Go Green! Environmentally-friendly wedding ideas

Posted On: Wednesday, April 25, 2012

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Earth day was a few days ago and it got me thinking about sustainability. It seems like everyday more and more couples are deciding to go green for their big day. From the food to flowers, environmentally friendly options are popping up everywhere.

Whether you’re a “green warrior” or simply want to be less wasteful, there a lot of easy ways to be sustainably mindful throughout your planning process.  Check out some tips on how you can go green below!

Alvina Valenta Dress available at Sabrina Ann

Consider buying a pre-worn wedding gown. Brides only wear their dress once so they usually are in excellent condition. Going this route will also save you money, sometimes up to 50% on top designers.

Try starting your search at Sabrina Ann, a local bridal store in Ardmore that specializes in pre-worn and sample bridal gowns. They carry top name designers such as Melissa Sweet, Vera Wang and Lazaro. You’ll also never have to worry about being on trend; all their gowns are less than 2 years old!

RSVP card by Golden Silhouette

Recycled post consumer waste paper wedding invitation by Golden Silhouette

Go green with paper products. Between invitations, ceremony programs and menu’s, paper can add up. Reduce your waste by having your invites and programs printed on post recycled material, bamboo or cotton paper. Limit the amount of envelopes and inserts when mailing your invites. Instead post any updates and information on your wedding website.

Many stationary companies offer green options so make sure to ask. Golden Silhouette, one of our favorite local stationary companies, has tons of green designs. Most of their designs are made using 30% post consumer waste paper and 20% renewable content created by hydro or wind power. Carryn, the owner also makes sure to use acid free archival links and adhesives.

Clark Park Farmers Market

Hire a caterer committed to using local sustainable food. By serving guests local in season organic food you support local farmers and farmer markets. Philadelphia catering company Peachtree & Ward actively sources it’s products from sustainable farms whenever possible. They also hold community outreach cooking projects where they help prepare meals for people in need. Some catering companies like Birchtree Catering also use 100% biodegradable flatware.

Potted herbs

Potted plants, herbs and flowers all make great centerpiece ideas. Think rosemary, basil and thyme in biodegradable pots. They can also serve as a parting gift for guests to plant in their gardens or put in their windowsill. Try re purposing decorations by moving plants and flowers from the ceremony to the reception so you can enjoy them throughout the day.

Candle centerpiece

Make use of of beeswax or soy candles. Beeswax candles are not only renewable and non-toxic but last longer than petro-based paraffin candles. A cluster creates a romantic setting for guests. I love this wine bottle table; its so dramatic but affordable.

Want some color? Take bright colored potted orchids and wrap the base in a vibrant colored fabric. Cut flowers can still be used when using locally grown and in season blooms. Talk to your florist about getting pesticide free flowers and ask about what types of flowers are in season during your wedding month. A few florists like Hana & Posy even specialize in high quality green floral design.

Another great option if you are using cut flowers is to donate the arrangements to a local nursing home or hospital. So many flowers go to waste after a reception, and letting other people enjoy them is a great way of giving back to the community.

Instead of accepting physical gifts, have your guests donate to a local charity of your choice. Online charity registry sites like the I Do Foundation guide guests through the giving process of your selected charities. Still need some essential newlywed home goods? Not to worry, the site allows you to register at  popular stores like Target and Crate & Barrel and than gives up to 5% of your guest’s purchase to your selected charity.

There really are so many ways to be environmentally mindful when planning your wedding. Finding eco-friendly ideas and vendors is simpler than you may think. Blogs like Eco and Elsie offer links to wedding eco-shops from jewelry to decor. With so many fun and easy options, there really is a way for everyone to give back to our environment and have a chic green wedding!