ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Gender and Relationships»
  • Weddings & Wedding Planning

Eco-Friendly Wedding Tips and Ideas

Updated on March 9, 2014

Going Green With Your Wedding

Now more than ever, brides and grooms are looking for ways to make their wedding day as environmentally friendly as possible. The key, though, is to pull it off without looking like you’ve skimped on your big day.

Wondering how can a couple plan an earth-conscious event and still make it upscale and elegant? Here are some ideas.

Take the Poll

Do you think you would have an eco-friendly wedding?

See results
Image courtesy of Ricardodiaz on Flickr
Image courtesy of Ricardodiaz on Flickr

Choosing a Venue

There are little things a couple can do to cut costs and save resources. Having an outdoor wedding instead of renting a huge hall will mean using less electricity for lighting and air conditioning.

Of course, you’ll have to weigh the benefits. Will guests be comfortable outside in July without air conditioning? Perhaps it would be better to have a fall wedding outside. Considering a few different options is always a good idea.

Eco-Friendly Wedding Favors

Eco-Friendly Wedding Favors
Eco-Friendly Wedding Favors
Plantable wildflower seed favors from Wedding Favors Unlimited
Plantable wildflower seed favors from Wedding Favors Unlimited | Source

The Paper Products

You’ll be needing invitations, place cards, programs and other printed materials. Be sure to choose recycled paper or paper made from other sources such as hemp. It’s easier than ever to find alternative sources for paper products. You can even select soy-based inks that are biodegradable.

There are also flower seed wedding favors, which are great for guests to take home and plant beautiful flowers in your honor. They're great, and great for the environment as well.

Image courtesy of Wonderlane on Creative Commons
Image courtesy of Wonderlane on Creative Commons

Gown Alternatives

One of the biggest expenses in wedding planning is the bride’s attire. It’s a lot to spend on a dress you’ll wear once. Why not recycle and reuse?

Today, there are so many fashionable alternatives to an expensive new dress. Savvy brides shop consignment stores that sell perfectly wonderful dresses that are pre-owned. The quality of these dresses can rival the quality of those right off the rack.

It may take a little more time to find the perfect eco-friendly gown, but by allowing yourself time to meander through various resale shops, you’re sure to come across a marvelous selection. You can put that extra cash to use elsewhere.

Going Green With Favors

Photo courtesy of Valerie's Genealogy Photos
Photo courtesy of Valerie's Genealogy Photos

Go Vintage for Rings

Another big expense is the rings. Gold is at an all-time high, and the gold mining process can be very harmful to the environment. Many antique stores sell vintage wedding rings that are charming and elegant. You can often get a vintage piece for a fraction of what a brand new gold wedding ring set would run.

Vintage wedding rings can also be found on eBay and other online sites that specialize in antique jewelry, and it’s the ideal way to recycle!

You can also opt to purchase rings that are made from "green" metals such as eco-friendly gold or platinum. Here are a few companies that offer eco-friendly wedding rings:

  • Brilliant Earth
  • Green Karat
  • Green Oro

Image courtesy of DVIDSHUB on Flickr
Image courtesy of DVIDSHUB on Flickr

Alternative Gifts

It’s customary for the bride and groom to register for gifts they’d like. However, most brides find they end up with duplicates anyway and selections they’ll never use. Do you really need two fondue pots?

Instead, ask that wedding gift baskets be donated to charity in your names. Set up an account with a local organization that feeds the needy and have donations go there, or send funds to an organization that provides disaster relief for hurricane or tornado victims.

Suggest the cash go towards providing filters for countries where the water is not safe to drink. There are hundreds of ways the gifts you receive can go towards helping people and the environment.

You can have parents spread the word or print the name of your favorite charity right in your invitations. And if you do receive duplicate gifts, you can always donate them to a shelter or Goodwill where they will be put to good use.

Save Up to 40% by Going Green

Image by Flickr's Quimpg
Image by Flickr's Quimpg

Finding Flowers

Instead of using expensive cut flowers that last only a day, why not use plants to decorate your reception? Guests can then take the plants home and replant them. You can choose from many varieties of foliage and blooms that will look elegant and then fill the gardens of your guests afterwards. You can do a combination of hanging baskets and urns and pots for a very romantic garden feel.

If you plan ahead, you can even grow them yourself or ask family and friends for donated plants from their own homes. Use personalized wedding vases to plant your homegrown flowers for a special touch.

Another choice is silk flowers. You aren’t cutting down any live flowers and you can reuse them or donate them to a church or nursing home that will enjoy displaying them. You’ll save money if you buy them in bulk online.

Comments Welcome!

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • bluecollarbride profile image

      bluecollarbride 5 years ago

      For flower seed favors, check out my giveaway this month for 100 flower "bombs" in the colors of your choosing! They're made from 100% recycled paper & wildflower seeds:

    • Eileen Goodall profile image

      Eileen Goodall 5 years ago from Buckinghamshire, England

      I just love this hub, great ideas and tips, love the wedding favours - now if we could just get all the guests to turn up on electric bikes :D Voted up, superb.

    • profile image

      Estrella 5 years ago

      I'm surprised that for venues nobody has thought of having it in a place where the electricity is made with renewable sources like wind, water, and sunlight. I would think that would be an acceptable choice, especially if the couple decide they want a winter wedding. I wrote a story once with a wedding scene where one person in the couple owned such a venue (he'd converted it over to renewable electricity sources for his girlfriend's sake, because being environmentally friendly was extremely important to her) and when they got married they had it there. They had both the wedding and the reception in the same place, which meant that guests had to keep moving to stay out of the way of the employees when they were bringing out things for the reception, but it all worked out all right.

    • AKKessinger profile image

      AKKessinger 6 years ago from Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota

      This was an awesome hub. Its so cool, the idea that you can help the environment and save so much money in the process. Thanks for the cool insight.

    • profile image

      Save The Date Cards 6 years ago

      I have added this to my Niagara Falls Honeymoon hub! :-)

    • onegirlfactory profile image

      onegirlfactory 7 years ago

      Going green would be something fun and different, plus it's a great thing for your budget as well. Too many people blow thousands and thousands of dollars on their weddings these days.

    • salt profile image

      salt 7 years ago from australia

      Wonderful writing and a great topic.

    • Wedding Tips profile image

      Wedding Tips 7 years ago from Hudson Valley NY

      I thought it would be difficult, not to mention expensive, to plan a green wedding until one of my brides set me straight. The suggestions in your article are a really good starting point and are quite easy to pull off. Nicely done!

      If you're planning an environmentally friendly wedding and you still want to be fashionable, check out these environmentally friendly wedding fashion ideas:

    • profile image

      Nicole 7 years ago

      Love this article! Another great way to help the environment is to skip paper invitations all together (or pair online save the dates and/or RSVPs with your recycled paper invites)! Glo offers sophisticated online wedding invitations, wedding web pages, and a smart RSVP system. Green brides should definitely check it out -- :)

    • pinkdaisy profile image

      pinkdaisy 7 years ago from Canada

      I have added this to my Niagara Falls Honeymoon hub! :-)

    • pinkdaisy profile image

      pinkdaisy 7 years ago from Canada

      This is an excellent hub! Green Weddings are becoming very popular.