Tips For a Green Wedding (Part 1)

Tips for an eco friendly wedding

A green wedding can give you an excellent opportunity to showcase your environmental concerns and may encourage your friends and family to take up a more ecologically-friendly lifestyle. It's becoming easier to find green wedding planners who share your concern for the environment, but for those who want to plan their own green wedding, there are many ways you can have an impact on the local economy, limit the great amount of waste created by your wedding and reception, and reduce the detrimental effect your wedding will have on our natural environment.

Environmental consciousness requires an attitude of minimalism, that is, not buying or consuming more than you really need, and buying secondhand when you can. Simplifying your wedding by renting what you can, or buying dishware, dresses, and other items that can be used for future occasions such as anniversaries, special dinners, or other family weddings.

Here are some tips to help you create a green wedding. While you may not find all the tips practical for your situation, every little concession you make can still play a small role in preserving our beautiful planet.

Invitations

The most obvious step is to use recycled paper for wedding invitations. Many printers offer this option now, or you can buy recycled paper and use your natural creativity to design your own invitations. Pay attention to the ink that is used, too, since many inks contain toxic chemicals.

For small, informal weddings, consider sending email invitations. While some consider email too impersonal for such a special occasion, it is acceptable to do so when only your closest friends and family are involved.

Eliminate the amount of paper you send with the invitation by putting necessary information such as travel directions, available lodging, and itineraries on a blog or web site. Send the blog or web address along with the invitation. If you've never had any experience creating a blog or web site, check out Blogger, which has templates that make setting up a blog quick and easy, even if you can only operate a keyboard and mouse! Print a card (on recycled paper) with this information for guests who don't have internet access.

Instead of sending RSVP cards with envelopes, request RSVP's by phone, or have a post on your blog where your guests can leave you a comment as to whether they will be attending. If you want to include a paper RSVP, choose a simple folding, self-mailer design.

Catering

Hire a caterer that uses organically-grown, local produce. Talk to them about creating interesting ethnic foods that use little meat, dairy, and refined sugar products. Choose wines that are made from grapes grown without chemical pesticides and fertilizers which damage soil and water.

Use recyclable plastic and paper dinnerware to avoid adding to the landfills.

Rent dinnerware and flatware from the caterer; it is often available for little extra cost. Or buy inexpensive, unadorned table settings from the dollar store that can be used for other family weddings, anniversary parties, and holiday gatherings.

Flowers

Flowers arrangements used at weddings are often shipped long distances, especially tropical varieties, and usually treated with chemical pesticides. The long distance flowers travel add to oil consumption. Find a florist who can provide flowers raised locally and naturally.

Create bouquets for the bride and bridesmaids from native wildflowers, or flowers from your own lovingly tended garden.

Decorate with potted plants, either foliage plants or flowering ones, instead of cut flowers. After the wedding, move the plants to your own home or office, send them home with guests, or donate them to a local nursing home.

Venue and Travel

An outdoor wedding in a natural setting can be a romantic, informal fairy-tale wedding! Instead of celebrating your wedding in a locale that needs to be decorated, choose to hold your wedding in a beautiful outdoor location such as the beach, botanical garden, nature preserve, or your own back yard, where you can take advantage of the loveliness that nature has to offer.

For an indoor venue, choose one that makes the best use of natural light. Decorate with recyclable materials, or pack decorations away carefully to be offered for another happy couple's wedding ceremony.

Suggest that guests carpool to the wedding, or hire vans to transport your guests. Besides reducing fuel consumption, chauffeuring your guests will insure that those who may have celebrated a little too much will get safely back to their lodgings.

Read part two of Tips For a Green Wedding




author: Jill Davidson

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