101 Ways to Green Your Wedding

Big thanks goes to our friend, Kimberly, over at Style Unveiled for this great article on how to create an Eco-Chic wedding. For more fabulous tips, please visit them online at: Style Unveiled


1.     Have your ceremony and reception at the same location.

2.     Keep the wedding cake simple.

3.     Use the linens that your reception site provides.  eco_ecochic_tip_002

4.     Wear a dress made of raw silk.

5.     Use a reply postcard, rather than a note card that needs an envelope.

6.     Purchase a simple wedding gown that you would wear again.

7.     Create a wedding website, rather than using mailer inserts with your invitation.

8.     Use the beautiful Northwest moss as a centerpiece in a lovely, shallow bowl.

9.     Donate your wedding dress to a charity when the wedding is over.

10.   Choose bridesmaids dresses that your friends will wear again.

11.   Have the groomsmen wear a suit they can use again for work.

12.   Blow bubbles rather than tossing rice; rice kills birds when they eat it.

13.   Rent real glasses and dishes, as opposed to using disposable plates.

14.   Use a florist who uses flowers from local or organic farms.

15.   Have your guests reply on the website, rather than send in paper reply cards.

eco_ecochic_tip_01316.   Register for your gifts at local shops, so as to save on shipping materials and gas.

17.   Use recycled gold for your eco wedding rings.

18.   Select a wedding venue close to your home.

19.   Create your own bouquets from wildflowers.

20.   Ride a tandem bike home from the reception.

21.   Use potted plants as centerpieces for a more organic wedding.

22.   Use biodegradable, compostable dishes and flatware made from
cornstarch, sugar cane, or tropical leaves.

23.   In lieu of a favor, give the money to a charity for a greener world.

24.   Use a green wedding registry.

25.   Use cloth napkins, rather than paper.

26.   Order your programs to be printed on 100% recycled post consumer waste paper that has been processed without chlorine.

eco_ecochic_tip_02727.   Rather than hosting a full bar, have a personalized cocktail made of organic ingredients – including organic vodka

28.   Use hemp paper for your save-the-date cards.

29.   Use food that is in-season for the reception.

30.   Keep the wedding small. The more guests you invite, the bigger the carbon footprint left from the wedding.

31.   Donate the flowers from your wedding to a hospital.

32.   Give each guest an 11-watt compact fluorescent bulb as a favor. Each replaced 50-watt incandescent bulb with the wedding favor will save 685 pounds of carbon dioxide.

33.   Give a recycled handmade paper bookmark with wildflower seeds as a favor. This can be planted once they are finished using it.

34.   Purchase wedding shoes that you will wear again.

35.   Use a caterer who composts the leftover food.

36.   Use locally grown flowers for your arrangements.

37.   Throw rose petals after the ceremony, rather than releasing butterflies.eco_ecochic_tip_034

38.   Give antique wedding bands to each other.

39.   Have your invitations made on bamboo paper.

40.   If you want to have a camera at each table for guests to use, rent the digital ones rather than single use.

41.   Travel by train, rather than by plane.

42.   Purchase your dress or tuxedo from a vintage boutique.

43.   Take an eco-considerate honeymoon. Travel close to home or consider eco-tourism for your honeymoon destination.

44.   Consider having a meat-free menu at your reception.

45.   Have an outdoor ceremony and reception.

46.   Hire vendors who are committed to being “green” and providing sustainable wedding practices.

47.   Purchase a conflict-free gem for your engagement ring.

48.   Live green after the wedding.

49.   Give organic chocolate as a favor.

50.   Use all local wedding vendors.eco_ecochic_tip_055

51.   Give dried organic herbs as a favor.

52.   Hire an all-digital photographer.

53.   Give flower-bulbs as green wedding favors.

54.   Plant a tree in memory of your wedding day. Then, plant a tree together on every anniversary.

55.   Use beeswax candles.

56.   Use reusable linens, rather than disposable ones.

57.   Use an organic wedding caterer.

58.   When printing for your wedding, use a printer that can use paper with a high percentage of post-consumer recycled content.

59.   Use all natural make-up.

60.   Ask your friends to grow flowers in their personal gardens for your centerpieces. This adds a personal touch as well!

61.   Rather than having a big party, elope!

62.   Have your guests sign the mat of a framed photo from your engagement instead of a guest book.

63.   Travel to your guests instead! If most of your guests come from one part of the country, go to them instead of everyone coming to you.eco_ecochic_tip_076

64.   If you have a lot of clutter and are trying to move in together, why not ask your guests to take a gift, rather than buy you something. Give away your clutter! What’s old is new again.

65.   Give your guests the option of donating to charity, rather than purchasing a wedding gift.

66.   Buy a diamond mined from Canada or Australia for your engagement ring.

67.   Use a non-profit space to host your ceremony and reception.

68.   Arrive to the wedding reception in a hybrid or smartcar!

69.   Donate the leftover uneaten food from your reception, instead of throwing it out.

70.   Tell out of town guests about the eco-friendly hotels in the area.

71.   Choose fair trade flowers if you want a flower that requires being flown into your area.

72.   Have an outdoorsy honeymoon, such as camping, backpacking, or fishing.

73.   Use your Grandma’s vintage veil. It can be your “something borrowed”.

74.   Donate all the leftover food to a local food bank.

75.   Use a pump spray hairspray can, rather than an aerosol can.

76.   Go barefoot!

77.   Give a reusable, locally made cloth tote bag to your bridal party as a gift.

78.   Have bridesmaids carry matching clutches, rather than bouquets. A clutch or purse they will use again.

79.   Use soy-based candles.eco_ecochic_tip_080

80.   Decorate with branches!

81.   If you have separate sites for your ceremony and reception, use the same décor from the ceremony for the reception.

82.   Collect all the paper products at the end of the night and recycle them.

83.   Use a horse and carriage as your form of transportation, rather than a car.

84.   Have your caterer purchase the meat from a “cruelty-free” farm.

85.   Go for shabby-chic and mix and match plates from a local thrift store. Donate all the plates back when you are finished.

86.   Rather than purchase champagne for the toast, have guests toast with what they are already drinking.

87.   Use an environmentally friendly cleaner when it comes time to clean the dress.

88.   Give all the guests a downloadable play list with your favorite songs.

89.   Serve local, organic wine at the reception.

90.   Opt for a cocktail and appetizer reception, rather than a plated dinner.

91.   If you want to have a local destination wedding, have all the guests stay in the same bed and breakfast or inn. Have the reception and ceremony in that same place!

92.   Calculate the mileage guests will travel and then offset their carbon footprint by donating to preserving the rainforests.

93.   Use locally grown berries in your wedding cake.

94.   Have your bridesmaids wear black dresses that they already owned for the ceremony.

95.   Rent the tuxes from a local shop.

96.   Do your rehearsal dinner at a friend’s home and have everyone chip in to cook.

97.   Elope locally for your ceremony and then have a cocktail party when you return to celebrate with your friends.

98.   Hire an all-digital videographer.

99.   Give tree saplings as a favor.  eco_ecochic_tip_099

100. Give a donation in your bridal attendants’ names, in lieu of a gift.

101. Continue spreading the word about ways to be eco-friendly to all your friends and family!

For more great Eco-Friendly Wedding ideas, please visit the website Style Unveiled. This article re-printed with permission. All content and images copyright © Style Unveiled 2009.