If you can green your home, your business, your family, your eating habits and even your pets, why not green one of the most important days of your life?
Last August, the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor hosted a green wedding ceremony, and one of our Green Grassroots Blog readers recently wrote us to tell us about it.
Some of the many things the happy couple did to show their environmental awareness included using a solar-powered generator for any electrical needs and not using any paper products, including invitations, according to Karen Rendell, who works at the science center.
Hearing this sparked an interest and an inspiration to do more research on our part, and below you’ll find easy ideas for having a so-called “green” wedding day.
- Wear a recycled wedding dress
Wedding dresses are expensive and require a lot of resources to make. A great way to save on money and be green when looking for the perfect dress is to wear a dress that has already been worn. There are several ways to do this, including wearing a relative’s dress (such as your mother or grandmother) or purchasing one from a vintage store or resale shop. Some resale shops are specifically geared toward weddings and have all kinds dresses and wedding day accessories. Check your local community for stores like these.
- Purchase wedding rings and bands made of recycled materials
Instead of buying rings that are made from the Earth’s precious natural resources, buy ones that are made with recycled materials like gold. For the bride, consider buying a ring that’s made not only from recycled gold but also with a beryl stone instead of a diamond.
- For brides and bridesmaids, use certified organic makeup
It’s better for your skin and it’s better for the environment. Instead of spending money on expensive harmful makeup, make sure the women of the bridal party get dolled up with quality organic makeup.
- Give guests local flower buds rather than rice
Instead of the traditional rice given to guests to throw in celebration at the end of a wedding, give the guests buds of locally grown flowers such as lavender. It’s prettier, less messy and doesn’t waste all those sachets of rice.
- Go local
When it comes time to plan the menu and the centerpieces, do everything you can to stay local. You can do this by hiring a locally based catering company that serves locally grown food. You can also look for a local flower arrangement company or make your own centerpieces with local wildflowers.
- Recycle leftover food
It might sound a little bit different from the usual ways of going green, but you can recycle leftover food. There are many ways you can do this. You can send the food to local farms to be reused, you can donate it to an organization such as Forgotten Harvest, or you can even reuse leftover ingredients in other recipes in the days following the wedding.
- Make use of solar energy
When possible, use solar energy to power some or all of the electricity needed on your big day. This energy can come from solar panels, solar-powered generators and other clean sources. Another idea is to book your ceremony and reception in “green” buildings if possible.
Thanks again to Lucy Thomason, a valued reader of our blog, for this interesting topic!
Jennifer Griffin, Contributing Writer and Public Relations, GreeningDetroit.com
Jennifer is pursuing a degree in Journalism and English from Wayne State University, and she is also a Contributing Writer for The South End.