10 ways to make a wedding eco-friendly

Wedding season is here and we know how tasking the whole process can be. Unlike the advice Ginger Zee gave to readers on how to save on weddings-disastrous-we spoke with someone who has had years of experience planning events and weddings. Whether you’re the boho hipster chic bride or environmentally conscious these tips can help you execute an eco-friendly wedding.

Carlene Smith of Naturally Yours Events to gave us 10 ways to make your wedding eco-friendly.
Some of the tips can also be applied to anyone planning a summer soiree wanting to keep it eco-chic!

Carlene Smith  Naturally Yours Events1) Have food supplied by local/organic growers to help eliminate the amount of chemicals that would have used in the growing of the food or the transportation of it.
2) Forgo the layered invite with inner envelopes and tissues. Going for something more simple will reduce the amount of paper waste and save money.
3) Rent your items from an event rental company (or through your caterer) instead of buying new. The quality is always better, and you won’t get stuck trying to clean lipstick and grime off of 140 apple green napkins.
4) Compost on your wedding day or choose a caterer who does. This could include diverting their food scrapes from the food prep and even post-consumer food scraps at the event. Collective Resource Inc makes this super easy to do and keep good soil-making stuff out of the landfill where it doesn’t do much good at all.
5) Before you throw away all those mason jars or painted wine bottles you used as centerpieces, recycle them! Glass recycles really well, or better yet- sell/give them to a couple who could use them at their wedding.
6) Avoid incorporating items in the wedding that CAN’T be recycled. Especially avoid anything with styrofoam and floral arrangements that use flower foam.
7) Avoid tealights with petroleum based candle wax and opt for a refillable option of soy based wax candles from Bright Endeavors. You can refill them for less than $1 each and will last up to 8 hours. Petroleum-based candles that are commonly used release toxins into the atmosphere that your guests are breathing in.
8) Ask your caterer and bartenders to recycle. This is a no brainer! All those cans and bottles gotta go somewhere, and hopefully not in the landfill.
9) Ask guests to reuse their glass for the night instead of getting new ones every time. We often write this cute little saying on a chalkboard and put it near the bar- “Keep your glass for the night and fill it up with what tastes right.”
10) Keep those pretty blooms for another day! We like to take craft paper or yesterday’s news and wrap up flowers for guests to take home. The little bundle will be enjoyed for many more days after the wedding.

Naturally Yours Events is an eco-friendly full service wedding and event planning company based in Chicago

Some resources to help you in your quest to make your wedding eco-friendly:
The Chicago International Produce Market has a list of fresh produce merchants. If you are having a more intimate group, Green City Market is another option.

For Flowers, consider Chicago Wholesale Florist(they sell to individuals too).

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