White weddings are getting a green twist as more and more couples aim to make their ceremonies and receptions eco-friendly. And as sustainability becomes a bigger priority for people and companies around the world, going green requires less green.
Reduce waste by reusing items wherever possible—and bonus, it can help you save money, too. Golden opportunities to reuse items instead of buying new include opting for a ring that’s been in your family for an engagement ring or wedding band or rewearing your mom’s dress or veil (with any necessary adjustments, of course). If that’s not an option, look for items from accessories to décor at flea markets, antique stores and vintage boutiques. Go ahead and scratch “something old’ off your list.
Even in the digital age, weddings involve a lot of paper, from your save the date and invite to program and thank you cards. Look for recycled paper options to be a little kinder to the environment, and post as much information as you can online to cut down on the need for (and cost of) printing. You can also try to work with your vendors to dispose of materials the day of your wedding responsibly—think recycling bins for bottles and cans and checking with local food banks before the big day to see if they’ll accept any leftover grub.
It’s tempting to order the perfect decorations, accessories and more from around the world when they’re all just a click away, but buying local products will cut down on your carbon footprint since items don’t have to be shipped to get to you. Bonus: It helps support your community’s economy, and you can forge a closer relationship with your vendors and see products in person before you spend any money on them.
Picking a venue where the majority of your guests live helps cut down on the need for transportation, shrinking your wedding’s carbon footprint. Another thing to think about: If you get married outdoors, you’ll save money on lighting and can likely get away with fewer decorations, sparing you time, money and energy and cutting down on waste. And what’s greener than saying “I do” to a day of fresh air and sun?
Potted plants have a longer life than cut flowers, and we love the eclectic feel they can provide to proceedings. If your heart is set on more traditional arrangements, consider giving them out to guests in lieu of party favors, or donate them to a local hospital or nursing home so that others can enjoy them while they last. Working with your florist to select blooms that are in season will save you money and keep flowers from being sourced from somewhere far away.
Here’s one that comes at no cost to you—when you’re picking out items for your registry, simply consider how they’re made and where they’re from, choosing responsibly made items whenever possible. Or be direct and ask guests to contribute to your favorite eco-friendly organization in lieu of buying you a gift.