5 Ways to Plan a Green Wedding
I can tell you from many years working in the event industry that historically it has not been known as an industry at the forefront of the zero waste movement. However, that has been slowly changing over the years and there are many ways today in which events can be eco friendly and sustainable. And that is great news for the many brides, grooms and other event-throwers who care about the planet and want their big day to reflect that.
The most eco friendly move for invitations is, of course, to go digital. There are so many beautiful digital options available now that going this route does not have to feel like a style sacrifice. And of course there is the additional bonus of being a great money saver!
But if you do want to go the route of having a physical invitation, you can choose recycled paper and eco-friendly inks. There are numerous companies that provide these options to choose from.
2. ESCORT CARDS
My husband’s cousin and his wife had adorable tiny succulents as their escort card holders – we actually still have them in our kitchen window to this day several years later. My college roommate and her husband painted rocks from her family’s farm for each of their guests’ table numbers. There are many ways you can go with these and lot’s of great tie-ins to a wedding theme. Having a beach wedding? Paint shells! Are you a literary couple? Use pages from second hand books (bonus points of you select passages from your favorite books).
One of the favorite centerpieces I ever created for a corporate event was putting a young tree at the center of every table along with gardening gloves and spades artistically arranged. At the end of the lunch, which was for a conservation group, everyone planted the centerpieces in the park where the event was held. It was magical. You can achieve a similarly rewarding effect by using live plants for your centerpieces instead of cut flowers. For a Provencal themed wedding you could feature fragrant lavender plants. Or an array of cooking herbs in charming pots for a culinary couple. You can also select flowering plants if you still want blooms and color on the table. And your guests can take them home at the end of the night to keep and enjoy for much longer than a regular arrangement.
A lovely favor is a thoughtfully designed package of seeds. Your guests can take them home, plant them, and think of you every time the plants bloom. Another fabulous way to give back to your guests or wedding party is making a donation in guests’ name to a thoughtful cause.
Farm to table as a food concept t is familiar to most people by this time. But it’s not just a culinary trend – it’s a thoughtful and sustainable approach to food. Working with a caterer who has a sustainable mission is one way to achieve an eco friendly result but even with a regular caterer or restaurant you can make menu choices that are more sustainable. Think about what’s in season. If you are having your event in the middle of the country, maybe don’t have salmon shipped in from Alaska – select a local fish or other protein. And having a menu that is connected to the area in which you are having your event can add extra meaning. My cousin got married in her home town of Kennebunkport, Maine and had an authentic clam bake which was a treat for everyone but especially for her husband’s family who hailed from Minneapolis where it was not a local tradition.
These ideas are just scratching the surface of all the ways in which you can have a more sustainable event but I hope they have convinced you it is not just the right thing to do but can also enhance your event and save you money!
This edition of Notes on Design is brought to you by award-winning event designer Meg Gleason. Meg has done everything from multi-million dollar celebrity weddings to fantastical pop-up stores to outdoor events for thousands. She is always thinking about how to do something new and surprising, but here she shares the foundations of what make every event successful, no matter the size or budget.