Today’s blog comes from our recent newlyweds and bride-to-be on our staff, Natalie Roberts DeCarli, Emily Nelson, and soon to be Sarah Lott Buchholz. With so many people getting married or a part of a wedding this summer, we wanted to pass along our wedding planning knowledge to all of you! Read on to learn about how to plan a wedding with the earth in mind!
Weddings – what a whirlwind of excitement, fun, and – dare I say it – PLANNING. With so many choices and add-ons, it’s easy to overwhelm our brides, our wallets, and our landfills. Luckily, there’s a plethora of eco-conscious wedding tips. Here’s a few that are ILACSD bride tested and approved!
Invitations & RSVPs: Evites and invitations made from recycled post-consumer material are definitely the most environmentally friendly options. To go one step further, design your invitation as a timeless keepsake. Emily designed her invitation with that thought in mind; on one side there was a picture of the happy couple, and on the other side were the wedding details. That way, guests can display it in a frame or on their fridge along with other photos.
To manage RSVPs, Sarah found an easy to use online option called, rsvpify.com, where she created a customized profile and hyperlink for guests to access. Afterwards, she simply listed the hyperlink along with her phone number on the invitation instead of using mailed paper RSVPs. Plus, the website has a seating chart option. Time, money, and resources saved!
Meal time! When in doubt, choose reusables. Often times you pay a little extra, but in the long run, it’s the most eco-friendly option.
Eco alternative: Plates made from biodegradable materials instead of plastic! A great option that Emily found, called VerTerra plates, are plates made from palm fronds that have already fallen to the ground.
Bridal and wedding party accessories: Start by taking an inventory of what you already have. Emily found the perfect pair of heels to go with her wedding dress sitting in her closet! As for the wedding party, options like Union Station, make it easy for bridesmaids to rent a dress instead of purchasing one that they may never use again.
Décor: Tap into your networks! You never know who might have extra tables, easels, vases, etc. For example, Emily got silver dollar eucalyptus from a neighbor that has a tree in their backyard. Plus, at ILACSD, since several staff members are getting married in 2015, we plan on having an internal wedding décor exchange!
Avoid unnecessary printing: Chalk boards are great for wedding programs, menus, and seating charts, rather than printing items for each individual guest. This not only saved our brides money on printing, but also greatly reduced paper usage at their weddings. Plus, the chalk boards can be reused over and over again, for future parties and general home décor.
Favors: “We wanted something practical, meaningful, and would appeal to all our guests. Our solution? Seed packets! We offered a variety of flowers and herbs, leaving the guests free to select what they are most likely to plant, and displayed them in a flower box.” – Emily, Environmental Educator
“After attending many weddings that gave each guest their own personalized wedding favor, we had a collection of favors that we really didn’t need. When looking into favors, we couldn’t really think of anything we felt people of all ages would want or need, so we decided to skip favors all together. Plus, they often cost a few hundred dollars for a large wedding, and involve a lot of packaging for each individual item.” -Natalie, Senior Director of Operations
Check out other great alternatives on our pinterest board!
Post wedding: There are a lot of ways to donate, sell, or lend various wedding décor for reuse. Several websites including:
- www.WasteFreeSD.org – our recycling database!
Plus, you might earn some money back while giving these items another life rather than taking up space in a closet or garage.