How to Have an Eco-Friendly Wedding
7 tips for going green (and saving some too!)
1. One Stop Shop
Having your ceremony and reception at the same location eliminates the need for all of your guests to drive to multiple locations, reducing the fuel used. If your ceremony takes place outside, that’s even better since you won’t use artificial lighting, heating or cooling for better wedding sustainability.
Ways to have an eco-friendly wedding indoors:
- Choose a venue that gets plenty of sunlight and host a daytime wedding so you can leave the lights off.
- Look for hotels that recycle and use energy-efficient appliances and biodegradable products.
2. Locally Grown Food Options
The farm-to-table movement is in full swing – in other words – that option won’t be hard to find (espeically since Michigan is home to so many incredible farmers). Work with your venue or caterer to choose locally grown, organic menu items. Organic foods do not use pesticides so they are great for the environment and your guests. Vegan and vegetarian menus are also becoming standard in wedding fare.
After Your Wedding: Rather than throwing it out, ask about the option to donate the leftover food from your wedding reception. Many halls will work with local charities.
3. Give Rather Than Receive
Don’t register for things you don’t need: give your guests the option of giving donations in your name instead. Choose a few charities that you care about as a couple. You can also make a donation to a charity rather than supply wedding guest favors. Set out information on each charity and allow guests to read up on them all and decide which organization they’d like you to donate to on their behalf.
4. Vintage Wedding Dress
How special (and eco-friendly) would it be to re-wear your mother’s wedding dress? Not totally in love with it? Work with a seamstress to make it more your style. Another option, check out vintage clothing shops or consignment boutiques. Don’t stop there, go eco-friendly for the bridal party, too by truly picking clothing they can wear again! Think casual suits and summer dresses for your bridal party.
READ MORE: Prepping Your Dress for Wedding Photos
5. Embrace Seasonal Flowers
If you have your heart set on fresh cut flowers, work with your florist to create bouquets of local, seasonal flowers, reducing the transportation of exotic blooms. When the event is over, consider donating the flowers to a senior center or hospital. Some of the seasonal choices include:
- Spring: Lilies, Lilacs, Peonies, Tulips
- Summer: Calla Lillies, Daisies, Roses
- Fall: Sunflowers, Asters, Gerbera Daisies
- Winter: Amaryllis, Orchids, Pointsettias
PRO TIP: Send your guests home with your wedding flowers—have an attendant ready to arrange your florals into individual bouquets for friends and family to enjoy for a few more days in their homes.
6. Use recycled paper (and less of it)
The list of wedding stationary is quite extensive:
- Save the Dates
- Wedding programs
- Place cards
… and more! Look for ways to reduce your usage and insist on recycled paper where you can.You can also reduce the inserts in your invitations by directing people to your wedding website for any extra details.
For an even greener approach, consider online invitation services. Consider digital save the dates, a table board instead of seating cards and forego menus at the plate. You’ll reduce paper consumption – and cost.
7. Something borrowed
Ask friends and family to lend their tableware, decorations, runner, vases, and other items for all of your wedding events; rehersal dinner, wedding shower, cocktail hour and even your reception. Reducing your consumer footprint is a great move for wedding sustainability (and saves you money).
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