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Say “I Do” Sustainably: A-Z Eco-Wedding Guide

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Say “I Do” Sustainably: A-Z Eco-Wedding Guide

My nephew is getting married this summer and my sister-in-law called in a mother of the groom frenzy, and asked me to send her everything I knew about creating a more sustainable wedding. Green weddings are not the norm, and the statistics show that our planet pays a mighty price for wedding extravagance:

“There are 2.5 million weddings a year in the United States, with an average of more than 150 guests each.  When you add up all of the stuff that goes into weddings (single-use bleached white dresses, chemically-treated imported flowers, toxic makeup and skin care products, mined gem-based jewelry, individual packets of rice, etc.) you see that the environmental impact from these events is enormous.” Read more from The Green Bride Guide.

I sent my sister-in-law a link to my post, I Love You and the Planet Too, which provides a general approach to green weddings, and a few ideas on starting a marriage off on an eco-friendly path. Here is a more comprehensive wedding guide that provides fabulous inspiration for creating sustainable weddings.

How much do I love thee?  Let’s recite the ways:

A to Z Green Wedding

For the most sustainable choices in eco-wedding fashion, buy local, used or vintage. Or, better yet – make a wedding dress. Here’s a comprehensive wedding dress guide from Inhabitat.

Not everyone would consider an alternative to natural flowers, but here are three more sustainable choices than traditional flowers - handmade bouquet, a button bouquet, and an edible flower bouquet.

Now that’s a strange wedding item. The Wedding Company has organized a worldwide DIY project called, The Crane Chandelier for cancer research. The Wedding Co. is building a chandelier from origami cranes signed by brides and grooms from around the globe. Read more about the project here.

Martha Stewart is the queen of wedding decorations. Her main site provides loads of wedding décor inspiration. Her wedding site, My DIY Wedding is jam packed with ideas.

Eco-Wedding Planners
For those who choose to hire a consultant, personal wedding experts come in shades of green. Green Weddings offers professional services.

Consider giving small potted plants from your garden or local nursery. Make decorative plant covers.

Put out an old fashioned typewriter for guests to write notes to the couple (scroll down to find image).

What’s so funny about being married? My friends, New Yorker cartoonists, Liza Donnelly and Michael Maslin think everything is. Liza and Michael’s book, Cartoon Marriage: Adventures in Love and Matrimony is the perfect favor to start the wedding party off on a humorous note.

Since 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. Read about some sustainable options here.

Green Karat make rings by reusing gold from worn jewelry that can be acquired by friends and family.

After the wedding and honeymoon, go through your wedding keepsakes – magazines, decorations, invites, etc., and make a keepsake memory book.

A tip for avoiding unnecessary travel for guests is to use the same location for the ceremony and reception. Send a message about your love for the environment by picking a favorite outdoor spot. Read more about eco-friendly wedding locations in Inhabitat’s wedding guide.

Continue for M-Z…

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Read more: EcoNesting, EcoNesting DIY, Green, Home, Love, Reduce, Recycle & Reuse, Sex, , , , , , , , , , ,

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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
3:50AM PDT on Jun 9, 2013

So many fabulous ideas! Thanks for sharing.

10:12AM PDT on Jul 27, 2012

Good article!

3:42PM PDT on Jul 23, 2012


3:42PM PDT on Jul 23, 2012


1:50AM PST on Feb 26, 2011


3:50AM PDT on Jul 21, 2010

Good article, with good ideas =)

11:07PM PDT on Jul 16, 2010

some great ideas thanks.

2:01AM PDT on Jul 15, 2010


5:05PM PDT on Jul 10, 2010

We used tin cans as vases for our centerpieces tied with a silver/gray ribbon. Our colors were White and Gold and Gray so this went really well. :)

12:19PM PDT on Jul 1, 2010

Great ideas!

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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.

people are talking

I think it's a shameful deception...and sadly quite common...fool the consumer.

Umm ty for the info but I think I'll pass on the "plant based protein sources"......


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