How to Plan a Green Wedding: Tips to Save Your Budget and the Planet
Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life and showing your commitment to the environment can be a part of it! Why sacrifice your ideals for a single day?
There are so many choices to be made when planning your wedding. By intentionally planning a green wedding, you will be able to stretch your budget further while keeping an eye on your carbon footprint. You can still have the elegant wedding of your dreams and feel great about the environmentally conscious choices you have made.
Protect the planet for your new life together. Plan a green wedding!
Green Wedding Reception Tips
Eco-Chic Wedding Invitiations
Tips for A Green Wedding Ceremony
Green Wedding Dress: Hemp
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Green Wedding Favors
Tips for Planning a Green Wedding
The following is a list of ideas to help you plan your green wedding. Consider scaling back all around, on everything. The average wedding in the U.S. costs $20,000, but that is not a requirement for a beautiful, elegant day.
Try to consider the environmental impact of every single decision and purchase you make for your wedding. Use your buying power to support local markets and organic farmers. Make purchases from socially responsible companies. Be mindful that each item you buy - from apparel to napkins - will end up somewhere else eventually.
- Scale back your guest list. By inviting less people you will save money, reduce travel and consumption on everything from the food to the flowers. Overall this is the best way to reduce the footprint of your wedding.
- Buy local flowers that are in season, rather than shipping in flowers from far off countries. The greenest option is to avoid using cut flowers at all or limit their use in your wedding decorations.
- Avoid using paper plates, cups and plastic cutlery.
If you don't have enough reusable dishes and cutlery, use compostable dishes, cups and utensils made from renewable resources such as corn or potato starch.
- Serve organic champagne, beer and wine.
- Serve locally produced ice cream for dessert.
- Plan a menu based on sustainable food choices.
- Use linens instead of paper napkins.
- Smart catering: choose a locally grown menu consisting of safe organic food. Look for high quality instead of high quantity.
- Pass on the raw bar. If you were considering adding a raw bar to the cocktail hour menu, you may want to reconsider. Investigate eco-friendly sushi and fish choices. Certain types of fish contain dangerously high levels of contaminants and the practices involved in harvesting them sometimes have negative environmental impacts.
- Go digital with your photography. Review your proofs online so you only print your absolute favorite photos. You can always store the remaining photos on a CD for future use.
- Send e-invites instead of paper. Allow your guests to reply by email.
- Set up a website for your guests to obtain all wedding information online including hotel information and directions to event locations.
- If you do choose to send paper invites, use recycled or hemp paper.
- Register for donations to your favorite cause as weddings gifts.
- Choose an eco-friendly fabric for your dress, such as hemp or bamboo.
- Rent your wedding dress. Most cities now have wedding dress rentals and you can often find a designer gown that would be far out of your price range to rent!
- Consider having a Vintage wedding - dress your wedding party in vintage clothing.
- Choose dresses for your bridal party that they really could wear again. I know many brides intend to do this, but then get carried away with matching fuschia dresses and dyed shoes. This costs your bridesmaids a small fortune and they never use the dress or shoes again. Consider the waste and let your bridesmaids pick something they love!
- Wear an heirloom dress. Did your mom or grandmother stash her dress away in the attic? Check it out and see if you can use it. You can always alter it to fit.
- Look into purchasing eco-friendly wedding rings and conflict free diamonds. There are several websites that allow your friends and family to donate old gold pieces to you to be fashioned into new rings for you and your fiancé. The designs are beautiful and unique.
- Think about the leftover food prior to your wedding day. What will be done with it? Plan ahead to donate unused food to a homeless shelter or soup kitchen.
- Decide carefully when registering for gifts. Are the items you are asking for going to last a long time? Are they practical? Are they high quality? What happens to them when their “life is over?” Are they recyclable? Be sure to register only for the things you truly need.
- Minimize the amount of driving your guests will need to do by choosing a convenient location. Hold the ceremony and reception in the same place (this will also cut back on the cost of transporting the wedding party).
- Explore options for eco-friendly wedding favors like a gifttree or sapling. The National Arbor Day Foundation makes it easy for eco-friendly brides to give trees for their favors.
- Hire a wedding planner that specializes in green / eco-friendly weddings. If your budget allows, let them handle all the hard work for you!
- Take an eco-friendly honeymoon. There are many wonderful options for eco-friendly travel!
- Think about energy efficiency when planning the entertainment for your wedding reception. Instead of a band (which uses the most energy), choose a DJ.
Best of luck planning your green wedding!