There are many ways to have an environmentally-friendly wedding. A couple can tailor most aspects of a wedding to avoid damaging the environment. Some areas in which couples make eco-friendly choices include food, attire, venue, invitations, flowers, and wedding favors.
The first step when planning an eco-friendly wedding is to use recycled paper for the wedding invitations. Some people use 100% recycled paper, while others prefer partially recycled paper or paper manufactured from non-tree sources. To reduce paper waste, many people do not send paper invitations at all, relying on electronic forms of communications instead. The most common ways to avoid paper invitations is to send e-mail wedding invitations or create a website for the wedding. People also may use these methods when sending thank-you notes after the wedding.
Flowers are a common sight at weddings, and many people choose locally and organically grown flowers for an environmentally-friendly wedding. When purchasing flowers from a nearby source, the amount of pollution caused by transportation significantly decreases. Flowers grown organically do not use unsafe pesticides and other chemicals, which may be preferable for environmentally conscious couples.
Food is another area in which many people prefer to use locally and organically grown items. An environmentally-friendly wedding may feature a vegetarian menu consisting of locally produced fruits and vegetables that are not subjected to pesticides. When serving meat, couples often choose free-range and sustainable products with no artificial hormones. It is also common at a green wedding to donate rather than discard the leftover food.
Environmentally-friendly wedding favors are usually recyclable, reusable, or organic. Some people like to give their wedding guests something to grow, such as seeds, bulbs, or a small potted plant. When the favors at an environmentally-friendly wedding include candy or chocolates, many couples choose organic options that were not manufactured in ecologically dubious factories or in countries without fair trade policies.
Choosing clothing for the bride and groom offers another chance to make eco-friendly decisions. Many people wear organic fabrics that have been non-chemically dyed. Other couples like to use previously worn garments, such as vintage items. Some choose dresses or tuxedos that others have worn to avoid wasting clothes, as wedding attire often is worn once.
When planning an environmentally-friendly wedding, the location can be important. Choosing a wedding site that offers the least amount of travel time for guests can reduce pollution caused by vehicles and other forms of transportation. Having an outdoor wedding offers the advantage of requiring little or no electricity. An eco-friendly option for indoor weddings is to utilize candles, reducing the amount of power needed.