Green Wedding Tips for Real People
Not into researching every single invitation company for recycled paper content? Is a hemp bridal gown not your dream dress? I hear you. If you’re looking for a more traditional approach to wedding planning but still want to do your ecological part, here are a few ideas.
1. Keep it simple.
Just by cutting out a fair amount of unnecessary fluff, you can eliminate a great deal of waste. Some examples would be losing the balloon arch and skipping the streamers.
2. Seed favors.
I touched on this a bit in the green gifting article, but it really was an excellent eco favor that all the guests enjoyed and commented on as being the first wedding favor they were absolutely thrilled to receive. The package was tastefully decorated with a botanical illustration of the flower and a wedding message from us was printed on the back. We had them by the sign in book, and chose a perennial so that when people went through the trouble of planting them they would be able to enjoy them year after year.
3. Consider fuel costs.
Go local if possible. However, if people are coming in all different directions, you may need to choose a central location that’s a reasonable distance for everybody.
4. The all in one location.
This worked out very well for us on many levels. It was a well decorated and fully stocked for events historical mansion. You can book these things for rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, ceremony and reception. People only need to drive and park once, and since it was routinely rented out for events it came fully stocked with vintage style linens, dishes, flatware, coffee urns, cake table, serving dishes, chairs, the works. Even the seating tables came with linens and crystal oil lamps. Basically no disposable decorations were needed. We went with cut greenery and baby roses around the bottoms of the crystal oil lamps, bridal party flowers and two arrangements on the finials at the bottom of the staircase to frame the landing we had the ceremony on. All compostable.
5. Organic cake topper.
Rather than go with a large plastic cake topper that will get tossed at worst and collect dust at best, consider a simple elegant floral arrangement on the top of the cake, with a coordinating set of accent greenery around the bottom of the cake. I happened to have one of those porcelain bridal themed tea candle holders someone gave me for a shower gift that I worked in. But honestly, it would have looked just as classy without it. Several people commented that they liked the look better than the plastic ornament laden cakes. If planning an extra detail with the flowers stresses you out, just go with some additional details added in frosting only.
6. Dress options.
Vintage, something streamlined you can modify and wear again, or turning the dress into a christening outfit for your someday offspring are all ways to go. And of course, less is more.
7. Bird seed.
We had packets of this instead of rice to throw. Worked great, people still got to throw stuff at us, and the animal kingdom was happy.
8. Plantable invitations.
We didn’t know about these when we had our family bash. But if we had, we would have used this idea for sure. Numerous companies are out there that will print your invitations on eco friendly paper that is studded with such things as wild flower seeds. The idea is that while they need to be able to read the invitation, it can then get planted as an additional garden resource to the seed favors. Cool, huh?
I’m sure there are more intense lists out there for researching individual companies and their products. The purpose of this piece was to toss out some simple ideas which when implemented, will let you make green wedding choices without having it be an additional stress factor. As always, I welcome any ideas and resource recommendations.