When I got married in 2009, I admit I wasn’t as ‘green’ as I am now. My green lifestyle changes have been a journey for me and I was in the baby steps portion of it at that point. I didn’t even think of doing things in a more Eco-friendly way at the time. I didn’t have a super expensive wedding, as my dress was only $150, but looking back, I did do some things that are definitely more Eco-friendly than I give myself credit for and they were more so I could be frugal than environmentally sustainable. If you are thinking of throwing a wedding that mother nature would smile down on, here are some ways to have an Eco-friendly wedding to remember!
6 Ways to Have an Eco-friendly Wedding
Buy some things used for your wedding– I had a used dress for my wedding and that was something that was not only green, but frugal. I went to a store that specifically sells dresses on consignment and bought it at a huge discount. You could also look on sites like Craigslist as well for a dress. If you are lucky enough, your mom may even let you wear hers! My reasoning for doing this, even though the idea is off-putting to some is, why spend all that money on a dress you will only wear once? You could also buy some decorations used as well. This was something I saved money on.
Send invites on recycled paper- There are so many ways to send invitations now and while some may say that sending digitally is the most green, I am a bit old fashioned myself and love sending snail mail. There are a couple of reasons this is good, even for an Eco-friendly wedding; it gives your guests something to remember your special day and allows for something more permanent to be sent as a reminder. Snail mail invites don’t have to be wasteful of paper resources, either. Basic Invite, a site that helps you create your own custom wedding invites (and even sends you a paper copy printout sample upon request for free!) has a couple of Eco-friendly options such as their Premium Semi-Gloss that is FSC Certified and 50% recycled material. And, you get free peel and seal envelopes with most orders (trust me, you want them!).
Order in season organic flowers- Just like produce, flower types have a season and one of the best ways to keep things as local and Eco-friendly as possible for your wedding is to buy flowers that are in season rather than have a specific type shipped in. If you aren’t sure what will be in season when you are planning your big date, call around the local florists and they can tell you. Also, ask if they have any organic flowers available. Another option is to plan a wedding around a time when flowers you grow would be in bloom so you can grow your own bouquet!
Plan your menu around in season local ingredients– Buying local and in season is one of the biggest ways you can go green on your wedding day for your meal. The least amount of distance from field to you will save on gas as well as you being sure everything is as fresh as it can be.
Have fun with favors and decorations- There are lots of great resources for free wedding printables on Basic Invite. If you use your own recycled paper, you can keep thing Eco-friendly, too. One idea for a fun Eco-friendly favor is to make or buy seed pods that can be planted by your guests at their own homes.
Decorate with thrift or earth elements- Having an outdoor wedding often allows you more freedom in choice of decor. If you will be having it in an area near woods, take some elements from the area to decorate and create centerpieces with. Be sure not to steal from the environment, though. For instance, a nice centerpiece could be made with fallen branches from an evergreen tree, but don’t cut any off to create your look. Use thrifted goods or simple things most people might throw away for decor as well. For instance, a can that has had the labels removed and a couple of holes punches in it would make a lovely rustic tealight candle lantern.