Eco-Friendly Life Story #1: My “Green” Wedding

This June, I will be getting married!!! I’m very fortunate to have had the time and resources available to make our event an eco-friendly event. The wedding industry is extremely wasteful, thus having a terrible economic impact.

The problem? Since I was a little girl, before I understood much about environmental impact, I had my dream wedding planned. How do I have the printed invites I’ve wanted? The extravagant dress? The exuberant reception!?

What does it mean to have a green wedding? No, it’s not about wearing a dress that’s literally the color green (embarrassingly enough, more than a few people have asked that)! It’s about having the smallest impact on the environment as possible, while still having a grand celebratory union! For Shane and I, that means:

(1) Using recycled paper for all our printed invitations and materials; printing the STD cards on postcards to save paper [Wedding Invites: French Paper; Save the Dates: Greener Printer; Shower Invites: Waste Not Paper ]

(2) Holding our reception in a historic building; [bonus: in a building sans A/C, lowering our electricity usage] [Cloisters Castle]

…(2a) Having the ceremony and reception in one place to limit travel emissions!

(3) Re-using the materials of  mother-of-the-bride’s wedding dress (I can’t wait to post a photo of the finished dress!)

(4) Letting the bridesmaids choose their own dresses, so as to ensure they get worn again!

(5) Opting for a seasonally inspired, meat-limited menu, and choosing a caterer who is conscious about their food choices and who utilizes many local farmer’s products [ Amazing food: check out our caterer: The Pantry Catering!]

(6) Serving our food buffet-style so that our guests have options, plus portion control

(7) Purchasing local, in season flowers for our decorations and bouquets [Local Color Flowers is an amazing company!]

(8) Utilizing a personalized registry, allowing us to suggest organic and eco-friendly products to anyone who might wish to present us with a gift [My Registry + Pristine Planet = eco-friendly gift registry from all of the web’s greenest retailers!]

(9) Decorating with recycled or re-used items: antique bottles, burlap coffee bags, etc.

(10) Serving a mix of vegan/non-vegan cupcakes instead of cake, which limits the use of unnecessary serveware

(11) Instead of cheap favors, we will either be planting trees, or offsetting the carbon emissions of the event.

How can you do the same? There are plenty of resources available to you, first, you ought to know what exactly the conventional wedding requires, and how harmful such an event can be. Books like the Green Bride Guide do a wonderful job explaining that. Also, see if there are Green Wedding Showcases near where you live!  Last year, I attended the Mid-Atlantic Green Wedding Showcase. I learned about all the local vendors who were socially/environmentally conscious. It was unfortunately cancelled this year, but I would have loved to have gone again!

And then basically, just look online. There’s the EcoBeautiful Weddings magazine: a GREAT resource and a ton of fun to look through! When I have more time, I’ll do a more educational post on how you can do the same. And if you’re interested, check back as I post more about our green wedding!