10 Tips to Say an Earth Friendly ‘I Do’

1. Planning: Look for Eco-Inspiration. Check out http://www.TheBridalBoard.com, an online tool that says no to paper scrapbooks while helping you keep track of wedding tips, trends and inspirations.

2. Transportation: Minimize Venue Changes. Reduce emissions from guest travel by planning your event at one venue to reduce driving for guests, or encourage carpooling and public transit.

3. Wedding Dress: Recycle a Wedding Dress. Purchasing a gently used wedding dress from SmartBrideBoutique.com reduces the energy and fabric needed to produce a new gown and gives brides-to-be and past brides an opportunity to save about 50% while staying true to green ideals.

4. Invitations: Reuse and Reduce Paper. Recycled and post-consumer waste paper, tree-free paper, soy inks and waterless printing are all elegant ways to reduce waste and the use of harsh chemicals. Also, consider an electronic save-the-date and set up a wedding website that lists all the details of your big day.

5. Flowers: Think Green Flower Power. Look for seasonal flowers that are fair trade, locally and/or organically grown and not doused with pesticides. These choices lower fuel consumption and are often less costly than using exotic flower species.

6. Photography: Strike a Planet Friendly Pose. Green photographers not only take beautiful pictures, they also reduce waste, paper and chemical consumption by using rechargeable batteries, non-toxic inks, 100% postconsumer waste paper, online proofs, and LED and CFL bulbs.

7. Food: Go Local and Seasonal. Use caterers that source local, in-season and organic foods wherever possible. This minimizes the distance food has to travel from farm to table, decreases the carbon footprint of your meal and supports the local economy. Organic wines are great too!

8. Decor: Soy Goods. Add a few soy candles to the decor mix. They burn longer, are toxin free, biodegradable and provide natural mood lighting at a minimal expense. Voila!

9. Favors: Earth-Friendly Favors. Replace traditional wedding favors with tree seedlings, CFL bulbs, fair trade chocolate, or soaps. Want more options? Set aside money to cover the carbon footprint of your wedding, or make a donation to a green charity on behalf of guests.

10. Honeymoon: Go Eco! Why not spend your honeymoon at a romantic eco-friendly resort, hotel or spa or purchase carbon offsets for your flights? This way you get to show your love for your new spouse and the planet.

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