Wedding Planning with Earth Day in Mind

This year, Earth Day is April 22nd. With many couples looking to be environmentally friendly with their wedding planning, here are a few suggestions on how a couple can have a great wedding that is Earth saving at the same time.

10 Easy Ways To Green Your Wedding

1) Jewelry & Fashion
• Choose ethical origin, fine jewelry or rings that are created using conflict-free diamonds.
• Choose vintage diamonds or rhinestones for your wedding day accessories.
• Look for a bridal gown created of organic cotton and silk dupioni made by silk worms.
• Choose a bridal gown design that you could see altering to wear again.
• Preserve and clean your gown with a dry cleaner that uses all-natural, earth-friendly cleaners and products.

2) Invitations
• For your wedding materials, use tree-free papers made of cotton, linen, bamboo and hemp.
• Use paper comprised of post-consumer, recycled waste.
• Ask your printer about soy or plant-based inks.
• Use colorful recycled vintage stamps.
• Consider omitting the traditional reply card and envelope by choosing a reply postcard.

3) Catering & Food
• Buy local food and beverages for your menu. "Food produced and distributed locally requires less transportation which decreases our carbon footprint," says Pauline Parry of Good Gracious! Events.
• Use organic foods that create less waste and require less energy to produce; and are healthier and taste better!
• Choose a venue that uses linens and china versus disposable items.
• Donate excess food and beverages.
• Choose a caterer who has a recycling and mulching program for plant food scraps.
• Serve filtered water from a pitcher.
• Recycle all wine bottles and all glass/plastic containers from events.
• Choose biodynamic wines or earth-friendly spirits

4) Decor
• Select linens of natural fibers like hemp, organic cotton and recycled fabrics. Consider linen colors that have been created using plant-based dyes.
• Use recycled glass containers, vintage containers or ones made of a renewable resource such as bamboo.
• Fruits, nuts, and vegetables make beautiful and unusual floral decor. Incorporate these natural elements and you'll be able to eat these afterwards!
• Celebrate the beauty in all things simple like twigs, shells, moss and stones.
• Choose a florist who specializes in organic flowers.
• Incorporate live plants and cuttings as floral decor. Drought-tolerant succulents are ideal.
• Use recycled, up-cycled and re-purposed rentals and décor for your event.
• When planning your lighting ask the lighting tech to use only LED lights.

5) Digital Inspiration
• For inspiration on the go, download a wedding app.
• Check out bridal blogs like 100 Layer Cake, and digital magazines such as Utterly Engaged, the first online wedding and bridal magazine, for delicious imagery.

6) Photography
• Ask your photographer to do "online proofing only" to save on paper.
• Choose a photographer who shoots in digital format.
• Choose photo albums that are made of post-consumer, recycled, or sustainable plant-fiber paper.
• Print photos at a lab that is Forestry Stewardship Council certified, assuring users that the lab meets the social, economic and ecological needs of present and future generations.

7) Registry & Home
• Register to have a donation made to your favorite eco-conscious local organizations such as Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club.
• Choose items for your registry that you will like for years to come. By consciously acquiring things that will last a lifetime, you decrease the amount of waste produced in our world.
• Look for green options when you are registering. For example, linens made from recycled materials or Cuisinart Green Cookware, stemware and china that contain no lead.
• Give gifts of tree starts, plants or seeds to your guests.

8) Wedding Locations
• Choose a destination that supports recycling programs for paper, glass and plastics, and who supports their local farmers and fisherman.
• Help arrange for your guests to carpool, and let them know of public transportation options.
• Pick a venue where you can have all elements of your wedding in one place -- the rehearsal dinner, wedding ceremony, wedding reception, and on-site activities. Your guests will never have to leave the property, which saves on fuel consumption.

9) Honeymoon
• Honeymoon at a green destination.
• Honeymoon closer to home.
• Choose a hotel that has green in-room amenities such as Brita's recyclable filter, energy efficient lighting, biodegradable supplies and organic bath products.
• Offset the carbon dioxide emissions created by all the energy your trip is using

10) Overall caring
• Allow 3-5 percent of your wedding budget to go towards efforts in sustaining our environment -- planting of trees, saving wildlife, environmental protection, recycling programs.
• Leave no trace of an environmental footprint because of your wedding. Purchase wind-energy credits to offset the carbon dioxide emissions created from planning and having your wedding.


More Articles and News