Photo by mensatic

It’s wedding season!! When you reach a certain age, summer is less about hanging out at the beach and more about how many of your friends are getting married. This year is an especially big wedding season in my family because my little brother, older sister and I are all getting married within a month of each other this fall. My brother’s wedding is September 7th, mine is September 20th and my sister’s is October 5th. Needless to say I’ve been talking about weddings a lot lately!

Attempting to feed, entertain and party with 200 people requires an almost bottomless pit of resources. Because of the shear amount of “stuff” needed for a wedding, there are many ways to make it more environmentally friendly and, BONUS, many of them will save money also. Please feel free to contribute any ideas you have in the comments section.

Recycled invitations or *Gasp* emailed invites

I know the idea of an email invite would cause Emily Post to roll in her grave, but it’s a much more practical means of communication in today’s world. In one email you can include the directions, accommodations and even links to your registry. People can RSVP by just replying and it doesn’t cost a thing! If you do decide to send more formal invites, try to think about what is a necessity. Will people really be using the directions you included or will people just use their GPS? Do you need separate cards for the accommodations and your registry? Are some people able to call with their RSVP rather than mail in the card? Leaving out the unnecessary information will save money, postage and cut down on the environmental impact.

Wedding website

My fiance and I have chosen to have a destination wedding in Las Vegas and invited very few people to the wedding itself. For the people who are coming, we sent out invitations with the URL of our wedding website. When they go to the site, they can RSVP, view attractions, find links to the various booking websites and more. It was a great option for us since people are traveling and we wanted to help make the process as painless as possible. The site we used,, is free and extremely easy to use.

Downsize wedding

Downsizing, if it’s possible, is the best way to save money and resources.  Talking about downsizing a wedding can easily become a sensitive subject for any number of people involved. Tread carefully with this.


Photo by earl53

 Cut back on decorations and flowers

Flowers are beautiful at weddings but they aren’t a necessity. Many specialty flowers are shipped in from developing countries and use harsh pesticides. If you are set on flowers, try to grow your own or use local perennials.  Try decorating with reusable items, like stacks of books, homemade decorations, and plants. You could also choose an already decorated facility such as a botanical garden.

Clearly marked recycling and trash bins

The more recycling bins you have, the more likely people are to recycle. Bonus points if you can include a compost bin (although you may need educate people on what can be thrown in it).

Shop at consignment stores

There are a lot of stores that allow for the resale of wedding materials, including dresses, decorations, photo albums etc. You can buy materials at a discounted rate, and once your wedding is done you can bring them back (as long as they are in good shape) and have them resold.

It’s not important that you follow every single item on this list. Your wedding should be your wedding and you should make it what you want it to be. If along the way you also feel like certain items, fanfare or flair can be done without, the environment and your pocket book might be the better for it.


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