An eco-friendly wedding can be every bit as chic as a traditional affair. Starting your life together as a couple with a celebration that reflects your values lends even more meaning to the big day. Indulge your love of all things DIY with these simple, environmentally conscious ideas for handmade invitations, rustic décor, and a farm-to-table menu.
The best way to throw the green, do-it-yourself wedding of your dreams is to keep your guest list small. The smaller the wedding, the easier it is to manage all the details and keep costs down. Plus a smaller wedding has a more intimate, personal vibe.
Whether you choose to DIY or enlist a professional, here are some of our favorite ways to keep your invites green:
- Choose recycled paper
- Keep the amount of paper used to a minimum; Instead of including a reply envelope ask guests to RSVP by email or via a wedding website
- Skip paper invitations altogether and use digital invites
- If you get your invites printed, request vegetable-based ink
Eco-friendly décor can be as rustic or as sophisticated as you like—the look of your wedding should reflect your style. To minimize waste and maximize visual impact, rent, borrow or purchase pre-used materials (table linens, jars, plates) and then donate as much as possible after the big day. More easy green DIY ideas to get you started:
- Check antiques stores and yard sales for table linens
- Adorn tables with soy wax candles in recycled glass vases
- Make wedding bunting out of vintage fabrics or crafting scraps
- Choose flowers grown by local organic or sustainable-growth farmers
- Have small potted herbs do double duty as centerpieces then party favors for guest at the end of the event
- Use chalkboard paint and an antique frame to make a sweet, vintage menu board
- String mason jar lanterns holding tea lights around the reception area
Wear a vintage wedding gown—either a family heirloom or thrift-store find. You might even ask the wedding party and guests to dress in vintage attire.
Regardless of what’s on your menu, if you source ingredients locally you’ll feel good about feeding your guests. It can also be a lot of fun to seek out regional products and specialties, like Pinot Noir in Oregon, artisanal cheese in Vermont, or boiled peanuts in the South. Plus, if you buy locally it’s easier to choose ingredients that are in season, which is a big plus when it comes to maximizing flavor and minimizing cost.
This buffet menu would be ideal for summer, when greens, fingerling potatoes and stone fruits are all in season.