When it comes to greening your wedding there are three main things that every couple should consider! Not just the three R’s (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) - but practical concepts that are easy to make your wedding eco-friendly! Whether your wedding will be light green or dark green - your wedding can be as stylish and personalized as ever!
1. The biggest item that affects your overall carbon footprint is travel! This includes how many guests are coming from out of town and how much you have to travel around town for your wedding. If your ceremony is not in the same location as your reception site – try to keep the distance of the location of the ceremony site as close as possible to the reception site. Although not often associated with travel – keep the number of attendants down. Why does this matter? Well – as soon as you start tacking on large numbers of attendants – the more inclined you will feel to have multiple forms of transportation for various members of your wedding party. Does a sedan for your parents, an Old Bentley for you, 3 limos for your wedding party plus a shuttle bus come to mind? That is exactly what you will end up with if you have tons of out of town guests and a large wedding party. Simplifying your wedding party really can make all the difference. When in the market for a shuttle bus – see if any local fleet has a propane or natural gas powered bus, shuttle or trolley available. Trolleys are so much fun and you may even be able to find a hybrid bus if you do a little research!
2. Go easy on the red meat! I am not saying have a vegan buffet. I am literally saying reduce the amount of red meat that you serve to your guests. Cows produce almost one third of methane gas found in the US. What does this mean? Methane gas (when released in the atmosphere) basically burns holes in the ozone layer – which contributes to global warming. Whether you believe in global warming or not, red meat takes almost three times the amount of energy than any other meat to produce and to process. If you have to have red meat – try to limit it to the cocktail hour. Every little bit helps. Try different types of fowl and fish as your main entrée instead. A great place to find information about the best possible sustainable fish to serve for your wedding is on the Environmental Defense Fund’s Seafood Selector. In this same vein, look for caterers that are committed to sustainability and recycling, and if possible – composting!
3. Investigate your venue! Does your venue use fair wage practices? Is the venue part of a non-profit organization? Many mansions and clubs are non-profits and may actually be giving back to the community. Invest in a venue that invests in your community. Many venues have outreach and educational programs while providing an amazing space for your wedding reception. Many locations that are run by non-profits will even provide information about how to write a portion of your rental fee off for tax purposes depending on their pricing structure.
As you can see – these three items do not affect the style of your wedding. For years, there has been a huge misconception that a green wedding means getting married in your backyard with tofu burgers in a hemp wedding dress. There are so many ways to make your wedding, honeymoon and life green! While the above items are three major factors in going green for your wedding, the list is really endless – you just have to ask your vendors this question: What are you doing to go green? You might be surprised at what they say!