Walking down the green aisle: Tips for a sustainable wedding

The Sierra Club, the largest grassroots environmental organization in the United States, has outlined several easy steps to carry out a green wedding, from the preparation time up to the wedding proper itself.

A couple can be environmentally friendly when choosing a wedding ring by going vintage. If a bride insists on getting a diamond ring, the groom could veer away from diamonds mined in war zones and instead get her a laboratory-created diamond set in recycled gold or diamonds mined under the Kimberley Process, an ongoing effort to reform diamond mining in Africa.

In choosing a location, couples are advised to pick places that are most convenient to guests to lessen their carbon footprint from transportation. The wedding ceremony and reception may also be held in the same place, ideally in a natural setting such as a garden or a beach to maximize the use of natural resources.

For the bachelor and bachelorette parties, Sierra Club suggested going to local destinations to reduce travel impacts. Nature activities such as camping, surfing and sailing are some ecofriendly party options.

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As for the wardrobe, the wedding party can select clothes made from organic cotton or sustainable fabrics colored with vegetable dyes. They could even go barefoot if the wedding ceremony and reception takes place on a beach.

Invitations can be printed on recycled or handmade paper, or the couple can use postcards to do away with printing and the use of envelopes.

Couples can base their menu around local, organic and seasonal foods and even serve organic wine, beer and spirits for merrymakers. They can also rent reusable and washable dining utensils, such as glassware and china, instead of disposables.

For the gift registry, couples can request for ecofriendly items such as organic linen, organic gardening supplies and gift certificates to organic restaurants and stores. They can also register with stores that give a percentage of sales to environmental organizations.

A couple can even be green in their honeymoon by taking trips offered by environmental groups or by booking in green hotels.

All these sustainable methods are all designed to help save the planet, but it can also save money for the bride and groom. Green weddings are considerably cheaper than conventional weddings because they are simpler and make use of homemade, vintage or reused items.



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