Say “I Do” With A Touch Of Green: A Simple Wedding Guide

With Valentine’s Day approaching (we know there will be a lot of proposals) we thought it might be a good idea to provide some thoughts for those newly engaged to consider the environment when they are planning the wedding.

Did you know that there are 2.5 million weddings a year in the United States, with an average of more than 150 guests each? When you add up all of the stuff that goes into weddings (single-use bleached white dresses, chemically-treated imported flowers, toxic makeup and skin care products, mined gem-based jewelry, individual packets of rice, etc.) you see that the environmental impact from these events is enormous.

You may ask…what is a green wedding? It means that for all aspects of the wedding plans – from the products to the services – the impact on the planet is lessened.

You may ask.. .why create a green wedding?

Let me count the reasons (from The Everything Green Wedding Book)…

1. To save trees

2. Reduce pollution

3. Cut down on landfill waste

4. Cut down or offset carbon emissions

5. Promote the growth and consumption of organic crops

6. Support green businesses

7. Increase the demand for green products

8. Support your local economy and save money

9. Buy from companies that supports and practices fair trade

10. Say no to products made in sweatshops

11. Give to charitable organizations?

12. Inspire others to have green weddings or live greener lifestyles.

Here is a more comprehensive wedding guide that provides inspiration for creating sustainable weddings.

How much do I love thee? Let’s recite the ways:

Local Fare

A wedding is the perfect occasion to celebrate with local, organic food. Always choose free range meats for entrees. Even if the caterer or restaurant doesn’t offer sustainable choices, doesn’t mean that they will object to using locally grown produce. Just ask!

Wedding Favors

Make and decorate with eco-packaging. Popular choices are: organic chocolate, coffee beans, tea bags, candles, organic soaps, cookies, seed packets or bulbs and seedlings.


For the most sustainable choices in eco-wedding fashion, buy local, used, or vintage. Or better yet — make a wedding dress.


Not everyone would consider an alternative to natural flowers, but here are three more sustainable choices than traditional flowers — a handmade bouquet, a button bouquet, and an edible flower bouquet or simply picking a bouquet of wild flowers from a friend or neighbors garden.

Unique Centerpieces

Most florist will work with brides to create centerpieces made from local plants and flowers. Better yet, consider giving small potted plants from your garden or local nursery that you guests can take home as favors.

Guest book

Put out an old-fashioned typewriter for guests to write notes to the couple.


Since announcements can set the tone for a wedding, green choices save money, trees, and time. There seems to be two eco-friendly choices: online Evites (the greenest choice) or invitations made from 100% recycled paper or tree-free papers.


A tip for avoiding unnecessary travel for guests is to use the same location for the ceremony and reception. Send a message about your love for the environment by picking a favorite outdoor spot


Go unplugged with live acoustic music.


Make your own reusable cloth napkins and napkin holders. Displaying an eclectic mix of vintage napkins creates a beautiful table.


Nothing says green wedding like celebrating outdoors. Daytime weddings save energy on lighting and cooling.

Something old, something new, something borrowed for your table

Old — Deck the table with heirlooms. Vintage plates and serving pieces can be supplemented with thrift store finds to create a festive and meaningful table display.

New — Organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, or linen tablecloths can be reused or passed on to a soon-to-be-married friend.

Borrowed — Ask friends and family to lend their tableware or rent reusable dishes.

X-tra food

Leftover food can be sent home with guests in DIY reusable food wraps. Don’t forget to feed the band and servers too.

We hope you find this list of simple suggestions useful. Please let us know if you have any unique ways to green up your wedding.


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