More and more you hear about green weddings. No, not the color. Earth-friendly weddings. I am a lover of my planet and make adjustments here and there to try to protect it. When I remember, I take a tote for my groceries instead of using the plastic bags. But to my defense, I use those plastic bags to dispose of the awful smelling kitty litter. So they are being reused. Probably not in the most effective way, but they are being reused. The “new” trend of hosting a fully green wedding is fascinating to me. It takes a lot of dedication and creativity to plan a wedding that is completely green. I, myself, have one green aspect to my wedding. Our favors are going to be bamboo plants. Each guest will get a small plant with three stems. I thought it was cute. It has no relation to my wedding at all, but I much prefer a favor that is functional over something that people may never use again. So if you want to be conscious of the environment, you don’t have to go fully green. Even the small things make a difference. Here are some ideas:
1. Plantable Paper – You can find invitations, place cards, and thank you cards in plantable paper. Invitations serve as not only the reminder for the shower/wedding, but create beautiful flowers to remind them of your big day following the event. You literally plant the paper into a pot, water and watch it grow. Check it out at Botanical Paperworks, which is just one of the many places I found them.
2. Buy Locally – This has become so popular that even restaurants are advertising buying from local farmers. Talk to you caterer and see if they can purchase all the ingredients for your wedding feast from local farmers. Not only are you supporting your local economy, but you are cutting down on emissions from transporting produce and other food from place to place. The food is typically fresher and better tasting anyway, so it will only make your first meal as a married couple that much sweeter.
3. Donate Food – Not only can you support the environment by buying locally, but you can support your community by donating any leftover food to a homeless shelter or food kitchen. Have the caterer wrap everything up and designate someone to take it to the shelter once the dinner is complete. You may even be able to talk the caterer into dropping it off somewhere on their way back to their kitchen.
4. Safe Makeup – This is something that I hold near and dear to my heart. I love animals. I can’t even watch a movie when a dog gets hurt and hearing it yelp is even worse. Literally, Joey says “Sorry” every time it happens and I cringe because he knows how much I hate it. So one way to help the environment and all its creatures is to use only makeup and hair products that were not tested on animals. I know you want to be beautiful on your big day but there should be a disclaimer at the end of the day saying, “No animals were harmed in the making of this beautiful bride.”
5. Favors – There are a ton of options for this. You can use locally made candy or chocolate, seedlings or plants (like myself), or make a donation (with a tag made with plantable paper, of course!) to your favorite charity in the guests names. These are only a few of the possibilities.
6. Flowers – Again, buy from local growers and buy what is in season. You can also attempt to grow them yourself. I have a friend whose mother grew all her centerpiece flowers herself. It saved her a ton of cash and was beautiful. Plus, there is more of a sentimental connection if they were grown with love by a family member. If you want pew decorations, use them again in your reception site. Another alternative is to use silk or dried flowers. I know, I know. Silk flowers? They actually have some really authentic looking silk flowers now-a-days.
7. Eco-friendly fabrics – One thing that many people don’t think about when trying to be green is their clothing. You can find some really cute bridal gowns and bridesmaids dresses that are made from eco-friendly material. Organic cotton, organic linen, some types of silk, and hemp are all eco-friendly fabrics. You would be surprised with the pieces that designers have come up with using only eco-friendly fabrics. I found a few online – The Cotton Bride and Amy Kuschel are just two. You can also go vintage and ravage the racks at your local second-hand stores for a gown or bridesmaids dresses. This rule can also apply to linens for your reception as well!!
These are just a few ideas for turning your wedding into a green affair. Just remember, by making only one change to your wedding you can make an impact on the environment. What ideas do you have? What changes did you make?