1. Reduce paper – Traditional invitations often have a whole tree’s worth of paper. Cut back by consolidating information. Use recycled, post-consumer paper from a local vendor. Consider having a RSVP website instead of cards (you’ll save on postage too!).
2. Reuse centerpieces – Search online and among family/friends to find used vases and candle holders for centerpieces. Look at resale shops for mix and match pieces with character.3. Recycle a used dress – Retrofitting an old dress isn’t just for Pretty in Pink fans. Check out mom or grandma’s gown for reusable fabric, or look for the perfect dress at a consignment shop.4. Marry your significant other in a significant place – Find a venue that supports a cause, like a museum or a public garden.5. Consider a local caterer – Food travels an average of 2,000 miles to get to the grocery store. Choose a caterer that uses locally produced foods for your menu.6. Raise your glasses to the newlyweds and the planet – Choose reusable glassware and flatware, rather than their plastic mates. If you’re a beer drinker, invest in kegs instead of individual bottles of brew.7. Sniff out a local florist – There are more than 100 species of flowers grown right here in Indiana. Support a local grower with bouquets and decorations using locally grown flowers that are Hoosier natives.8. Do the planet a favor, make a donation – Instead of providing small favors that guests may or may not keep, make a donation to a favorite nonprofit in honor of your guests.9. Get a room – Reserve a block of rooms for out-of-town guests at a hotel that makes an effort to be green. From recycling to solar panels, there are properties that share a commitment to the planet. You may also consider carbon offsets for traveling guests.10. Green “bling”– Work with a local jeweler to create ethical, environmental rings. Reuse a family diamond or other vintage jewelry as a symbol of your love for the planet. There are even eco-friendly options made from wood.
Of all the green tips, perhaps the most important is: Be intentional. Find meaning in each detail. This is your special day and each aspect should be a reflection of you both.
Renee Sweany is co-founder of Green Piece Indy, a twice-weekly email with tips on how to live a greener lifestyle in Indianapolis. She also recently launched GreenClipping, a deal website featuring Indy’s green businesses.