5 Easy Ways to Make Your Wedding Earth-Friendly

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Do you know your ecological footprint?

A wedding involves anywhere from tens to hundreds of people. Think about how much trash you produce in one day, and multiply it by your guest list. Crazy, right?

Good news! You have a golden opportunity to make some earth-friendly choices and minimize the environmental impact of your event. A little planning (which you’re doing anyway) will go a long way!

 Here are five really easy ways to keep your celebration clean and green.

Transportation & Venue

Greenhouse gases are emitted by fuel-burning vehicles, so minimize how much carbon dioxide you pump into the atmosphere with smart decisions. If possible, select a venue that is close to friends and family, and organize carpooling options. Choose to have the reception at the same place or near the ceremony location to decrease travel on the big day. Some brides and grooms even hire buses to chauffeur their guests!

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Materials & Décor

Most weddings consume a lot of resources. Minimize your impact by using recycled and eco-friendly materials as much as possible. You can design electronic save-the-dates, print your invitations on recycled paper, use biodegradable plates and utensils, choose eco-friendly or used linens, and select seasonal, local flowers. Recycle or repurpose as much as possible afterwards. Re-sell items to other brides, so they don’t have to buy new.

Food & Desserts

Support positive, responsible methods of farming and raising food. Choose local suppliers to support business in your community. Choose vegan to avoid harming animals. If you want meat at your wedding, make sure it is Kosher certified or free range/cage-free. Select organic veggies to avoid pesticides and chemicals. A great way to know your food is legit is by hiring a caterer who specializes in a certain type of cuisine, or by doing it yourself.

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Going Away & Favors

Going away favors can cause a mess. If your venue allows confetti, get a biodegradable variety. If you want bubbles, find some that are non-toxic. Avoid rice, because it can be bad for birds and wildlife. Guests can instead ring bells or wave ribbons. Sparklers cannot be recycled; a good alternative is to use candles, which double as a nice gift for your guests. Other eco-friendly gift ideas include seeds, potted plants, or reusable water bottles.

Wardrobe & Beauty

Gowns made from organic fabrics are becoming more available. If you choose a used dress or wear something borrowed, you’re not only getting good luck, but reducing the number of new items manufactured for your wedding. Select makeup from cruelty-free brands (there will be a bunny on the label or it will say it was not animal-tested). Reduce waste by choosing accessories you already own or will use again.

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Whether you make one eco-friendly choice or a dozen, know that your wedding will make a positive difference. And who knows? Your event may even inspire guests to incorporate changes into their daily lives—be it trying a vegan recipe or switching cosmetic brands. Every little bit counts!

Have more ideas about how to throw an earth-friendly wedding? Let us know!

Giving Thanks: The Absolute Best Favors for Wedding Guests

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Happy Black Friday! In the wake of Thanksgiving, we remember that this holiday is actually about sharing the bounty of harvest and giving thanks for all the wonderful things we have in our lives.

Let your wedding guests know that you appreciate their presence (and presents!) at your celebration. While a thank-you card is traditional, an additional going-away favor is a nice touch. This can be something inexpensive, practical, or even edible—it just gives your friends and family a little piece of the wedding to take home.

We’ve compiled a list of the very best favors for wedding guests. Browse these ideas for every theme and budget.

Let Love Grow

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For you eco-conscious brides (and we hope this means everyone), a favor that enriches the environment makes a meaningful gift. Seeds or a little plant beautifully symbolize the new beginning of your marriage and how your love will grow over time. You can give potted flowers in the spring, succulents in the summer or fall, and mini trees to plant in the winter. Give away your favorite varieties!
Seeds
• Mini trees
• Flowers in decorated jars
• Succulents
• Herbs

Take a Shot, We Tied the Knot

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If you’re partying hard at your reception, play off this theme with drinking accessories! Shot glasses with a cute quote or design make a fun favor. Bottle stoppers or wine openers are a classy gift for a vineyard wedding—or give personalized wine glasses, or even mix a unique vintage for guests to take home. Keep in mind your grandmother may or may not appreciate a mini bottle of jack.
• Wine glasses
• Shot glasses
• Wine accessories (bottle stoppers, bottle openers, wine rings)
• Wine
• Mini alcohol bottles (jack, rum, champagne, etc.)
• Hangover recovery kit
• Coasters

Love is Sweet

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Food is a favor that everyone will enjoy. In the spring, you can give individually wrapped cookies or chocolates; in the summer, s’mores kits, chocolate pretzels, and popcorn; in the fall, maple syrup, mini pies, jam, and candied apples; in the winter, hot chocolate, peppermints, and spices. Decorate little jars, boxes, or bags to make this gift extra special.

• Hot chocolate
• Candied apples
• Pretzels or popcorn
• Hershey kisses or chocolate
• Honey or jam
• Mints
• Candy
• S’mores
• Donuts or cookies
• Mini pies
• Maple syrup
• Coffee or tea
• Spices

You Light Up Our Lives

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For an evening ceremony and/or reception, guide your guests safely home. Candles smell nice and have a domestic feeling—especially if you attach your names or bundle some dried flowers around them. Mini lanterns are practical if you’re hosting a camping or outdoors wedding, and guests might need extra light to walk back to their cabins.
• Candles
• Mini lanterns
• Matches
• Sparklers
• Flashlights

Share the Love

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It’s nice to give back. And how often do guests really keep a favor with someone else’s name and wedding date attached to it? Skip the DIY craziness and give a gift with meaning. Donate to charity in your guests’ names. You can hand out a small flier or pin to remind them of the contribution, and everyone gets warm fuzzies all around.
• Donation to charity

Creature Comforts

bride-and-bridesmaid-showing-off-shoes-000013697769_mediumYou know that moment when you think, Oh, I wish I’d packed—insert item here—? Especially for weekend-long affairs, it can be hard to remember everything. Provide for your guests’ comfort with a thoughtful gift to use during the wedding! This one takes advance planning and possibly a bigger budget, but this stuff is so darn useful we had to list it.
• Flip flops for dancing
• Beach towels
• Sunglasses
• Fans
• Gloves
• Blankets
• Reusable water bottles
• Umbrellas
• Pashminas or scarves

Take Me Home Tonight

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Any small gift can be labeled with names or a cute quote. If you’re hosting an intimate wedding, you can even customize one for each guest! Ornaments are perfect for a holiday celebration, while crystals might be more appropriate for the summer. Choose something that feels right to you.
• Ornament
• Soap or lip balm
• Perfume or cologne
• Handkerchiefs
• Keychains
• Crystals or geodes
• Wedding soundtrack

A favor can share more about your love story, serve as dessert-to-go, or express your appreciation right away. Can’t afford a wedding favor, or don’t have time to DIY? Don’t worry! A thank-you card will suffice. Some guests don’t wind up keeping favors—but everyone likes to be recognized for attending.

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Did you go to a wedding with awesome favors? Share your favorites!