October 24, 2014
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Want an Eco-Friendly Wedding? Here Are Some Tips
An image of a green heart of leafs

If you’re looking into green weddings, you’re not alone. As eco-friendly weddings become more popular, ideas and services to keep your big day environmentally oriented abound.
Here are some tips on how to keep some of your wedding basics green. These ideas, taken from eco brides and wedding planners, are a testament to the phrase “if there’s a will, there’s a way.” Get creative and you’ll easily find a way to make your wedding all you dreamed it would be, including gentle on our planet.

Invitations
The most obvious option for eco friendly invitations is to use recycled paper, but many brides go beyond that first step. If being green is an aspect of your wedding theme and not just a goal during planning, consider sending a packet of seeds along with the invite.
Your invites are a perfect place to make any mentions of green-oriented plans you have for guests. Are you asking for only a certain kind of eco friendly gift? Is your dress silk free of animal rights concerns? Put a note in the invite so guests know that the environment is forefront in your wedding planning.

Gifts
Wedding gifts are a great way to end up with way too many toasters as well as a lot of plastic products you’ll never use. If you and your groom already have your household set up, consider asking for donations to a worthy cause in lieu of gifts. Or put an organization on your registry so guests have the option between a gift and a donation.
Another good way to green the gift aspect of your wedding is simply to create a registry at an eco-friendly store. Online stores are particularly good for this when there is no global or countrywide eco store all your guests can access.

Getaway … Bike?
If you’re planning the classic getaway in a car bedecked with a “just married” banner, consider choosing a vehicle run on bio fuel instead of gas. If you don’t know of anyone with one of these green cars, at least opt for a hybrid.
Of course, some brides get even more creative and are carried off on a horse or bike drawn carriage.
Similarly, ask your guests to find the greenest way possible to get to your wedding. Walking, biking, carpooling, public transit? Make it a game to see who created the least amount of pollution on their way to your big day, keeping the focus on your wedding and the environment at the same time.

Food
Local, sustainable foods are at the forefront of the environmental movement. Find a caterer and a cake chef who either regularly use local foods or are able to do so for your wedding.
During the reception, put “know your farmer” cards on the tables so guests know their food is local. For foods or ingredients you can’t find locally (sugar, coffee, etc.) choose organic and fair-trade products to stick with your green theme.
What are your guests eating on? Recycled paper products are one option, but paper plates and napkins can’t be recycled once used.
The greenest option is to go for biodegradable dinnerware. Corn-based plates, utensils and cups come in a variety of colors and styles, look just like other disposable products, and will biodegrade naturally in the landfill or your compost heap.

The Ring
The wedding ring is an ancient symbol of the uniting of two hearts and lives. It’s the defining moment of a wedding for many brides. When picking your wedding band out, look beyond style and material and find something that was humanely and greenly mined and produced.
Diamonds and gold in particular have a long history of polluting and inhumane production practices, so ask your jeweler for details about where your rings came from. Keep your focus on the planet by buying an environmentally and socially responsible ring to unite you and your beau for years to come.


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