Tips for an Eco-Friendly Wedding

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If both you and your significant other are concerned with preserving the environment, throwing an eco-friendly wedding can be a smart way to show your support for the cause and encourage others to be more environmentally conscious as well. Check out this article for a few ideas on how to make green the new white.

Weddings really take a toll on the environment. Guests sometimes travel thousands of miles to be by your side on the big day, an impressive amount of food ends up wasted, wedding invitations are produced from tons of paper that could be put to better use, and so on. To sum it up, an average wedding produces a carbon footprint larger than the average American couple’s yearly footprint. And that’s a bit worrisome, to say the least. If every engaged couple out there would be concerned with making only one or two eco-friendly choices when planning the big event, the positive impact on the environment would be significant.

Going green on your wedding day is an opportunity to make a difference by setting a good example and encouraging others to follow your lead. You can make it a point to only hire companies that incorporate environmental responsibility into the way they do business, make an effort to minimize waste, or serve your wedding party delicious food made solely from local ingredients. The possibilities are endless. Here are some ideas to get you inspired.

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Limit the size

The first thing you should do to keep your wedding’s impact on the environment low is to limit the size of the wedding party. More wedding guests naturally equals more food consumed, a bigger venue, more car emissions, and more waste when the party is over. We’re not suggesting you shouldn’t have your close friends and family around just so you can show the world that you’re environmentally conscious. However, we are suggesting that you remember to draw a line when it comes to inviting friends of your friends or distant relatives whom you haven’t even heard of before. Everybody on the guest list should have a valid reason to be there. Plus, think about the amount of money you’ll be saving.

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Location, location, location

The location of the event is extremely important as well, so go with one that is eco-friendly. If you’re dreaming of an outdoor wedding, make sure to pick avenue which shows off the beauty of the environment. Remember the lovely community garden Miranda and Steve got married in on Sex and the City? The natural surroundings were almost as charming as the ceremony itself. If you’d rather go for an indoor location, look for local art galleries or museums that will agree to donate at least part of your deposit to support an environmental cause. Also, you can check out restaurants that are known for eco-friendly practices.

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Ditch the invites

This might sound preposterous at first glance, but if you think about it, it’s really not that bad. Nearly everyone has access to the Internet nowadays, so sending an electronic invitation and handling the RSVP list online can be a great choice. If you must, only do a limited number of paper invites to send to your less tech-friendly guests. Use invites made from recycled paper or try plantable invites – printed on seed paper that actually grows when planted. What better way to show your love for the environment?

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Reuse a wedding dress

Some girls have dreamt of the perfect wedding dress ever since they were little – and it’s perfectly OK to splurge when it means that much to you. However, if you don’t think of the dress as the most treasured item of your wedding, look for an eco-friendly one instead. After all, you’re only going to wear it once. Start by checking out your mother’s or grandmother’s dress – a seamstress can transform it into something more in line with your taste. Also, there are plenty of women selling their wedding gowns online; maybe you’ll find a dress you really like. Additionally, try looking into charities like Brides against Breast Cancer – they give you the chance to buy a used (or lovingly worn, as they put it) gown and donate some money to charities that support women with breast cancer at the same time.

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Menu and wedding favors

When coming up with the menu, ask your caterers if they can provide vegetarian entrees for your meat-free guests. Also, make sure that they will use local ingredients from farmers’ markets nearby. That way you’ll be supporting your area’s farmers while simultaneously decreasing carbon imprint.

Wedding favors can also be eco-friendly. You can distribute consumable favors you have made yourself, like homemade jam, cookies, candies, soap, candles, and so on. Small houseplants also make for great favors, as well as more practical eco-friendly gifts like sustainable bags or reusable water bottles. Another idea would be to drop the wedding favors and instead make a small donation to an eco-friendly organization in your guests’ names. The more creative, the better.

Whether you choose to only include one or two earth-friendly elements in your wedding or go completely green when planning the event, remember that every small choice makes a huge difference. Enjoy your big day without harming the environment. This way, you’ll help preserve the natural world for future generations (including your children!) to enjoy.

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