My sister (a mindful momma extraordinaire) and her partner (who works in renewable energy) are getting married this summer and are looking into green wedding ideas. I decided to do a little digging myself to see what this eco-wedding stuff is all about. I wondered...exactly how green does a wedding have to be to be officially called green? Is the whole thing just a bunch of marketing hype or is there really something to it? Hey, why not just have fun and get married?
The concept of green weddings is so terribly trendy now that I almost cringe when I read yet another article about it. Our obsessive culture combined with a lot of talented salespeople have a tendency to turn a great idea into a case of marketing overkill in no time flat. And unless you are filthy rich....can you really expect to have a truly green wedding or to offset all the resources that your wedding uses?
OK, sorry...I'm being WAY too cynical here. In all seriousness, I think that people should do whatever they can to limit the impact they are having on the earth. Weddings involve a lot of resources and if you have the time (for the research) and the money (green alternatives often cost more) to use green options, then go for it by all means!!!
Here are some of the more 'do-able' ideas that I came across:
- Send invitations made with handmade, seed embedded paper like this one from Green Field Paper. Instructions for planting are printed on the back.
- Search for a restaurant or catering company with green values like your own. Serving locally produced or organic food is good for the environment and tastes better too.
- Buy a vintage wedding gown or a dress made from hemp like the one shown above at Rawganique.
- Purchase seasonal flowers from your local farmer's market.
- Use compostable cutlery for your reception or post-wedding picnic. My sister and her guy purchased theirs from World Centric. It's made from non-GMO corn starch and can literally be thrown into your home compost pile.
- Skip the plastic cake toppers and decorate your cake with organic flowers instead.
- Scale back - do you really need favors for every guest and elaborate decorations?
If you're looking for more green wedding ideas, there are plenty of online resources:
Portovert is an online magazine for "eco-savvy brides and grooms". The site is very pretty but I found it to be a bit shallow, in the typical bridal magazine kind of way. Take the Bikini Boot Camp article - could someone please tell me what that has to do with being green? However, they do have links to a lot of eco-friendly resources including sustainably made invitations and wedding gowns.
The Sierra Club website offers 10 Steps to a Green Wedding with helpful tips on where to get politically correct wedding rings and cool places to register for eco-friendly wedding gifts.
Even wedding powerhouse Brides magazine is in on the green action on with an Eco-Chic wedding primer on Brides.com.
So, will green weddings survive the fad-phase? Or will they go the way of oat bran and disco dancing? Only time will tell...but for now, I think that bringing awareness to the cause is only a good thing.