A growing number of modern couples are choosing to plan a green wedding in order to express their commitment not only to each other, but also to shared values of ecological responsibility and social justice.
Like any other wedding, planning a green wedding can be a stressful and confusing task for the happy couple, and many decide to seek the help of a professional wedding planner. Opening a green wedding planning business is a great opportunity for beginning and experienced wedding planners wishing to make a difference in the world.
Green Wedding Planning Basics
The average size of a wedding in the United States is 150 guests and participants, so the environmental impact of a traditional wedding can be substantial. Green wedding planners help the bride and groom reduce their impact in many ways.
The considerations for green wedding planners include:
- Invitations. Consider recycled or tree-free paper, or even electronic “e-vites.”
- Location. Minimizing travel distances for guests is one of the most important ways to reduce a wedding’s environmental impact, but it’s not the only thing to think about when choosing a location. You may also want to find a LEED certified energy efficient building, a church made from eco-friendly building materials such as adobe or straw bale construction, or a beautiful natural setting such as a wildlife sanctuary, botanical garden, or organic farm. Many green weddings host the ceremony and the reception in the same location to reduce travel needs even more.
- Clothing. Can you reduce the impact of the wedding by “recycling” a beautiful vintage dress or finding clothes and accessories made from eco-friendly materials such as hemp or bamboo fiber? Preparing the clothes for the wedding also raises ecological considerations. Is a green dry cleaning service available?
- Jewelry. Was the gold, diamonds, and other gems in the rings mined in sustainable fashion, and are they certified conflict free?
- Food. Seek out caterers and bakers who specialize in locally raised, organic food grown in season.
- Flowers. Organic flowers are a beautiful addition to any wedding. Other eco-friendly ideas include origami bouquets, vintage silk flowers, or choosing a setting such as a rose garden or butterfly garden to reduce flower needs.
- Gifts. For the couple who has everything, consider arranging for guests to donate to the bride and groom’s eco charity of choice, in lieu of gifts. Others may want to register at one of the growing number of green registries.
- Honeymoon. Would the bride and groom be interested in an eco tourism trip, or a honeymoon doing volunteer work such as habitat restoration or assisting with scientific fieldwork?
You can educate yourself about these and many other considerations for green wedding planners by enrolling in a Green Wedding Planner Certification course such as the one offered by the Wedding Planning Institute.
Three Wedding Planners For a Perfect Green Wedding
Angelica Weihs Events was one of the first green wedding planning companies in the United States. Based in Los Angeles, Angelica’s weddings feature touches such as handmade recycled paper invitations, vintage wedding gowns, and local flowers. Be sure to check out her great gallery of organic and vegan wedding cakes!
Vibrant Celebrations is a San Francisco based company that specializes in sustainable and socially responsible weddings and other events. Past weddings planned by Vibrant have included elements such as recycled gold rings, homemade beer, local artisan ceramics, and recyclable paper flowers.
New York City based Garden Party is a party planner that specializes in green bridal showers, gallery openings, dinner parties, and more. Reduce, reuse, recycle is a way of life for Garden Party planners, who donate or compost leftover food, repurpose centerpieces, minimize disposable one-use items, and more.