Tips for having an Eco-Friendly Wedding
Are you dreaming of a wedding that will not only capture your love for each other, but also express your great respect for the environment? Here are some ideas and tips for creating a beautiful, eco-friendly celebration!
Choose eco-friendly invitations
Select invitations made from recycled paper and support efforts to reduce landfill waste and promote recycling. Dawn’s “Naturally Ever After” invitations are made from quality, recycled papers containing at least 30% post-consumer fibers. And they’re even shipping in boxes made from 100% recycled material! You could also choose smaller, all-in-one invitations like our “seal-n-send” invitations. They’re inexpensive and are an eco-friendly choice because they reduce the need for multiple envelopes and enclosure cards.
Find a local seamstress to make your gown using natural fabrics, such as cotton, linen, silk, bamboo or hemp. If that’s not an option, consider wearing your mother’s wedding dress or altering a friend’s or relative’s dress to make it your own. Or go vintage! Visit thrift stores, consignment boutiques and vintage clothing shops to find a one-of-a-kind dress.
Pretty ‘maids, dashing ‘men
Ask the bridal party to wear casual clothing they’re comfortable in. Avoid dresses and other outfits that will only be worn once. If you’re having a summer wedding, have your bridesmaids wear cotton sundresses of their choosing for a sweet look that’s inexpensive and that is guaranteed to be worn again. Your groomsmen can wear khakis and short-sleeved, cotton dress shirts (in a color to match your wedding colors). Also explore the option of renting your bridal party attire for a beautiful way to “reuse.”
Find a photographer who will photograph your wedding digitally and ask to see your proofs online or have them burned to CD for you. Film developing is harsh on the environment. With digital photos, you can easily upload pictures to share online or to display on digital photo frames. Digital photos can also be burned onto CDs or DVDs for a creative alternative to a wedding album.
Save travel costs
Choose a location that’s close to the majority of your guests to avoid travel expenses and fossil fuel usage. Also think about holding your ceremony and reception in the same location, such as a hotel, large church with a reception hall or a museum, historic home or other location with a beautiful garden. If you do have the ceremony and reception in separate locations, consider providing horse and carriage rides or chauffeured hybrids to and from the reception. Also, consider hiring a shuttle bus to take guests to and from hotels and the reception. It’ll result in fewer vehicles being used, and guests will appreciate the convenience.
Have your guests shower you with flower petals instead of rice or metallic confetti. Not only is it more romantic, it’s also better for the environment.
Do nature a favor
Go natural with your favors! Give seed packets to guests so they can plant them and enjoy beautiful flowers at home. You could also give guests tiny trees to plant (for example, Arbor Day Foundation offers gift trees which come in recyclable tubes that also convert into birdfeeders). Another idea is to honor your guests by donating in their names to the charity of your choice.
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle!
Keep these simple environmental rules in mind when planning your wedding.
- Reduce paper by using one menu card at each table instead of each table setting.
- Reuse ceremony flowers as reception decorations.
- Recycle wedding programs after the ceremony.
- Reduce waste by using cloth napkins for the dinner and only use paper napkins at the bar, punch and cake table.
- Reuse vases, netting, lights and other decorations from a friend’s wedding, or rent your decorations.
- Recycle all plastic and glass after the wedding. Set up bins for bottles, cups, etc., at the doors to your reception site.