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Sustainable Wedding Invitation Ideas

Sustainable Wedding Invitation Ideas

Weddings are a shared expression of a couples’ love for each other. My last article discussed why and how to create a green wedding.

Valerie Edmunds, author of The Green Wedding Guide, encourages her readers to create their own wedding elements. “Invitations, flowers, favors, food – and even the gown – can all be handmade by the creative environmentalist. Creating-it-yourself is a great way to save money – and can also be a fun means of involving your friends and family in your wedding preparations.”

One element of creating weddings has historically not been so eco-friendly the paper correspondences. Why opt for green wedding invitations? Wedding stationary can pile up, create an excess of paper waste, and can be mighty costly. According to Sierra magazine, “The average U.S. wedding and honeymoon generates 9 to 16 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.”

Here are just some of the paper correspondences printed on paper for weddings:
engagement announcements
save the date cards
shower invitations
shower thank you notes
wedding invitations
ceremony programs
place cards
menu cards
wedding announcements
thank you notes

Wedding stationary-use can be greened-up for the environment at a substantial savings to the consumer. Since these announcements can set the tone for a wedding, green choices save money, trees and time. There seems to be two eco-friendly choices: evites (the greenest choice), or invitations made from 100% recycled paper or tree-free papers.

The San Francisco Chronicle points out: “Where as the average cost of paper wedding invitations is $943.00, e-mail invitations are free.” Here are 8 sites that offer wedding evites either for free or a small service fee:

1. Pingg: Stylishly designed online invitations for emailing and printing
2. Evite: Lots of wedding stationary for free
3. My Punch Bowl
4. Etsy: Digital save-the-dates from different artists who customize your design
5. Jayda
6. Care2′s evite “love” category
7. American Greetings: Tips and tools for sending out wedding evites
8. Green Envelope

If you’re still keen on paper invitations, offers free printable wedding invitations. All the designs are free for your use and most of them can be printed on your home printer.

There are also beautiful free templates at Lucky Me! (I love these).

Here are sites from around the globe that offer environmentally-friendly paper wedding invitation options from Great Green Wedding:

Bag Lady Designs (Ireland) has fun unique illustrations all of which are made using recycled papers.
Dragon Fly Card Designs (Great Britain) have their heart in the right place. Designs are elegant and sophisticated.
Earthly Affair (USA) allows you to choose between either 100% post consumer paper or FSC Certified Cotton Paper.
Of the Earth (USA) will let you completely customize their 100% recycled paper. (USA) is made with handmade papers from 100% recycled abaca paper pulp. Invitations are embellished with complementary trim in raffia, straw, beads and other organic materials.
Green Field Paper (USA) provides Grow a Note cards embedded with a custom mix of wildflower seeds. …You can just toss them in the ground when you are finished, and a few months later– voila! –up pop flowers!! Green Field also has a 100% Junk Mail paper and Garlic Paper infused with garlic skins.
Invitesite (USA) has tree-free papers, 100% post-consumer recycled papers, archival papers (when this is important to you) and vellum papers that can be recycled.
Pistachio (Canada) is a letterpress with 100% post-consumer recycled papers printed with soy or vegetable inks.
Sweet Invitations (Canada) has several collections of handmade invitations that are made from discarded and shredded cloth using petals, flowers, silk, grass, colors, glitters which are acid free and 100% recycled.
Tasha Rae Designs (USA) specializes in custom designed invitations and have a wide variety of recycled papers to choose from. No charge for samples — Tasha suggests you donate a few bucks to your favorite charity instead!
Twisted Limb Paperworks (USA) offers a large line of handmade, 100% recycled, post-consumer waste invitations. This is a great company that walks the walk — at least half of their studio’s energy is provided by green electricity, and water used in the paper making process is recycled from the studio’s dehumidifiers and air conditioner whenever possible.

Ronnie Citron-Fink lives in New York with her husband, two children (when they come home to the nest), two dogs and a cat. Ronnie is a teacher and a writer. She has been a contributing writer for Family Fun magazine. She currently writes articles about education and home design. Her writings are in four books including Family Fun Home and Some Delights of the Hudson Valley.

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By Ronnie Citron-Fink

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Ronnie Citron-Fink

Ronnie Citron-Fink is a writer, editor and educator. She has written hundreds of articles about sustainable living, the environment, design, and family life for websites, books and magazines. Ronnie is the creator of Econesting, and the managing editor of Moms Clean Air Force. Ronnie was named one of the Top Ten Living Green Experts by Yahoo. Ronnie lives in New York with her family.


+ add your own
6:53AM PDT on Apr 9, 2013

Great ideas,thanks for sharing

3:56PM PDT on Sep 10, 2012


2:10PM PDT on Jun 6, 2011


12:45AM PST on Dec 26, 2010


3:40AM PDT on Jul 29, 2010

i find this article really really useful for my job, as a wedding planner. Thanks for sharing with us all this info.

3:38AM PDT on Jul 29, 2010

As a wedding planner i met with the next situation many times "Wedding stationary can pile up, create an excess of paper waste, and can be mighty costly".

11:57AM PDT on Jul 17, 2009

good article, vital x

11:31AM PDT on Jul 17, 2009

Hi Ronnie -- Thanks for covering this important subject. We've specialized in Green Weddings and eco papers and DIY invites for 15 years (Helen, here, from Paper has been made out of trees for only 125 years (papermaking is a 2,000 year old technology).
We have a terrific opportunity to substantially effect the papermaking industry. Currently, there are only 2 or 3 commercial paper mills that make 100% post consumer recycled (treepulp) paper in the US. That is totally pathetic. Last year, 1 of those mills went into bankruptcy. So -- if greenies don't support this fledgling market, there is a danger materials will not be available. (I saw this happen in the 1990's to many treefree paper companies - about 3/4 went out of business.)
So -- use beautiful, treefree archival papers for your wedding. There are totally gorgeous options now. eco wedding invitations
Use these to educate your friends and family. Buy 100% postconsumer recycled paper, if you can find it. Ask for it, if you don't find it at your local business supply store. Pressure companies to use 100% postconsumer paper for packaging.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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