More and more couples are choosing to have green weddings these days. This doesn’t mean their color theme… It means that they’re making environmentally conscious choices about their wedding favours, wedding vendors, wedding food, etc. Here are some tips on how you too, can have an eco-friendly wedding:
1- Your wedding invitations, guestbook, programs and place-cards: You can either make them yourself, using recycled or hand-made paper products, or do an online search for ‘eco-friendly wedding paper products’. There are several companies who will supply you with customized, environmentally friendly products for all of your printed wedding materials.
2- Your wedding favours: Instead of using plastic or non-recycled materials, why not consider giving something more sustainable? Mini plant pots with a packet of your favourite flower seeds or bulbs. A jar of local honey with a specially printed wedding label. A nicely wrapped tree seedling. Bamboo coasters, bamboo salad sets or bamboo napkin rings.
3- Your wedding flowers: Look for vendors who supply organic and/or locally grown flowers. Or – depending on what time of year you’re getting married – you could even consider growing your own wedding flowers either in your yard, on a balcony, in window boxes or a greenhouse.
4- Your wedding food: Look for caterers who work with organic and locally grown suppliers. If you’re having friends or family help with the food, choose things that can be made with locally grown, in-season fruits and vegetables. For your meats, dairy and baked goods, purchase from organic, local small businesses or from a market like Whole Foods, which provides sustainable, eco-friendly and cruelty-free food products.
5- Your wedding vendors: When you’re looking at who to hire as your videographer, your photographer, your dj, etc… Do a search for ‘eco-friendly’ photographers, videographers, etc. What this means, is that they use environmentally sustainable products for their own businesses and that they provide you with eco-friendly services for your wedding.
6- Your wedding travel: To reduce the amount of carbon emissions from all of your guests travelling to and from your wedding, set up a car-pooling system in advance. You can use a social networking site like Facebook or Twitter and invite your wedding guests to join your private wedding page. From there, you can encourage or arrange car-pooling options for your wedding guests. Or if you have your own private wedding website, have a special area that discusses how your guests can make car-pool arrangements.
7- Your post-wedding cleanup: When you’re arranging the cleanup, be sure to recycle as much as you possibly can. Paper products, containers, plastic, etc. Bring labeled recycling boxes to your reception location for your cleaning helpers to use. Donate your uneaten food and beverages to a local food bank or homeless shelter. (You can even contact local shelters to pre-arrange someone coming by to pick up the left-over food at the end of your reception dinner.) Compost your left-over floral arrangements and the food you can’t give away.
8- Hire an eco-friendly wedding planner: If you don’t have the time to arrange all of these details yourself, look for an eco-friendly wedding or event planner who can handle these things for you. Be sure to mention all of the wedding elements that you want to be sure are environmentally friendly.
Weddings are a lot of work. You always have to go through the process of choosing your flowers, your food, your favours, your vendors, etc. Remember that it takes no extra time or extra effort to make sustainable, recycled and eco-friendly choices. It’s just as easy to be green.
Tamea Burd is an eco-friendly, professional photographer from Vancouver, BC. She specializes in portrait photography, headshots, corporate and wedding photography. Her website: Tamea Burd Photography