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green wedding 101::invitations & stationery

earthlyaffair

(Invitations by Earthly Affair)

You may not realize all of the paper used in the process of your wedding. Save the dates, invitations, response cards, menu cards, place cards, escort cards, table numbers, programs, wedding announcements, thank you cards and all of those envelopes can add up to a huge tower of paper that will go to waste after the wedding.

Here are a few suggestions to lighten the paper load of your wedding:

Save the Dates::Send out a postcard-style Save the Date so you can ditch the envelopes

Invitations::If you make your invitations you have a whole array of earth friendly products available to you from partially recycled papers to 100% recycled! If you’re purchasing, use an earth-friendly company such as Earthly Affair who uses recycled materials and has green business practices! Set up a personal wedding website where guests can rsvp online and you’ll cut down on fuel usage by cutting out the mail drop for that RSVP card!

Place Cards::Use alternatives to paper such as beach glass, river stones or reclaimed wood with guests names! This isn’t only earth-friendly, but also unique and beautiful!

Programs::You can make a big dent in your paper pile by cutting out programs all together!

Planning::You can use a huge amount of paper just in preparation for your wedding. We’ve all seen a bride with a 4 inch thick binder of printed materials! If you’re thinking about printing it, save it instead! Think twice before printing out pictures, emails or spreadsheets and make sure everything is a final copy before it hits the printer!

Have your own green wedding tips? Share them by leaving a comment below!

LEARN MORE AT BRIDE2BE  UNIVERSITY:

Class: Green Weddings 210::Creating an Eco-Friendly Wedding

Class Description: Planning a “green” wedding doesn’t have to mean growing your own flowers or wearing a gunny sack dress. We’ll go over creative, chic AND realistic ways to make your wedding day more eco-friendly, and it’s easier than you think! Class will include an additional 15-30 minute Q+A portion!

How to Register: Visit the Bride2Be University website, and click RSVP!



going green::wedding flowers

green2

(picture via Toasts & Tables)

You don’t have to grow your own flowers to be eco-friendly. You can, but I don’t necessarily suggest it, especially here in Michigan! Here are a few tips to making your wedding flowers more green:

REDUCE::Cut down on your florals, choose smaller arrangements or opt for silk flowers!

REUSE::When picking out your florals, let your florist know you want to incorporate the same floral pieces in both your ceremony and reception. Have your ceremony pieces designed with their 2nd home at the reception in mind! For reception centerpieces, opt for clusters of potted plants, as shown above!

RECYCLE::After the wedding, donate your florals to a local retirement home, hospital or office building. Any of them would be happy for the splash of color and your flowers will live on after your reception! Be sure to assign this task to someone ahead of time!

Have more tips on planning a green wedding? Share them with everyone by leaving a comment below!

going green::invitations+stationery

earthlyaffair

(Invitations by Earthly Affair)

You may not realize all of the paper used in the process of your wedding. Save the dates, invitations, response cards, menu cards, place cards, escort cards, table numbers, programs, wedding announcements, thank you cards and all of those envelopes can add up to a huge tower of paper that will go to waste after the wedding.

Here are a few suggestions to lighten the paper load of your wedding:

Save the Dates::Send out a postcard-style Save the Date so you can ditch the envelopes

Invitations::If you make your invitations you have a whole array of earth friendly products available to you from partially recycled papers to 100% recycled! If you’re purchasing, use an earth-friendly company such as Earthly Affair who uses recycled materials and has green business practices! Set up a personal wedding website where guests can rsvp online and you’ll cut down on fuel usage by cutting out the mail drop for that RSVP card!

Place Cards::Use alternatives to paper such as beach glass, river stones or reclaimed wood with guests names! This isn’t only earth-friendly, but also unique and beautiful!

Programs::You can make a big dent in your paper pile by cutting out programs all together!

Planning::You can use a huge amount of paper just in preparation for your wedding. We’ve all seen a bride with 4 inch thick binder of printed materials! If you’re thinking about printing it, save it instead! Think twice before printing out pictures, emails or spreadsheets and make sure everything is a final copy before it hits the printer!

Have your own green wedding tips? Share them by leaving a comment below!

going green::gowns

oncewed

(Madeleine by Claire Pettibone on Once Wed)

If you’re like most brides, your wedding gown is probably a huge part of having your dream wedding. You don’t have to sew yourself a burlap dress to take the environment into consideration when choosing a wedding gown. Consider buying a used gown, renting a gown, or borrowing a gown! This cuts down on production materials, transportation costs (if you’re getting it locally) and you may even be able to get more dress for your money!

Obviously you don’t want to walk down the aisle in a gown everyone will recognize as your Matron of honors hand-me-down, but put the word out that you’re looking—you may find a friend-of-a-friend, coworker or family friend that has a beautiful gowns they’re willing to let go of!

Looking for something specific? Check out Once Wed, an amazing online resource for brides to buy and sell once-worn designer gowns, or even gowns that are new with tags!

Have more green planning tips? Share them by leaving a comment below!

going green::locations+transportation

shadowland

(Shadowland Pavilion in St. Joseph, MI)

If you have 150+ guests attending your wedding, you can bet there are at least 50 cars involved in getting them there, if it’s within driving distance for most guests. That’s a whole lot of gas and a lot of impact on the environment! I wouldn’t suggest asking any of your guest to walk to your wedding, but you can ensure that you do your best to cut down on their impact once they reach the wedding!

Here are a few tips to help your guests reduce their impact on the environment:

Double-duty venue::Choose one location to hold both your ceremony and location and cut down on transportation from one location to the next

Take it Outdoors::Hold your ceremony outdoors and cut down on electricity used for lighting and air conditioning!

Shuttles:: Offer a shuttle service from the hotel to ceremony and reception venues and cut emissions from 40 cars to just 2 or 3!

Foot Traffic::Choose a hotel, ceremony location and reception venue that are all within walking distance. In SW Michigan, one example would be to have your guests stay at the Boulevard Inn in downtown St. Joseph, hold your rehearsal dinner at a downtown restaurant such as Port 412 (2 blocks away), hold the ceremony at the John Howard Bandshell (3 blocks from hotel) and hold the reception at the Veranda at the Whitcomb (across the street from Bandshell) or the Heritage Center (4 blocks from Bandshell). With the downtown restaurants, shops and beach within walking distance, your guest may not step in a car for 3 days!

Have your own green wedding tips? Share them by leaving a comment below!

going green with style

When looking for fun details to incorporate into your wedding, don’t limit yourself by sticking to just items marketed specifically for weddings. Mostly, because if you think outside of the box, and look outside of the standard wedding fare, you’ll find some really fun ideas!

I was talking to a local photographer the other day, who pointed me to LOKTAH. This company makes these fabulous eco-friendly cases. They would be absolutely wonderful for cd favors! You could also DIY these, and tweak it a little to make it the perfect menu card holder, or out of town guest packet! We thought of so many ways to utilize these for weddings—yes, your vendors really do have weddings on the brain 24/7!

Check out the LOKTAH website for all the details and more beautiful print options!

rings & registries {green carat}

(all images via Green Carat)

I am absolutely in love with Green Carat (also known as Green Karat)! The site offers rings and other jewelry pieces made from recycled gold, titanium, and gem stones. They have a ton of information on how mining and other jewelry practices impact the environment (and people involved with it) and how you can help.  Also, I love that each of their pieces is so unique, and each offers a short snippet of information about its meaning. They have an especially fabulous selection of men’s rings, if you’re looking for something a little different for your wedding bands!

Also, check out the Green Carat Registry. No, you’re not registering for jewelry…well, not exactly! You can setup a registry that will let your friends and family donate their old gold jewelry (think dad’s old high school ring and mom’s gold necklace) which will be used to make YOUR custom wedding jewelry! Also, the donations are used to offset the cost of your pieces. Such a great idea, and a fabulous way to keep a part of your friends and family with you! If you’re not in the market for a new ring, pass this along–I love finding companies that have a sense of responsibility, and produce unique products!

Personally, I’d have to get the Binary ring (on the right, 3rd down) which actually spells out your own message in binary (computer language)—for my computer loving, website programming hubby!