April 12, 2010, 1 p.m. by SMARTBRIDE

Say an Earth Friendly I Do With SmartBride Boutique's Top 10 Eco Wedding Tips


The average wedding produces an incredible 400 pounds of garbage and 63 tons of Co2, so it’s not surprising that we’re seeing more and more couples looking to plan a greener wedding.

Here are SmartBride Boutique’s 10 ‘eco-chic’ wedding tips.

1. The Planning

The Bridal Board is full of inspirational photos and collages

Photo Courtesy of The Bridal Board

Eco-Inspiration. Tired of ripping out pages in magazines and bookmarking a zillion different wedding websites as you look for wedding inspiration? Check out www.TheBridalBoard.com, an online tool that says no to scrapbooks while helping you keep track of wedding tips, trends and inspirations.

2. The Venue

Minimize Venue Changes. Energy experts say carbon dioxide emissions from guest travel are the single biggest environmental impact of a wedding. Reduce these emissions by planning your event at one venue to reduce the driving for guests, and check out www.terrapass.com/wedding to calculate your wedding’s carbon footprint.

3. The Dress

 Michelle Roth Marina, Size 10, Ivory Strapless A Line Wedding Dress

Recycle a Wedding Dress. Purchasing a previously owned wedding dress 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% on their dress while staying true to green ideals. SmartBrideBoutique.com encourages brides to meet in order to purchase (and try on) wedding gowns and other wedding items, eliminating the need for shipping.

4. The Invites

Recycled Paper Invitation are a great geen option

Photo Courtesy of The Green Paper Company

Reduce Paper Use. Consider an electronic save the date and set up a wedding website that lists all the details of your big day, from accommodation and registry to the story of how you met! Plus you can even manage your RSVPs, removing the need for reply cards.

5. The Flowers

Think Green Flower Power. Look for seasonal flowers that are fair trade, locally and/or organically grown and free of chemical preservatives. Potted plants can be nice centerpieces as they’re inexpensive and last far beyond the day of your wedding.

6. The Food

Go local and seasonal. Use caterers that source local and organic foods wherever possible. This minimizes the distance food has to travel from farm to table, lowering emissions and supporting your community. Organic wines are great too!

7. The Cake

Modern Squares cake from LPK’s Culinary Groove

Photo Courtesy of LPK’s Culinary Groove

Organic & Oh so good! Going green with your dessert can still taste great! Get your wedding cake made with organic, fair trade, or even vegan ingredients.

8. The Décor

Soy Good. Try to find a venue that already fits with your theme. This reduces the amount of items (and dollars) used to create your atmosphere. Then, add a few soy candles to the mix. They burn longer, are toxin free and biodegradable, provide natural mood lighting at a minimal expense. Voila!

9. The Favours

Offer green party favours. Replace traditional wedding favours with tree seedlings, flower seeds or bulbs. Send guests home with green treats such as fair trade chocolate, coffee or soaps. Better yet? Consider getting rid of physical favours entirely and set aside money to cover the carbon footprint of your wedding, or make a donation to a green charity on behalf of guests.

10. The Rings

greenKarat's Quark Wedding Bands

Photo Courtesy of greenKarat

Use recycled bling. Infuse your rings with love by getting family and friends to recycle their unwanted gold to make wedding rings for you and your hubby. Check out sites like www.greenkarat.com .

*Bonus Tip: The Honeymoon*

Go eco! Eco-tourism is a blossoming industry. Why not spend your honeymoon at a romantic eco-friendly resort, hotel or spa? This way you get to show your love for your new spouse and the planet.