When planning a wedding, there are certain things on the minds of brides and grooms. But an eco-conscious ceremony might not be among those concerns. However, there are easy ways to include “green” practices in your wedding without compromising on style or statement.
- Condense. Think about how much time and gas are used driving around to different wedding vendors to coordinate flowers, linens, music, etc. That can contribute to one large carbon footprint simply for your wedding. If a catering hall offers packages that include other elements of the wedding, it may be more affordable and convenient to just go with them.
- Move outside. It can take a lot of energy to cool (or heat) a large, indoor reception site. Moving the ceremony and party outside can alleviate some environmental impact due to energy usage. Choose a picturesque setting to tie the knot.
- Give monetary gifts. Wedding guests often fret over what to give the happy couple as a wedding gift. If you purchase something they may not like, it was a wasted trip to the store and the couple will have to return the item or it may end up in the trash. One of the safest and greenest gifts is money. Not sure what denomination to give? Think about at least covering the cost of the wedding dinner. A guest couple can offer between $100 and $200 for a gift.
- Embrace history. If your mother has offered her wedding gown to wear, seriously consider it. Think about how much money you will save and the energy that will be conserved by not having to construct an entirely new gown. Furthermore, a gown from Mom is a sentimental gesture she will no doubt appreciate.
- Carpool. Chances are many brides and grooms already employ this tradition on their wedding days. Renting a limousine or party bus to transport guests to the wedding saves fuel.
- Seasonal flowers. Instead of paying top dollar to have exotic blooms in bouquets and centerpieces, choose flowers that are in season and regional. You can also choose to use fruit in centerpieces, which is cheaper than flowers.
- Use recycled paper. Insist that invitations be printed on recycled paper and skip all of the extra inserts inside of the invite, such as directions, registry cards, etc. Direct guests to your wedding Web site for the information they need.
- Elope. One of the more affordable and environmentally friendly ways to get married is to skip all of the “to-do” and simply elope or have a small ceremony. There’s no rule that says you have to invite 300 of your not-so-close friends to your wedding.
- Go green on the honeymoon. There are a number of eco-conscious hotels and resorts for newlyweds to choose from. Or honeymoon close to home to cut down on the hassle of flying elsewhere.
Couples interested in having an eco-conscious wedding can go green in a number of ways and still make the day unique and special. Furthermore, couples won’t have to compromise their ideals or tastes to achieve a wedding that is both green and beautiful.
By Metro Creative Service; Photo by Shanna Merola