Turn Your White Wedding Green
By Bridgette Wagner
When it comes to weddings today, many decisions have to be made pretty quickly: the kind of rings the groom and bride will wear, the kind of clothing they will wear, the kind of decorations that will be displayed during the reception. For those that would prefer a “green” to a “white” wedding, these decisions can be even harder to make. From making sure that the ring is made of recycled gold to seeing that the wedding dress is made out of organic un-dyed fabrics, choosing to have a green wedding is still something out of the ordinary.
Not many people are aware of the eco-friendly way to have a wedding. Yet for those who already feel strong about saving the environment, why stop their “green” way of living when it comes to their wedding day? In today’s world, a wedding wastes a lot of environmental products that could be completely avoided from the beginning, from wasted paper for invitations, programs and thank-you notes, to paper products used during the reception and as decorations. Fuel is wasted driving from one far location to the next, while millions of diamonds are used for wedding rings.
If you only take the time to do a little research, it can be seen how easily it really is to add a little “green” to your wedding.
Basic ideas and resources
You could use recycled paper to make your invitations, rather then normal paper. Instead of going for the typical diamond ring, why not invest in a recycled gold ring? Greenkarat.com is a great resource for finding a ring made of recycled precious metals. A company like this believes in using resources already available rather then doing unnecessary mining in environmental areas.
Hemp is an eco-friendly plant that is mixed with cotton or silk to make beautiful white wedding dresses seem more “green.” Hemp is easily grown in most climates and is naturally pest-resistant. It also maintains its strength overtime to last longer than cotton. It is a great way of avoiding synthetic, petroleum-based fabric. Hemp can also be incorporated into such things as napkins or tablecloths, rather than using paper or plain cotton.
You could even donate your wedding dress to a charity like Brides Against Breast Cancer — that is, if you’re willing to part with it. You could also ask your bridesmaids to donate their dresses to a charity like the Glass Slipper Project.
A great way to honor the environment is through having a wedding outdoors. Just being in the fresh air, no matter what the environment, can be a great start to an eco-friendly wedding. Try botanical gardens, nature preserves or a beach. The Green Hotels Association and the Greener Lodging Directory have great resources. These properties try hard to promote water and energy conservation while employing safe water disposal.
More ideas: A nice way to keep beautiful flowers alive after the ceremony is to donate them to a local hospital or church. Finding one place for both the wedding and the ceremony helps the environment by producing less car fuel. You could serve an organic meal to your guests as a way of promoting a healthier environment. Organic jars of honey or jams or such things as handmade soaps or candles can make lovely “green” gifts for the new couple.
Another great idea would be to make a donation to an environmental charity in your guests’ names. Finding a caterer who is willing to recycle bottles and paper products is a small touch that can help more than you know. You can ask your caterer to donate any extra leftovers to those whom need it most – a food bank or shelter.
For the honeymoon, book flights through Better World Travel, which donates a portion of each fare to environmental cleanup efforts.
There are many things you can do to make your “white wedding” a bit greener. By taking the steps to think of how your decisions impact the environment, you are furthering the future of keeping our environment clean and safe.
© Bridgette Wagner
Bridgette Wagner is a young mother to a toddler with a strong appreciation for attachment parenting, breastfeeding and natural living. She is currently studying to get her elementary education degree. She enjoys freelance writing when she has the time in-between changing diapers and doing homework.