Green wedding are all the rage, and that’s awesome news.
You see, here at Do Amore, we’re all about sustainability. That’s why we make our rings with 100% recycled metals, source our diamonds responsibly, give water for two, and even source our boxes sustainably.
Even with the growing popularity of eco-friendly weddings, many people simply don’t know where to begin. Also, many people think green weddings = more expensive weddings, which simply isn’t the case.
We’ll prove to you that planning a green wedding can be fun, affordable, and pretty easy to do. And if you’re interested in more awesome eco-friendly wedding tips, please sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of the page.
Why Plan a Green Wedding?
The reasons for having a green wedding ceremony are fairly obvious.
In order to keep our earth healthy, beautiful and green, we must reduce consumption and waste. Eco-friendly weddings are often cheaper, more creative, and more unique than traditional ceremonies. There’s every reason to at least try planning one.
According to Green Bride Guide, “Each one of the 2.5 million weddings this year in the United States will produce an average of 62 tons of carbon dioxide and 400-600 lbs of garbage.”
So by planning a green wedding, you’ll be helping to keep our environment healthy. You’ll also probably save money, which is enough benefit by itself.
Here’s a list eco-friendly wedding ideas (feel free to steal them):
Find an eco-friendly location
I’m a fan of outdoor locations. I think they’re really unique and beautiful. Also, they’re usually more eco-friendly. Get creative with your location – botanical gardens, arboretums, historic homes, etc.
You can also get creative with your reception, hosting it at a place like a museum or art gallery. Often the proceeds will go towards programs and community events, so you can feel great about that as well.
Get eco-friendly engagement rings
Here’s an obvious one, but of course we’ve got to say it. Check out Do Amore’s collection of eco-friendly engagement rings here.
The Wedding Dress
Try to find a company that makes eco-friendly wedding dresses, like Celia Grace. According to the Marcie Muehlke, the owner of Celia Grace, there are a few additional things you should look for:
- For your bridesmaids: Pick a color, not a dress. Let your maids wear something they already own or let them choose a dress that is in their budget and looks good on them (and that they will wear again!).
- Choose an eco wedding dress made from organic cotton, recycled polyester, or heirloom eco silk.
Lots of ideas in this arena, as it’s especially wasteful sometimes. Check out a few:
Dual Purpose Wedding Invitations
This idea comes from Danielle Farrell at The Betty Brigade:
“Brides usually spend about 2-3% of the total wedding budget on invitations
& paper supplies. That might not seem like a lot, but for the average
$25,000 wedding that’s $700-$800, which is a lot to spend on paper! Why not
have your invitation double as the favors? This can easily happen! By
creating PLANTABLE invites you can give your guests a great memory when
they plant the seeds embedded in your invitation to grow a garden. There
are tons of options available online but be sure to check your local new
age paper supply stores to see if they can beat the prices. Some are made
from seed paper, and other contain packets of seeds.”
Paperless or Recycled Paper Invitations
This idea is from Aviva Samuels from Kiss The Planner:
“Rather than choosing printed invitations, opt to take a paperless route. Consider sending out an e-invitation to make an impression and start off your celebration on an eco-friendly path. Paperless Post has beautiful designs to choose from and is very user-friendly. If you are a traditionalist and worry that the formality of paper is the right way to go, send out traditional wedding invitations printed on recycled paper or plantable seed paper instead. Twisted Limb Paperworks is a great option with beautiful yet environmentally friendly styles.”
Just remember these three things:
The best thing you can do is pick a caterer who specializes in eco-friendly food. There are certain areas where this is easier than others. For example, in Austin, where I live, organic and sustainable food is plentiful. Either way, when picking a caterer, look out for the words ‘sustainable, ‘organic,’ and ‘free-range.’
Which reminds me: Look for local vendors.
Here’s what Danielle Farrell of The Betty Brigade said:
“Local products don’t have to travel as far to be sold, meaning
that less fuel is burned in the process of getting those foods to your
table (which means less of a carbon footprint). You’ll also want to be sure
that your caterer uses actual dishes, silverware, tablecloths and napkins
rather than disposable plastic to serve your guests. This reduces the waste
because dishware and linens can be used over and over again. If budget is
your concern, see if the catering company can use biodegradable products
made from recycled materials whenever possible.”
Echoing that, Eco Caters‘ Founder Nick Brune’s said this:
“When planning a green wedding, the reception is where most of your time
and energy will be focused. Where are your caterers getting their product
from? Do they buy local, and are they using 100% organic ingredients? Try
to get sustainable decor and use zero plastic during both cocktail hour and
the reception. We are seeing a lot of couples use seedling invitations,
which is a fun idea and communicates the green theme to your guests from
the very start.”
Eco-friendly wedding favors
Traditional favors are often among the biggest culprits for wedding waste – often wrapped in plastic, disposable, and quickly forgotten. There are a few solutions to this. One idea is to forego favors altogether. Instead, make a donation for each guest to your favorite charity. Another idea is to give edible favors, which are certainly more practical and delicious.
As Aviva Samuels from Kiss The Planner says, “Rather than giving useless wedding favors to your guests that will likely wind up in the trash and eventually a landfill, give them a food favor that is may be homemade, locally manufactured or grown. ”
“Consider jam to packaged in a jar that can be re-used by guests in the future. Or beer or wine that is bottled by you or a local establishment. A decorative bottle would make a lovely decanter for guests after the edible part is consumed and a note to that effect suggesting the idea to guests will let them know your intentions that they will be more likely to oblige.”
Above all else, try to find a green wedding planner. They can help you accomplish everything and more on this list!
Case study: Julie Loven from The Effortless Girl
Julie, who lives in the Appalachian Mountains of Western NC, wanted to incorporate the outdoors in her wedding. There were a few reasons for this. First, they loved the mountains. Second, they were on a strict budget. Finally, the eco-friendly value of having a green wedding was a plus. Here’s how they accomplished an unforgettable green wedding:
1. We used recycled paper for the invitations but I created a medallion that tied the look together. The actual tie was jute twine that is eco friendly also. The wooden medallion was cut from a left over piece of wood from a wood crafters store – they were going to throw it out until I asked for it and cut medallions from it that I burned our date on.
2. We used items from the yard (pine cones & sticks) to make the base of the centerpieces for the reception. The florist added flowers but it was mostly foliage from my yard.
3. Our reception was held down the hill from my home in a community building. It is beside a bubbling creek so the decorations were mostly done for us with nature. We used bees wax candles to decorate the tables in lights. Everything was sourced locally. The church for the ceremony is about 5 minutes from home and was so beautiful inside that we didn’t need to purchase decorations. We used the bees wax candles in the church.
4. Our party favors were homemade cupcakes in recycled paper boxes for guests to take home.
Final Thoughts on Planning a Green Wedding
We gave you a lot of ideas for planning a green wedding, and it might have been overwhelming.
Look at it like this:
Whatever you can do to save energy, money and the environment is worth it.
Whether you hire a green wedding planner to implement all of this and then some, or just use paperless posts, you’ll be doing your wallet and the earth a favor. Plus, some of these ideas (like all of Julie’s in the case study above) are downright fun and memorable.
If you’ve got more questions about planning a green wedding, feel free to reach out to us. We hear the coolest ideas on a daily basis and wouldn’t mind letting you in on the secrets.
Also, please sign up for our mailing list or like our Facebook page if you’re interested in eco-friendly weddings and engagement rings.