10 Tips For Having an Eco-Friendly and Green Wedding

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Eco-Friendly Green Wedding

With over two million weddings each year in the United States that produce over sixty tons of carbon dioxide and several hundred pounds of garbage, it is no surprise that many engaged couples are making more eco-friendly choices when planning their wedding. From the choosing the invitations and wedding dress to picking the best flowers and lighting, even the smallest decisions can make a huge difference to the environment that cost less and are equally beautiful. These tips will give you eco-friendly wedding ideas that you can use when planning your dream wedding.

1. Choose an Eco-Friendly Reception Location

There are several things that can be done to make sure the wedding and reception location is eco-friendly. Outdoor weddings are not only beautiful but better for the environment as well because lighting, heating and cooling are provided by the sun and climate. If an indoor venue is preferable, select a location that is LEED certified, or built with health and environmental concerns in mind, and promotes sustainability. To reduce emissions and fossil fuels from transportation needs, consider having the wedding and reception in the same location. If two locations are unavoidable, provide group transportation such as a bus or limo.

2. Choose Eco-Friendly Wedding Rings

The wedding rings symbolize a couple’s love and commitment to each other, but they can also symbolize a commitment to a healthy environment. Jewelers that use recycled metals and antique stores that sell wedding rings lower the need for freshly mined gold. Better yet, a family member’s jewelry that has been passed down from one generation to the next is not only eco-friendly but has sentimental value.

3. Eco-Friendly Photos

Wedding photos should last a lifetime, but there is no need to waste paper or use strong chemicals. More and more wedding photographers are using digital photography which is paperless and chemical free. Many will even display proofs online to save paper and ink. Also, leave out the disposable cameras at the reception. Most guests bring their own cameras anyway, which saves waste. More tips for choosing a wedding photographer can be found here.

4. Find an Eco-Friendly Invitation Company

Some invitations use lots of paper, so if that is the case, make sure they are printed on recycled paper or order from an eco-friendly invitation company that sells a one piece RSVP card in a postcard style. Encouraging guests to recycle their invitations is another way to save paper. This can be done by using paper that has embedded seeds that when planted and watered a small wild flower garden will appear. In this age of computers, many couples are opting to use wedding websites for their information cards, but for this once in a lifetime event, it seems that people need to hold an invitation in their hands.

5. Dining Choices

The dining choices couples make for their wedding can have a huge impact on the environment. Choosing caterers who use seasonal, organic and local ingredients lessen the environmental impact and support the local economy. Buying locally saves the fuel consumption needed to transport food and saves the energy needed to keep the food fresh. Serving local beverages is also a plus. Additionally, replacing disposable dishes and utensils for china and silverware not only reduces waste, but adds elegance.

6. Wedding Favors

Wedding favors are a considerate gesture for the guests, and choosing useful and reusable items is kind to the environment also. Homemade edible favors, potted plants and tree saplings are all thoughtful gifts that won’t end up in the trash, and guests can enjoy in their homes. Another idea for eco-friendly wedding favors is to make a donation to a charity in the guests’ names.

7. Your Wedding Dress

For the bride-to-be, the wedding dress is one of the most important purchases for the upcoming nuptials. New wedding gowns are used only once. Brides have many other eco-friendly options that will avoid using up new raw materials. Searching vintage and consignment shops may lead to a unique designer gown that otherwise may not have been affordable. Wearing a family member’s gown, a mother or grandmother for example, would add a personal touch.

8. Choose Local and Organic Flowers

Local, organic and in-season flowers are the most eco-friendly because they don’t have to be shipped from long distances and aren’t treated with chemicals. Flowers are often shipped from other countries which not only require transportation, but they are often treated with pesticides. Additionally, they can be reused for both the wedding and reception and can be donated or given away afterward to get the most use out of them.

9. Conserve Energy With Eco-Friendly Lighting

Lighting should be a consideration when planning an eco-friendly wedding. Especially in large reception halls, a huge amount of electricity is required to fuel lighting. LED lighting reduces energy use dramatically while retaining the full brightness required for the space. Also, candles are a great way to illuminate a room without using any electricity at all. Soy candles are especially good for the environment because they are made from all-natural ingredients.

10. Eco-Friendly Confetti

The custom of tossing confetti over the bride and groom is a delightful gesture, but the remains are harmful to the environment. Eco-friendly confetti won’t harm wildlife and dissolves with rain. Alternatives that are just as environmentally safe are bubbles, rose petals, and bird seed.

In conclusion, a completely eco-friendly wedding is possible with the proper planning.

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