Planning a Green Friendly Wedding
In the early staging of planning my July 2010 wedding, I'll admit that I didn't really think of ways to make the wedding itself environmentally friendly. At first, I was overwelmed, excited, more overwhelmed and more excited. I concentrated on getting the "big things" done first. I had to decide on where, when and who would cater it before I thought of anything else.
During that crazy time, I indirectly did a few things that I think are good: I planned on having it on the east coast so no family members had to fly, I am having it outside at a place that promotes environmental studies at the Morris Arboretum in Philadelphia, I am providing a shuttle for our guests from the hotel. These choices were made mostly because: I love the outside and flowers and trees, I didn't want to make my family spend the money on plane tickets, I didn't want to make people drink and drive (if they chose to drink).
Now as the wedding planning progresses (two months to go!) and I have a little more time to think things through, I've compiled a list of things you can do to make your wedding as green friendly as you can, without making your stress levels turn you blue:
1. Wed Locally. If you can, pick a destination that eliminates long distance travel for most of your guests. If your heart is set on a destination wedding, pick a place that promotes sustainable travel.
2. Encourage car pooling or hire a shuttle. Have a friend, family member or person in your wedding party coordinate car pooling or shuttles from the hotel or airport. They'll be happy to split the driving and cost.
3. Go Retro. Buy a second hand gown from a vintage wedding store. You can also resell your dress if your heart isn't set on preserving it or passing it on. You'll save money as well. I enjoyed shopping at Sabrina Ann in the Philadelphia Suburbs but you can choose to do it locally or through an online site such as Once Wed.
4. Share the costs. Find other brides that have similar themed wedding as you and coordinate sharing decorations.
5. Find a Green Friendly Printer. Invites, reply cards, thank you notes, save the dates, programs - the list of things you'll need printed is endless. Find a printer such as Greener Printer, a certified green printer, who offers enviornmentally friendly paper and printing.
6. Forgo the paper. These days, you can share most of your wedding information online. Get a wedding website and point your guests to it and they can access most of the information they'll need. You'll save money on most of the printing and postage costs and you can still share your couple style through cool templates.
7. Eat Green. When choosing a caterer, see if there are any options in your area for organic, green friendly catering.
8. Go Green on the Party Favors. Go green friendly on the favors! People love getting little plants as favors and they double as centerpieces as well.
9. Forgo Favors. Opt to donate to a green friendly cause on behalf of your guests.
10. Pass it on. When friends are in that "just engaged, overhwelmed and excited" faze, pass your tips along to them. Share your decorations with other brides, or just let your friends and family know what they can do to be keen for green.
Other wedding related green friendly resources: