5 Ways to Green Your Wedding Before Taking Your First Step Down The Aisle

INVITATIONS

A flagship product in green weddings, there are more options for eco-friendly wedding invitations than is room for in this post.  But here’s a few resources to get you started:

Invitations by Dawn

Green Paper Studio

Baron Cards

Botanical Paper Works

Earth Invitations

REGISTRY

I just love this ultra modern recycled glass collection by Recycled Glassworks.  They’ve made gift-getting easy for any bride with a built-in bridal registry that can be created before the first shower invitation hits the mail.

And the possibilities for cutting edge design in recycled, biodegradable and sustainable household goods are growing daily.  Checkout this quick list of registries:

Branch

Greenfeet

GreenSage

Vivaterra

Don’t forget to set yourself up to travel in eco-style on your honeymoon.  Register with Send Us Off so your guests can contribute to a more responsible getaway.

PRE-PARTIES

The Bridal Shower and Bachelorette Party might be coordinated by someone other than you, but in today’s more modern tradition, the bride usually gets at least a little input. 

Hostesses will typically spend anywhere from $1-$50 per guest on shower favors.  So what’s wrong with asking them to make a donation to your favorite environmental cause in lieu of the amount they were planning to spend on favors?  On the lower end of the budget, they could plant numerous trees for $1-$3 each.  On the higher end, you might consider supporting one of NRDC’s BioGems (Natural Resources Defense Council) or a project-based gift to the WWF (World Wildlife Federation).

As for the real party, the Bachelorette Bash, you might consider a local organic bar or cut back on fuel emissions for the day by hitting a downtown area where the bars and hotel are all within walking distance.  With all the guests bound to attend your big night, that adds up to a LOT of cars off the road.

BEAUTY

With the contribution of Jessa Blades, makeup artist and owner of Blades Natural Beauty

Beauty is truly in a category of its own when it comes to exploring healthier options, so I wanted to go straight to the expert for this one.  Jessa Blades, owner of Blades Natural Beauty and makeup artist extraordinaire, was kind enough to share five best tips for green beauty.

  1. First and foremost, make a commitment to reduce and, eventually, eliminate toxins from your beauty collection long term; not just on your wedding day.  Nonetheless, it’s a great time to start!
  2. Before making the switch to more natural products, make sure you have at least two months (or more, if possible) to experiment.  You may have a sensitivity to certain natural ingredients and you don’t want to find out on one of the biggest days of your life.  To be on the safe side, start making the shift as far in advance as possible to give your skin time to adjust to less toxic applications.  (Tip:  a “reaction” may actually be your body getting rid of toxins or simply adjusting; consult your doctor or local green beauty expert to find out.)
  3. Before putting your money down on any new beauty product, read the label and consult the Skin Deep Database.  This powerful system will tell you by name which ingredients are safe and which are harmful.
  4. Treat yourself to a green or natural beauty consultant locally and get step by step support.  If you’re in the NYC or Brooklyn area, you are in luck because that is where Jessa operates!  Visit her online or email her at jessa@bladesnaturalbeauty.com.
  5. There are a wealth of great natural beauty products in the market today.  Unfortunately, Jessa warns us that there is an equal amount of toxic ones disguised under “natural” packaging, so don’t be fooled.  Read the labels.  As a starting point, two of Jessa’s favorite resources for natural products are Nature of Beauty or Jane Iredale.

APPAREL

Sustainable wedding gowns are in!  Reclaimed options are reduce both consumption and cost.  Former brides are anxious to unload near-perfect wedding gowns at rock bottom prices online at ebay and other resale sites.  If you’d prefer to have new, check out these designers for gorgeous organic and renewable selections:
Thread Head Creations

Conscious Clothing

Although the options are few, your bridal accessories do not have to contribute to toxic metal mining and unfair trade practices.  Green Diva offers custom bridal jewelry sets for wedding day wear using recycled gold and sterling, argentium and fine silver along with Fair Trade untreated pearls and semi-precious, conflict-free gemstones.  Contact them for a design session or wait until this fall when Green Diva Bridal launches as a completely separate unit dedicated to the discerning bride.

About the Author

Katherine DalPra is an eco-enthusiast and owner of Green Diva Jewelry, a socially responsible jewelry boutique that incorporates recycled metals, sustainable elements and Fair Trade gems.  She is an active voice among a small group of industry peers opposing irresponsible mining.

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