green wedding eco-friendly bride

An average American wedding produces approximately 400 lbs of waste, and since there are typically over 2 million weddings per year in the U.S. alone, this waste can add up quickly. But fear not! With more focus being placed on eco-friendly events, there are many ways you can make your wedding a little greener.

You can have a beautiful wedding while limiting your impact on the environment, and here we’ve assembled a few tips for how.

bride and groom in sneakers green wedding

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The Venue

When planning a wedding, one of the earliest decisions the happy couple makes is where the event will take place. Often, couples have two separate locations – one for the ceremony and one for the reception – but this isn’t necessarily the best option for the environment. If possible, holding the ceremony and the reception in the same place will cut down on emissions that would be generated by guests traveling from one location to the next.

bride and groom feet green wedding

Sometimes, however, the constraints of the ceremony space don’t allow for the reception to be held there as well, so in those cases finding a reception space that is close to the ceremony venue will help make less of a negative environmental impact. Combining areas are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to eco-friendly wedding venues, and Fab You Bliss has a great list on her blog. In many cases, these options will save some money as well, and who doesn’t want to save some green while being greener?

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The Invitations

There’s no doubt about it, we live in a digital age – why not take advantage of this and send some digital invites? Paperless Post has a beautiful selection of templates to help you create a beautiful invite that is full of personality. If you’re not a fan of any of their templates, you can upload your own design!

groom and boutonniere green wedding

While handy and eco-friendly, electronic invitations simply aren’t for everyone. If you’re a traditionalist at heart, consider printing your invitations on recycled paper, or using soy-based ink. Ethical Bride has five options for eco-friendly physical invitations on her blog. Spread the word about the environment while spreading the word about your big day!

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The Dress

There are few purchases we make in our lifetime that more perfectly portray the throw-away society we live in than the wedding dress. So much time and money is spent finding the perfect dress that you will only wear once (hopefully). But what happens to the dress once you’re finished with the wedding? If you’re sentimental, you might keep the dress in a box with the hopes that you might have a daughter who wants to wear it some day, but for many people, the dress becomes just another throw-away item after the wedding. Thankfully, there are lots of companies who specialize in pre-owned wedding dresses!

wedding dress bride green wedding

To get a white dress that’s a little green, start you dress shopping trips at one of the many boutiques that specialize in pre-owned dresses. When your wedding is over, consider listing your dress on a site like Pre-Owned Wedding Dresses. They charge a one-time fee of $25 for the listing and don’t make any commission on the sale. By recycling your wedding dress in this way, you make sure that your beautiful dress doesn’t add to the waste!

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The Decorations

bridal bouquet flowers green wedding

Flowers and candles and tulle, oh my! While wedding décor can enhance the atmosphere on the big day, if not approached responsibly, they can also become a huge contributor to the waste produced at the event. Whenever possible, try to purchase flowers that are grown locally and in season. Also, try to find pre-owned wedding décor items for centerpieces, cake toppers, and others!

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Overall, weddings produce a huge amount of waste, but by making a few eco-conscious decisions, your wedding can have less of a negative impact. Wedding Recycle is a site where you can find pre-owned items for all your wedding needs! They even have a campaign called Can’t Buy Me Love where individuals donate their wedding dresses for free so that people who couldn’t usually afford a dress have access to one, free of charge.

happily ever after sign green wedding

Before you say “I do” consider saying “I won’t” when it comes to having a wasteful wedding!

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