Weddings are considered one of the most important days of one's life, and because of that, it is one of the most lucrative industries out there. We're talking in the billion-dollar range! While that inevitably employs many people -- from the caterers to musicians to the planners and florists -- it can also be a major drain on the environment's resources. However, the DIY business is also growing rapidly, so there are many eco-friendly bloggers with tips and tricks to keep your wedding as green as possible. You can share all your love with your friends and family without leaving a massive carbon footprint.
Starting with the invitations -- go ahead and skip the whole process of finding the perfect card to mail out, and opt for an evite instead. You can include a link to your personalized website. This not only helps you keep track of everything in real time but also makes it easier for your guests to RSVP. Some great sites to start with are Greenvelope, Evite and Paperless Post. You'll also want to set up a website with further information for your guests, like the time and date of the wedding, the location, fun photos and the bride and groom and a story of how they met and links to hotels in the area, etc. One of the most commonly used hubs is The Knot's website.
For flowers and other live arrangements, you can find a farm-to-table option (such as The Bouqs Co.) that avoids pesticides, brings a fresher scent and helps support local businesses. Another great option is to call a delivery service that will pick up your flowers after the event and repurpose them. With Repeat Roses, they immediately grab your used flowers post-wedding and redistribute them to homeless shelters, hospice centers, cancer treatment centers and more. Want to go the route of gifting your guests with a to-go plant instead? Try a succulent as your centerpiece. It's easy to carry and a very easy plant to maintain.
When it comes to her dress and his tux, you can find incredible purchases at vintage stores -- but you've got to be willing to put in the time to look. Maybe you don't have a schedule that allows you to put time aside for vintage shopping, or the desire to do that sort of digging, so you could try for a rental option like Rent the Runway instead, where women can find designer dress options for low prices. For the men, you can also rent a tuxedo or other attire from various sites, including The Black Tux.
Moving on to food, hiring an eco-friendly food truck is trendy, cost-effective and sustainable. You may want to start with a simple Google search or asking around to see if there are any recommendations people may have, or view and compare ratings of vendors on Yelp. You can also go with a catering service, and you'll be able to easily find one that supports local farmers and sustainable agriculture.
And finally, the location! Finding an outdoor location with natural light can help cut back on electricity. You can also support your community by choosing to hold the ceremony at a wild center, a farmhouse or a botanical garden. In many ways, it's not about thinking outside of the box, but thinking back to simplicity and celebrating the natural beauties and wonders that already exist, while being conscious and mindful of the effect that humans leave behind. Sometimes it's the small decisions, like going with evites instead of sending out paper invitations, or taking a few extra minutes to find a catering company that supports local farms, that make a huge difference in the ripple effects they send out into the world.