Earth Day 2009 : Seven Ways to a Greener Wedding

Well, Earth Day is almost over.It's actually very sad that we even have to have an Earth Day. In truth, we should always be thinking about how we can reduce our carbon footprint.Sometimes it's the smallest and easiest things that in the long term makes the greatest impact. Here are seven ways you can have a greener wedding:
  1. Start with the Rings: No one ever seems to think that they can make a green choice when purchasing their wedding rings but you can. By purchasing a ring made with recycled gold, platinum or silver you can make a difference. There are many up and coming jewelry designers who only work with recycled precious metals. Do you have lots of gold and silver jewelry lying around? Take it to your local jeweler who specializes in custom rings and have them melt it down to create wedding rings just for you. You will be supporting a local artist and using that old jewelry you never wear anymore.
  2. The Invitations: Invitations made from recycled paper, printed with soy ink or ones that after the event your guests can plant because they are embedded with wild flower seeds. Make your wedding invitations like a postcard because it uses less paper. Skip the RSVP inserts instead have an email address set up so that your potential guests can email you their RSVP. If you have a wedding website you could have it directly on your site. Saves paper,stamps and money.
  3. The Wedding Dress: More and more designers are designing wedding dresses with hemp, bamboo, organic cotton and fair wage silk.Check in on Floral Fashionista Fridays this week where I feature such a designer. Think of reusing a wedding dress. It could be your Mother's or Grandmother's, even one you found in a second hand store. With a dry clean and some design adjustments by a good seamstress you could actually have the dress of your dreams without breaking the bank. It's very trendy by fashion designers to upscale garments and fabrics to make something new and modern.You can do it too! Think of purchasing a dress you will reuse somewhere else later down the road and don't forget this aspect for your bridesmaids dresses either.
  4. The Flowers: By using locally grown in season flowers you support your local flower growers. Buy locally grown organic flowers. When purchasing organic flowers from California or Columbia it really doesn't reduce your carbon footprint when you think of what is involved to import them. Look in your own garden you may find some flowers and greens you would love to have in your bouquet. Don't be afraid to wild source, for example salal and ferns grow in abundance on Vancouver Island. Ask your neighbors, friends and family for flowers from their gardens. Have a neighbor who has a green thumb? I do. I'm notorious for spotting plants in my neighbors gardens. "Is that dusty miller I see over there? Would you like some plums in exchange for some?" It also helps to keep bottles of wine, boxes of chocolates or home baking around for bargaining leverage! Some florists do not mind if you bring in flowers from your own garden. I certainly don't. I use wild sourced, neighbor bribed and my own garden pickings all the time in my designs!
  5. The Food: Buy local organic produce and use a caterer who is all about supporting local artisans. We've got some good ones in Victoria. Build your menu around organic, local initiatives. That goes for your cake too. You can ask your cake baker to only bake your cake with organic ingredients.
  6. The Booze: Buy organic beer and wine to serve at your wedding. Even better if it's local.
  7. The Candles: Use soy candles, beeswax or vegetable wax. So much better for you and the environment than petroleum based candles. Support your local candle makers.
By using the three "R's" of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle in your wedding planning you can make a difference in your local economy and have a stylish, elegant green wedding.