Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Have an Earth-Friendly Wedding

A couple planning to get married may shy away from having an earth-friendly wedding because they think it means that they must hold their wedding in a meadow while barefoot and bedecked with flowers.

In reality, a wedding can be earth-friendly and still conform to your own personal style. The key is to make the right choices to reduce your ecological footprint while still remaining chic.

Wedding Dress

Most brides dream from the time that they are little girls about their wedding dress. If you open a bridal magazine, you will see that over half of the advertisements come from wedding dress manufacturers. However, a new wedding dress can seem wasteful. Not only is there spare fabric, but a bride will only use your dress once. If a bride’s mother has saved her dress to hand down, consider wearing it instead, or purchase a used dress from a resale shop.

Consider renting bridesmaid dresses and groomsmen’s tuxedos so that they can be re-used. Bridesmaid dresses may be different styles if they are in coordinating colors to match your wedding theme.

If the bride has her heart set on a new dress that is uniquely her, choose one made with sustainable fabrics like organic cotton or silk rather than synthetic material.


The venue is frequently the first major decision that a couple will make when planning their wedding. Some couples wait to set their date based on the availability of their desired location.

When it comes to ecological venues, outdoors is still the best choice. An indoor venue such as a country club, ballroom or a fancy resort will use electricity for air conditioning and lighting.

Stylish outdoor venues may include a tent set up on a special location such as the beach where you were engaged or a pavilion at a botanical garden. Alternately, a location such as a church with floor-to-ceiling windows can also provide natural light.

Locations such as an outdoor gazebo on the grounds of a hotel or a public park will have public facilities with modern conveniences such as running water so that your guests won’t feel like they are camping. At the same time you are allowing the sun to provide earth-friendly lighting.

If you feel that you must have your wedding at a resort, choose one that recycles and allows guests to re-use their towels to save on water and energy costs that come from washing linens.


The invitation helps alert guests to the theme of your wedding while at the same time informs them of important details, such as the fact that a couple prefers donations to their favorite charity in lieu of gifts.

Some modern couples skip the invitations altogether and rely on the internet to invite their guests, either through eVites [double check that this is correct] or a wedding webpage. Avoid using email to announce your wedding. This form of everyday communication is not formal enough.

A few couples use the theme of their wedding to send unique gifts such as a tree seedling that guests can plant. If you choose a traditional invitation, choose recycled paper and opt for a single envelope rather than an interior and exterior envelope.


Although favors are considered a gift from the couple to their wedding party as a way of saying thank you for attending, most guests end up throwing their favors out. Edible favors with biodegradable packaging are one good way to ensure that favors don’t end up in landfills. Or you can skip the favor altogether and donate to a charity in your guest’s name.


Exotic flowers are often grown using pesticides and shipped a long way to get to your wedding. Instead, choose locally grown flowers that are in season. Look for flowers that are VeriFlora-Certified. These flowers aren’t grown using harsh chemicals. Select potted plants for your centerpieces. Potted flowers can be replanted at a later date.


Most wedding guests remember the food best from a wedding. Whether it is finger food or a four course meal, food is often the center of a reception. If your budget allows for it, you can choose pricier organic or vegan food. If your budget will not allow for this, you can select a locavore caterer. Locavores are people who use only ingredients produced locally. These ingredients use fewer resources to get from the source to your table, and may be fresher and better tasting.

If the idea of having a wedding that is completely earth-friendly seems too radical for you, you can still make one or two earth-friendly choices. Every little bit helps.