This is a guest post by Margaret Sasser for Ecophiles.com
Your wedding is one of the most momentous events of your life.With so many things to plan from the dress to the venue, it’s often easy to overlook how your big day impacts the environment. Make it a day to remember with a thoughtful, eco-friendly wedding – it won’t just amp up your eco cred, but will possibly save you money as well. Here’s raising a toast to a green wedding!
Transportation contributes to the environmental impact in a big way for any large event. At a wedding, transportation not only involves you and your partner, but your guests as well. One way to reduce your wedding’s eco-footprint is to choose a venue as centrally located to the majority of your guests as possible. This will mean less driving time as well as less energy consumption for you and your guests. Also, when you shop, get your hands on local products to save the CO2 impact of shipping (cuts your fuel costs too!)
Another easy way to make your wedding greener is to go paperless for your save-the-dates and invitations. Green Envelope and Paperless Post are both great choices for eco-friendly invitations. This could also allow you to save on costs as well. However, if you have your heart set on paper invitations, you could consider invitations on 100 per cent recycled paper or having a more intimate ceremony with fewer guests to reduce paper usage.
Venue and Decor
The wedding venue is your chance to truly personalize your wedding. There are many ways for you to go green while maintaining the look you always dreamed of. One way to cut costs and help the planet is choosing a venue with plenty of natural lighting. Better yet, consider an outdoor wedding. As far as the decor, there are multiple ways to go green including using websites like Tradesy to shop recycled wedding decorations. Purchase locally to minimize travel time, and search for brands that use sustainable practices such as utilizing recycled materials and other eco-conscious production methods. When looking for flowers, you can also shop locally and use flowers that are in season as well.
The Dress and Rings
Even your dress can be eco-friendly! There is no shortage of incredibly talented, environmentally conscious designers such as Deborah Lindquist or The Reformation. Another option aside from purchasing a new dress would be to rework a vintage gown. Not only would you have an essentially custom gown, but redesigning a dress can save you money as well. Lastly, if you can find a dress that can be reworked to be worn again, definitely take the extra step and purchase a gown that has the potential to be versatile.
Rings are, of course, an integral part of the ceremony, but ditch the diamond and the gold band for according to No Dirty Gold, producing gold for one wedding ring alone generates 20 tons of waste. Go vintage or look for eco-conscious jewelry.
A few eco-friendly changes to your dinner could make a huge positive impact on the environment. You can choose to go meatless with a vegetarian dish as your meal rather than a traditional beef or chicken entree. Also, research your catering company to find one that sources ingredients locally. Lastly, recycle as much as you can. Discuss having recycling bins at the venue with your caterer or venue manager to make it easy on guests to recycle their glass bottles.
If you’re going to be eco-friendly when receiving gifts, there are many ways to get creative and lessen your eco-footprint. Let your guests know you would like gifts from a green registry like Viva Terra. Register for energy saving devices for your home from local vendors to minimize travel time to and from your venue. Furthermore, if you want to reduce waste from packaging and wrapping paper, you could even consider requesting guests to bring a monetary gift rather than something physical.
Your options for green travel are endless. There are several components to making your vacation more eco-friendly including being conscious of how you travel to where you travel. Research your state’s own green locations such as romantic vineyards and beaches for an intimate getaway not too far from home. You can also look into the train routes in your area to avoid bringing a car with you on your honeymoon. Don’t choose a tour operator that offers contact with wildlife. Enjoy the best of what nature has to offer – a green wedding is as much about giving back! You’ve earned your bliss.
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