By Debbie Miller with Sunshine Events by Debbie

More and more we are finally finding everyday ways to lessen the footprint we leave on Mother Earth. Who says you can’t take that green mentality to your wedding day? You can use your resources wisely and still have the magical day you pictured. Here are some eco-friendly ideas to help keep our planet healthy and your wedding under budget!

Sarah & Dave Photography

Venue
Plan an outdoor wedding and use nature’s bountiful backdrop to enhance your big day. Utilize flower gardens, river and ocean fronts, and historical landmarks. Also, try keeping the number of invited guests down, keeping in mind the number of guests a venue allows.

Kristine Pringle Photographers

Invitations
Use recycled paper to send invitations or even try Plantable Seed Paper, which acts as a double favor! Your guests will have a flower to remind them of you for many years to come. You can also cut out the paper entirely, using e-invitations for your special day.

Wedding Favors
Satchels of dried lavender, soaps, homemade jellies, and potted succulents are just a few of the many ideas that will save our landfills from the waste of traditional favors that are tossed aside after the festivities of your big day.

Kristine Pringle Photographers

Flowers
It is simple to utilize local in-season flowers. Go a step further by talking to your florist and ensuring your flowers are also organic.

Centerpiece/Decor
Beeswax or soy candles can create a beautiful and elegant atmosphere. When floating candles are used in large cylinders of water, use five-gallon buckets to save the water after the reception and reuse at home to water plants. The candles can also be reused! Pinecones, sticks, and pebbles can be incorporated with flowers to make delightful centerpieces that are economical and eco-friendly.

Sarah & Dave Photography

Catering
Find a local caterer that uses local produce that is organic and free range. Rent real dishes, glassware, silverware, tablecloths, and napkins that can be cleaned and reused. If this isn’t in your budget, look into using biodegradable products made from recycled material. There is no need to use plastics! Local breweries and wineries are also a great resource for your beverages. We have some great options right in our own backyard!

Transportation
Provide a shuttle bus for out of town guests or suggest a carpool. The happy couple can also leave on horseback, bicycle, or electric car.

Hayes & Fisk Photography

Attire
Rent your wedding attire! There are places where you can rent your gown, your bridesmaid dresses, and all of the suits for your guys. Not only will you save money, but you can wear a dress that would have originally been way outside your budget. And don’t forget about used dresses. Buy a secondhand gown and resell once you have had your turn walking it down the aisle.

Debbie Miller is the owner of Sunshine Events by Debbie, a full-service wedding and event planning company. To learn more about how Debbie can help with your pre AND post-wedding tasks, please visit www.sunshineeventsbydebbie.com.