Having an eco-friendly wedding doesn’t mean sacrificing style or elegance. Here are a few ways to make your wedding greener — but no less refined — while saving a good bit of money along the way.
By Marianna Barbrey
Purchase invitations made from 100 percent recycled paper, partially recycled paper or postconsumer products. And consider minimizing the actual amount of paper used by eschewing paper liners or second interior envelopes. This will not only cut down on costs but also reduce waste.
The best way to green up your flowers? Go local, local, local. Using local flowers and florists not only reduces costs but also reduces the amount of energy and fuel required to transport flowers long distances. Ask your neighborhood florist about organically grown, in-season and locally grown flowers, and consider potted blooms that can be taken home for planting after the big day. Finally, try to compost all unclaimed florals at the end of the event.
The tradition of wearing your mother (or grandmother’s) dress is not only sentimental, it’s supergreen! Borrowing or purchasing a pre-worn dress is the most eco-friendly option, of course, but if you have your heart set on a dress all your own, consider finding a way to incorporate vintage aspects — for instance, lace from your aunt’s dress, or the organza from your mother’s dress or best friend’s veil. Still, if you’re set on an all-new dress, select one made from eco-friendly products and natural fibers such as cotton, linen and silk. And when you’re done with it, donate it to a local charity so that it can be worn again.
There are several options for eco-friendly décor, and the first is easiest: Choose a venue that is already decorated — which shouldn’t be too hard, as many hotels and clubs are already seasonally and luxuriously outfi tted. Another option is to borrow decorations from a friend or family member: When you think about it, there’s no need to purchase 20 glass vases when you know someone who has some in tucked away a storage unit. Finally, opt for centerpieces that can be repurposed after they are used. For example use fruit or soy-based candles that can be re-used or donated after the wedding.