A Green Wedding is an environmentally-friendly wedding, where the couple tries to reduce the amount of energy and material used to bring the day together, thus promoting balance between Man and Nature.
An increasing number of couples are looking at ways of having an eco wedding or adopting a few eco-friendly ideas to make their wedding day more sustainable. But even with the growing popularity of eco-friendly weddings, many people simply don’t know where to begin.
Here is a guide to the perfect green wedding organisation.
Shrink your Celebration’s carbon footprint
The first item on the to-do list of a green wedding is finding ways to shrink the event’s carbon footprint; in other words, to cut down on the carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming.
Reduce, Re-use, Recycle is the populare green adage.
A green wedding opts for the environmentally-friendly alternative to each element of the celebration, from invitations and the dress to the cake.
Choose Date & Time carefully
Pick a date and a time that allow maximum use of daylight and reduce the need of air conditioning or heating
Reduce the Number of Guests
The biggest factor in the ecological and financial impact of your green wedding will be its size. Each person you invite means more kilometers traveled, more food consumed, a bigger venue, and more waste when it’s all over. If you really want to go green, keep the number of invitees as low as possible: the smaller the guest list, the smaller the impact on the environment.
Minimize Paper Products
Save trees by minimizing inserts and other paper products.
Use recycled paper or paper made from alternative fiber, such as hemp or bamboo.
Calligraphy may cost more but it saves inks, toners, solvents, and chemicals involved in printing.
Vegetable and soy-based ink has low levels of volatile organic compounds, which means less toxic emissions and air pollution are given off as it breaks down.
Whenever you print anything always print on front and back, and try to fit it all on one sheet.
Consider sending all correspondence via email. Many etiquette experts consider these electronic invitations as too impersonal but they approve of other paper-free communication through wedding Web sites.
Regarding place and escord cards, instead of printing out the table plan think about baked biscuits which act both as favours and name tags or be creative and use the new technology, project the table plan up on the wall and have your ushers use iPads to show people to their seats.
Choose a close Location
The biggest carbon footprint of your wedding is from travel, so choosing a location that is as close to as many of your guests as possible will reduce your wedding’s impact in a big way
Find a Green Venue
Outdoor venues like parks and botanical gardens have the advantage of providing their own natural beauty, which minimizes the need for decorations.
Instead of transporting and constructing a venue like a marquee, choose a permanent building like a hall, barn or country house. If they regularly host events, they’ll have the infrastructure set up to adapt to your eco wedding, like recycling facilities and good contacts with local suppliers.
When considering indoor weddings seek for venues that are demonstrating a commitment to saving water and energy, reducing waste, or serving locally grown/organic menus
Some couples choose a venue to support a cause: find a venue that will benefit from your site rental fee, such as a museum, gallery, or other cultural organization
Select Organic, Seasonal, Local Food
Seasonal, local food will reduce your impact the most.
Meat production, especially of red meat, has a high environmental cost. Cutting down on the amount of meat in your wedding breakfast or going completely vegetarian will save so much waste and reduce your carbon footprint.
There are many vegetarian options that can delight your guests while also satisfying your desire to help the planet. Consider pasta dishes, salads, and elegant but meat-free finger foods. There are a lot of cuisines that are vegetarian-friendly, like Middle Eastern, Indian and South-East Asian.
Donate or freeze excess food. The most important goal of your wedding day should be to ensure that nothing is thrown away that could be reused. Food is often disposed of when it could be given to those in need. Have your leftover food packaged and ready for pick-up by regional shelters, food banks or you and your guests.
Ensure that you, your guests, and the staff won’t be exposed to pesticides.
Tableware should be reusable, as in rented china and linens.
Environmentally-aware caterers also note that, for the least impact, the bride and groom should pare down the courses and choose a seated dinner rather than a buffet, which requires more plates and utensils that need to be transported and washed.
Go vintage with your Wedding Attire
Go secondhand or rent your formal wear instead of buying: reusing a dress by going vintage or pre-loved is a great eco option and reduces the cost.
If you want to buy an eco-wedding dress instead, get green fibers: natural fibers, like silk and organic cotton, are better for the environment than synthetic ones. Seek out designers committed to environmentally-friendly fabrics and ethical production. This includes using organic, sustainable materials
For your bridesmaids: give them a colour scheme and let them pick their own dresses. Let your maids wear something they already own or let them choose a dress that is in their budget and looks good on them. Your bridesmaids are much more likely to wear their dress more than once if it’s a design they love.
It’s become a popular trend to do photoshoots where you trash your dress by jumping in the sea or wearing it horseriding. But saving your dress to hand down to the next generation or selling it on are much more ethical and help it bring joy to someone else.
Consider reusing or recycling a ring.
The mining of gold, diamonds, and other precious metals leaves environmental devastation in its wake.
Either look in thrift shops for antiques you can have resized, or ask your family about your options for heirloom wedding rings.
Alternatively, see if there is unused gold jewelry that could be melted down for new rings
Green your Transportation
Limit Long-Distance Travel
Host your ceremony, and reception at the same site or within walking distance. Walking to the wedding is a great choice if you want to be truly eco-friendly.
Guests often prefer to use their cars to get to the venue as it can be quite out the way, but this leaves a heavy carbon footprint. Arrange a coach to take them to the ceremony and the reception, or organize carpools for your guests in hybrid vehicles. It will reduce the pollution from all those cars and can be a fun part of the day
Go digital for your Photographs
Book a photographer who uses a digital camera and will commit to giving you digital, rather than paper, prints.
Local, Organic, In-season Flowers
The best way to reduce the environmental impact of your wedding flowers is to go seasonal and local. Not only will this dramatically reduce the carbon footprint of flying in out-of-season flowers, but it’s kind on your wallet too.
Instead of cut flowers as centrepieces on the tables, choose potted plants and flowers that you and your guests can take home and plant.
Herbs and succulents also work well here and make an interesting juxtaposition to flowers in a centrepiece display.
Give back to the environment with Wedding Favours
Forget sweet wrappers and cellophane gift bags: an eco-favour is much better for the planet, particularly if you’re having a big wedding and providing favours for hundreds of guests.
Buy favours that give back to both the environment and charity like packets of wildflower seeds.
Pick a venue that benefits from natural lighting.
If you’re able to plan an outdoor wedding during the day or early evening, you can enjoy a completely naturally lit wedding.
If you want an indoor affair, try to book a spot with large windows and encourage the organizers to limit their use of the electrical lighting.
For both indoor and outdoor weddings, you may need to supplement the natural light. Light different sized candles and spread them throughout the space. Not only are candles energy efficient, but they also create a soft romantic glow for an elegant reception.
Look for soy candles: they’re cleaner and longer burning since they’re made from a renewable resource.
Whatever you do to green your wedding, make sure you tell people about it!