7 Ways to Make Your Mother (Earth, that is!) Happy on Your Wedding Day

March 15, 2010 at 1:23 pm 2 comments


photo courtesy of manolobrides.com

Eco-friendly weddings are all the rage these days and for all kinds of reasons!  With more and more people jumping on the Team Mother Earth bandwagon, the increase of eco-chic is booming.  Now more than ever, people are realizing what we do today will directly correlate with what happens tomorrow… and they’re gladly making greener strides to a brighter future.  Gooo, us!

With support growing exponentially – especially through media and celebrity gusto-, “going green” is currently at its most stylish.  And what better way to this exemplify this beautiful cause than on the most beautiful day of your life… your wedding!   Below are 7 tips to make sure your wedding will be green with envy:

Pick Eco-Chic Engagement + Wedding Rings

photo courtesy of richelledantephotography.com

From the very first, down-on-one-knee moment to the big day of “I do’s,” you will have countless opportunities to go green!  For instance, even your bands can be eco-chic by choosing materials that are Mother Earth approved.  Consider using recycled gold, vintage jewelry or buying from green-loving jewelers.  Over fifty jewelry retailers have signed the Golden Rules agreement, promising to sell only gold from mines that are actively supporting human rights, labor, and environmental concerns.  In addition, it is also possible to buy conflict-free diamonds, purchased from areas not waging war over gems.  Buying “clean” gold and conflict-free diamonds ensures that you’re only supporting environmentally sustainable practices.

Choose Earth Friendly Invitations + Stationery

photo courtesy of smockpaper.com

While many Web sites and blogs may tell you that E-vites are the way to go, I’d have to disagree.  There’s a certain level of formality weddings should uphold, and while emailing may be the most eco-friendly solution, it’s definitely not the ONLY eco-friendly solution.  For the paper lover, consider using only one envelope instead two.  By cutting back on the inner envelopes and just sticking to one outer, you’ll save an abundance of trees.  Because the process of paper production is incredibly costly to the environment, you should also consider using paper crafted of 100% recycled materials or even ones made from other natural materials altogether.  Companies like Crane & Co. and Smock offer a great line of invites crafted of cotton and bamboo, making them a great way to go green for your wedding!

Go with Green Reception Sites + Venues

When choosing a “green” venue, it’s important for couples to take a few things into consideration before signing on the dotted line.  First, if you’re serious about having a wedding that is both eco-friendly and fabulous, you should be aware that typical venues like grand ballrooms, swanky resorts and whoo-whoo country clubs are often times guilty of using vast amounts of electricity.  Think about getting married outside, on a farm or in a botanical garden where au naturale sunshine can provide the light and heating and cooling systems are null and void.  If a traditional venue is a must, look for one that uses recycled, energy-efficient appliances and biodegradable products, as well as energy saving bulbs and lighting. 

Extra Tip for the Extra Green:  Gas emissions from cars are one of the main factors causing ozone depletion.  Consider having your ceremony and reception in one place to cut back on the fuel pollution caused by your guests having to drive from one place to another.

photo courtesy of jesseleake.com

Try to Choose Organic Menus + Catering

photo courtesy of veganyumyum.com

Because food is such a large part of so many kinds of celebrations, many couples find it harder to go green for their wedding menu… but don’t panic about having an expensive, organically grown vegan menu only.  There are several ways to help the earth while still keeping up the taste!  Try cutting back on things here and there to make a big difference in the end.  Choose in-season produce, fruits and vegetables that are grown locally.  This will cut down on the shipping and packaging costs, as well as the excess pollution and trash it causes. 

Think Outside the Flower Box

photo courtesy of brendasweddingblog.com

A word of warning: don’t let the bloom fool you.  Just because Mother Earth can grow it, doesn’t mean that all flowers are eco-friendly.  In fact, many flowers sold commercially are sprayed with harmful pesticides and fertilizers that pollute groundwater, kill organic material in the soil and have even made the workers fielding them sick.  Yuck!  Instead, consider leaving blooms out altogether.  In the spring and summer, switch floral bouquets with ones filled with vintage brooches and colorful ribbons.  In the fall, consider a robust display of locally grown gords and vegetables, and in the winter, try using fluffy faux muffs!  There are also several substitutes for eco-friendly table centerpieces.  Try decorating your tables with things that can be used again, like candles or vases filled with river rocks and colored water.

If flowers are a must, consider using locally-grown, in-season flowers.  Just like your food menu items, this cuts down on the cost and pollution caused by shipping.  Also, try potted plants for centerpieces that can be replanted later.

Bring in Biodegradable Favors + Gifts

photo courtesy of documentsanddesigns.com

It’s time for everyone to start being honest with one another… favors – no matter how ahhh to the mazing brides and grooms think they are – are often times forgotten.  They’re either left behind or thrown away, and because so many are made with non-biodegradable products, they are causing waaaay more harm than good.  I would encourage you all to do what the Mister and I did, and in lieu of favors, donate to your favorite charities in honor of your guests.  This not only gives money to a great foundation, but it also be rids the excess packaging it takes to wrap the favors and any leftover “trash” it may cause!

Reduce, Recycle + Re-Use the Wedding Dress

I know.  I know.  This is sometimes the hardest ones for brides-to-be to swallow because soooo many of us want our very own wedding dress.  However, I would suggest because so much excess fabric, electricity and travel are needed to make and ship a dress to every soon-to-be-Mrs., that she first start inside her Momma’s closet.  Vintage inspired gowns are the chicest chic there is, and you can always have them altered to fit your personality and style.  It’s your something borrowed and something new all in one :)

Extra Tip for the Extra Green: Also consider donating your gown after you’re done with it.  Since most brides only ever wear their dress once, this provides a venue for others to get just as much joy out of it as you!  

photo courtesy of vinatran.org

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. GK  |  March 22, 2010 at 8:43 am

    Eco-friendly engagement and wedding rings are a wonderful way to “green up” a wedding. Gold mining is an especially dirty process. About 20 tons of mine waste are generated to produce a single gold ring, and gold mining releases toxic chemicals like cyanide and mercury into the environment.

    But choosing eco-friendly rings is not all about the wedding. Engagement and wedding rings last a lifetime, so a lot of couples find it especially important to choose rings that reflect their values. The good news is, gold can be recycled with no degradation in quality, so a ring made of recycled gold will be just as durablle and will shine just as brightly. – GK, http://www.brilliantearth.com

    Reply
  • 2. Corrie  |  March 15, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    something else “green” we did was have the spare food from the reception donated to a local shelter to give a (really yummy) dinner to those in need. also, my mom brought several of the extra bouquets of flowers to the nursing home down the street – the residents loved how much the fresh flowers brightened the room during a normally gloomy month (january!).

    Reply

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