A New Twist to a Timeless Tradition: Practical Tips for Planning an Eco-Friendly Wedding

green wedding

Couples all over the world will be beginning their new life together this spring season; but before anyone can say “I do” there are countless decisions to be made. I can’t decide your wedding day location or the perfect menu items for the reception dinner… that’s up to you! But if you’d like to have  an environmentally-conscious wedding day, here are a few no-nonsense tips that won’t crack your nest egg and most importantly, give back to others and the environment.

Greener Invitations

  • Send invitations printed on recycled paper
  • Make a website with directions, maps and other wedding-related events that your guests can access on their computer and mobile phone (to avoid printing them out).

For the Bride and Groom

  • Incorporate vintage pieces, family heirlooms, and jewelry made from recycled metals and stones  to glamorize your wedding day look
  • Donate your wedding gown to charitable organization like Brides Against Breast Cancer to make wedding dreams a reality for other brides
  • Buy a suit or tuxedo that can be worn for other occasions… or rent one!
  • Don’t register for things you don’t need

Ceremony and Reception Ideas

  • Customize your reception menu with organic foods and beverages made exclusively from locally grown ingredients. The leftover food can be donated to nursing homes, non-profit organizations and shelters.
  • Ask your florists to create centerpieces inspired nature using dried or silk flowers, branches, leaves and rocks. If you must have cut flowers, try to buy flowers in bulk and from local farmers.
  • Use potted plants instead of cut flowers. They can be given as gifts to the bridal party, guests and family members after the wedding festivities.

Eco-Friendly Wedding Favors and Gifts

  • Give wedding guests favors that keep on giving like an envelope of vegetable seeds, flower bulbs or a tree from the National Arbor Day Foundation
  • Make bridal party gifts, like candles, bath salts, oils and fragrances, ahead of time and eliminate last minute shopping or shipping hassles.
  • Create a charity registry to share your guests’ generosity with a charitable organization of your choice. You can learn more at The I Do Foundation

The Greener Honeymoon

  • Travel locally or by train to reduce your carbon footprint
  • Consider staying at an eco-friendly hotel
  • Engage in lower-carbon activities like sailing, horseback riding, snorkeling, scuba diving and hiking at your destination.

For more “green” wedding ideas check out Great Green Wedding, and the Green Living Guide’s Tips for an Eco-Friendly Wedding.

Looking for a great gift for an eco-friendly couple’s wedding? We’ve got organic table linens, recycled vases, eco picture frames, and more in the Green Choices store.

Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/epsos/ / CC BY 2.0

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