Earth Day 2017 is this coming Saturday – April 22nd, but you don’t need to be married on Earth Day to embrace a “green” wedding or incorporate earth-saving practices on your wedding day.
Here are my top five favorite items and activities for the eco-conscious couple, (or the couple that just wants something a little more unique!)
1. Opt for a tree planting as your unity ceremony.
Traditionally, a couple would light a unity candle to signify the two of them coming from different families and becoming one. Nowadays, this tradition is almost un-traditional. Couples now have so many options to choose from to personalize their unity ceremony. From wine boxes, to sand filled frames, painted canvases, and glass sculptures – The options are limitless!
As a “green” couple, what better way to celebrate your new beginning than by planting a tree together and watching it thrive over the years.
1) Find a sapling, 2) Purchase three pretty pots, 3) Gather some soil from each of your childhood homes, and 4) Get your hands on a cute watering can (of course!).
The two of you will add dirt to the pot together and water it in front of your guests. You’ll nurture and care your marriage just like you’ll look after the growing tree.
2. Design some pretty seed paper stationery.
Seed paper stationery is biodegradable and better yet, produces lovely flowers or herbs for guests to enjoy after the festivities are over! Rather than wasting traditional paper on invitations, escort cards, or menu cards, choose seed paper for a naturally feminine touch. (...Because we all know as guests we generally throw these items out after the wedding.)
Here are just a few beautiful examples from Botanical Paperworks.
3. Serve a locally sourced menu.
Finding a menu that fits your taste as well as a room full of guests can be daunting. But when the menu is comprised of locally-produced proteins, produce, and libations, who could resist!
Here in Wisconsin, this might mean talking with your caterer about Applewood Smoked Peppered Bacon from Nueske's in Wittenberg, WI or a cheese carving from Kerrigan Brothers Winery in Freedom.
Speaking of wine…how about offering a specialty wine! Replace your cocktail hour's national brand house wine with something fresh from Wisconsin. Frozen Tundra White from Parallel 44 Winery in Kewaunee will definitely be a crowd-pleaser. Or for the beer drinkers on your guest list, substitute that boring domestic tap beer with a craft brew from one of the finest local breweries in the country.
You definitely had me at beer, wine, and cheese... ;)
4. Use nature as your backdrop.
Tying the knot in the middle of a forest clearing; surrounded by blooming flowers; or next to a pristine lake lets nature do all the decorating. Choosing a location with a natural backdrop requires little décor as many of these settings make for some stunningly beautiful views. A few of our favorite outdoor Wisconsin spots include: The Green Bay Botanical Gardens (Green Bay), Givens Farm (Hortonville), The Paine Art Center & Gardens (Oshkosh), and the Heidel House (Green Lake).
5. Donate your floral centerpieces after the wedding.
Your floral centerpieces were show-stopping, but what do you do with them after the last guests leave? Consider rearranging your centerpieces and dropping off the new bouquets to a local nursing home or hospital ward after the wedding is over! It’s a sure-fire way to bring smiles to the residents and some warm-and-fuzzies to your hearts.
Re-purposing those perfectly good flowers and brightening someone else’s day, just might be the best feeling in the world, (besides getting married and all!)
There you have it! A few of my very favorite "green" wedding ideas.
Have you seen any of these in action? Tell me all about it! :)
Cheers to Celebrating!
Hi there! I'm Jo, a certified wedding planner and the owner of Witt & Co. Events in Neenah, Wisconsin. I'm a wife to my amazing husband and high school sweetheart Matt, a mama to our sweet little James, (and a Fur-mama to Scarlett and Charlie!)