How to make your wedding a little greener
So you want to have a green wedding? Are you turning green just thinking about all the details you‘ll need to address? This guide will make it a little easier to achieve an eco-friendly wedding if you cover the basics below. A recent survey by TheWeddingReport.com showed that flowers were the #1 area of interest of green-minded brides and grooms, at 62%, followed by eco-smart invitations (57%,) green favors and gifts (55%,) green décor (54%,) and eco-conscious ceremony and reception locations (38%).
Florals: At the onset it seems that flowers would be the most organic part of your event just by its nature. Yet, because wedding florals are typically imported to meet wedding color requirements, this is one of the larger carbon emitters in the wedding industry. Choosing locally grown flowers are the best idea overall because it’s a smaller footprint and it’s often less expensive!
Tip: Also, re-purposing centerpieces from your ceremony to your reception is a great way to save money and resources.
Stationary: Of course sending emailed invites and using online websites would be the greenest option you could choose. For some brides, this is too extreme as they want physical keepsakes from their special day. The next option would be choosing stationary made in a sustainable way. Choose invitations, response cards, menus, and signage made from 100% post-consumer recycled content or other renewable materials, such as wood or bamboo. Choose soy or water based inks.
Tip: If it were MY wedding, I would go with Bloomin’s plantable seed paper invitations or the favors. Made from 100% recycled materials, they biodegrade when planted and sprout wildflowers!
Favors & Gifts: The sky is the limit here. What do you think is sustainable that you want to share with your guests? Plants, seeds, homemade foods, handmade trinkets or repurposed decorations are some ideas.
Tip: You could combine your floral decorations, wedding favors, and décor by using live potted herbs to adorn your reception and as a takeaway for your guests.
Décor: It’s not great for the environment to buy a bunch of new decorations for your wedding and then throw them all away. Make your décor as strong as your commitment to each other. Make it last whether it’s new or used items. You can even crowd source décor from your family or wedding guests. Sitting in your Aunt Margie’s rocking chair or putting family pictures in your mothers’ vintage frames can make the celebration that much more personal.
Tip: Flea markets are a great place to find used platters, trinkets, and centerpieces.
Eco-conscious Venues: Traveling is the one of the largest emitters of carbon in the environment, so having a wedding that is local to the majority of your guests has a large impact. Interviewing venues about their recycling/compost policies and energy consumption is a good way to find a place you feel comfortable with. Choosing an outdoor venue would save on energy and give you the added benefit of all natural décor at no extra charge.
Tip: Go with a farm wedding and support the local food movement! You can often get a deal on catering that way too.
Lastly, be proud of yourself that you’re making any effort to be green at your wedding!