Have a Chic Green Wedding

Plan an elegant, eco-friendly event with these simple and stylish ideas

As more of us are living a greener lifestyle, brides are trying to make their weddings more environmentally thoughtful. If you think eco-style is an oxymoron, think again. We asked green-lifestyle pro Danny Seo for his best tips.

Catering

Ask the caterer you select to use readily available organic ingredients—eggs, milk, sugar, spices, herbs, butter—to create your wedding menu, and be prepared to pay a bit more for this. Finding a truly all-organic caterer can be next to impossible, so work with your caterer to choose dishes that incorporate local, seasonal fruits and vegetables. Heirloom tomatoes in the summer will not only taste fresh and look gorgeous, but they’ll also be less expensive because of their abundance. Think crisp apple tarts in fall, fresh herbs and baby-green salads for spring, and exquisite root-vegetable purees for winter. Suggest your caterer shop local farmers’ markets for the freshest selection.

Favors

For an occasion as momentous as a wedding, I think the perfect thank-you gift is a live tree. Small burlap-wrapped seedlings are readily available at most home-improvement stores for less than $10. Embellish them with extra-wide grosgrain ribbon and attach a manila tag with the growing instructions. Handwrite a meaningful note, like: "As our love grows from this day forward, we hope this tree will too." Display the trees on old wooden tables, in wheelbarrows or in other rustic vessels and invite guests to take one as they leave the reception.

Flowers

I am a fan of an online company called Organic Bouque (organicbouquet.com), which sells certified organic roses and exotic flowers, all grown without chemical pesticides and insecticides. Did you know that most traditional roses are bred for durability to the point where they’ve actually lost their scent? Florists will often spray them with perfume to replicate the fragrance. Organic roses are naturally fragrant and, because they are free of chemical pesticides, they’re also edible. You can safely use them to decorate cakes or cupcakes, sprinkle on salads, or to make rose-scented sugar (just toss a few petals into a bowl of sugar). Or save your organic roses and make potpourri; fill cellophane bags with the mixture and send them to guests with your thank-you notes.

The Gown

My opinion on wedding gowns is that they are all eco-friendly. No bride would seriously consider her gown to be disposable. So, choose the dress you love the most, the one you envision passing down to your children. This is the greenest thing any bride can do: Invest in an exquisite piece to be shared with future generations.

Invitations

Look for tree-free paper alternatives made from kenaf, hemp or bamboo. Or choose 100 percent post-consumer recycled stock produced from discarded newspapers, office paper and magazines. Also, ask your printer to use a soy-based ink; it’s a greener choice (made from renewable soy beans), and the end result can be brighter, clearer printing.

 

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