Your invitation is the first impression guests will get of your green wedding.
Photo by Viera Photographics
recycled, handmade, or plantable papers processed chlorine-free and printed with vegetable- or soy-based inks
tree-free paper made out of hemp, banana stalks, bamboo, kenaf, or organic cotton
a printer who will use paper with a high percentage of post-consumer recycled content
papers that aren’t metallic or plastic-coated, characteristics that make them hard to recycle
opportunities to reduce paper use, like sending a postcard (instead of multi-enveloped notes) for your save-the-date, or using online invitations and a wedding blog to let people know about the bachelor/ette parties, rehearsal dinner, and gift registry
The final fling
Plan bachelor and bachelorette parties that will keep the green theme going:
Stay local (and spend more time with your friends, and less dealing with travel stress).
Offset your trip if you choose a “destination” party.
Travel by train (and start the party early in the bar car).
Indulge in organic wine (or beer) tasting or an organic spa treatment.
Take a class and learn to make your own wedding flowers or jewelry.
Do something low-impact and outdoorsy like a camping, surfing, sailing, kayaking, or fishing trip.
Dress the part…
When it comes to outfitting yourself & the bridal party, green options abound.
Photo by The Monarch Studio
go vintage (and update your look as necessary with tailoring and modern shoes and accessories)
pick clothes made from hemp, bamboo, and organic cotton or silk–or find a dressmaker who will make a one-of-a-kind item out of these sustainable fabrics (men’s suits and shirts come in organic cotton or wool too)
borrow an elegant gown from a stylish friend
buy something you’ll wear again (and let your bridesmaids do the same)
accessorize with a unique recycled purse and/or jewelry
use vegetable dyes on your shoes (or go barefoot for a beach wedding)
creating a custom wish list of ecofriendly items like a fresh-produce subscription from a local farm, organic gardening supplies, organic linens, park and museum passes, gift certificates to organic restaurants, and subscriptions to green publications or memberships in green causes
For your favors, give something your guests will really use and enjoy, not disposable plastic souvenirs. Some ideas:
gourmet organic chocolates or another organic or local food item
attractive bags of fresh or dried organic herbs
seeds in a commemorative container
reusable cloth tote bags
a small plant
soy or beeswax candles
a downloadable playlist of your favorite songs
a small charitable donation in each guest’s name
place cards made of seeded paper that can be planted at home
For your helpful, loyal attendants, you’ll want to up the ante a little, perhaps with:
gift baskets of organic skin-care products
recycled jewelry, wallets, handbags, or drinking glasses
selections of organic coffees, teas, and chocolates
recycled paper journals and stationery
great bottles of organic wine
Begin your new life with a honeymoon that’s light on the Earth. Consider:
going somewhere local (you’re going to be spending a lot of time in that hotel room anyway)
Tu B’Shevat is a perfect time to spread the word and celebrate that the religious-environmental movement is truly here. Find resources for a Tu B’Shevat Seder and learn more about Greening Reform Judaism