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THE JOURNAL

Green Weddings


Photo by Heather Bohm-Tallman

Earth Day is Friday and although I live a fairly green lifestyle everyday this is the perfect time to talk about ways you can make your wedding as green as it can be. If you think about what kind of environmental impact your big day can have it is actually mindblowing. From the travel of your guests to the waste of packaging from all of your favors it really makes sense to try and cut back on excess waste and lower the carbon footprint you’re making with this one event.

I have planned several green weddings and although each bride takes it to their own level, here are some great ways you can be more earth conscious when planning your big day:

  • Instead of giving your guests a disposal wedding favor why not make a donation to your favorite charity? And if you have a charity that does waste cleanup, forest preservation, or other green actions this can be even that much more environmentally impactful.
This is a photo from one of my weddings where instead of a traditional wedding favor the couple made a donation to the World Wildlife Fund to support their conservation of wildlife and wild habitats.

Photo by Bob Donlon

Consider giving your guests a favor that will impact the environment in a positive way. Here is a tree sapling that each guest was able to take home and plant in their yard. The couple even cut down on paper waste by adding their guests’ names onto the favor to save them from having to use (and at the end of the night, throw out) traditional place cards.

Photo by Niki Rossi

  • Get your wedding flowers from a local nursery instead of looking for exotic flowers that need to be shipped from the other side of the world. You will not only be supporting the local farmer and incorporating home grown items into your day, but you will be lowering the amount of pollution caused by the planes and automobiles that are needed to transport flowers from other countries.
  • While we’re talking about flowers, consider the impact of the vases used for centerpieces. By using recycled glass containers, and then arranging for the reuse of these vases after the wedding is over, you will contribute to a positive use of the glass and not add to the waste sent to the landfill.
Here is a photo from a wedding where they used peonies from a family garden to make their own ceremony baskets and centerpieces.

Photo by Niki Rossi

  • Serve your guests organic food, wine and beer! Organic food may seem like an obvious choice but a lot of people aren’t aware that there are good organic wines and beers out there that can compliment an organic meal quite well. So you can save the environmental impact of pesticides not only on your plate but also in your glass.
  • Consider using linens that aren’t dyed in harsh chemicals. There are linens out there that aren’t put through a chemical dying process and therefor aren’t adding to the amount of chemicals that need to be disposed of from fabric factories.
  • Think eco-friendly with all of your invitation and stationery products. Having a formal way to invite your guests to your wedding is essential, but you have the option of choosing invitations made of recycled paper, going with a more compact design to decrease waste, or even choosing to go the route of electronic invitations to completely cut out not only the paper, printing, and processing waste, but also the transportation pollution that comes with the mailing of both the invitation and the guests’ response cards that are sent back to you.
  • You can even incorporate your green theme into your honeymoon by choosing a vacation that has low carbon impact and can include activities where you give back to the land by volunteering with environmental activities like garbage cleanup, reforestation, or other such projects. Rent bikes and ride around town, choose to not have your hotel wash your towels and linens everyday, and keep the disposable souvenir purchases to a minimum. In this way you are not only doing your part on your wedding day but also carrying the concept through to your married life.
Live the principles of Earth Day everyday, including on your wedding day. If you are interested in planning a Green Wedding or are looking for more information on the topics above feel free to e-mail me at shannon@weddingplanningplus.net.

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  1. Out of the Ordinary says:

    Love these!

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