Whether or not you believe in climate change or participate in Earth Day activities, taking care of our planet is important, because as far as we know, it's all we've got.
What better time to honor and respect Mother Nature than at your wedding?
You might be thinking things like, it's so expensive to go green or having a green wedding requires extra work and I don't have time for that. But the truth is, there are several ways you can incorporate eco-friendly practices into your wedding without going over budget or creating more to-do lists.
If you want to have an eco-friendly wedding, start with these green ideas.
When you think about all of the paper that goes into creating a wedding (save-the-dates, party invitations, RSVPs, envelopes, menus, seating cards, thank you cards, programs), you'll start to understand the large impact paper has, especially when it ultimately gets thrown in the trash.
You can cut down on using traditional paper without sacrificing style by sending digital save-the-date cards. Digital card companies have plenty of beautiful templates to choose from and just about every theme and color. Whether it's dreamy garden watercolors or rustic Tuscan oranges, you’re sure to find a style that fits your wedding color palette and theme.
You can also make your invitations eco-friendly by using recycled paper products. Some stationery businesses offer recycled wedding invitations and biodegradable, seed-infused paper so that guests can actually plant their invites and grow them into flowers and herbs.
Eco-friendly wedding decor is easy to plan in that you can use Mother Nature herself. Consider an outdoor wedding in a location with stunning views: mountain tops, hillsides, ocean front, sweeping landscapes, gardens, barns, city rooftops, and buildings with interesting architectural design and historical elements.
Use what's already available to you in the form of greenery and flowers and any built-in decor that a venue may have (fireplaces, wine barrels, stairways, etc.)
Other decor ideas include: all kinds of natural elements, borrowed items (linens, vases, glassware), bare tables that don’t need tablecloths (wooden, old farm tables, glass-top tables), and reusable items (ask yourself if the purchased decor you choose can be used again at home or in the future).
Food and Beverages
The big thing to think about when putting together an eco-friendly menu is if the items are SOL: sustainable, organic, local.
Think seasonal and locally-grown (buying in-season and direct from farmers will cut down on costs), and check in with organic caterers, green restaurants, and farmer's markets.
Did you know that most of the flowers sold by U.S. florists are sprayed with toxic chemicals, which are both harmful to the environment and to those who cultivate the flowers?
To incorporate eco-friendly flowers into your wedding, look for arrangements by sustainable flower companies and blooms certified by Veriflora, which “guarantees that flowers and potted plants have been produced in an environmentally and socially responsible manner and with high quality standards.”
You can also recycle your flowers by contacting Rebloom, a company that will pick up your arrangements and reuse them.
The ugly truth is that most wedding favors get left behind or tossed in the trash. Ensure your guests will actually enjoy the gift you give them and remain eco-friendly by giving a wedding favor that keeps on giving: flower seed packets, potted succulents/plants, evergreen saplings, bird seed, etc.
You can also give consumable gifts like SOL coffee and tea, homemade jam, and cake bites.
Don't forget the power of a DIY wedding favor. If you have the time, present your guests with a unique and personal gift you've made, like a recipe book made from recycled paper, a handmade terrarium, or a stamped mini tote made from recycled material.
If you want to nix favors altogether, make a donation on behalf of each guest. Choose a local charity or one that you’re passionate about and put out a sign that lets guests know you’ve made a donation to a worthy cause in lieu of giving out favors.
Eco-friendly weddings don't have to be steeped in bohemian trends or break the bank. They're doable for any couple with any budget. All it takes is a little creativity and earth-friendly know how. With the tips above, you'll be well on your way to planning a green wedding that you and planet Earth will love.