Eco-Friendly Weddings

Eco-Friendly Weddings

Having just gotten married about four weeks ago, I was knee-deep in all kinds of wedding planning. As a bride-to-be, I used online wedding resources such as www.theknot.com for inspiration and advice. One of the trends that became apparent to me was sustainable wedding-planning practices. Among topics such as “Spring Weddings” and “Wedding Hairstyles,” you will find “Eco-friendly Weddings.” Upon looking into such a type of wedding, I found that some practices are quite simple, and may be something you’d do without thinking about … while others require more effort and could be more costly. Here are some ideas that I found: • Use recycled paper for your invitations and minimize as much as possible the amount of paper you use • Choose in-season flowers and a florist who grows flowers locally and organically • Grow your own flowers for the ceremony and reception arrangements • Re-use ceremony flowers for the reception; donate what’s left to a nursing home or send them with your guests • Use small plants as centerpieces that guests can take home and plant later • Use recycled glass bowls or vases to hold the centerpieces • Make a donation to a charity in honor of your guests • Research and buy from a jeweler who does not sell “blood diamonds” • Purchase wedding bands made of recycled metals • Purchase your wedding gown-second hand or wear one that’s been passed down to you from a relative • Donate your wedding gown to a charity • Serve a menu of organic and locally-grown and raised food • Donate left-over food to a food rescue group or take it to a shelter • Use natural beauty products for your wedding beauty routine • Take a volunteer honeymoon—one in which you give your honeymoon time back to a good cause Wow, so many ways to be sustainable! In looking back, one thing I did was rent vases for the centerpieces. This saved money, and created no waste. Also, I made my own invitations, so I was able to recycle what paper waste I had left. As you can see, there are many ways to conserve materials, take advantage of local resources, and give to others while planning a wedding. While scanning through the above list, you’ve probably thought of some other ways to practice sustainability in preparation of a wedding, so please share! For more ideas, visit www.theknot.com and www.greatgreenwedding.com; the two resources I used in this blog. Submitted by: Lee (Miller) Boyland

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