Let’s be honest: Some aspects of weddings can seem wasteful. (What are you supposed to do with all those centerpieces the day after you say, “I do”?) Yet the rustic, shabby, green-wedding look may not be every couple’s favorite choice of theme. Here are a few subtle, simple and upscale ways to invite Mother Nature to your big day.
Invite guests in an eco-friendly way
The gorgeous Eloise wedding invitation suite from pencilandpine is printed on thinly sliced, barely processed wood—and for every order, a tree is planted.
Have the ceremony and venue in the same place
Photography: Lara Rios
Choosing one location for the entire day reduces fuel waste (not to mention makes it easier for guests). Above, Asra and John‘s ceremony site was transformed for their reception at Villa Woodbine in Coconut Grove.
Purchase a vintage dress
Photography: Kent Bristol
Wearing a used gown doesn’t have to mean finding your dress in a consignment shop. Lauren wore the same dress her mother and grandmother did, making her own alterations for a personal touch.
Go for green hair accessories
Photography: Moss + Isaac
Opt for a beautiful flower in your hair.
On him: a floral boutonniere
Photography: Moss + Isaac
For a sweet touch, match your groom’s boutonniere to the flower in your hair.
Use nature-inspired escort cards
Photography: The Rasers
Photography: Gideon Photography
Attach guests’ names and table numbers to potted succulents they can take home, or write in lovely calligraphy on smooth found stones.
Don’t cut your centerpiece flowers
Photography: Jasmine Star
Instead, display potted centerpieces (and, here, hanging plants) that can be replanted.
If you must toss it, think biodegradable
InTheClear offers wooden, compostable utensils that can be stamped with personalized messages.
Set up a recycling station
Photography: Lane Dittoe
Find a charming way to arrange a recycling area, and make sure it’s clearly labeled for guests.
If venue appropriate, consider eco-seating
Photography: Lisa Dawn
Hay bales, for instance, make creative and Earth-friendly seating for country-inspired weddings.
Send guests home with Mother Nature
Two ideas here are to gift pots of succulent or packets of flower or produce seeds. Some couples also use potted herbs as favors.
Consider what you release in the air
Releasing lanterns at the end of the night makes for beautiful photos, but be sure to select an environmentally safe choice. Eco Wish Lanterns are made of a bamboo frame and rice paper and are 100 percent biodegradable.
When you exit, toss birdseed instead of confetti
These PlantablesAndPaper handstamped muslin drawstring bags are filled with two tablespoons of birdseed.
Brittany Agro (center) founded Petals with a Purpose, a nonprofit that collects leftover flowers from various events and delivers them to local nursing homes, shelters, hospitals and Hospice facilities. Click here for other ways to give back on your big day, including donating your dress and helping fund a charity as a wedding favor.