Happy Earth Day - Green Wedding Ideas!

Happy Earth Day! In honor of this wonderful Earth, today I'm sharing wedding planning advice for an environmentally friendly wedding. With a culture so accustomed to waste it's easy to look past the environmental affects of your wedding day. But when you multiply a little waste by a large guest count you'll see the importance of a green wedding. There are so many ways to have your dream wedding day be a green wedding day! Small changes can go a very long way. Get creative by reducing, reusing, and recycling to make your day more special and Earth friendly.• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Transportation is one area to reduce your wedding's carbon footprint. Rather than all of your guests driving between the church and the venue, provide group transportation. In a city like Chicago, parking and traffic is difficult, especially for out of town guests. Encourage your guests to take public transportation into the city with a promise to transport them throughout the day. One or two coach busses is far better than 50-100.• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Choosing local food is a wonderful way to make your wedding meal more environmentally friendly. This reduces the shipping of food from all over the world. Let your Chicago caterer know you're interested in seasonal and local options.• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Buying seasonal flowers is another way to not only be green, but to save money as well. Flowers out of season are either grown in a greenhouse (using a lot of energy) or shipped from around the world and refrigerated. Daffodils and tulips are beautiful options popping up in Chicago right now!

Be conscious of your print materials; the less paper, the less waste. Of course using recycled paper is a wonderful option, but using less is always an option as well. With email being today's main form of communication, more and more couples are emailing their save the dates or even their RSVP's. That doesn't make it any less special! A video is a really fun and unexpected way to pass on the news!

Although more expensive, renting linens, napkins, plates, glassware, and silverware is a much greener option than using disposables. Or don't be afraid to borrow! If your friends or family have things you might be able to use, just ask! Candle votive holders, frames for table numbers, or vases are things that people might have an abundance of and you can collect and return after using. Gathering chairs or even plates and china from friends would bring a very eclectic look!

•If you'd like to give favors, consider an environmental option to inspire your guests and go along with your Earth friendly theme. Tree seedlings are a great idea. Add a tag telling your guests to "plant this tree and let love grow." Or, donate to your favorite charity in honor of your guests. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

If you'd like to throw something for an exit photo opportunity, consider wildflower seeds or birdseed! Both options are earth friendly.

Whether you take all or one of these green wedding ideas, being thoughtful throughout your planning process is what is important. Work with your Chicago wedding planner to find Chicago wedding vendors that can make your dream wedding day an event you'll feel good about in everyway!

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