Although exciting, wedding planning can be tedious and quite expensive. While reflecting your low-impact lifestyle throughout your special day may sound like a challenging feat, it can be very satisfying… not to mention save you money. Here are 10 tips to help keep your special day enjoyable (and stress free) from invites to the big send off!
Your invitations and “Save the Date” cards act as an opportunity to not only spread the news of your engagement, they also allow your guests a sneak preview of your wedding’s theme and overall ambiance. Use this opportunity to be original and get creative with eco-friendly alternatives. If you are hosting a zero waste wedding, or prefer a cash donation in lieu of wrapped gifts, make sure to include this information in your invitation.
*Going paperless is a cost efficient way to invite guests to your wedding, plus they wont feel obligated to hoard your invitation, nor will it end up in a landfill. A couple sites that offer beautiful digital wedding and “Save the Date” invites are paperlesspost.com and celebrations.com.
*If you’ve decided to send a tangible invite, go for recycled, handmade and/or botanical papers- there are also some with seeds that can be planted! Have a friend with great penmanship offer calligraphy as a wedding gift or ask your printer to use water-based, non toxic inks.
*Adding accents that go with your theme give character to your invites and make them memorable. Go for a classic monogram stamped in wax, a brilliant socially conscious sticker, or get creative with plant markers that your guests can reuse in their gardens. For an added touch, wrap the invites in vintage ribbon or hemp string.
When choosing decor for your wedding, consider your guest list- is it a small intimate affair or a large gathering? The last thing you will want to do on your wedding day is worry about the whereabouts of dozens of small antiquey remnants. Keep it simple and rely on natural elements and simple DIY projects that take the cost and stress out of your special day.
*An affordable, and reusable alternative to printed signs, DIY chalkboards are a great way to communicate with your guests (think schedule, locations of events, the photo booth). Apply chalkboard paint to just about anything from an old mirror or panel of wood to a used guitar case. After the wedding, you can gift the signs to newly engaged friends or donate them.
*Instead of expensive flower arrangements that won’t last, consider hanging mason jars with succulents or lining your aisle with potted plants or stones. Strands of ribbon (or strips of fabrics) in a similar color motif can provide a romantic, rustic feel.
*Escort cards are a fun way to make sure everyone feels a part of the celebration. Be sure to put your unique twist on it! No need to buy new. Find a way to personalize and incorporate natural or used items – anything from pinecones or lavender bunches from a local farm, to discarded wine corks or vintage keys.
*For your eco-friendly table setting, avoid the expensive display of dead flowers and go for a living table. Succulents are easy to maintain and won’t start to wilt mid-reception. A nature-inspired runner can bring dimension and ground your table, while tapered or tea light beeswax candles bring ambiance.
*At your wedding, monograms can represent an epic crest for your union. Find your initials in vintage-style marquees or reclaimed wood letters and display them near your guest book. Make your own “living monogram” and fill it with succulents or even create a fun game of cornhole with a simple board painted with the initials of you and your lovey.
The Cocktail Hour
Keep your wedding theme going through the night and into the bar and serving areas.
*Always use reusable glasses – or mason jars. Have erasable crayons available so your guests can write their names on their glass (you can also make the glass a take home escort card). If your theme is vintage or 1920’s, reclaimed art nouveau-inspired decanters are a classy way to go. Or, if you are not hiring a bartender, opt for DIY stations with sangria and sliced organic garnishes or beer on tap. Make your bar from old crates or salvaged wood and vintage mirrors for a classy touch.
For the final send-off, there are countless alternatives to plastic confetti.
*Make your own heart confetti from unwanted books, used paper or sheet music. Or, go biodegradable with dried flowers or bird seed.
Andrea Plell is EcoHabitude’s Director of Communications and the Editor-in-Chief of the EcoHabitude blog. Since 2007, Andrea has been on a mission to support a paradigm shift in the fashion industry. She currently runs her own PR and ethical fashion production company in San Francisco, CA.
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