Green wedding tips

Going green has never been so beautiful

Going green isn’t easy–especially when you’re planning a wedding. Organic meals? You still have to worry about trucking. Locally grown blooms? Limited, depending on your locale. Eco-friendly and human conscious jewelry? Pricey! There a lot of roadblocks eco-aware couples can come up against when trying to plan an environmentally friendly wedding.

My advice to brides and grooms who want to go green is to focus on the positives. Weddings, by their very nature, are somewhat wasteful. Concentrate on what you can do rather than what you can’t do. Pat yourselves on the back for your choice to use recycled paper invites (like those offered at Conservatree) and soy based inks. Don’t beat yourself up because the dress you really, really loved is made out of something other than organically-grown hemp.

Want to do more? Check out the tips below and then read Eco-Chic Weddings : Simple Tips to Plan a Wedding with Style and Integrity.

Donate your leftovers. No, really. Food rescue organizations like America’s Second Harvest will come and pick up all those uneaten chicken breasts and crab puffs, and then drop them off at the nearest soup kitchen.

Reuse, reuse, reuse. The live flowers that decorate your ceremony site can be used to decorate your reception site, if you have a friend willing to transport them. Better yet, buy real silk flowers (silk is a renewable resource) and incorporate them into your home decor after the wedding. Or donate them to a local nursing home or assisted living center!

Instead of giving out favors–because, hey, you can’t please all of the people all of the time–give a charitable donation in each of your guests names. Or support eco artisans in your community by choosing favors that are locally manufactured using ecologically sound methods. Organic honey, anyone?

Register for practical green gifts like compact fluorescent light bulbs and soy candles. Register with a company like Green Living, which features eco-friendly products of all shapes and sizes!

Create a web site featuring all your guests will need to know about your ceremony, reception, and all that jazz. Try using tree-free paper when sending your info to old Aunt Ida who refuses to make the switch from typewriter to computer. Just don’t mention the elephant dung!

Finally, when the honeymoon is over, donate your dress. There is, of course, the oft mentioned I Do Foundation. But also look into The Bridal Garden and the Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation.

9 Responses to “Green wedding tips”

  1. Chaeriste says:

    We had a small wedding (one attendant each, 65 people total) so not only did I encourage people to bring the centerpieces home with them, but I insisted that our DJ, who told me during our initial meeting that he had stopped to visit his grandmother who lives a mere few blocks from us, should take at least two different floral arrangements to his grandmother the next day. It was my honor to know that he had brightened her otherwise normal day with our wedding flowers.

  2. Never teh Bride says:

    Aw, that’s awesome, Chaeriste! You rock!

  3. Bacon's Mom says:

    Oh, how sweet, Chaeriste!

    Good article, but bad favour advice! Making a charitable donation is fine – but bragging to your guests about how you spend your money or – worse, in my opinion – bragging about how you spent it and attached their name to it is just plain rude.

    Skipping favours is fine – no one will miss them. But proclaiming how generous you are by donating money instead will rub many people the wrong way.

  4. Never teh Bride says:

    Hmmm. You’re right, Bacon’s Mom. There is a lot of potential for misunderstandings and even hurt feelings. I think it would work best if you had a very small wedding of intimates who were in some non-braggy way informed that the bride and groom had skipped favors and used the money for charity. But it would be tough to do.

  5. nana says:

    Could you write something about wedding invites? I have a feeling that a lot of people leave it for last minute, which deprives them of some great choices.

  6. Jessica says:

    How doable is the “use silk flowers” suggestion? I went and looked at a few links and . . . well, there are places like Dedicated Bridal, but I can’t shake the association of “not real flowers” with “those rows of $1 flowers you see at Michael’s.”

  7. Twistie says:

    Some friends of mine had a greener wedding by growing their own flowers and filling in with Queen Anne’s Lace they picked from the side of the road. We had a great time making the bouquets. (the groom in this instance was a professional gardener and the bride a keen amateur)

    I’m going to agree with the prevailing attitude on the ‘favor’ of making a charitible donation. If nothing else, in my circle there are widely divergant political/religious views which would make choosing one charity to please them all a hideous minefield. I could see making a donation to our own favorite charity in honor of our big day, but no way would I attach someone else’s name to it unless I was absolutely certain they’d make the same choice.

    OTOH, I loved the favors at the wedding where the MOB threw tiny clay bowls which were filled with wildflower seeds. That was pretty green and symbolic, as well as memorable.

  8. Priscila says:

    Hi, my name is Priscila, im the subeditor for wedding magazine from México, called +BODA. For the next issue we want to include a little interview of a green bride, because in my country this class of wedding dosn’t exist, and I really like to introduce the people to this kind of ethical and healthy life.

    I would like to recomend also Gretna Green Wedding.

    Please, contact me: