Plan your big day with the earth in mind with these suggestions from Michelle Kozin’s Organic Weddings: Balancing Ecology, Style and Traditon (New Society, 2003).
RINGS: Forego the environmental and human rights violations associated with mining precious metals and gemstones by exchanging vintage rings or purchasing through GreenKarat.com, which sells ecologically responsible jewelry.
BRIDAL GOWN: Reuse a vintage gown or family heirloom. Have bridesmaid’s dresses made from natural fabrics such as hemp, silk, organic cotton, or Tencel.
CEREMONY AND RECEPTION: Choose green hotels, nonprofit facilities, or outdoor locations (including your backyard). Keep both events at the same location to save transportation fuel.
CATERER: Ask about serving local, seasonal, and organic foods. Discuss the importance of recycling, reusable dinnerware and utensils, and donating leftovers to soup kitchens or homeless shelters.
INVITATIONS: Print your invitations with soy inks on post-consumer recycled or tree-free paper.
FLOWERS: Create bouquets from organically grown cut flowers and decorate with potted flowers that can be given to guests to plant in their gardens.
HONEYMOON: Spend your first days of wedded bliss at an eco-lodge or environmentally friendly destination.