10 Easy Ways to Plan a Green Wedding

January 21, 2008 | editorial team

Planning a green wedding is much easier than most couples think and its a great way to let your family, friends, and community know that youre committed to reducing global warming and caring for the earth. Junebug was recently interviewed by Newstalk 710 KIRO Radio for a series about “Living the Green Life” which included, of course, the exciting topic of green wedding planning. We want to share with you what we shared with them, so here are our top-ten suggestions for planning a celebration that shows your love for each other as well as the world we live in!

photo from TASTE at SAM

1. Choose a caterer and cake designer who emphasize organic, locally grown produce and who are set-up to compost your leftovers for you. Seattle is blessed to have numerous companies that follow these guidelines, but no matter where you live, eco-friendly businesses are available. Plus, fresh locally grown food is always delicious!

Flowers by Flora Nova, photo by J. Garner Photo

2. Pick seasonal flowers grown without pesticides. Instead of choosing blooms that are forced in a greenhouse or imported from warmer climates, try locally grown flowers at the height of their season. When your anniversary arrives the following year, youll be pleasantly reminded of your wedding day by the flowers that are in bloom around you.

Wedding invitations by Brown Sugar Design

3. Work with an invitation designer who offers 100% post consumer recycled products or paper supplied from carbon neutral companies. Creative opportunities abound to create truly gorgeous invitations that are environmentally friendly. You can also create your own wedding website and use it for most of your wedding correspondence to help cut down on excess paper consumption.

Sapling wedding favor by Evergreen memories, photo by Cheri Pearl Photography

4. Cut back on packaging surrounding the wedding favors you give your guests, or choose ones that promote environmental consciousness. These days the marketplace is full of fun products to choose from!

wedding photos by Cheri Pearl Photography

5. Consider having your ceremony and reception at the same location to reduce the amount of travel required of your guests. Its easier on the environment, and easier on the days busy schedule!

Wedding rings from EE Robbins

6. Buy your diamond from a reputable jeweler and ask to see their company policy on conflict free diamonds. Thanks to consumer awareness and the U.N. mandated Kimberley Process and System of Warranties over 99% of all diamonds sold today are certified conflict-free. Any reputable jeweler should be well educated on this process. Other popular green jewelry options are to choose an antique ring, or have one custom made using a family owned stone or gold recycled from a special family heirloom.

green wedding fashion - photo by Positive Light Photography

7. Buy your dress or have it custom made by a local designer so you know where its production has taken place. Wear your mother or grandmothers wedding gown or other vintage dress, or choose a dress made out of one of the many new kinds of fabrics made from renewable sources like hemp or bamboo. If none of those options work for you, by all means wear the dress of your dreams and consider donating it to a worthy cause when youre finished. Even though trashing the dress has been in vogue of late, we dont encourage it as an environmentally friendly option.

Wedding photo by John and Joseph Photography and La Vie Photo

8. Join a carbon-offsetting program to offset the carbon emissions produced by your wedding and honeymoon travel. Better yet, sign up to offset all your carbon emissions, at home, on the road, and at your wedding. We suggest using a well certified organization like http://www.carbonfund.org/, one that offers multiple options for carbon offsetting. We love Carbon Fund’s Zero Carbon Wedding Program with its easy to use calculator. Youll be delighted to find that even large weddings can be offset for under $100.

photo from Martha Stewart Weddings

9. Encourage your guests to donate to an environmentally conscious charity on your behalf, or encourage them buy eco-friendly gifts locally and bring them to your wedding rather than having them shipped, to cut down on excess packaging waste. This may go against yesterdays rules of etiquette but once people realize theyre helping the environment theyll be happy to participate.

Wedding Decor from Rented Elegance

10. Rent rather than buy. Almost anything you desire for your wedding is available to rent, so look into those options before buying items you may not use again.

Remember to reduce, re-use, recycle, and rejoice! Send us your great green wedding tips and help us spread the word about planning a green wedding thats fun and stress-free!

Planning a Seattle wedding? Use the Junebug Weddings hot-list to find trusted recommendations and environmentally friendly companies.

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  1. Thanks for the great article! I’ve downloaded it and added it to my wedding planning notebook. It is going to make it a lot easier for me to get what I want and go green. Brianna

  2. i love the pinecone detail on the napkin!

  3. I have been a wedding and event florist for the past 12 years.  I work from my own design studio, next to my home, so I do not even have to drive to work!  Some flowers must be imported, but through the years, we have planted many perennial flowers and interesting and unusual greens.  Using natural fertilizers, compost and no pesticides, our flowers have a natural, uncontrived look.  While creating beautiful flower arrangements, there are always alot of stems which must be discarded.  We have made use of this abundance for our own compost pile.  I encourage brides to re-use the wedding flowers at the reception.  (The attendants bouquets and aisle flowers make beautiful centerpieces!)  And I use e-mail and telephone conversations to avoid alot of driving to extra meetings.

  4. Destination Weddings NW will be launching our “Something Green” wedding planning package in May 2008.  This package will focus on “being green” in the Pacific Northwest wedding destinations.  We will use vendors who specialize in locally grown foods, natural materials, and Pacific Northwest inspired ways to keep a wedding organic, yet beautiful.  Every wedding is said to need “something blue” … why not add something green, instead!


  5. We are showcasing luxury green wedding products and services in Los Angeles on February 29th, so now you have one easy way to plan a green wedding – attend! And be pampered in the process- manis/pedis by Veda Organic Mobile Spa, make-up consultations by Josie Maran and more… pinkcloudevents.com/loveisintheair

  6. Hi I love your blog and flickr.I was just featured on the Indie Wedding guide this month. Eco Chic Weddings and Ullabenullas blog.

    Vintage Weddings vintageweddings.etsy.com

    Coming Soon!

    Everything vintage is so hot right now, whether it is jewelry or decor for your home.Whether your wedding is vintage, romantic, classic,or even contemporary you will find a New England vintage treasure.. a memory heirloom keepsake.Romantic inspired recycled vintage caketoppers,vintage high heel centerpieces,vintage hankerchief favors,paperbag albums,cigarbox shadowboxes,wish keepsake boxes,wedding cake giftcard boxes.

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