Your special day doesn’t have to hurt the earth. You can make your wedding safe for the environment by considering a number of green strategies that are continuing to grow in popularity this year as more and more people become aware of their impact on the earth. Ponder these trends for an eco-friendly wedding while planning your own.
The rings. Controversial mining practices have been all over the news lately, which has made many happy couples uncomfortable with the thought of using rings that might contain gems that come from unethical or destructive mining practices. Titanium has become a popular alternative to diamonds, but if precious stones are a must, consider antique jewelry, which is also in vogue, and is classic as well as romantic. Many people are going traditional and using heirloom rings that belonged to relatives or ancestors.
E-vites. Though it may offend your older guests, younger generations are perfectly comfortable with online invitations and wedding websites. This can be a free service that is also environmentally sound and allows you to send a link to your guests that tells them about you and your partner as well as all the details of the wedding. E-vites and websites also save on postage as well as the energy required to deliver traditional invitations. However, if you are more traditionally minded, you can send invites that utilize recycled paper and vegetable or soy-based inks. No one will know the difference.
Outdoor weddings. Holding an outdoor ceremony and reception is all the rage. You reduce your carbon footprint and enjoy the benefits of natural light at the same time. If you choose a location that is lush with natural flowers and vegetation, you help the environment by not purchasing flower arrangements that will only be thrown away once the ceremony is over. You also save emissions and travel expenses that impact the environment if you hold an outdoor wedding that is closer to home.
Attire. The trend of wearing your mother’s wedding dress has come back into style. Some women are even wearing a gown that belonged to their grandmother or great-grandmother. If you’d rather come up with a style that is all your own, you can shop online for a used wedding dress to suit your needs. Many businesses specialize in recycled dresses that you can alter to create a gown imbued with your own individual style. Tuxedos are on the way out; many men are simply wearing a nice button-up shirt and slacks, with the possible addition of a tie. You can help out your bridesmaids by selecting cocktail dresses as bridesmaid gowns that they can wear again at other functions, and encourage your groomsmen to select outfits from their own wardrobe that are similarly styled and colored.
Photography. Most people these days are hiring photographers who will provide a digital selection of shots that the happy couple can select and print themselves. This saves you money as well as the use of harmful chemicals used in developing and paper for printing.
A green wedding still allows you to have your happy day without sacrificing any of your aesthetics or personal style and is environmentally conscious at the same time.
Carol Montrose writes for Los Willows, the premier company for wedding packages in San Diego.