Since I was a little girl, I have always been trying to save the planet. So I guess I’ve lived most of my life thus far as “green”, or at least, within reason. So I hate to burst everyone’s wedding bubble but the overall “wedding industry” is horrible on the environment. So I read this book The Green Bride Guide, and it totally changed my vision of my special day.
Why go green in the first place?*
Going green on your wedding day has environmental, social, and economic benefits.
- The environmental benefits: Each one of the 2.5 million weddings this year in the United States will produce an average of 62 tons of carbon dioxide and 400-600 lbs of garbage. That’s a lot of waste! Consider all of the stuff that goes into conventional weddings: single-use bleached white dresses, chemically treated imported flowers, toxic makeup and skin care products, mined gem-based jewelry, and individual packets of rice, to name a few. It adds up quickly! Picture this: if every wedding this year used a disposable aisle runner and they were laid end to end, they would circle the globe twice. Similarly, the amount of paper used for invitations could cover the entire island of Manhattan. If every engaged couple made just one small green choice, that would be 2.5 million greener choices a year, and that is an amazing impact.
- The social benefits: The average wedding costs almost $40,000 and weddings are a $60+ billion industry. Having a green wedding is an opportunity to make a difference by supporting companies that actively incorporate social and environmental responsibility into the way they do business. When you start talking to vendors about green choices, and explain your choices to your guests, you support the green economy and change the way people in your community think. You can showcase how easy it is to be eco-chic and share your favorite eco-friendly products with your guests.
- The economic benefits: Being green usually saves you money, and in today’s economy this is probably reason enough to do it! By making simple substitutions and eco-conscious decisions, like choosing a location central to the majority of your guests, you can easily decrease your impact on the planet and the cost of your event simultaneously.
The main reason I loved the book so much it gave concrete ways not only to have a greener wedding, but they broke each of the ways to help in to three different budgets for all types of brides from the most budget conscious (i.e. us) or the bride who can afford anything her heart desires but is still environmentally-friendly.
So of course, I had to have a green wedding after reading this, not only for the budget saving but most of the ideas and tips the author, Kate Harrison, gave were just good sense. Many would save me time, energy and would make my special day more sentimental and full of meaning.
Translating that to my day, will I be married in a burlap sack? No. Will I try to save carbon dioxide by having things locally sourced and centrally located? Yes. Even the small things can make a difference.
From now, when I do a budget breakdown, I will also be adding what green steps I have taken.
That also brings me to the overall feel and colors of our special day. You already know our venue is a 100 year old barn on a (fingers crossed) gorgeous fall day, but I decided I did not want typical fall colors. As a designer, I obsess over color and pattern details and knew this was one area of the day I just had to make perfect. I found this color scheme from The Perfect Palette and fell in love! The rich colors hint to fall but don’t scream it. It is elegant, yet casual, like our day.
With the entire inside of the barn as the chocolate brown color, I decided to just do the plum, navy, latte and ivory. Should be quite easy to incorporate into the decor and attire.
The overall theme of the day is supposed to be “Rustic Modern”. So that translates into modern decor choices with touches of rustic flair. We are getting married in the Northwoods after all. So I’m thinking of mixing chevron patterns with wood accents…bold move?
What steps are you taking to have a greener day? What are the theme and colors of your wedding?
*information taken from Green Bride Guide website, images from Green Bride Guide and The Perfect Palette