Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Turn Your Wedding Green

Hear the eco-friendly church bells ringing

When planning your wedding, remember that a truly green event doesn’t have to be expensive or damaging to the environment. By planning ahead you can establish a budget and eliminate unnecessary investments. If possible, always incorporate reusable, biodegradable, recycled and recyclable items into your ceremony.

Now let’s get into some specifics:

  • Invitations

The best paper invitations are made out of recycled paper using soy or sustainable inks. If you want to be truly green, opt for an online, paper-free wedding invitation. Online invitations come in a variety of templates, colors, and designs that are available for you to choose from. In addition, save some paper and money on your engagement announcement, menus, and guest information by creating an inexpensive wedding website that your family and friends can view from any computer.

  • Transportation

Transportation is a huge part of any wedding ceremony. Many couples choose to rent a limo or carpool with their family members and friends. But when deciding your transportation, remember to consider your carbon output. The best choice for the environment would be clean fuel vehicles, biodiesel powered buses which promote carpooling, compressed natural gas vehicles, and of course hybrids.

  • Bling Bling

Jewelry is important to any engaged couple and their wedding party. Many couples chose to present their groomsmen and bridesmaids with various gifts like matching necklaces, earrings, or cufflinks. But did you know that there are sustainable options available, from the engagement ring to the wedding bands to the matching bridesmaids’ jewelry? As the groom, when shopping for an engagement ring, make sure your purchase is certified conflict-free. This means that your gold, diamonds, or gems have been purchased using fair-trade, and have not financed regional destruction or corruption. In addition, consider purchasing recycled gold or vintage/antique jewelry. As the bride, when shopping for your bridesmaids’ gifts remember to purchase sustainable products that are composed of man-made gemstones or are responsibly mined.

  • Flowers & Decorations

From handheld bouquets to church decorations, exotic hues and flower species are expected at most weddings. It’s important to realize that your roses and birds of paradise stems need to travel across the world to attend your wedding ceremony. To conserve money and expended fuel, purchase local or homegrown flowers. For a wedding keepsake, instead of drying your dying bouquet, purchase elegant artificial flowers that you can reuse in your home.

The best eco-friendly approach to decorations is to make your own centerpieces, take-home gifts, name placements, and other decorations you may have in mind. Be creative! Go to your local textile store and purchase sustainable (organic) fabric that truly defines you, then modify it to use as table cover or runner and napkins. The best part about designing your own decorations is that you can reuse them and save money on commercially-bought products. Encourage your wedding party and friends to help make decorations and favors; this will truly make your wedding personal and unique.

  • The Menu

Surprising your guests with a unique assortment of food and cake doesn’t have to be expensive or exotic. Shop locally or from homemade caterers, this will promote your local community, in addition to saving energy and money on shipping costs. Use the money you saved by buying locally to upgrade your food to a delicious organic menu. Buying organics promote pesticide-free, sustainable agriculture. Various cake caterers and beverages (including alcohol) are available as organic and/or vegan.

  • Party Favors & Gifts

There are many options for sustainable party favors and gifts. Instead of giving your guests the traditional commercial bought presents, take the time to make your own little gift bags or baskets. You can include framed pictures, customized candy, or even little tree seedlings. If you wish to motivate your wedding party to be more eco-conscious, make a donation to a rainforest or conservation fund in their name, and present them with the certification as their gift.

  • Location

By holding your reception at home you can save a lot of fuel and money. If most of your guests will be traveling locally, the carbon footprint of your marriage will be significantly smaller than that of elaborate weddings held on a cruise, and you will save money on family accommodations.

Learn More:

Pretty In Green

Tips to Turn Your Pet Into a Greenie

10 Quick Ways To Green Your Home

Green Cleaning… Not Just for Spring

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