Being environmentally conscious is not just something people do on a small scale on a daily basis, but is usually something incorporated into the major decisions of one’s life. If you are a bride who is looking to plan a wedding an eco-friendly wedding, we have some suggestions for you.
Choosing a Venue. Deciding on a venue is usually a bride’s first major decision. The obvious choice for a bride looking to go green is to get married outdoors where the sun can provide all of your lighting, allowing you to cut down on energy consumption. Many beautiful botanical gardens, farms, beaches, and vineyards will allow you to capture amazing photos, and many of these offer modern conveniences like sinks and toilets. Rustic weddings are not only very trendy, but they cut down on overall waste and the cost of utilities.
If having an outdoor wedding isn’t feasible or you’re concerned about the weather, one way to cut down on fuel emissions is to eliminate travel for you and your guests. Having your ceremony and reception at the same venue is one way to do this. Hosting a daytime wedding so you can leave the lights off is another way to be environmentally responsible. And you may even want to look at some of the top venues that prioritize recycling and the use of high-efficiency appliances and biodegradable materials.
Deciding on a Dress. When we think about eco-friendly dress shopping, most brides may think about re-wearing a gown. Choosing to wear your mother or grandmother’s dress or having a seamstress alter it to suit your style is one way to go green. Other brides may think about checking out vintage clothing or consignment shops for a wedding dress purchase. But if you are a bride who simply isn’t in love with the idea of donning a pre-worn wedding gown, there are other ways to stay green as a bride.
You may decide to choose a dress that is made of a sustainable fabric like organic cotton, hemp, or silk, or avoid buying off-the-rack. Purchasing something off-the-rack means that the material was mass produced in large quantities in developing countries and the unsold inventory was likely wasted. Instead, try purchasing a custom wedding dress, and allow your bridesmaids to purchase dresses that they will wear again. Donating your dress or the girls’ dresses to your local Goodwill, Salvation Army, or Dress for Success will allow others who don’t have the money to spend on a special occasion dress to enjoy it again for their wedding or prom and is yet another way to maintain an eco-friendly perspective.
Designing Invitations. The amount of paper used for invitations in the US annually is exorbitant, and the process of producing these items not only pollutes the environment but kills trees. Deciding to have invitations made of recycled paper is an important (and for most, an obvious) way to reduce environmental costs associated with your wedding.While traditional paper wedding invitations are still in vogue, eco-friendly couples may opt for paperless versions of other communications like save-the-dates and shower invites.
For the green bride and groom, be sure to not only choose recycled paper for your invitations but try to reduce or eliminate inserts like directions or other superfluous information, directing people instead to your wedding websites for any necessary details. Look for paper products that are embedded with seeds, so that your guests can plant them in their yards and the invitation can become a flower or an herb instead of winding up in a landfill, or choose to reduce printing costs by handwriting your invitations or daring to go all-digital.
Finding Flowers. While flowers are a central element to every wedding, commercial flowers have a negative impact on the environment. Not all flowers are organic, and many farms use chemicals to keep insects off the flowers, causing illness for the workers and requiring transportation across the country, generating carbon emissions. As an eco-friendly bride, you may want to work with your florist to determine what flowers will be seasonable at the time of your wedding and which are grown locally.
You may decide to create DIY bouquets from flowers found at your local farmer’s market, or forego floral designs altogether and opt for something different like a brooch bouquet, beautifully bound books, or balloons. Many modern brides are also choosing to use potted blooms, plants, and topiaries instead of cut flowers so that they can be taken home and replanted after the wedding.
Choosing to remain eco-friendly on your wedding day does not mean you will leave behind style. Consider some small but important changes to your wedding plan that will help you remain consistent with your values on your special day.
What eco-friendly ideas do you have for a wedding? Feel free to comment below.