Happily ever after; Greening your wedding

By Libby Bottem

Your partner proposed and you joyfully accepted! Your planning is well under way, but you are both concerned with the impact a large party will have on the environment. No worries! Here are a few ways to decrease your impact on the environment during your big day.

#1. Send E-vites – While paper invitations are usually sent for weddings, consider an alternative option like an electronic invitation. It may be less formal, but it saves paper as well as cash, and all your responses can be sent directly to your email on your phone!

#2. Head to the Farmer’s Market – Summer Farmer’s Markets are great places to procure produce for appetizers or a meal for a smaller gathering. Some vendors may even dabble in event catering and you could have them take on the cooking! Take it one step further and have your personal attendant or a close friend swing by the morning of the big day to grab fresh flowers for your bouquet!

#3. Reuse and Borrow – Weddings tend to have a lot of ‘one time use’ items. Many can be borrowed or bought at a resale boutique like Bride To Be Consignment in Woodbury and Bloomington. They sell  pre-owned gowns, tuxes, flower girl and ring bearer outfits, wedding décor like centerpieces and aisle markers and many other items that are likely to just sit in a garage or basement after one use.

#4. Take it Outside – Outdoor weddings can be tricky, but if the weather cooperates, the sun provides your lighting, and Mother Nature provides the décor (not to mention, most area parks can be used at no cost if the gathering is small and picnic space is not needed).

#5. Remember the Bins – If hosting a reception after the “I-Dos,” remember in your welcome speech to let people know you are hoping for a low waste event. Mention that you have brought in Recycle Bins (or that your rented space provided them; something to ask about when shopping for a venue), and encourage your guests to use them. Take your waste reduction a step further, and provide Organic Recycling for food scraps (just remember to supply compostable bags for doing so).

#6. Commit to Recyclables – Having an open bar? Ask that those providing the bar only use glass or aluminum since plastic party cups are not always recyclable. You can also ask your caterer to use large aluminum party trays, or plastic or glass that can be washed and reused for another event.

#7. Set Up a Webpage – Instead of all those gifts wrapped in non-recyclable wrapping paper, try a gofundme.com page that allows you to save for something like a honeymoon instead!

So there you have it! A few quick TO-DOS for the big day of I-DOS!

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