Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Throw a green wedding

Planning a green wedding is not as difficult as one would think -- actually, because it streamlines and simplifies certain aspects of the celebration, planning a green wedding is often easier than one non-green!

Your invitations are the first introduction guests have to the environmentally-friendly nature of your wedding. Earthly Affair offers environmentally friendly stationary, including save-the-dates, invitations, RSVPs and thank you cards. The company uses 100% recycled paper, earth friendly printing methods, an eco-equipped studio, and carbon free shipping to give you unique and stylish invitations.

One of the easiest and most significant choices you can make to ease your wedding’s blow to the environment is to choose an appropriate venue. Opt to have your ceremony and reception on the same site, eliminating the need to transport guests from one location to another and saving carbon emissions. Forget the local country club -- the grass might be green, but that’s about it. Golf courses are one of the most environmentally unfriendly places around, using tons of pesticides and water. A great option is a lodge within a state or national park. Many are quite grand, and all are held to strict conservation codes.

Rent everything you don’t wish to hold onto as keepsakes. Tables, dishes, linens, lighting, candle holders -- everything. An item’s ability to be reused is of immense value to the environment. Alternately, use the services of Recycle Your Wedding, Freecycle, eBay or Craiglist to get your hands on gorgeous wedding goodies that have been loved before -- even your dream dress!

Food and flowers will be most fresh and beautiful if they are in-season, local and organic. Chef Michel Nischan offers several amazing organic menu options in his book Taste Pure and Simple: Irresistible Recipes for Good Food and Good Health (Chronicle Books, 2003). Ask your caterer to source organic items locally and replicate a favorite recipe. Organic flowers can be ordered from Organic Bouquet; alternately, ask your florist of choice to use blooms from the local flower market instead of a regular shipment. Pair up with a wedding within a day window of your own and share flowers -- a great way to reduce your costs and your waste! has a general list of what flowers are in season when; keep in mind this may vary by region.

Green favors are a snap. Give guests a succulent plant to take home, a sapling to plant in their yards, or a seed packet to grow some of the flowers present at your celebration. Need a beautiful little favor box? These woven green boxes from Little Things are beautifully made and organic. Consider buying carbon offsets to compensate for fossil fuel usage of guests traveling from out of town or making a donation to a favorite green charity and leaving a note at each guest’s plate to let them know.

Then breathe easy, knowing that your special day did not come at the expense of Mother Earth!

1 comment:

Apryl DeLancey said...

I love your tips! Thanks for the info and keep up the good work!