What better way to individualize your wedding than by having a green wedding?
By choosing to incorporate green elements into your special day, you will be showing others that you want to make a difference in this world.
A wedding is one of the most important days of your life and should reflect who you are and what you stand for.
Therefore, if you are someone who recycles, never litters, or has replaced the light bulbs in your home with compact fluorescent bulbs, then you are probably someone who cares a great deal about the environment and should consider having a green wedding.
What is an green wedding? It is where the impact of the 'celebration' on the environment is taken into account.
This doesn't mean that you have to compromise on your big day. With a little planning, you can have a gorgeous and creative wedding that will show your friends and family how easy and fun a sustainable lifestyle can be.
If you haven't purchased your engagement or wedding ring yet, then here is a good place to start in planning your green wedding.
Buying recycled gold is one of the most ecologically responsible choices you can make.
You can also have old gold melted down and refashioned into a wedding ring style that you design yourself. This way you will have a unique ring that will always hold a special memory for you and your fiance.
You might also consider purchasing diamonds that are lab created. There are several websites you can check out where the rings have been made with recycled gold and lab created diamonds. One such site is greenKarat.
Another idea is to buy a vintage or antique ring. Pawn shops are excellent places to begin your search. Make sure the ring is not new but is a used ring.
Hopefully, you will find a ring that is perfect for you and at a discounted rate. Plus, you will know that you are helping the environment.
Choosing a location that is conveniently located to the majority of your guests will reduce the amount of traveling, gas and pollutants in the air.
You can even set up a van pool from the hotel for your out of town guests.
If possible, try to have the ceremony and reception at the same location.
You can also plant a tree or have a tree planted to offset the CO2 produced by having people fly to your wedding. There are several groups that offer this service.
Or you might want to pick a unique location that supports a cause you believe in, such as an art gallery, organic restaurant, green hotel, or botanical garden.
If you and your fiance are passionate about the outdoors, why not have your ceremony and reception in the wild?
Some of the most popular National Parks to hold weddings are: Yosemite, Great Smoky Mountains, Rocky Mountains and Yellowstone.
If you would like to hold your special event in a National Park, you will need to contact the park's office.
A few of the parks have web pages where you can apply for a permit online. The permit can cost between $25-$100.
Be sure to plan your wedding around the weather and to have a backup location, just in case.
Be sure to learn the park rules and follow them.
Some of the parks can handle catered receptions, but in most cases, you may want to hold the reception at a nearby hotel or restaurant.
You will need to be flexible but by having an outdoor wedding you will be saving electricity and using the natural environment for your decorations.
When choosing your invitations, announcements and thank you cards, consider using recycled materials. There are an increasing number of suppliers creating invitations from recycled materials.
Twisted Limb Paperworks is a company that specializes in 100% recycled paper products that are designed for a celebration that is gentle on the earth.
Green Field Paper Company is another tree-free paper company. They also offer seed embedded paper and cards.
Use The Web
You can cut down on paper use by using the web to post directions, maps, party schedules and other information.
Also, when you send your engagement and wedding announcements to the newspaper, send them by email.
If possible, choose a dress that you can wear again and choose one from natural materials.
However, if you choose to wear a traditional gown, think about going vintage or maybe borrow one from a family member or friend.
If you do buy a gown, donate your gown to charity, so that it can be reused.
Let the bridesmaids wear simple cocktail dresses in similar styles and coordinating colors. This way they will have a dress that they can wear again.
The same applies for the groom and groomsmen. Forget the tux and have them wear similar styled suits that they can keep and wear again.
While it may not be possible to have all your photos done digitally, work with your photographer to have all the proofs done digitally.
This will help minimize the use of toxic chemicals and paper in developing your pictures.
Consider locally sourced flowers and organically grown flowers for your green wedding, if possible. You'll not only be supporting local growers, you will be reducing emissions generated in transporting the flowers.
Other ideas for flowers:
At your reception, try to use biodegradable disposable cups, plates, spoons, knives and forks. If this will not fit with your venue, then consider renting your dishes from the caterer.
Try to find a caterer, who uses organic and locally sourced ingredients. You will be supporting local farmers and will be reducing the carbon emissions generated in transporting the food for long distances.
Donate your unused food to shelters or food banks.
Some eco friendly ideas to use on your honeymoon are:
Your wedding day is a very special event in your life. By having a green wedding, you are choosing to celebrate it with love and respect for each other, for your guests, and for the environment.