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Saying 'I Do' to Green: A Guide to Planning Your Eco-Friendly Wedding

In a world where sustainability takes center stage, couples are increasingly choosing to weave environmental consciousness into the fabric of their most special day— their wedding. The concept of an eco-friendly wedding is not just a trend; it's a heartfelt commitment to celebrating love while minimizing the environmental footprint. As we embark on this journey, let's explore the enchanting realm of eco-conscious choices, from the sustainable invitations to the wedding favors that won't go to waste.


1. Green Invitations: Discuss eco-friendly invitation options, such as recycled paper or digital invitations. Provide tips on wording that encourages guests to RSVP online to minimize paper usage. Send paper invitations with RSVP cards to older guests and digital invasions to younger guests who know how to RSVP online.

Ceremony flowers at Cleveland venue
Kailey Marie Photography

2. Floral Choices: Explore options for sustainable and locally sourced flowers. Encourage the use of potted plants as centerpieces that guests can take home and replant. Consider donating your leftover flowers to a local nursing home or funeral home. There are some amazing faux floral rental companies like Something Borrowed blooms that ship you a collection of faux flowers for your wedding day which you return the week after. These flowers get used of dozens of weddings until they can't be used any longer. You can also consider having your coordinator move your ceremony flowers into your reception space to get twice the use out of them!

3. Waste-Reducing Wedding Favors: Suggest thoughtful and sustainable wedding favors, such as reusable tote bags, seed packets, or homemade treats in compostable packaging. There is also no harm in skipping favors all together. Favors are not something that guests expect to receive and most guests end up forgetting to t=grab it on their way out the door.

Groomsmen at Cleveland wedding venue
Whit Merkle Photography

4. Ethical Wedding Attire: Showcase eco-friendly wedding dress options, including dresses made from sustainable fabrics or vintage gowns. Discuss options for sustainable groomsmen and bridesmaid attire, such as clothing that can be worn again for other occasions. After the big day, consider selling your gown or donating it to an organization like the Angel Gown.

Wedding cake in Cleveland Ohio
Marissa Decker Photography

5. Zero-Waste Catering: Highlight the importance of choosing local and seasonal ingredients to reduce the carbon footprint. Discuss options for compostable or reusable dinnerware and encourage couples to work with caterers who prioritize zero-waste practices. A plated dinner options is almost always going to end up with less waste than a buffet dinner. Catering companies have to bring more food for a buffet dinner.

6. Carbon-Neutral Transportation: Discuss transportation options that minimize the carbon footprint, such as electric vehicles, carpools, or encouraging guests to use rideshare services. Many hotels offer a shuttle service to near by wedding venues. Not only are shuttles and carpooling an environmentally friendly choice but it can also be a safe option with guests who choose to drink.

Flower centerpiece at wedding in Ohio
Tiffany Joy Photography

7. DIY Decor with Recyclable Materials: Provide creative ideas for eco-friendly wedding decor using recycled or upcycled materials. This could include centerpieces, aisle decorations, and table settings. Instead of buying all new vases for candles and flowers, check out your local thrift store or consider renting them.

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