The Wedding Venue
choose an outdoor venue, if possible with caretakers protecting the environment and reinvesting some of the rental fees for restoration and environmental causes. Historical places and museums create perfect settings and your money supports our cultural inheritence.If it is a well known wedding venue the couple before or after you might have a similar taste or layout, maybe they’d like to share rentals
It must be a destination wedding?
Buy carbon offsets, it’s like knowing that you will sin and then ask for absolution from your priest but then, it’s still better than denial.Ceremony and Reception: have both at the same location and save lots of traveling and on extra decor. Sarah and Paul did it all in one go, they got married at the beach and drove to their venue just around the corner, the only extra were the hundred chairs on the sand, not too bad.
Day time weddings in any season but the winter use much less energy as they don’t need heating or lighting. The magic of the night is often too attractive to miss out on though, I certainly would want to party into the night. Led lights and bio diesel generators help to reduce the impact.
Forget about paper, create an amazing, interactive website, a lot of fun for your guests. When I did my first one for one of my couples I couldn’t stop smiling and the coolest: you get the RSVP’s in a fine list, no more checking resonses and other paper war. You can even host it with a low impact companyLove paper like me?
Can’t live without a keepsake? Do it tree free, use hand made or recycled paper, print with soy inks, find an eco friendly print shop or invitation business
Watch Leo’s movie with the same title and stay away from blood diamonds. Ethically mined diamonds sparkle even more and colorful gems can be so uniquely you. The trend to artificially grown diamonds is slowly rising: these sui generis pieces with your one of a kind number and certificate have a futuristic touch.
Think vintage – is there any gold in your families, which is dusting in drawers? Like broken or outmoded pieces? You can re-use the gold for your wedding rings and have your families on your ring finger (not breathing down your neck) Other metals become fashionable, and, for the extreme tree hugger, I’ve even seen them in lovingly polished wood showing nature’s inventive design.
Talking about family
Find a cool but sensitive wedding planner, who not only offers innovative ideas of how to green your wedding, but dances the family dance: yes, you can help and no, you can’t dominate my couple. Mom’s wedding dress, a roasted pig and the church ceremony might be out.
Think vintage again: lots of amazing vintage boutiques have opened by now and the choices go from really old fashioned (can be revamped) to slick thirties and sexy fities to retro seventies. The modern bride can go “one-time used” and find contemporary designer dresses from five minutes ago for much less at the new paradigm chic consignment stores.
Vegan, meaning shoes without animal skin, become sassier, but buy them in time, as not every new company gets it that shoes have to be comfy too, a wedding day is long. Some of the artificial materials used can be a little unflexible and hurt.
Choose bridesmaids dresses that your friends can wear again, and please let them be sexy too. Eclectic can be rather amazing and if every girl is allowed to wear what actually fits her she will definitely give some extra happy shine to your wedding. Of cause if your friends are all models – go wild
Boys will be boys: don’t force the men into tuxedos, if that’s not their dream, let them have their organic cotton suits, chucks and flip flops if they wish. Piece silk scarfs rather than the traditional ties add to James Bondish handsomeness and vintage suits are so Fred Astaire visits Casablanca.
If there’s no eco-caterer handy, serve a local menu and get as many organic ingredients as possible. Vegetarian menus cut down on the environmental impact. We have worked with creative chefs whose vegetarian gourmet dishes tickled even the most convinced carnivore.
Wine, beer, booze and sodas – organic is becoming big here. If you ever tried a VEEV mojito, you never go back to the regular stuff. And the guys from Sierra Nevada are so eco-fizz.
Find an eco-friendly rental company, transporting your tables in bio diesel trucks and use non-toxic laundry detergent.
Buy your linens and re-use them, give sets to your bridesmaids (after the eco-friendly dry cleaning)
You might have collectors in the family who go beyond the stamp collections: from Mc Coy’s kitschy figurines to grand ma’s vases, there’s often inspiring decor in attics or cup boards, which add to your creative ideas for your unprecedented wedding design. Decor is re-use galore and you can really go eco-creative here
Donate your decor
If guests don’t want to schlepp anything home, donate the left over food (check the health codes) decor and center pieces to a retirement home or a local shelter
inherently green and fun for family and friends. Handmade decor saves money and is so personal. Jane & Ethan’s clan created 1,000 Origami cranes, they dangled from the over head string lighting, in tree and bushes, sat on bars and tables, such a happy sight.Having a picnic type wedding? Use bio degradable table ware.
Use none or less cut flowers, make potted plants, herbs or succulents part of the center piece. They make amazing gifts for your guests and will decorate home and garden for quite a while.
More on center pieces, Fruits (eat them or donate) and drift wood (recycle or use for the fire place or bonfire) can be the base for spectacular designs. Integrate art objects, candelabras, whatever matches the theme and is already available
green waste companies put up their recycle bins for glass, alu, paper. Eco-caterers often recycle their stuff and dispose of gray water the proper way
Bicycles wedding have been reported but aren’t everybody’s cup of herbal tea. The other options are eco vans and limos, only available in some cities but most rental companies offer at least hybrids by now. I haven’t measured the impact but would imagine that a (often sadly smokey) school bus transporting 60-70 guests is friendlier than 30-40 regular cars.
Choose a couple of the green ones and perhaps add a local animal shelter or any other philanthropic idea so that your guests can give your the healthy iron pots’n pans or save the lives of a herd of wild horses
Please don’t wrap, what a waste.Favors: combine escort cards and your gift and please make sure, it’s something your guests can actually use or eat. Organic chocolates are always good, but when going creative go useful. I had to toss too many little trinkets to happily welcome favors of any kind and then to see my brides sad after most guests didn’t take their favor is depressing.
Soy and bees wax candles aren’t toxic
Have fun don’t and leave rigid rules to traditional weddings: there are always different shades of green and if you choose the greenish way or mix and match the good and the questionable, it’s still better than stomping on the careless path. Lastly, after five years of green wedding planning I can only say that there wasn’t any idea yet for which we didn’t find an eco-friendly solution and every couple had a blast with innovative green
Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.