Sure, you were wearing your flip flops and sun dresses weeks ago, but it’s June 21st: It’s the official start of summer. So in honor of this new, sunny season, we are going to give you a whole week all about Green Weddings!! Check out The Wedding Yentas all week for Real GREEN Weddings, awesome offers from our friends at The Eco Luxe Life, and a fantastic giveaway that you could win that would leave your friends GREEN with envy!
There are a number of ways to create a beautiful wedding, while still honoring the earth and sparing waste.
You can save thousands of dollars by buying a dress that’s not brand new! And while you’re saving, you’re also cutting back on machinery and fabric waste. Borrow a friend’s or your mom’s and if it needs alterations and they say it’s okay, you can still make it your own with additional details or cuts. This is a great way to honor a special woman in your life.
You can also check out PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com for designer gowns sold at totally discounted prices! The dresses are sometimes totally unworn (NEWSFLASH: Brides can have trouble making up their minds and sometimes buy more dresses than needed!) or just even gently worn. After all, how many times does a bride wear the same wedding dress? All you have to do is browse the dresses on the site, find one you love, reach out to the seller, talk money, and discuss shipping and you’re done! We’ve seen some real beauties on PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com, and it’s a terrific way to promote the green wedding movement.
Go vintage! Nothing would make your wedding more unique than donning a classic 1950s wedding dress or a 1930s gown. On a day that’s all about you and your beau, why not make a statement with style? And, while doing so, save the planet! Buying a dress that has already been created with rich history is so special. Check out our friends at Mill Crest Vintage. There are so many beautiful styles of dresses that will make you swoon!
Borrow a veil! Some brides only wear their veils for the ceremony, thus leaving them basically completely unused. If a recent bride you know has a veil that matches your dress and is still in good condition, why save the cash and the earth and borrow a barely used veil?
Choose local and in-season flowers! You’ll save yourself tons of money. If you’re not sure what flowers are in season during your wedding weekend, check with your florist or a local nursery. You and your florist can also visit a farm to purchase organic florals. Buying local is key because as you may know, importing isn’t cheap!
Consider using uncut flowers in beautiful pots that can be replanted at a later time. Plants and flowers in decorative pottery make for unique centerpieces! They can also serve as favors if you choose to leave your guests with a parting gift.
Also, your bouquet can be eco-friendly! As we know, flowers can be brilliant for more than just one day. Ask your florist if she has left over blooms from an event the night before, or perhaps connect with other green brides and reuse their flowers. Your flowers will shine just as beautifully as they did hours before your wedding and you’ll feel good knowing you haven’t cut new flowers for a one-day affair.
You’ve heard a lot, over the years, about recycling, but did you know that you can upcycle, too? You can upcycle when you convert unused materials or useless products into new items that are better quality and provide a higher environmental value. Basically, you’re just taking something you don’t love, and turning into something fabulous that you adore! Old assorted beads that may not have any importance individually could look really cool on your bouquet or fastened into your garter! Mismatched old jugs and drinking glasses can become interesting and personable vases or candle holders. The possibilities are truly endless.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION:
Consider keeping all of your wedding events in one location so your guests don’t have to travel too much. Think of how much cleaner the air could be if all of your guests abstained from driving during your wedding weekend. If your rehearsal dinner is in walking distance from the out-of-towners’ hotel, we give you high fives! Keeping the ceremony and the reception in the same location also helps minimize the need for a car.
Also, pick a beautiful location that doesn’t need much decor! When you choose a venue or a ceremony spot that is already complete with flowers or plants or drapery — or whatever it is that you fancy — then you can enjoy it in its original and natural state!
FOOD & DRINK:
If you want to greenify your wedding, ask your caterers to buy their food locally and cook with organic ingredients. Your food will taste better and you’ll be supporting local growers! Double whammy on the goodness meter! Also, try to incorporate local wines in your bar. The more products and vendors from the Slow Food movement, the better for your health, the economy, and your taste buds! After all, not only should food taste good, but it should be produced so that it does not harm the environment and that’s usually in a safe clean way. By doing this, we are also looking out for animal welfare or our health. It’s a win-win!
Clever ideas for letting your guests know the tables at which they’ll be dining are fun and paper-saving alternatives to escort cards. At the entrance of your reception venue, you could create a seating chart on a chalkboard, using different colors and incorporating whimsical designs to match your wedding’s overall style. Make it big enough so guests can see. You could even include two of the same chalkboards on two sides of the space.
Create a rock pattern on a table with names painted on pebbles or river stones. This idea incorporates nature without wasting or killing it, and complements your natural style. We’ve seen this executed well before, and let’s just say, it rocks!
Double dip your seating assignments and make them your favors, too! Made out of totally recyclable materials, the box contains a tiny terracotta pot and seeds ready for planting! You or someone you know can beautifully write the names of the guests and their table numbers on the front of the box so they can PLANT themselves in their seats and then again, PLANT their favors in their gardens. We like these Plant a Memory favors from Tree Beginnings, Inc.
Rent a pre-made chuppah! Unless you plan on keeping it (which is fine!), there’s no sense in making your own to just trash it later. Renting allows for many uses of one product that only has to be manufactured once. Using organic materials or upcycling cloth or poles would be nice, green touches!
If you’re going to order yarmulkes for your guests, consider donating them to a local synogogue or Hillel site after the wedding. You’re going to have leftover yarmulkes so it would be great, and even mitzvah-ish, to donate them to an organization that always needs them. Or, go the other way: if you don’t want to order new yarmulkes, you can collect some from various Jewish affiliations that would probably be happy to let you borrow them for such a wonderful simcha! Spreading love through a kippah: now that’s green AND warm-fuzzies.
Many brides choose to create programs, and they’re often very helpful for Jewish weddings for non-Jewish guests who may be unfamiliar with the ceremony. It’s okay to have programs if you want them. Print them on recycled paper and keep them short and sweet. Simple programs with the necessary information
If you’re a green bride looking for online places to research, check out RecycledBride.com for ecofriendly wedding purchases! You can find gently used… everything! We especially love what’s offered in Decor and Table items! With RecycledBride.com, planning your green wedding is a fun and feel-good treasure hunt!
In honor of Green Week, we’ve partnered up with our favorite green online store, The Eco Luxe Life! These green gurus know about every hot product on the market because they’ve personally tested them. From bath & body, to Fido, to chocolate, The Eco Luxe Life has got you covered in all your eco-friendly endeavors. They know all about luxury and pampering and promise that you don’t have to foresake any of the girly stuff we love while saving the planet.
AND guess what? TheEcoLuxeLife loves The Wedding Yentas and all of our readers! So, just for us, they’ve created a coupon code for $5 off any purchase of $20 or more! Start shopping: http://www.theecoluxelifestore.com/
Just type in WEDDINGYENTAS at checkout and your loot is all yours for $5 off!
Preserving our planet, planning a wedding, and purchasing posh treasures: Life. Is. Good.