Articles Magazine

10+ Great Eco Friendly Wedding Ideas

Los-Angeles-wedding-decor-table-ideas-eco-caters

By Diane Small

Your dress is vintage, your ring was his grandmother’s, you’ll be riding up to the ceremony in a horse-drawn carriage, but guess what? Your wedding could still be eco-friendlier.

Greening up your wedding is not just important for the planet–it’s symbolically important, too. Considering most marriages are the starting point for creating a new family, whatever you do today will impact your future children’s lives tomorrow.

Whether you’re making one eco-gesture or a hundred, every little bit counts. Here are some great eco friendly wedding ideas to help make your big day as green as it is glorious.

The Invitations

Seeded Paper

For any eco-wedding, recycled paper invites is a must, but there’s one type of recycled paper that really has a  greener edge: seeded papers! These contain tiny flower or herb seeds that sprout when buried in the earth. Designed in a variety of colours, sizes, fonts and styles by companies like Botanical Paperworks, paper doesn’t really get more planet-friendly than this.

catalog_product_image_1239

catalog_product_image_928

E-Invites

While of course sending an e-invitation to guests isn’t the most romantic of gestures, it is growing in popularity (even prestigious Fashion Week invites are often electronic!).

I was recently invited to a wedding where the couple did send out electronic invites, and it was so convenient, I don’t know why everyone doesn’t do it–guests could RSVP online with a simple click; could see a map to the venue, and could even find links to the bridal registry. The invitation was also animated, showing slides of the couple from when they met to the present. Sweet! What may have made this more memorable is creating a printable version of the invite, or giving invitees the option to ‘order’ a paper version of the invitation.

The Table

Food

Organic is usually a good idea, but not if it has been flown in thousands of miles! Local is just as good in this case, so treat your guests to a feast of locally grown delicacies. To seriously reduce your carbon footprint, of course that means the meal should be as vegan friendly as possible–a nice, hearty pasta is always a universally loved main course. I once attended a wedding that served heart shaped pumpkin ravioli with truffle oil. Delicious, and memorable!

84618d20e655a065009165aac9734dd4

That being said, even vegan couples often give their guests a non-vegan option: in this case, try to stick to locally farmed chicken, which has a much lower environmental footprint than beef. Avoid shrimp, imported fish and food that’s out of season (like strawberries in winter) at all costs, as these have hugely negative implications for the environment.

As for the cake, keep in mind that many weddings waste mounds of it. Have you ever seen the entire cake devoured? As delicious as they may be, the fact is that after eating for hours on end, guests are usually too full by the time the cake comes to eat much of it. Keep it small, keep it simple, keep it sustainable!

3d4ba37346562ed4bbbad35d4c8e542f

Drinks

As with food, local is better. No need to import French or Italian wines–just source the very best of the local vineyards. The same goes for water: who needs imported bottles of mineral water when filtered local water is just as good? Put carafes of water on each table and ensure they’re always full. Giving guests an option with slices of lemon, cucumber and a bit of mint offers a nice alternative to plain water or juice, and staves off hangovers for those indulging in that local wine!

0a7f7bd63ee779e398daea611874b106

Table Decoration

This is the easy bit–there are endless options for creating a wonderful centrepieces, from using locally grown flowers in pitchers to long branches of evergreens. Guests can find their seats by searching for their names printed on seeded paper (as above), or even written on smooth, locally sourced pebbles.

Shuipis_Korby_Megan_Gray_Photography_28410_k162_low-590x393

Try to avoid table cloths, as these need washing, and that uses energy. Instead, keep it bare with polished wood, or for an added decorative touch, use strips of eco-friendly burlap or hemp to show guests where their table is, as in the example below.

0f27539435b4172284b86e23f2edce33

9f0116eabec497083ed214ad5c29fde5

Photographer: AMBphoto

Party Favours

Gifts for Suburbanites

These little delights left on the tables are what guests will take home with them to remind them of your big day.

The traditional pieces of fruit cake or bags of sugared almonds can certainly be done sustainably if they’re packaged in recycled paper or eco-friendly fabric, but there are lots of other options, too.

For example, why not give guests a heart-shaped seeded card they can hang on a branch to feed the local birds? Guests will always remember your wedding if they plant a tree in their garden to commemorate your big day, so you could offer them small cedar or pine saplings, or the option to take seeds home, as in the pictures below.

d6bbd5db1002e65ecf7193c2c17f8063

c53e3a638fda54afd1f51f7d0553509e

Gifts for Urbanites

Urban guests without gardens or outdoor space nearby would love to take small pots of plantable herbs or small flowers home, which they can plant in a window box to enjoy fresh herbs and flowers all year round. Alternatively, you could support the cork industry (which is essential to protecting cork wood forests) by offering a party favour of customised coasters.

And everyone loves scented candles, so why not offer your guests an organic one, with floral notes from the bridal bouquet? It’s an especially lovely idea, as the candles at each person’s table placing will also fill the air of the reception with a memorable scent. Milana makes some wonderful ones and will also accept custom orders, but you can find plenty more on Etsy.

7ad9d0728c5a61eb7eefbd352bf83a94

2e28dc8fc029826ef831743bbf9957db

To get help with more ideas, why not hire an eco-wedding planner? There are plenty around, and the speciality is growing.

Eco Friendly Weddings Ideas for the Newlyweds

Since the bride and groom have gone out of their way to make their wedding eco-friendly, why not follow their lead and make your gift green as well? Of course, if the couple is on a registry, you may as well help them out with the things they’re likely to buy later anyway. But if not, and if cash is not part of your gifting tradition, then there are lots of sustainable gifts you could offer, like:

* a day of his-and-hers pampering at an organic spa

* a donation in the name of the couple to a charity that’s important to them

* services, such as paying for the organic landscaping of their new home

* vintage gifts, such as a set of antique cutlery or a tea set

* a donation towards the couple’s (hopefully eco-chic) honeymoon

With a little creativity and forward planning, there’s no reason why every couple can’t have a big, fat green wedding.



You Might Also Like

1 Comment

  • Reply
    Leaftrend
    Sep 24, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    Stylish way to Save Earth & Eco Friendly Wedding Ideas!
    Enjoy with your Lovable Ones with our Heart Palm leaftrend Plates in wedding!!These elegant heart-shaped plates are disposable and biodegradable, yet surprisingly durable. Perfect for romantic meals, they’re pretty enough for candlelit evenings, yet light enough for picnics for two. No matter how you use them, you can skip the dishes without guilt. No trees were cut down to make them.
    Its is truly Make Eco friendly wedding.-leaftrend

  • Leave a Reply