Bridal Club Magazine
How to Plan a Green Wedding
Sure, green weddings are all the rage, but you'll need to go the
extra mile to make yours stand apart from the rest.
Green Weddings - Things to Consider:
The overarching theme here should be simplification. There are
eco-friendly versions of most wedding products, but the best option
is usually to forego the items altogether. Reuse wherever possible
- and save not only resources, but cash too.
Weigh the expenses
That said, some items you just can't live without, and usually the
green version is more expensive than the original. You'll need to
factor this into your wedding budget. To keep your budget in check,
determine which areas you're willing to spend more on for a good
cause (i.e. organic cuisine), and where you can save to make up for
that added expense (i.e. forego the wedding dress or favors). This
wedding budget guide offers even more budgeting advice
Many new companies have entered the growing green weddings market.
Before booking your vendors, check out businesses that claim to
provide green services and confirm that they really do.
One green turn deserves another. Let your guests know the steps
you've taken to plan your green wedding, and show them that an
elegant event doesn't have to be harmful to the environment. Who
knows, many of your guests may be inspired to do the same.
All in the Details - Green Wedding Ideas
Invitations & Stationery
1. Recycle - use recycled paper or paper made from alternative
fiber - such as hemp or bamboo. Check out these resources for an
array of custom, recycled papers: Custompaper.com or
2. Splurge on calligraphy - calligraphy may cost more, but it
saves inks, toners, solvents and chemicals involved in
3. Condense - save trees by minimizing inserts and other paper
products. Always print on front and back, and try to fit it all on
4. Go completely green - send all correspondence via email. The
etiquette gods may swoon - but if you're dead set on being green,
electronic mailings are the most earth friendly way to go.
1. Rent for a cause - find a venue that will benefit from your
site rental fee - such as a museum, gallery or other cultural
organization. Confirm how that venue will use your fee.
2. Go outside - a beach, the woods, gardens - they all make an
ideal setting for a green wedding (just be sure to leave it as you
3. Find a green venue - some venues are demonstrating a commitment
to saving water and energy, reducing waste, or serving locally
grown/organic menus. Check out these resources for green minded
- Green Hotels Association (www.greenhotels.com)
- Green Seal (www.greenseal.com)
1. Use candlelight - not only are candles energy efficient, they
also create a soft romantic glow for an elegant reception. Better
yet, look for soy candles - they're cleaner and longer burning
since they're made from a renewable resource.
2. Use bamboo - one of the most sustainable materials on earth,
bamboo is an eco-friendly décor option with an organic, modern
feel. Use bamboo stalks for centerpieces or other décor
1. Think double duty - invite your ceremony arrangements to the
reception! You can use them to decorate your cake or gift table -
you'll waste less and save money doing it.
2. Buy organic, locally grown blooms - organic flowers are grown
in an environmentally friendly way, without pesticides.
Getting locally grown ones will save the fuel burned from
transporting the flowers. If you can't find a local florist who can
provide organic blooms, order yours from OrganicBouquet.com
3. Conserve cut flowers - using cut flowers just once is a waste.
See if you can share yours with another wedding taking place on the
4. Skip cut flowers altogether - top your tables with potted
arrangements for guests to take and plant in their yards after the
1. Think organic - ensure that you, your guests and the staff
won't be exposed to pesticides. Many caterers specialize in organic
foods, and almost any caterer can provide an organic menu if you
2. Think local - if you're concerned about the cost involved in a
completely organic menu, go local instead. Serving locally grown
food eliminates fuel reliance and supports local farmers. Check out
Localharvest.org or Localfoodworks.org to find farmers markets,
farms and other sources of local food.
3. Reuse utensils - find a caterer who recycles materials and/or
uses linen and china instead of disposables.
4. Donate the leftovers - work with your caterer to send leftovers
to a food shelter or other organization.
1. Sub ingredients - have your baker use organic and/or local
sugar, flour, butter and eggs. Some bakers even specialize in
1. Go secondhand - a used gown reduces fuels used in creating a
2. Get green fibers - natural fibers like silk and organic cotton
are better for the environment than synthetic ones.
3. Go couture - if your wallet can afford it, couture gowns are
usually made from natural fabrics.
4. Donate - provide a green gown decision for another bride when
you give or sell yours after the wedding.
Avoid wasteful trinkets - donate to a charity in the name of your
1. Limit long distance travel - have the wedding in a location
where few guests will have to fly to get there.
2.Walk - host your room block, ceremony and reception at the same
site - or within walking distance
3. Carpool - organize car pools for your guests in hybrid
4. Getaway in low emission style - get creative and use a
non-motorized vehicle for your final sendoff - bikes, horseback,
sleds, skates, wagons, or any old school conveyance will do.
Other Green Ideas
The truth is - no matter how great your green intentions are, most
weddings have a huge environmental impact from the fuel used
transporting your guests - via car or plane - to your wedding.
Since this is extremely difficult to avoid, the "greenest" brides
are purchasing carbon offsets to reduce their wedding's
How it works: calculate the mileage guests will travel, and offset
their carbon dioxide emissions by donating to programs that plant
trees or preserve rain forests. TerraPass.com
<http://www.terrapass.com> is a website that does this for
you - you enter your wedding details, and the site calculates your
footprint, charges you accordingly, and then invests the money for
you in energy saving technologies.