10 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Wedding

herb centerpieces for wedding

What’s the hottest colour for weddings? Green.

Green weddings, which only a few years ago were on the fringe, have gone mainstream.

There are ‘green’ favours, ‘green’ flowers, ‘green’ invitations and even ‘green’ gowns.

How do you know which ‘green’ ideas are going to make the greatest impact?

Here are 10 of the best ways to give Mother Earth a starring role at your nuptials:

1. Go Small. The fewer guests you have, the less fossil fuels that will be used. You’ll also consume less, and create less garbage. Having a small guest list will also give you more choice of venues. Why not have your small wedding at a designated green inn or have a restaurant reception at a restaurant that serves local food?

2. Buy Consumable Favours. Consumable favours are fun, fabulous and earth friendly. Some suggestions include diy favors such as homemade jam, chocolate, cookies, candy, free-trade coffee, beeswax candles, handmade soap or lotion. If you still want to take the non-consumable route, what about cloth shopping bags, reusable produce bags, or other products that will help your guests pursue an eco-friendly lifestyle? Don’t forget to include information about local shops that carry eco-friendly products along with your favours.

3. Don’t buy any favours. Another wonderful option for favours is to donate money to a charity in the names of each guest. The guest receives a card that informs him or her that instead of a favour, money was donated to a specific charity. Read more about favor donations here.

4. Be a ‘Locavore’. Choose a caterer or restaurant that sources ingredients locally. Buying local ingredients supports your area farmers, as well as decreases your carbon imprint. Even better, choose locally sourced organic foods, and offer vegetarian choices for your meat-free guests.

5. Have your Ceremony and Reception in the Same Location. This will mean less travel for you and your guests. Many inns and bed and breakfasts can accommodate both the ceremony and the reception.

6. Use Potted Plants instead of Cut Flowers for Centerpieces.I admit, I’m crazy about fresh flowers, but I also love the idea of being able to enjoy my centerpieces long after the wedding. Potted flowers are lovely – so are potted herbs and saplings.

7. Buy a Second Hand Wedding Dress and Bridesmaid Dresses. Have you seen some of the gorgeous vintage gowns at www.vintageous.com?

8. Ditch the Disposables. Don’t even think about having disposable cameras at your wedding. Chances are your guests will bring their own digital camera. You can even remind them in your invitation that you’d love for them to capture their wedding with their own camera and send you the images. And don’t forget the DIY wedding photo download station.

9. Don’t use Throwaway Dishes or Flatware. Use china dishes, flatware, cloth napkins and glasses instead of plastic cups. Not only will this save a ton of waste, it will look more elegant.

10. Scrap the Balloons and Confetti. Do you really need confetti? If you feel it’s a must, then use flower petals. Avoid balloons when decorating, as well as any other landfill bound decorations.

BTW, I recently got my hands on a review copy of The Green Bride Guide by Kate Harrison. Stay tuned for more great tips from the The Green Bride Guide, as well as a book review.

Photo: Miki Duisterhof

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7 Comments  |  Filed Under: Small Wedding Ideas, Wedding Planning, Wedding Reception, Wedding Trends

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  1. Posted by Toronto Wedding Photography on February 20th, 2009 at 2:16pm

    These are some great ideas. Thank you for posting them. Hopefully this post will inspire people to host greener weddings. Every little thing one can do to leave a smaller footprint on this planet helps.
  2. Posted by Rick (WeddingPlanningandAccessories) on May 12th, 2009 at 12:41pm

    A backyard wedding has a practical charm and romantic element that is superior to a catering hall. I always thought that a smaller wedding shows that the couple is in it for love, and not getting caught up in the idea of just having a big party in their honor.
  3. Posted by Toronto wedding photographers on September 4th, 2009 at 3:21pm

    Great tips! I'm sure some of these idea will gain in popularity as the Green movement progresses.
  4. Posted by Bradt Photography on January 6th, 2010 at 1:30am

    I have some clients that will love this, I'm forwarding this to them, nice job.
  5. Posted by Sheila on April 30th, 2010 at 10:02am

    I'm surprised you didn't mention the option of flower, tree or herb seeds as eco-friendly wedding favors... they are very popular - and very green!
  6. Posted by Valdorama on February 16th, 2011 at 9:22pm

    Great tips! Glad you are spreading these ideas!
  7. Posted by Donna H on March 25th, 2013 at 12:14pm

    How did you stencil the pots? They are beautiful!!!
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