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Couple Planting a TreeWhether you’re concerned about financial feasibility or you aim to be socially and environmentally responsible, you may list sustainability as one of the major goals for your wedding. As you begin the planning stages of your event, you might feel as if achieving this objective is easier said than done. With some helpful tips, you can book green-friendly vendors and make wise choices about your food, venue, décor, paper products, and attire.

Choosing Floral Arrangements and Décor

One key aspect you can tweak to improve your wedding’s sustainability factor is its aesthetics. Writing for Small Footprint Family, Akshata Mehta points out that many types of cut flowers aren’t produced organically nor do they come from suppliers who treat their workers ethically. With that in mind, Mehta makes several suggestions to guide you in selecting your vendor and floral decorations:

  • Use a florist who sources locally grown flowers and plants.
  • Choose varieties that will be in season near your wedding date.
  • Try potted plants, which you and your guests can take home.

If you still choose prearranged decorations and centerpieces, you can allow guests to take them home or donate them to organizations that repurpose them. Mehta lists Rebloom and Repeat Roses as a couple of examples, but you may be able to locate others in your area.

Alternatively, a venue with its own natural greenery can look stunning without a lot of extra embellishment. Taysha Murtaugh of Martha Stewart Weddings lists barns and farms as some great examples, but you can also try parks and botanical gardens. Murtaugh’s other recommendations include sourcing gently used items for table décor, adding candles to the mix, and making items do double duty. Items such as centerpieces and place card arrangements can also serve as take-home wedding favors, depending on your event’s design.

Finding Friendly Food Options

As The Knot writer Tia Albright explains, you can make your wedding greener by picking a vendor that uses locally sourced ingredients. Organic foods may price out more, but you might be able to balance that out with locally grown in-season items, since their costs may be lower due to shorter storage times and the fact that less fuel is consumed during their transport. This smart practice can also apply to your wedding cake, particularly if your bakery uses dairy, eggs and other ingredients from suppliers in your area.

Rethink Your Clothing and Jewelry

You can adopt a couple of different approaches to your attire and jewelry to introduce more sustainability into your wedding. In her Martha Stewart Weddings writeup, Murtaugh emphasizes that heirloom items reduce both your consumption as well as how much you’ll spend. Typical heirloom wedding items include bridal dresses, rings and other fine jewelry, but other valuable items in good condition can easily be incorporated into your personal style while imparting vintage touches. On the other hand, renting attire allows you to sport contemporary looks, often for lower prices than buying new.

Quick Ideas for Invitations and Programs

Looking at your paper consumption is also vital in throwing a greener wedding. With your invitations and programs, you can adopt a few different strategies. If possible, go with a digital invitation service that permits you to design and send electronic invites through email. For those still using printed versions, recycled paper is a great option. For simple, straightforward nuptial ceremonies, you could skip the printed program altogether and list the order of service on signs inside the venue or your wedding website.

Pulling together your special day involves coordinating many different pieces together to form a cohesive whole. At the same time, hiring vendors and sourcing materials introduces several opportunities for you to make choices that fit your personal values. By reducing consumption, reusing some items, and choosing locally produced food and plants, your wedding can have a unique look and feel while also being sustainable and green.

Category: Wedding Planning Ceremonies

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