We first posted this last year and it’s that time again. Just some refresher ideas on how to “green” your wedding.
With Earth Day not long ago passed, and wedding season starting to kick off, we thought we’d focus on the ways couples are planning eco-friendly weddings. Becoming more popular and more mainstream – “Green Weddings” are the latest trend in wedding planning. Here are some tips for planning an environmentally friendly union:
With the economic down-turn, many couples are reconsidering that ice-sculpture or the 10 white doves being released at the ceremony. If budget isn’t enough of a reason to trim your wedding, hopefully the environment is. Consider whether or not you really need all the pomp & circumstance – often it’s the small touches that are remembered.
Getting married in an unconventional setting like the beach or at the entranceway to your favorite hiking trail is a great idea. It is a perfect opportunity to draw attention to the beauty of the great outdoors and strengthen your environmental commitment.
The logistics of an outdoor wedding without the basics can be a nightmare, so plan carefully. Also, remember to look into permitting from your local municipality.
Also, having your wedding and reception at the same venue will save time and money while reducing the carbon footprint of your wedding. Being able to move outside while the space is being made over from ceremony to soiree is a great help, and your caterer will thank you too.
Now more than ever people are finding that their friends are scattered all over the globe. Rather than sending invitations via snail-mail, why not send out an e-vite instead? Without the costs of embossing, envelope addressing, stamps and of course the carbon footprint of mail, you’re going easy on your wallet while also going easy on the earth. There are many websites tailored specifically for wedding invitations, check out Wedding Tracker, Wedding Window and EWedding.
Food is a hot topic – how do you plan for an eco-friendly meal? The best bet is to try to use local food whenever possible. Encourage your caterer to shop at farmer’s markets and local grocers. If you aren’t a complete carnivore – consider a vegetarian or fish-based meal. Not only will it be lighter, meaning your guests won’t be feeling sluggish when it’s time to hit the dance floor; but you won’t have to navigate through the meat debates (Organic? Free range? Grass fed?). Consider serving organic wine at your table too.
Some people have made beautiful arrangements with wild flowers. If you haven’t got the time to go flower picking, the next best option is to look for locally grown, fairly traded, organic or Veriflora flowers. Veriflora is a sustainability certification program for flowers that are grown in an environmentally and socially responsible manner and meet the highest standards for freshness and quality.
We’re a little biased here, but we think DreamBank is the best option when it comes to an eco-friendly alternative in the world of gift registries. Not only does posting your dream gift ensure that you get what you want – but it also means that no unwanted ‘stuff’ is going into landfills and automatically help a charity in the process. Check out some of the great wedding ideas other dreamers have posted: South East Asian Honeymoon, A Bunch of Cool Things, and a Piece of Original Art. If you want a straight cash registry (without the charitable benefit), there is also, ourwishingwell.com and uponourstar.com.
Other interesting options are gifts in kind. Consider creating a list of duties that guests can volunteer for. You may know a graphic designer who might agree to design your e-vite and there are always friends that will help decorate your venue.
Keep it Casual
Keeping it casual works well for weddings where green is the theme. If you are married to the idea of a traditional wedding with all the trimmings, then going green can be prohibitively expensive. Renting as much of what already exists in the world is your best course of action.
According to a Wedding Bells Magazine survey, a typical honeymoon lasts 8.8 nights; 67 percent plan to spend their honeymoon outside of the country, and 56 percent plan to stay at an all-inclusive resort, spending $3,735 on average. This involves flying and that means more carbon emissions. What can you do? Consider purchasing carbon offsets (carbon offsets are where you trade off one activity that contributes to greenhouse gas emissions with a financial contribution to an activity or cause that saves emissions).
You may look at offsetting the CO2 generated by the air travel of guests attending your wedding by buying credits in a green technology. Visit a site like Carbon Fund or Offsetters where you can use a handy calculator to tally up your entire carbon footprint for the wedding. You can then buy credits in anything from renewable energy, energy efficiency and reforestation projects.
For more resources on how to plan the perfect green wedding, check out:
Happy planning and please let us know what else you’ve found or done to keep your special day “green”.