Looking for ways to green up your wedding?
10 tips from the Green Bride Guide:
1. Late Night Bites
If 2011 was the year of breakfast weddings, than 2012 is the year of midnight munchies! After your guests have danced the night away, serve bite sized snacks to rejuvenate them for the remainder of the evening. For a winter wedding, try small shot glasses of hot chocolate and mini doughnuts. Planning a spring wedding? Serve a single tortilla crisp adorned with organic mango salsa, a petite pita pocket filled with fresh vegetables and hummus; or a mini cherry pie for a sweet pick-me-up.
2. Do It For The Kids!
Create a kid-friendly atmosphere for your younger wedding guests. Your green wedding is the time to teach others how to live sustainably and who better to start with than the kids? Make special place settings for all the children at your wedding. Give them a small potted plant and a crossword puzzle filled with green buzz words. You can even set up a small kids corner where they can play while the adults chat and dine.
3. DIY Aisle Style
DIY aisle runners are easy to do! With the right materials any green bride can create an aisle runner in no time. You can go the traditional route and use recycled paper with your insignia painted onto the runner with your wedding date and any other pretty flourishes you want to include. You can also opt for a more unique alternative and use a slate runner with special phrases and designs written in chalk. Another option for the ultra crafty bride is a crocheted aisle runner in bright and bold colors.
4. Get Creative with Eco-Chic Cake Toppers
If you want a few easy touches for your green wedding, here is the place to start. You can use sustainable wood toppers, recycled FSC Certified paper decorations, or reuse a topper from a close friend or family member. Etsy and eBay have a large array of vintage toppers. If you want to lessen your carbon footprint, skip the ordering and shipping and make the toppers yourself. You can also have your bakery create flowers and other objects out of sugar or fondant so that everything will be eaten and there will be less waste!
5. Two Dresses in One!
Now you can turn your gown into a short and sassy reception dress! All it takes is one gentle pull and off it goes. If you want to save money and get more wear out of your wedding gown, shop for a dress with a detachable skirt. You can take off the long layer and wear the bottom layer to your reception. There are some beautiful designs out there and no one will ever know that you wore the same dress, unless you tell them your secret trick!
6. For the Grooms: Get Creative with Cufflinks!
2011 Green Weddings debuted a variety of boutonnieres boasting dried herbs, berries and simple flowers wrapped in burlap and twine. Cufflinks are another classy and understated way to make a green statement. You can go vintage or find handmade cufflinks made with sustainable touches.
7. Embrace the Food Truck Frenzy!
Food trucks are the hottest new way to serve food to your guests. Why not look for a local place that uses green fuel alternatives for their trucks. This is such an easy way to keep your guests happy. All they have to do is walk over to your chosen food truck and order right at the window!
8. Give the Gift of Green
Break away from the traditional gift registry and sign up for one that makes sense for you as a couple. The possibilities are endless: honeymoon and adventure registries, fair trade, local artisan registries, or donating to your favorite charity. If you want to fill your home with high quality sustainable products, then a green gift registry is the perfect start to wedded bliss.
9. Blooming Paper!
A fun way to announce a wedding in spring is with a personalized packet of organic seeds or pre-printed and custom-made invitations on “grow-a-note” plantable seed imbued paper. If you are crafty, you can even make your own seed paper with a papermaking kit. If you want white envelopes, use recycled envelopes and printer paper. You can add petals, confetti, and even thin ribbon to create beautiful one-of-a-kind pieces. Add organic seeds to the mix and you can send your guests handmade plantable invites.
10. Green Venues
Newly engaged couples are getting more creative than ever when it comes to their wedding venue. The type of green venue available depends on which area of the country you select. In a large city you will have better luck finding an organic restaurant, aquarium or museum. If you want a wedding in the countryside you can find sculpted landscapes, sprawling vineyards and cozy Bed and Breakfasts.
Kate L. Harrison, has a JD in Environmental Law and a Master’s from Yale in Environmental Policy. She planned her own green wedding in 2007 and wrote the best selling green wedding book The Green Bride Guide: How to Plan an Earth-Friendly Wedding on Any Budget (Sourcebooks, 2008). In 2009, she founded www.greenbrideguide.com to help couples use their weddings to promote social and environmental change and support the local green economy.
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Editor: Kate Bartolotta.