Today is Earth Day, and there is so much talk these days about "going green" and "being sustainable". You may want to consider some green options for your big day, but you may be afraid of going broke in the process. But "greening" your wedding doesn't necessarily have to cost you a lot of green. Here are some of my personal favorite low cost options for helping the planet and your wallet at the same time when it comes to your wedding.
Photo from InStyle Weddings
1. Donate your flowers.
What happens to flowers after the four hours or so that they spend at a wedding? Sadly, those pricey creations you agonized over will most likely hit the trash. Why not give them a higher calling worthy of their cost and beauty? There is an organization called Friends With Flowers - a nonprofit that provides beautiful, fresh arrangements to hospice patients. Volunteers collect and re-arrange flowers donated from weddings, events, or florists. The flowers are distributed free of charge, adding compassion and beauty to the lives of patients, their families and their caregivers. Check to see if they are available in your area, or contact the local Hospice where your wedding is being held to directly to arrange a donation.
2. Rent don't buy.
Rentals are a deceptively green option that creates very little waste since the items will be used over and over.
3. Go local, go organic.
Choose a caterer who specializes in, or ask your caterer to use, local, seasonal, organic food. By doing this you are supporting local sustainable farming practices, the food will taste better, and less resources were used to get it from farm to plate. Sometimes this may even save you money since the food didn't have to make a trek from across the country.Photo on Brides
4. Cut the lights.
Hold a daytime wedding. Less power will be used since you'll have the best power source of all - the sun! Also, since you're spending money on a beautiful venue, shouldn't people actually be able to see it in its daytime glory?Photo on Project Wedding
5. Green venue.
Choosing a venue that already has eco-friendly practices in place, or a natural setting such as a park or campground will help bring you and your guests closer to nature.
6. Recycle, reduce, and reuse that compost.
Be sure to check that the caterer or venue is going to make recycling and composting available at the wedding.
7. Something old.
Scour thrift stores for your centerpieces or other wedding aspects, or use heirloom pieces of your own, your moms, his moms, grandmothers, you get the idea. All these people will most likely have lovely silver pieces or glass pieces they would happily let you use on your big day, saving you money and being green at the same time.Photo by Marie Labbancz via Ritzy Bee
8. Foodie favors.
Not all DIY favors are created equal - paper items tend to use a lot of paper resources or make a lot of waste. But food items with simple, reusable packaging really only have the jar. Give local honey, maple syrup, homemade jam, olive oil, or infused salt as a favor. Guests won't toss it, and the packaging can then be reused! Get the DIY instructions for Rosemary Infused Salt favors here.Photo on Martha Stewart Weddings.
9. Everything old is new again.
If you can bear to, sell your dress to another bride using a service like OnceWed. You could also look into donating your dress to an organization like Making Memories, which collects dresses for Brides Against Breast Cancer. This way you know your beautiful dress will go towards a good cause!
10. Read Green!
Check out the website The Green Bride Guide - an awesome resource for green wedding ideas minus the crunchiness. They also just put out a new book also titled The Green Bride Guide.
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