Have you ever thought about having a green wedding? And no I don’t mean the color green..I’m talking about an eco-friendly wedding! Weddings these days can be quite extravagant. A lot of people don’t realize how many resources are consumed in the process. Environmentally conscious people believe there is a way to reduce the impact of your wedding on the planet while still having the day of your dreams! Whether or not you want to have an entirely eco-friendly wedding, there are lots of alternatives any bride can incorporate into her wedding details to keep it “green”. I found some great ideas using these three categories: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle!

REDUCE: One way to reduce your environmental impact is to skip the party favors and donate to your favorite charity instead! Although this may not always be the case, often favors either get thrown away or are made out of plastics, metals, or fabrics that won’t biodegrade. If you really feel that gifts are important, think about giving away something edible or a plant that guests can put in their garden. In addition, host your event during the day to maximize the use of natural sunlight and avoid electricity. To reduce the amount of gas for transportation, hold your ceremony and reception in the same venue and contact local vendors for your wedding needs!

REUSE: A great way to reuse and save money is by renting chairs, tables, and tablecloths for your reception. A lot of people do not realize that you don’t have to buy them! Check and see if you can find furniture and linens for rent so that you can help them be reused. In addition, consider a used wedding dress! Although this may not seem ideal at first, there are plenty of great places to shop for used dresses and give them a chance for a second wear, such as vintage shops (as seen in the picture below!). Also, think about using the dress your mom wore in her wedding if she still has it! You can work with a seamstress to update it to your style without all of the electricity and materials it takes to make an entirely new dress. This way you are reusing, and your dress will be meaningful! If these ideas do not appeal to you, consider checking out some designers who use sustainable resources like organic cotton, silk or hemp.

RECYCLE: One fact from “The Green Bride Guide” estimates that the average American wedding produces about 400 lbs of trash! Yikes! One easy way to create less trash is by providing somewhere for your guests to recycle. Especially at a reception, make sure there’s a place for cans and bottles if that is how drinks are being served! You can also send invitations on recycled paper. Be sure to ask if your invitations can be printed on recycled paper, or if they can recycle the leftover scraps of paper from creating your invites! In addition, BotanticalPaperWorks.com embed their paper with seeds so you can actually plant the invite after receiving it to grow herbs and flowers. Cool, huh?

There are lots of other ways to have a “green” wedding. Check out the link below to a magazine called Eco-Beautiful Weddings for more tips!