Earth Friendly on a Budget — Weddings with both ecology and economy in mind
Your wedding is not only one of the most important days of your life, it can also be the most expensive. And with all of the disposable items you end up buying for the event — decorations, party favors, invitations, flowers, catering items — it can also be the most wasteful.
So how do eco-conscious brides and grooms throw an earth-friendly wedding without breaking the bank? It’s actually not that difficult. As long as you’re willing to get a little crafty and flex those creative mental muscles, you can have a green wedding on even the tightest shoestring budget.
Give the Details Online
For those with a little web-savvy, you can create your own wedding website using free website creators such as WordPress or Wedding Window. Your wedding invitations can direct guests to your website for more information. Save paper, and provide extra details such as a blog, photo album, places to stay, directions to the wedding locale, and attractions in the area.
Just What Your Guests Wanted
Gifts for guests aren’t required, though they’re very much appreciated and show your friends and family how glad you are that they came to the wedding. But if you’re working with a tight budget, it’s tough to come up with economical gifts that everyone can use.
Luckily, there are a number of presents you can make for very little that are also environmentally friendly. One great gift everyone can appreciate is homemade bath scrubs. Whether salt- or sugar-based, scrubs are incredibly simple to make. Just prepare a big batch of the scrub of your choice and package it in glass jars from either the dollar store or your local grocery (check the baking section for glass jars used for preserves). Take it one step further, and add an essential oil that you both like, or that represents a flower in your bouquet. Basil, lavender, chamomile, and lemon verbena are all beautiful scents and look very attractive in bouquets.
Finish the packaging with a bit of ribbon and a tag with the names of you and your mate and your wedding date, and you have a gift that your guests will both remember and love.
For the Wedding Party
While it’s not too hard to find a good gift for the boys — rocks glasses with their initials on them, cigars or a bottle of a nice whiskey usually does the trick — pleasing your bridesmaids can be a bit more difficult. Fortunately, most ladies love a gift that comes from the heart, especially when you add a little something that lets them know you made it just for them.
One idea is to give all your girls a personalized decoupage plate. The glass plates can be purchased at a dollar store, and the decorations can come from vintage magazines, newspapers, paper-doll books or even old novels.
If you have a little extra to spend, a good meaningful gift is handmade pottery with the imprint of a piece of lace from your grandmother’s wedding dress, or a piece of vintage lacework that’s been handed down through your family. Most potters can do this for you, or you can contact a company that specializes in this type of pottery, such as Christian Royal Pottery.
When you’re not sure at all what the girls are going to like, you can always give them a universal gift card with a touch of flair. By making a little card holder for your gift cards, you can add a personal touch to a broad-reaching gift.
While this list is only a start, hopefully it will inspire you to find other ways in which you can save a little green on your eco-friendly wedding day. What about making your own bouquets with origami, or using oyster shells bleached by the sun to line the aisle? The options are as limitless as your imagination.
Blue Planet Green Living (Home Page)
Rhonda Wallinga manages social media programs for 123Print.com, a leading online resource for affordabe custom wedding necessities like wedding invitations and RSVP cards, save the date cards, and wedding programs.