Read these 6 Green Weddings Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Green Living tips and hundreds of other topics.
There are numerous ways to create eco friendly weddings from having invitations printed on recycled, chlorine free paper to choosing organic flowers for your bouquets. When planning an eco friendly wedding look closely at your invitation options. There are recycled invitations made with and without paper. If saving trees is important to you, choose invitations made with tree free papers. You could also choose to offset the paper usage by offering small trees to everyone who attends your wedding. The next item you will likely think about is favors for your guests. You could offer small trees, packs of organic seeds or even seashells the two of you picked up along the beach and personalized. One of the largest investments will be your wedding dress. There are several ways to have an environmentally friendly wedding dress. The first is to choose an organic fabric and have your dress made. Other options are to use someone else's dress or rent a dress for the occasion. You can rent the attire for the entire wedding party if you wish. When it comes to the food and flowers, choose locally grown organic items. Instead of arriving at the destination in a limousine, try a horse and carriage. Not only is it a more romantic and memorable choice but it is environmentally friendly. Many eco friendly weddings are held outside at a place of natural beauty such as a garden or on a beach. Outdoor weddings certainly save on electricity and are just one more way to have an eco friendly wedding.
Wedding invitations made with recycled paper are all the rage with couples who are planning an environmentally friendly wedding. After all what better way is there to let your guests know that you care about the planet than sending recycled invitations? For the couple who wishes to take it one step further there are recyclable invitations that are designed with flowers, seeds and petals which are actually part of the paper. The unique aspect to these invitations is that the paper can be planted in the garden of the guest after the wedding is over. Instead of having piles of paper lying around that will eventually end up in the landfill, the guest will have a nice flower patch that will remind them of the wedding for years to come. An advantage to the couple is if there are extra recyclable invitations left over they can plant them as well. For those who don't want to use paper for their invitations there are tree free papers made from recycled post consumer fibers. Be sure to ask if the recycled paper and post consumer fiber is chlorine free. Another way to save on paper is to skip the formal RSVP and encourage guests to call or email their reservations. Recyclable invitations are natural and eco-friendly. They are the perfect invitation for a celebration that is meant to be environmentally friendly. Finally, have information printed on your recyclable invitations or programs to tell guests what to do with them when the wedding is over. This is also a good opportunity to add information to the recyclable invitations and programs on your environmental beliefs or favorite environmentally friendly websites.
Homemade wedding gifts have more meaning than their traditional store bought counterparts. Making a gift basket filled with environmentally friendly gifts is just one idea. Green gift ideas include plain white organic bedding, a composter or gift certificates to their favorite health food store, organic grocery store or other environmental friendly place. A great idea for an environmentally friendly homemade wedding gift is a time capsule. Fill it with photos and other keepsakes. Label it so they do not open it until a future anniversary such as the twenty-fifth. An organic garden basket is another great idea. Fill it with seeds from the gardens of guests, add some hand tools or other necessities. For the couple who has a yard and garden or who are planning a garden together, a composter or rain barrel make wonderful environmentally friendly gifts. Other ideas for homemade wedding gifts can include potpourri jars, homemade soap or items made from dried herbs such as wreaths. You could even decorate a plain picture frame with dried flowers or herbs. Homemade quilts, especially ones made using organic material or hemp, are great gift ideas that the couple is sure to cherish. If you are giving the gift of food, look for organic, locally made items. When all else fails, ask the couple if there is an environmentally friendly charity they would like you to make a donation to in their name. When planning to attend an environmentally friendly wedding try to choose green gift ideas or homemade wedding gifts. The couple will appreciate you trying to stay in tune with their wishes and the environment will benefit as well.
Outdoor weddings in a garden, on a beach or any other scenic place are great ways to let others know how much you care about the environment. It is best to plan outdoor weddings during the early morning hours or right at sunset so there is enough natural light that you won't need artificial lighting during the ceremony. That is also the time of the day when the heat will be less intense. When choosing a garden site for an environmentally friendly outdoor wedding ask if the garden is organically grown. There are many scenic places where chemicals are taboo. With outdoor weddings, there is no reason not to have an outdoor reception too. However it is important to make sure guests pick up after themselves. While outdoor weddings may not be as glamorous as indoor weddings where every inch of the church is filled with elaborate decorations, outdoor weddings can still be very nice! Instead of having bouquets of cut flowers, choose a location where the flowers grow naturally. If you choose your own yard or that of someone you know you can custom design the garden for your wedding and continue to enjoy it for years to come. Other great choices for outdoor weddings are places that are not used much anymore such as the site of an old chapel or a gazebo. These make great places for weddings. Before choosing a site like this be sure to check and see if it is ok and what the cost to rent it is. Outdoor weddings can greatly cut down on the cost and the pollution associated with traditional weddings.
Beach weddings are great. You can ride a horse or simply walk on the sand or in the water. Choosing to have your wedding on the beach is environmentally friendly in many ways. You won't need to buy lavish decorations because the scene will already be set. In addition to picking up the paper products from your wedding, which hopefully will be biodegradable, encourage guests to pick up litter on other parts of the beach. Formal dress is fine if that is what you want, but for a beach wedding you can choose other attire. Speaking of attire, be sure to choose environmentally friendly clothing or better yet, rent the attire, wedding dress and all. Choosing the have a beach wedding is a great way to save resources since you won't be renting a church or other building that would require lighting. It is also a great way to involve your guests in your environmental beliefs. When planning a beach wedding make sure there is some kind of cover just in case the weather doesn't cooperate and seating for those who might not be able to stand. Sunset weddings are great and if you hold the reception on the beach right afterwards. For the reception all that is needed is some cheese and a little wine. Choose food for the reception that is locally made and organic which will contribute to the environmentally friendly theme. Offer guests wedding favors that you found on the beach ahead of time to remind them of the environmentally friendly focus of your special day.
Having an organic wedding says a lot about the couples environmental beliefs. Because a wedding is special and has symbolic meaning, there is no better time than now for people who are environmentally conscious to get on the bandwagon with organic weddings. Organic weddings are just one way to show how your lifestyle and buying habits impact the environment as well as the people around you. Choosing tree-free paper and local, organic food for the wedding are just a few of the ways to incorporate your personal choices into the eco friendly wedding of your dreams. When choosing a caterer, ask if they will provide locally grown organic food that is in season. If they do not offer this option, look elsewhere. When choosing a photographer, ask that they take digital photos instead of 35mm prints. Also ask what kind of digital camera they have. Make sure it has high megapixels so you can get some prints blown up and framed if you choose. Think about alternative modes of transportation such as walking, bicycling or arriving in a horse and carriage. Choose organic make-up products for your special day. When it comes to wedding attire, you can buy environmentally friendly material to make a wedding dress or simply rent one. The same goes for the rest of the wedding party. When it comes to flowers, look for locally grown organic flower options. If you can't find any, try growing your own. Finally, for the ultimate in eco-friendly weddings choose to have an outdoor wedding.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|