Whole Living Daily

Planning a Green Wedding: The Invitations

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I'm getting married in September, and so far, my biggest planning decisions have been less about color schemes or hairstyles and more about how to responsibly source—and reduce the amount of—all that stuff required for our celebration. (I know...that sounds soooo Whole Living, but I can't help it. It's my job.)

Anyway, my first big dilemma has been how to handle the invitations. Though I am serious about being eco-friendly, I'm not so hardcore that I don't drool over gorgeous stationery—especially when it is announcing a special event. I briefly entertained the thought of an e-mail invite, but after picking Mindy's brain about tree-free papers, I was relieved to have some viable, snail-mailable alternatives.

After much research (check out the options I weighed in the slideshow below), I settled on the fun, rustic design that suits our Catskill mountain setting from San Francisco-based Hello!Lucky. The paper is 100% cotton that includes remnants from the textile industry (fun fact: cotton paper can be recycled more times than paper from trees because the fibers are longer), but recycled and hemp papers are also offered. Our letterpress save the dates and invitations were printed on a 1950s Heidelberg windmill, and the details and RSVP cards were digitally printed using a low-emission ink.

We chose an RSVP postcard to cut out an extra envelope, and we set up a wedding website in case folks preferred to follow up electronically. Also—this is where I might have gone a little overboard—I found a shop on Etsy that sells customized return-address stamps made out of recycled materials. It has enough water-based ink for 10,000 uses and is refillable. (Clearly, we can never move.)

I know these decisions aren't changing the world, but they have given my old-fashioned paper-loving brain some green peace of mind...or at least enough of it to move along to the next hurdle.

Stay tuned, and in the meantime, I'd love to hear from fellow eco-minded brides out there. Any tricks or troubles related to planning that big day that you'd like to share?

1 of 5

1 The Night Owl Paper Goods wood wedding collection is printed on thin sheets of sustainably harvested birch.

2 Any of Minted's designs can be printed on recycled paper.

3 Green Field Paper Company prints soy-based inks on plantable seed paper.

4 Bella Figura uses 100% tree-free cotton paper and low-VOC inks.

5 Pistachio's Oak Tree invite is hand-letterpressed on post-consumer recycled paper.

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Comments (8)

  • Well, it was 10 years ago now, but we asked our friend to contribute something to the wedding, rather than give us presents. One of our friends, who worked in a deli, made our cake. Another who was a theater set designer did our decorations (mainly ivy she cleared off old walls, and flowers, and fairy lights wrapped around pillars, up walls, etc.). Another friend did the photographs, and another provided music by playing his saxophone as our guests were arriving. And a friend DJed the disco. We had friends who volunteered to take our floral arrangements to care homes for the elderly afterwards, and others who took left-over food to church for the coffee hour after the Sunday service (we got married on a Saturday). So, firstly, it was very inexpensive for a large wedding, and secondly, there was very little waste! Better than getting presents you don't want or need!

  • Author Comment:

    @Baroness Black, taking the floral arrangements to homes for the elderly afterward is such a lovely idea! I might have to do the same.

  • [...] a low-emission ink. We chose an RSVP postcard to cut out an extra … … Read more: Planning a Green Wedding: The Invitations – Whole Living Daily … ← Reasons To Use Custom Envelopes For Wedding [...]

  • My October wedding has been planned to be as green as possible. Our wedding is taking place at a nature center. Nearly every item (centerpieces, favors, decorations) is compostable/recyclable/up-cycled or collected from and returned to nature! We were able to gather many of the decorations from our yard over the 2 years we have been planning.

    Our dinner will be vegetarian and catered by a vendor who uses local/organic farm ingredients. All beer and wine will come from local vineyards and breweries. All of our paper is FSC certified, much of it is bamboo and all linens are reusable! Our goal is no waste. There is so much trash created by extravagant events. We just couldn't bring ourselves to contribute!

  • One quick tip would be if you have a disco make sure the DJ uses modern LED lighting which uses so much less electric than the old bulb style disco lights. They are every bit as good and don't get hot which means if the DJ uses uplighters it is safer for children too.
    All the very best with your wedding.

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