Tweet Congratulations! It’s the moment every girl (or guy) has dreamed of – your wedding day! Weddings these days can be a mad affair, with all the preparations involved with putting one together, you’d think brides were invading another country, not preparing for a one-day affair! Used under license from Shutterstock.com There are all types of weddings out there, with an endless amount of themes to choose from. One recent trend (as with anything) is having a green wedding. Sure, people seem to throw this term around fairly easily – they think that by using recycled materials for their invitations, that means that their wedding is eco-friendly. There are so many more things you can do to help the environment while still having a blast at your wedding. Think of all the materials you need for the wedding – what supplies can you substitute (or even do without) with materials that will not harm the environment? For brides, the first thing they’ll be thinking about is their wedding dress, of course! Most women have been dreaming of their wedding gowns since they were kids, though for most women old enough to get married probably never thought about their carbon footprint when they first started playing dress-up. For the discerning bride of today, there are many options to choose from. The first and most obvious choice is to select materials that are earth-friendly, local or fair-trade. While not everyone may want to wear a hemp wedding gown, buying locally ensures that not a lot of fuel was used to transport the material, while purchasing fair-trade items ensures the communities that produced the materials were given a fair price for their work. Of course, you can also purchase a second-hand gown or maybe wear your mother’s or grandmother’s – after all, vintage is all the rage these days! So now you’ve got the trimmings – locally-grown flowers, recycled wedding rings, centerpieces – now what? How about the actual ceremony and reception? First, having your wedding somewhere that reduces the traveling distance from their homes and between events will help reduce carbon emissions. If it’s unavoidable, then encourage people to rideshare or provide transportation. After the reception, there’s bound to be a lot of left-over food – see if you can donate these to a shelter or food bank; waste not, want not, right? One of the best parts of throwing a big party is getting lots of presents – and a wedding is no exception! Pre-register for gifts, which ensures you’ll get what you want and you won’t have any doubles. These days, asking for cash isn’t quite as frowned upon as it used to be – and think of all the trees you’ll save because they won’t need any wrapping paper! If you’re feeling generous, encourage your guests to make donations to your favorite charity instead of gifts. But perhaps, the best advice over-all would be to have a simple wedding. Do you really need to have 500 of your closest friends flying in from all over the world to celebrate with you? That doesn’t mean you should restrict it to just 10 people, but having a smaller wedding party means that there’s less expenses and less resources will be used up. Just think of who really needs to be there and who’s important to you and your future spouse. By Maria Belgado Additional resources: Sierra Club’s 10 Steps to a Green Wedding Eco Mall’s Green Wedding Ideas Eco-friendly Weddings (UK) Green Daily’s Eco-friendly Wedding Ideas SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER Thank you, your sign-up request was successful! Please check your e-mail inbox. Given email address is already subscribed, thank you! Please provide a valid email address. Oops. Something went wrong. Please try again later.