If you’re not planning a wedding we all know a Spirited Woman who is! So, typically that means friends are asking us for suggestions about dresses, invites, favors and all else. So perhaps we should be mindful of the recommendations we make and encourage our dearly beloved’s to consider the environment on their big day. Weddings require a large quantity of everything: programs, napkins, favors, invites, envelopes, etc., so this is a GREAT time to be considerate of what you’re using. You can actually make a substantial contribution to the environment on this ONE day.
I’ve done some investigating for us and have a few tips to help plan a “green” wedding.
The Dress: Vera Wang and Reem Acra are amazing. But why buy a new one? A bride wears her dress for maybe 12 hours and then stows it away in her parent’s attic for years. Think about how much fabric is wasted on ONE dress? Further, it’s a waste of money and labor! So ask friends if they know anyone looking to sell their dress, check EBAY or visit Brides Against Breast Cancer. They sell once previously worn designer dresses for as little as $799 and all proceeds benefit breast cancer research.
Invitations: Ok, this is the most important component in my opinion. The amount of paper that you’ll be using throughout the wedding process is insane! Announcements, save the dates, shower invitations, shower thank you notes, wedding invitations, direction cards, wedding thank you notes, ceremony programs, place cards, menu cards, envelopes and thank you notes - do the math! So, consider 100% recycled, partially recycled or completely tree free paper. And if you’re really eager, you can cut out most of the paper and waste with electronic invites.
Rings: Out of all the wedding items, these will last forever so I know you want to LOVE your rings. First, consider using an heirloom. Something passed down from your grandmother is a sure sign of LOVE! Another option is recycling some of your old jewelry and having custom bands made. Personally, I love this idea because it melts all of your younger experiences and possessions into one piece that will stay with you forever. There’s a great company out there called Green Karat that can help. They use recycled primary metals and gems that are either created or recycled.
Flowers: Be careful about what flowers you chose and were they’re from. Many countries export flowers to the US and use large amounts of pesticides and toxic fertilizers. Further, these under-developed countries aren’t paying close to minimum wage and labor conditions are horrible. Find a local florist and ask to see a selection of locally grown (or organic) and in-season flowers.
Favors: Here are a few green ideas! Recycled paper products, plants or tree seedlings, organic chocolate or a CD featuring the bride and groom’s favorite music. (I know the CD is done a lot, but it’s a crowd pleaser!)
Honeymoon: There a tons of travel companies offering eco-friendly travel packages and destinations. Just Google “eco-friendly travel”.
There are many books out there that will help you too. Just check out Amazon for titles or go to the library. Also, if you have some great green wedding tips, I want to hear about them!