Monday, November 19, 2007

Green/eco-friendly weddings

I have had many brides that are wanting to make their weddings more eco friendly. There are many ways to do this and I want to list some of them here. The one thing to know is that in some of these ways you can save money in others it may cost you a little more, but think about the difference you are making on the environment.

Attire: Comfortable, loose natural clothing. There’s no need for attendants to match- just ask them to wear casual clothing they’re comfortable in. You'll probably want to focus on natural fabrics like cotton and linen. Polyester is very hard on the earth's resources, and other fabrics aren't particularly animal friendly. By all means avoid fur. For men the rental tux is not a bad option if still wanting a tux as it will get many uses as one purchased probably won't. Many people are going with matching shirts and slacks for the men. Like Mexican Wedding Shirts.
Brides can buy organic fabrics and have their dress made from that, or again think re-use and shop the thrift stores or family attics to find that special something. Also another great place is ebay see what they have there that has already been worn (just remember to ask for actual measurements in case it has been altered).

Flowers: Wildflowers or daisies, tied in a loose bunch. The look is that you picked them yourself just before the wedding. Also buy your flowers from a local grower that can assure you they are grown pesticide free. Also look into alternatives to flowers. Candles, lanterns, and baskets can be used as well. Scale down the number of flowers. Another option instead of fresh cut flowers on each table consider using potted flowering plants and give them to your guest as they leave or use them to start your own little garden.

Setting: In the woods or other beautiful natural setting. Consider parks, nature preserves, or botanical gardens near you. If you two have a favorite spot, its often possible to get a permit from the Parks Department- just be mindful that they may have rules about fires, trash, or amount of people. Ask around if there is a venue that has been certified green. I know if at least one in Austin, Texas. Check out their recycle policy.

Favors: I have more then once picked up bags and bags of Jordan Almonds that guest did not take, or fan, or various other items. These couples spent time and money putting these favors together, yet the guest do not seem to come to the wedding for the favors. Let your guest know how much you appreciate them by making a donation in their name to a local eco-friendly charity. You can leave a note on the table or better yet have it announced during the reception. Another option would be to give each guest seed packets for flowers and plants that grow in your area and they can help you make an imprint. Small tree seedlings are also available.

Menu: Serve organic food and wine, and perhaps a vegetarian or vegetable centered menu. Think lighter fare that will mesh with the beauty of your surroundings. If you're planning a vegetarian or vegan menu. Many caterers have this option now and it will not cost you nearly as much as you might think.

Invitations: Print your invitations on recycled paper. Also throw out tradition and the inner envelope. The way invitations are printed now you also don't need the sheet of tissue paper in there. That was there to avoid ink smudging or leaving an imprint on the rest of the invitation. So ask your printer to leave it out. Also limit your inserts. Create a wedding web page that guest can use to respond to and get all the maps and details. This saves on many additional envelopes (remember Aunt Mary that does not have a computer and make sure you give her a way to respond to you not all your guest will be computer savy but most will be).

Other ideas: Instead of a unity candle ceremony, plant a tree (this will only work in a park setting). Also limit the number of guest. Weddings are fun for friends and family, but not everyone of your parents co-workers are going to be as excited to come to your wedding. Save the invitations that would be sent to them. Also less bodies means a smaller venue with less energy used. Less food, and less waste is an option as well. Rent organic fabrics for your table clothes. Don't forget the plates. You can rent china instead of using paper or foam plates. Many caterers have the option to rent table setting and silver ware from them, just ask.

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