fibers is used for their invitations and envelope liners are made from 30% recycled paper.They also support various environmental causes, they donate 1% of sales to environmental organizations.
Botanical Paperworks creates plantable paper (called Garden Greetings™) is “tree-free”, so that no trees were cut down to make this plantable paper. The base fiber is cotton or 100% post-consumer waste. And the paper is made with pure North American wildflower seeds by skilled papermakers. Not only will you send of a wonderful eco-friendly invitation but, you’re giving the your guests a lasting memento of the event. As the flowers bloom in their garden, they’ll remember you and the special day of which they were a part.
Your wedding announcement or invitation can set the tone for your environmentally friendly wedding. There are many options for you and you do not have to compromise on style. Be inspired to create an elegant affair while minimizing your impact on the environment.
Did you know that your jewelry can be eco-friendly too. According to NoDirtyGold.org the production of one gold ring produces 20 tons of mine waste. That can’t be very good. The waste can contaminate drinking water, destroy traditional livelihoods, and displaces indigenous communities. Diamond jewelry can come from conflict plagued areas, where war and smuggling surround the diamond trade.
To buy eco-friendly jewelry look for websites and retailers that specify an eco-friendly process for their jewelry. They should have a mission to provide ecologically and socially responsible jewelry alternatives. GreenKarat.com is committed to offering alternatives by using recycled precious metals in jewelry.
CredJewelry.com aims to source all its precious metals and gem stones from small-scale artisan mining communities that have a concern for the biodiversity of their local region. They have a policy in place to help ensure that they have eco-friendly jewelry. In order to achieve this we aim to fulfil the following criteria with our primary source partners.
Sumiche Jewelry Company offers both recycled and sustainably mined, fair trade gold and platinum, recycled silver, conflict free diamonds and certified Goose diamonds and fair trade gems.
If you are looking for something unique as well as eco-friendly take a look at touchwoodrings.com. Wood Rings are a socially just and environmentally sustainable alternative to precious metals and gemstones. David’s wooden rings are meticulously hand crafted, durable, warm to the touch & light to wear. Even in their use of wood they consider their environment by using birch bark which is discarded after the tree has been used for paper production and bamboo which matures in 6 to 7 years.
Remember the policy in eco-friendly living is Reuse, Reduce, Recycle. Keep the three “r’s” in mind when planning your big event.
Be inspired to protect our environment!!!!!!!!
About the Author: Kattia Gordon is the owner of Aleximani Events an event planning service. She host a blog called Inspired! Wedding Tips and Ideas aiming to inform brides of current trends that will make their event special. She also strives to let brides be inspired by what’s around them when they planinspire brides to plan beautiful events.