We all want a more beautiful world to live in, so why not have a ‘Green’ wedding? It’s a perfect way to begin your life together!
Your ceremony venue is a great place to begin! Why not choose an outdoor wedding on the beach, the park, or in a garden? This is the best way to remind everyone in attendance of the beauty of our earth and natural surroundings. It’s also a good idea to have the reception at the same location as the ceremony, or at least within walking distance, to avoid having your guests driving between the two.
When it comes to your wedding gown and tuxedo, you might consider buying a used gown or tux. There are oodles of dresses and tuxedos out there that have only been worn once.
Take a look! Great fabrics to consider are hemp and organic silk dresses. You might also prefer to wear a very simple dress or suit that you may be able to wear again. Donating your gown after your wedding day may not be an option for you, but this is a wonderful way to help others less fortunate.
Your invitations can be ‘Green’ as well! Be sure and buy invitations that are 100% recyclable and processed without chlorine. Many companies offer ‘Green’ invitations that encourage your guests to recycle. You can also have seeds embedded in the paper so that your guests can plant the invitations and enjoy the flowers that grow from them. How cool is that? If you need RSVP’s from your guests, you might even use a reply postcard that can be dropped in the mail to you, rather than an inner envelope. This saves on paper and postage.
One of the best ways to let your friends and relatives keep up with the details of your wedding details is by creating a website. This will give everyone the details about your wedding without having to print copies for everyone. If you have some family and friends without internet access, you will only have to print cards with the information for a select few.
Catering is a big area in which to stay ‘Green’. Be sure and find a caterer who will provide vegetarian and organic foods and entrees that your guests will enjoy. And, if you are
having a ‘weekend wedding’ with events and meals planned for your guests, you will want to check into renting real glasses and dishes, along with real cloth napkins. Avoid using the disposables. You can also use the biodegradable or compostable dishes and flatware. These are usually made of products such as cornstarch, sugar cane, and tropical leaves or plants. Pretty interesting, don’t you think?
There are several ways to go ‘Green’ when choosing your wedding flowers. Look for a florist that uses flowers from local growers or organic growers. If you are a ‘do it yourselfer’, look for a wildflower grower in your area and create your own bouquets and boutonnieres, as well as your ceremony and reception arrangements. Potted plants instead of flowers are great way to show your ‘Green’. No pun intended. After the wedding, you might enjoy giving these to some of your behind the scene ‘wedding helpers’.
Some couples are already settled into a home and may not need kitchenware or home furnishings. If this is the case, just state on your invitation, ‘Your presence is your gift to us’. Or you could recommend that your guests donate to a favorite environmental group in honor of your wedding. On the other hand, if you are in the process of establishing your home together, you may want to register with retailers that are eco-conscious. This will help to lessen the number of unnecessary gifts from guests who don’t really know what you need or want.
Gifts for your bridesmaids and groomsmen can be easily done by purchasing non-consumptive options like a massage gift certificate. Other good choices that are very useful are gifts such as soap, wine, fair trade coffee, etc., as well as gift certificates from a health food store.
Some couples choose the tradition of having birdseed thrown, rather than rice. Remember that standard birdseed mixes may contain plant seed and may not be welcomed in a park or outdoor venue. These seeds can actually cause other problems to the eco-system. You will want to choose native wildflower seeds or petals. Other choices are the ringing of hand bells or blowing bubbles from recyclable bottles.
The wedding ceremony programs, just like the invitations can be printed on 100% recycled paper. By using these eco-friendly products, your guests will know this is something that is very important to you. After the ceremony, be sure and have all programs collected and recycle.
Favors are most always a difficult choice to make, but you can add a note on your program to let your guests know that you made a donation of $3 or $4 dollars per guest to a favorite environmental organization. Another tip I recently heard about is to give each guest an 11 watt compact fluorescent bulb to replace with a 50 watt incandescent bulb. This is an excellent way of saving the use of carbon dioxide.
One of my favorite wedding favors is a recycled handmade paper bookmark with wildflower seeds. This is very useful and I love the idea of planting the bookmark and enjoying the flowers later. You might even prefer to give a packet of wildflower seeds or a tree sapling. I love these ideas.
For your honeymoon, look for a travel agent that can help you book an environmentally sensitive trip. You will want to choose hotels that recycle and are eco-friendly. Choose electric or hybrid car rentals, if possible.
And there you have it! It’s all ‘Green’ and it’s all good!