By Shyla Batliwalla
It isn’t easy being green—especially on your wedding day. Organic options can be more expensive, but going eco-chic is an excellent way to express your ethics and start your new life together on a clean, green note.
1. Responsible Rings
Rings are everlasting symbols of the moments you say “yes” and “I do”—select ones that uphold your ethics. Going vintage, with a family heirloom or an antique, never gets old. A hot new trend is asking loved ones for old, unused gold to melt down and refashion into new rings. If you’re buying new, choose recycled precious metals and stones. Don’t forget the endless possibilities of re-creating vintage jewels into ravishing recycled classics.
2. Flower Seeds for Favors
Instead of useless heart frames or napkin rings, give your partygoers years of natural perennial beauty. Flower seeds will bloom for years and remind guests of your special day. There is no greater gift to give the earth than planting seeds. There is no better day than your wedding day to set this ecological example.
3. Ravishingly Responsbile Vases
There are an abundance of eco-stylish and radiantly recycled container options. Our favorite go-green centerpiece is recycled wine bottles. Score the bottle with a glasscutter, heat the serrated edge over a candle, and dunk in water for a beautiful container. Create wine vases in various heights for added interest. Old mason jars and vintage vases make beautiful, ethical centerpieces.
4. Decorate with Potted Plants
Elaborate floral centerpieces are not the most eco-friendly choice of décor. Potted plants send your guests a homegrown, earth-friendly message. Guests can take the plant home, re-plant it, and have an enduring reminder of your special day.
5. Give Paper Products the Boot
Between invitations, save the dates, and seating charts, weddings consume lots of trees. Whenever possible, go electronic. Graphic designers can create unique and stunning electronic invitations. If you (and your more traditional family members) can’t stomach the idea of evites, recycled invitations can reduce your carbon footprint. Greenfieldpaper.com is an excellent source for beautiful, recycled invites and paper products including placeholders, thank yous, announcements, and programs.
6. Location and Transportation
Choose a centrally located venue that reduces the need to travel. Use a (hybrid!) shuttle to transport guests between the ceremony and reception. Newlyweds can ride in a carriage or even a rickshaw. Natural settings also show your appreciation for the earth. The most memorable spaces are often parks, yards, and beaches. Some art galleries and non-profit spaces will host your wedding and use proceeds to support causes you are passionate about.
7. The Dress
Eco-friendly dresses come in various styles, shapes, and forms. The best way to conserve resources when choosing a wedding dress is to go vintage. Re-invent your mom, grandma, best friend, or distant cousin’s gown. If you only find something new that you love, donate or sell it after the big day. When buying a new dress, seek organic fibers like hemp, bamboo, and organic cotton or silk.
8. Think Outside the Roses
While flowers are a classic and beautiful choice, they are not the only choice for decoration. From paper lanterns and elephant statues to candles and fresh produce, the possibilities are endless when it comes to décor. Furthermore, guests are more likely to remember unique, personalized decorations over something that has been mass-produced.
9. Go Local
Buying local means to consume goods that are produced, grown, or raised as close to home as possible. Since the rise of industrialization our food is produced in very few locations, meaning it has to travel thousands of miles to reach our refrigerator. While this is cost-efficient, it is harmful to the environment and our communities. Whenever possible, buy locally produced food and goods to lessen the carbon footprint of your wedding.
10. Pre-Loved Means More Love
Vintage and second-hand products are the key to green-chic. From table linens to vases, everything can be found pre-loved. Explore vintage dresses, jewelry, shoes, and hairpieces. Often times you will find unique, elegantly designed pieces that you love more than something fresh off the rack. Remember, something that’s been loved before, means that much more love for you and your hubby-to-be.
It is important to do our part, but don’t become obsessed with eco purity. A wedding is a celebration of love, not an exercise in restraint. It’s possible to have the wedding of your dreams and pay homage to the planet. After all, everyday should be earth day—even your wedding day.