~ Flowers: Flowers are transported long distances or flown in for weddings. To reduce the amount of fossil fuels used to create the perfect bouquet, try using flowers and greeneryfrom family and friend’s gardens. Using flowers from a relative or friend’s garden will not only keep the cost of your flowers down and give your flowers a special meaning; it will also help reduce the environmental impact of your special day.
~ The Vehicle: Limousines can guzzle gas by the minute, opting to use an older car that has been converted to diesel fuel is an excellent idea to spice up your wedding day and help fight gas emissions. Try renting a vintage car, such as a Mercedes or Bentley, which will keep you looking luxurious but minimize your effect on the planet.
~ Invitations: Invitations are a necessity, but why waste paper when you can create your own personalized website for people to learn all about your impending nuptials? Another idea to help save on paper involves using recycled paper and using the back of the invitation as the envelope. Websites such as recycledpaper.com offer several options for recycled paper. Also, use soy and vegetable oil based ink instead of regular ink to help reduce the amount of petroleum used in your wedding planning.
~ Food and drinks: Purchase organic, locally sourced foods whenever possible for your big day. Buying local will not only help the small businesses in your area, it will also cut the cost of food transportation. Choose catering options that buy local produce and serve organic products in order to make your event more eco-friendly. Using organically produced foods uses 15% less energy. Serve local beer and wine at the reception, research wineries and breweries in your area and use their products for your special occasion.
~ Dress: The dress is the most important and stressful parts of wedding planning for the bride. Instead of purchasing a new dress, purchase a vintage dress or wear a dress that has been passed down from your family. If you are set on buying a new dress, find companies who use organic fabrics and “peace silk”, which is made from silkworms that live out their life cycle.
~ Gifts: Most couples already have all the household items they need, so many are opting to have guests donate money to their favorite environmental charity. Couples can set up an online account with most charities allowing guests of the wedding to make donations to a chosen organization.
~ Honeymoon: Taking the perfect honeymoon can become expensive and stressful when trying to do research where to go, book flights, hotels, and take vacation time at work; instead of traveling out of the country, research exciting places around the United States that are within driving distance or a short flight from where you live. The United States has amazing and beautiful scenery waiting to be seen on your honeymoon. If you do fly, plant a tree upon your return to offset your fossil fuel use!
~ Ring: The perfect ring does not always have to be new, purchasing a vintage ring or a family heirloom can be just as beautiful and environmentally friendly as well. If you are going to purchase a new ring, make sure to research conflict free diamonds.
~ Confetti: Confetti contains dyes and bleaches which can have harmful environmental effects, try instead throwing linseed or sunflower seeds. As an added bonus, you can send you guests home with seeds they can plant themselves!
By using these environmental wedding tips, you and Mother Nature will be smiling brightly on your wedding day!