If you are at all eco-conscious, the place to start for your wedding is paper. The amount of unnecessary paper used for weddings is never-ending. Save the Dates, invitations, paper inserts, ceremony programs, escort cards, menus, favors and thank-you's just scratch the surface!
There are two items you should never go paperless on: Invitations and Thank-You's.
Consider sending out electronic Save the Dates, with the exception of grandparents of course.
Invitations have evolved rapidly over the last few years, and now recycled paper or plantable paper is more common than ever! Ask me about some of my favorite sustainable stationary companies!
Ditch any paper inserts, and instead create a highly detailed website in which you direct guests to on the invitation. This will have more information like venue details, timeline and hotel accommodations.
Skip the ceremony program all together. It seems as if 99% end up left on seats. You can incorporate the wedding party and timeline into your website.
Opt for a large seating chart display that guests can peruse during cocktail hour! This is a large chart just outside the dining space that lists name and table number, allowing you to forego individual escort cards. This of course is only feasible with a buffet or family style meal. With plated meals, order recycled paper for your escort cards.
Menus are important when you have many guests with allergies or dietary restrictions. If not, forego the individual menus at each place setting. Guests will be happy with whatever is served! Should you want menus, just put one per table.
Cutesy sayings printed on paper attached to favors is very common, but is also extremely time-consuming and costly. Skip any paper waste associated with favors!
Give the Favors Away
How many wedding coozies do you have from weddings? Well...how many have you kept, and how many have you tossed?
Many common wedding favors are not made with longevity or the guest in mind, which in the end causes waste.
The best favors are those that:
a. Are edible (but not wrapped in plastic, please!)
b. Are sustainable (packets or seeds, potted succulents, or recycled tote bags anyone?)
c. Are meaningful (instead of spending money on favors, allocate that money to your top favorite charities. Allow guests to choose where they want their "favor" donated to).
Wouldn't it be nice to not have a clunky favor table taking up space on your dance floor :)
"Register" for Moolah!
More often than not when a couple is creating their registry, they become a bit "trigger happy." Sit down with your fiance and discuss what you are going to do for your registry, and what is most important at the moment and in the future.
Are you in dire need of new kitchenware, or is what you have perfectly adequate for your current needs?
Instead of creating waste with items you may outgrow in a year, and the multitude of boxes mailed to your door, opt for a "honeymoon fund" or a "new home fund." This will put your guests' money to great use, and will truly go towards building a life together.
You may want to include a few items on the registry for the bridal shower. Make sure to include your registry plan on your website!