In the spirit of Earth Day on April 22nd, we’ve got a few earth-friendly ways to keep your wedding day low impact on good ol’ Mama Earth. At Wonderstruck, we like to think we’re pretty resourceful and often re-use, rent, and upcycle decor items whenever possible. This process helps to make our events completely unique, more creative and in the long run, and more sustainable. Today, we want to share with you three easy ways that you can incorporate eco-friendly planning and design choices into your unique celebration.
We love us some beautiful paper goods, and we definitely love a finely crafted, classic, cotton paper invitation. But – between Save The Dates, Invitations, favors and signage, couples can easily generate a mountain of paper between engagement and post-wedding thank you’s. While using the postal service is still standard protocol, there are ways to minimize the impact. Here are a few earth-friendly paper choices you can make to reduce extra waste:
1. Choose an eco-friendly printer and ask about post-consumer recycled papers and vegetable and soy based inks which release significantly lower volatile organic compounds into our atmosphere.
2. Shop local and shop Etsy. This is an impactful way to keep it green while supporting local businesses or artists, reducing CO2 emissions and make your dollar count towards shifting the scales away from mass-produced goods.
3. Keep an eye out for green, renewable, and biodegradable materials including recycled fibers, bamboo, hemp and sugar cane.
4. If you’re going to go DIY – ask your local craft store for more info on procuring eco-friendly supplies.
5. Cut down on paper waste and opt to send digital invitation. We love greenvelope for this task because not only can you create a custom invitation if you like, but you can track all of your guest information in one easy spot.
Print green with these earth-conscious printers:
Fishlips uses all post-consumer paper and soy-based inks.
Greenfield Paper offers both handmade paper and machine made hemp paper.
Cast Paper crafted by hand seed paper using recycled fibers and natural ingredients like flowers, plants and perennial wildflowers seeds. Created entirely in the USA.
The possibilities in the favor world are endless. We believe that a great favor will make an awesome “thank you for celebrating with us” takeaway for guests, it will be useful in some way, and will add fun and personalized design elements to your wedding. Favors are also one aspect of your wedding where we encourage DIY projects. One great example of an environmentally friendly DIY favor that guests adored came from our super resourceful couple Jill & Marshall who created their own special blend of Blackberry liquor for guest favors to be given away at the end of the evening. Together they foraged all ingredients in the Pacific Northwest, brewed and bottled a huge batch so there was tons of love in every glass bottle – which could later be recycled. Not only was it a fun gift for guests, but Jill and Marshall got to have a fun adventure in the process of making it. The best part is that their guests can cherish memories of Jill & Marshall’s wedding every time they create a delicious little blackberry cocktail at home. If foraging just isn’t on the agenda, we found some other unique favor ideas that are simple, low impact and fun:
1. Edible favors like these custom mints by Baby Essentials By Mel on Etsy will keep your guests fresh breath all night.
3. Spruce seedlings or tulip boxes from Tree Beginnings, a New York-based company offering eco-friendly seeds, tree seedlings, flower bulbs and other unique wedding favors since 1992. Check out their under $1 shop.
4. Or, just pick something lovely that’s made locally. Shopping local cuts down on so much waste, and is far more earth friendly than purchasing something from a big box store. Some of our favorite local favor gathering places include: Local Farmers Markets, Theo’s Chocolate and the shops at Pike Place Market.
The green goal here is to reduce one-time-use items in your event decor, and to use seasonally available materials. Here at Wonderstruck, we have a studio chock full of unique design elements that are the building blocks for each event. Here are some of our best-practices and things to keep in mind:
1. Re-purpose the ceremony florals and bouquets for centerpieces at the reception. This cuts down the amount of material you need, which saves you money. Compost your used flower materials whenever possible – or ask your floral designer if they do this in their practice.
2. Rent ceremony arches and pedestals and frameworks rather than collecting materials from nature to create your own whenever possible. If you can’t find what you’re looking for – ask a wedding professional to help you source something. There’s no use in making the same thing twice if it already exists in your area, and can be styled the way you want.
3. Collect second-hand or vintage items in the months leading up to the wedding by browsing your local thrift store or estate sales. Or incorporate decor and furniture pieces from your home into your wedding to add personality to the design. Keeping in a central theme, this will add unique aesthetic and save you money.
4. Go natural and bio-degradable when placing items out in nature that might get carried off by the breeze. Flyboy Naturals sells all-natural, bio-degradable real freeze dried chemical-free flower petals grown on the family farm in Oregon, USA that you can use for your wedding aisle if fresh flower petals won’t work for your aisle, or you want something for your guests to throw that is environmentally friendly.
And when your magical and sustainable wedding day is said and done, donating your post-wedding materials to the Get Hitched Give Hope Hope Chest for future couples to enjoy is a great way to help the earth, and a great cause. Also, if keeping your wedding dress isn’t your thing, you can donate it to Brides for a Cause based in Portland, OR – another amazing organization that will find a new home for your beloved gown and raise money for great organizations in the process.
Happy Earth Day from the Wonderstruck Gals!