Green Wedding Planning 101

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green weddingA wedding is the ultimate celebration of love, so it goes without saying that you would want your day to be extravagant. A lavish event at a stunning venue, with lots of delicious food, striking décor, lively entertainment…all to commemorate your love for each other. But what if there was a way to make your day even more meaningful? And more impactful?
Solution? A green wedding!

Research shows that there are 2.5 million weddings that happen in United States each year alone, which on average produce 2 tons of carbon dioxide and approximately 600 pounds of trash. Every human being born to this planet is obligated to be environmentally responsible, and doing your part is very easy. Let the change begin with your wedding. There are couples like you all around the world who are finally taking the initiative to bring that number down by informing and being an example for the future wedders.

An eco friendly wedding is a great way to have a memorable ceremony, while keeping our planet happy too. Many couples love the idea of a green wedding but they shy away from it because of lack of enough knowledge. You don’t have to sacrifice your vision, taste or elegance to make your ceremony earth friendly. Plus, if you don’t want to go all the way green, you can still make a huge impact by making really small changes. In this article, we are going to present you with a variety of ways to make your wedding greener, while still keeping it chic.

The Dress

green wedding dressYou want a stellar dress. The one that makes you look like a princess, and we want exactly that for you. The good news is that there are numerous options available. Whether you are having your dress custom made, or are buying it new, the greenest way to go about it is to ditch the bleached dress route, and to go for more upcycled, earthy textiles like organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, or peace silk.

You can even go for vintage or used dresses. There are many websites where you can find pre-owned dresses for an affordable price. If you absolutely love a dress, but it is a tad bit too big on you, don’t worry. A seamstress would be glad to alter it to make it fit you like a glove.

More importantly, you should know that there are many eco-friendly designers out there who make glamourous and elegant dresses with sustainable fabrics. Some of them include Isadora clothing, Annatarian, Leanne Marshall, and Nicole Lenzen. It is also more than just the fabrics. It is about practicing fair trade, and not enforcing the use of underpaid workers.

After the wedding, you can choose to donate your wedding dress to a charity, or even sell it to another bride to be. A wedding dress is a gift that keeps on giving. If you can help it, don’t let the cycle end with you. Rather than keeping it packed and tucked away in your closet, unused for years to come, let it keep on serving its purpose by making many more brides happy. But if you can’t part with your dress, that’s okay too.

Jewelry

Wedding JewelryThe right sparkles that captures your shine and makes you look timeless. Jewelry is important. Not just the pieces that you wear specifically on the wedding day itself, but also your rings.

When it comes to rings, choose a beautiful vintage piece. They are one of a kind, and ethically sourced. If you do want to buy a new one, go for rings that are made from recycled precious stones and metals. If you do go for diamonds, opt for a cultured diamond which has no mining involved. Same with gemstones, make sure they are reclaimed and conflict free. If you have a custom design in mind, you can also ask your local jeweler to melt down your old jewelry to create a new one, or get them to source the materials from a eco friendly manufacturer and refiner of precious metals, such as Hoover and Strong, to bring your design to life.

Food and Reception

green wedding foodFood is important, actually as important as the venue, décor and entertainment After all, in our culture, food is an important medium to celebrate a huge event. But rather than having your food travel thousands of miles, why not choose local options to reduce that carbon footprint? Local restaurants will gladly help custom create personalized menus for you using seasonal ingredients that are fresh and full of flavor.
If you have a family member who is a great cook, maybe homemade food would be a great option for you, especially if it a small wedding. You could even have a barbecue, using grass fed meet. Have your family members help out.

Also, rather than using plastic or Styrofoam plates and cups, use biodegradable dishes. They come in a variety of designs and are very elegant. They add style to your eco chic reception without creating any chemical pollution. You could even buy cheap dishes from thrift stores, and either donate them or keep them after the ceremony.

For beverages, add more flair to your event by introducing your guests to something local to your town, maybe a beer or wine that is specifically made in that area. It will introduce them to a new flavor and be the topic of many conversations.

Wedding Stationary

invitationsWhile wedding invitations and other stationery items are one of the vital elements that help sets the tone for the main day itself, it can be very wasteful and damaging to the environment. Don’t sacrifice virgin paper for your wedding stationery. You can keep the chicness, and even have it tailored to match your exact tastes by using recycled paper. Each ton of recycled paper actually saves up to seventeen trees.
Next, rather than inserting multiple cards for each purpose, combine the information in one card.

With save the date notes, try going the email route. There are many sites which allow you to mass email your save the dates to the guests, and they even track their responses for you. You can even do online invites for all the events complementary to the wedding like the bachelorette party, bridal shower, etc.

Moreover, rather than having one menu per person, have one to two per table With escort cards, you can ditch the classic paper for something more creative like ribbon tied to a flower stem, or names and table number written on a beautiful stone.

Flowers

eco wedding flowersIn weddings, flowers are often the focal points of the décor. They are so beautiful, fresh and natural. So how is something like that not eco-friendly, you might ask. Well, most of the flowers for these ceremonies are shipped into the U.S from other countries. The florists often spray them with heavy pesticides and other chemicals to preserve their freshness. Plus, the long shipping also contribute to a massive amount of carbon emission.

Solution? Use local and seasonal flowers. Get your florist to help you come up with a beautiful flower arrangement. Tell them your wedding colors, and they will gladly help design a centerpiece using fresh flowers. Also, location matters. If you are getting married in a church, ask them if you can donate the flowers to them, or give them away at a hospital or even to your guests. This is especially doable if you are using planted flowers, like potted orchids, potted primroses or African violets.

Wedding Favors

green favorsThere are so many eco friendly wedding favor options out there. You can use eco-edibles like customized macarons, personalized wedding cookies, cakes, mini cakes, or even personalized cake pops. The choices are endless. If the edible food items does require lining, opt for the ones made from recycled paper. Soy candles make for amazing gifts as well. You can also give your guests ready-to-be-planted tree seedlings. If your guests live in an area where they don’t have a backyard to plant a tree, gift them with beautiful potted plants. They make such a thoughtful gift.

Another great idea is to send a donation on behalf of your guests to any cause that truly matters to you. This is a wonderful way to spread a little bit of love of your love filled day. This small action on your part, might impact thousands of lives, and it will also make the guests aware of the organization.

Lastly, we already know how noble you are as a person with just the fact that you took time to search for ways to make your wedding greener. Many couples get too engrossed in making the day so special for themselves, that they forget how such an important event can actually be used to spread a beautiful message and to give back and protect the planet that actually allowed them to meet each other in the first place.

Even if you adopt just one of the above recommended ideas, it will make a difference. No act is ever too small.

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