Are you a bride who doesn't want to skimp on the quality of your wedding, but do want to make environmentally conscience choices? GOOD FOR YOU! Here are my insider tips for you:
1) Go Paperless. PaperlessPost has some really lovely options for Save the Dates and Invitations and lets you print some of the design choices, if you need a few keepsakes for yourself or Mom. This sight is clean and user-friendly... and isn't littered with ads such as Evite. If you must have a paper invite (and many do), consider utilizing the RSVP option on your wedding website to eliminate the need for an extra card, envelope and postage stamp. Many stationery providers offer Recycled paper too! When it comes to your day of paper goods, don't overdo it. I can't tell you how many times I've seen wedding programs left behind, due to overprinting or guests' lack if interest. Good rule of thumb; print enough for 70% of your guests. Most couples or families will share. A program alternative is a beautifully crafted display (chalkboard, acrylic, etc.) with the wedding details written on it, placed by the entrance to the ceremony. This also works for menus and in lieu of escort cards.
2) Wise Gifting. Consider registering at Zola, you can ask guests to make donations to your "Cash Fund" for you and your fiancé. This is typically used for travel or honeymoon. So you get one amazing experience while eliminating the use of shipping boxes, packing and wrapping paper. Who wouldn't opt for a sailboat excursion over a set of pots and pans?
Another philanthropic option is to have guests donate to an environmental charity, such as The Nature Conservancy, in honor of you. This green-for-green concept will make you feel like eco-chic rockstars!
3) Use Your Hands While wedding reception send offs are super fun and great for photos, they also create a lot of waste. Often times, send off confetti is packaged in tiny organza bags or paper cones for guests to toss at your as you depart. The result is a heavily littered ground (tipsy people are not tidy) and wasted money. Consider instead beautiful vessels (large bowl or basket) to place rose petals, confetti or lavender in. Have two to four attendants stand ready to invite guests to take a handful as they line up for the wedding send off. Not only is this a classy and personal presentation, the vessels can easily be cleaned and repurposed for another use.
4) Evergreen Gifting For your guests favors, opt for little potted succulents or evergreens. These can be arranged on a tiered stand and dressed up with a natural bow. This is literally the gift that keeps on giving. Destination wedding? Choose seasonal plant seeds, such as sunflowers, or bundles of sage that can be burned and enjoyed when your guests get home. Personalize your packaging with a recycled label printed with your names, logo or "thank you".
5) Smart Attire Bridesmaid dresses have a pretty short shelf life as do their dressy shoes. If you have your heart set on a certain dress, see if it's available on Vow to Be Chic or Rent the Runway before investing in a brand new bridesmaid dress. Your maids can pay a rental fee to wear a chic designer dress instead of purchasing a frock that will likely collect dust in their closet. For shoes, ask them to pick their *own shoes in keeping with your color palette.
*No metallic birkenstocks... we are eco-chic, not granola.