We've all heard about "going green". Everyone is starting to use recyclable bags for shopping, people are taking the bus or riding bikes to work to save on gas, there are now environmentally friendly cleaners, and more. And now people are starting to have green weddings.
You may wonder how you can have a green wedding. Here are some ideas!
You can skip paper altogether and go electronic. There are several sites out there where you can do this, such as evite.com and pingg.com. You can also create a PDF and send that electronically or even do a video to send to your guests. With these last two just be aware that some guests may not have the appropriate software to open the invitations.
Worried guests won't take your electronic invitation seriously? Don't worry, you still have options! Almost all invitation designers have some sort of recycled paper. And if you are doing the invitations yourself, your local stationery store is sure to have recycled paper also. You can even find tree free paper. And check this out...seed embedded paper. This can be planted!
Register for your gifts online. And be sure to register for eco-friendly items. Better yet, don't register for gifts. Ask guests to donate to a charity in your name. For example you could ask them to donate to:
One way of staying eco-friendly is to buy your favors locally rather than having some cheap "trinkets" shipped halfway around the world. You can also use small trees or seeds that the guests can then plant. Bonus - this will help fight global warming! Or why not give a donation to your favorite charity in the guest's names? Not only is this eco-friendly, but it will help someone in need.
You could use a twig basket and fill it with fruit in your wedding colors. The guests can then take the fruit home and eat it. Or how about a plant like a mum for a Fall wedding? You can then give it away to a guest to take home and plant. If you're looking for something with glass you can find a vase or bowl made out of recycled glass such as the following:
There are many options to stay green with your flowers. First, you could use silk or dried flowers. If you don't like this idea look for a florist that uses locally grown flowers. You can also go to your local farmer's market to buy local flowers and then make your own bouquets. Reuse the ceremony flowers at the reception. And then after the reception donate flowers to a local hospital. This will be sure to cheer up the patients! Check out these organic flowers from www.organicbouquet.com:
Check out Ebay or your local antique stores for vintage wedding rings instead of buying brand new. Or you can look for rings made from fair trade or recycled gold such as this one:
The easiest way to go green with the wedding dress is to purchase a previously worn dress. There are many auction sites online and often you can find listings in your local newspaper. Or you can rent a dress (just like the groom can rent his tux). If you'd prefer a new dress look for earth friendly fabrics like cotton, hemp, or linen. Check out this silk and organza dress by Adele Wechsler:
Skip the disposable cameras at all of the tables. This may seem like a fun idea but many of the pictures do not come out and they go to waste. Instead stick to a professional photographer that does only digital photography. Look for a photographer that will provide all the proofs digitally rather than paper proofs. And ask for the images on a disk. And if you'd like an album find a photographer that offers one printed on recycled paper.
If possible select organic and locally grown food. Ask your caterer to shop at the local farmer's market. And do not over cater. So much food tends to get wasted at wedding receptions. Calculate the food needs carefully. If there are any leftovers ask the caterer to package and freeze the leftovers. If the caterer cannot do this due to safety and hygiene issues, ask them to compost as much of the food as possible.
As you can see there are many ways to have a green wedding. Some other quick ideas are to hold the ceremony and reception at the same place to save on gas and ask guests to carpool. For more ideas do a search on the internet for green or eco-friendly weddings. The internet has a wealth of information!