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How to Plan an Eco-Friendly Wedding

written by: •edited by: Niki Fears•updated: 6/24/2014

Modern couples engaged to be married are getting more creative with their wedding plans. Traditional weddings are still commonplace, but recently, the desire to plan an eco-friendly wedding is getting a lot of attention. Read on to learn more:

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    The Dress

    The bride didn’t wear white? Perhaps she didn’t wear white because traditional white wedding gowns are major environmental pollutants. Why? Chlorine bleach and other harmful toxins are frequently used to dye the gowns in shades of brilliant white or ivory. Eco fabrics, however, are naturally treated with ingredients like vegetable dyes.

    You can also hire a dressmaker to create an organic wedding dress from scratch using unbleached fabrics like bamboo, organic cotton, silk, and hemp fibers.

    For something old, eco-friendly brides may choose dresses handed down from their mothers and grandmothers. Brides can also rummage through their own closet or borrow a dress from a girlfriend. Another option is to purchase a reasonable priced, previously worn (or never worn) gown from a bridal boutique, secondhand store, or online retailer.

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    If you wish to plan an eco-friendly wedding, you will need green invitations. Sending invitations by regular mail produces high carbon counts. But, if you send your correspondences (invitations, RSVP responses, and thank-you notes) electronically, not only is it free, it eliminates the need for stamps, paper goods, and postal delivery.

    Printed invitations made from 100% recycled, tree-free papers are readily available in unlimited designs from stationary stores and online wedding accessory retailers, or you can even make your own invitations to save more money.

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    Opt for organic flowers grown by local florists. Inexpensive alternatives include picking your bouquet from the backyard, pulling wildflowers along the roadside, buying floral arrangements at a farmers market, or even reusing silk flowers.

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    The Venue

    Carbon-conscious couples, and their guests, may prefer venues that can host the nuptials and the reception in the same place in order to reduce travel. The great outdoors is an ideal location for a summer wedding. For instance, imagine a picturesque wedding ceremony and after-party held in a natural setting like a charming country estate, a botanical garden, an organic farm, state park, or winery. An outdoor wedding also cuts electricity use by saving on power from lighting and air conditioning.

    If the weather is not favorable to an outdoor setting, choose a venue like an eco-friendly hotel, museum, historic building, a chapel, or anywhere that responsible living is practiced.

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    What eco-friendly wedding would be complete without organic food produced from local farms? Vegetarian or vegan menus do make healthier choices. And plant-based foods require little or no packing material, unlike that of meat products.

    Instead of serving hard liquor, choose an organic wine bar or organic juice bar made from freshly squeezed fruits. Wedding meals are better served plated (rather than buffet style) in order to cut down on food wastes.

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    Wedding Favors

    Wedding favors should undoubtedly suit the wedding theme. Ideas for green wedding favors include organic bar soaps, naturally scented candles, handmade jewelry, organic treats, chocolate, and tree seedlings. Presenting guests with a miniature trees as a wedding favor provides lasting memories of the wedding, but also, once planted, the trees helps save Mother Earth and support sustainable agriculture.

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    The Honeymoon

    The final step in how to plan an eco-friendly wedding ends with the honeymoon. Skip the exotic honeymoon overseas in favor of a getaway closer to home. A winery, as a wedding venue, is also an ideal spot to enjoy a honeymoon. Spending time hiking nature trails, horseback riding, kayaking, or enjoying the pleasures at a green spa, are also responsible ways couples can protect the planet as they start their lives together.