Your to-do list is massive. These tips can help with all the little details that go into a well-planned green wedding.
Source Earth-friendly food
FREE Who doesn't love a potluck? You get to try so many new and interesting foods, and it builds a sense of community. Unique dishes are great conversation starters too.
$ What are relatives for? Helping with everything! Can you delegate the catering to a food-savvy relative?
$ Remember to forgo the disposable plates and napkins for the real thing. You can rent them or the caterer can supply them.
$$ Whether it's Uncle Jim or a fancy caterer, ask your cooks to source seasonal, local, organic foods. You can feast on sustainable meat and seafood too. They're all better for the planet and they taste amazing!
$ Have an adventure at your local U-brew and make your own beer and wine for the big day. If that's not your thing, there are plenty of options for organic or local wines too.
$$ If you plan a buffet, you'll probably end up with mounds of leftovers. A sit down dinner is less wasteful.
Cut back on the paper invitations
FREE We live in a digital age, and although printed out invites do have their charm, they can also cost thousands of dollars, and waste trees and water. Why not email your invites? (Save the paper invites for the non-tech-savvy on your guest list.)
FREE Get interactive online with your own wedding website from ewedding.com.
$$ Ok, so if you've been planning your wedding invites since you were 12, you can still mail them out and be green. Get a hold of some 100% post-consumer recycled paper, and look for printers who use vegetable-based ink.
$$ If you go for paper invites, design them a little on the small side to cut back paper use. Do you really need a 5 page fold-out with appendices, directions, RSVP card, return envelope and everything?
Eco-friendly wedding music (yes, there is such a thing)
Sound systems suck up a lot of energy, including lugging them around. Here's how to cut back on energy use and save cash.
FREE Get your musically-inclined friends to play for your wedding. It's so meaningful, and they might even write something special just for you two if asked nicely.
FREE For a touch of romance, have your wedding musicians go unplugged. It saves on electricity when they aren't hooked up to an amp.
FREE Make your own dance mix on your iPod or memory stick, hook it up to the sound system, and presto! Instant dance party. And no DJ hauling equipment around in a gas-guzzling van.
Use eco-friendly wedding photography
FREE Is there a guest who has savvy photography skills? Ask them to take your photos in lieu of a wedding present. Not a green wedding tip... but a tip for saving cash nonetheless!
$ Consider viewing all your digital images on a DVD first so you only have to print out the really great ones. (That saves shredding the ones where you look terrible.)
$ Print out your photos using vegetable-based inks. Most photos are developed and printed using harsh, harmful chemicals.
$$ Ask photographers what green products they offer. Enviro-friendly wedding albums? Prints using veggie-based dyes? Can they ride transit or cycle to the event?