04/22/2014 04:26 pm ET Updated Jun 22, 2014

5 Ways to Throw a Green Wedding

You grow your own vegetables, you are a sucker for recycling and you are never caught shopping without a reusable bag. Being friendly to mother earth is a priority and your everyday habits reflect your commitment. While you may be the neighborhood compost authority, planning your dream wedding while still being environmentally conscious can be a bit trickier. Here are a few tips to help you pull off the ultimate green wedding.


K. Holly Photography via Snippet and Ink

1. The Venue
Select an eco-friendly wedding venue that gives back to the planet. These venues can offer composting and recycling and some are even LEED certified. Outdoor venues also make for great spaces. They can save on electricity (particularly if you hold your wedding during daylight hours) and because of the natural beauty, fewer flowers and décor items are required. Think gardens, the forest or the beach!

2. Food
Find caterers and bakers who create menus using only in-season, locally grown and farmed food. If it is available in your area, serve only locally produced wine. In addition to supporting the local farmers and economy, you can reduce the carbon footprint of your wedding by avoiding having goods shipped or transported more than 100 miles.

3. Décor
Purchasing flowers from a local nursery or the farmers market is not only environmentally responsible, but it can often help keep costs down too! Planter boxes full of planted flowers make for charming centerpieces and can also be used as gifts for special guests. Get creative and reuse elements from nature, like shells, leaves or reclaimed wood as escort cards, table numbers or décor.


Magpie Paper Works

4. Favors
Favors are a great way to share your love for the planet. Send guests home with seeds for your favorite flower or tree, or gift a small reusable pot of planted flowers or herbs. (Those can double as table décor as well.) Plant a tree or make a donation to an environmental charity on behalf of each guest instead of giving gifts. The options are endless!

5. The Send-Off
There are many ways for guests to send you off in style, without creating pollution or posing a risk to local wildlife. If you crave a traditional sendoff, biodegradable confetti is available. Real flower petals (possibly recycled from the aisle décor) and birdseed are also great options.