Currently, everyone is conscious of the trend to “go green” and avoid pillaging the planet, but what exactly does that mean when it comes to planning a wedding? If you’re working with a couple who love the planet and are trying to protect it as much as possible, it’s good to be ready with some ideas for them.

Actually, one can do as much or as little as they feel comfortable with to be ecologically sensitive when making the wedding plans. Thus, there are “shades” of green, all of which are to be commended.

Here are a few suggestions to help you get started:

  • Hold the wedding and reception in the same venue, so that the guests don’t have to drive from one to the other.
    • Have the invitations printed on recycled paper, using soy based ink. There are several attractive ones on the market.
    • Choose a wedding gown made from a natural fiber (cotton, linen or silk,) instead of a synthetic fabric which involves petroleum products. Another option is to use a previously worn dress (her mother’s?) or to rent a gown. This is already popular for tuxedos.
  • Select flowers for bouquets and decorations which have been grown without the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers.
    • Use potted plants instead of cut flowers for decorations—or if cut flowers are used, consider donating them to senior citizens home after the reception.
    • At the reception, avoid the use of paper or plastic plates, cups, and forks. Suggest renting china and flatware that can be washed and reused.
  • If there is leftover food after the reception, make arrangements to donate it to a homeless shelter.
    • Instead of giving favors which involve plastic containers (made from petroleum) they might offer the guests seed packets or baby plants to remember their day. Other options might be small jars of locally grown preserves or soy candles. OR the couple can give guests a note saying that a donation has been made on their behalf to an earth friendly charity.

In addition to these suggestions, you can think of some of your own. Just remember that the “shade of green” chosen for the wedding day will be as unique and special as the couple themselves.

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