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Nice Day for a Green Wedding: Tips for Before the Big Day

Now that summer is officially here, unofficial “wedding season” also cranks into high gear. For TreeHuggers, the notion of a “green” wedding can be a tough contradiction to tackle; it’s perhaps the biggest day of your life, and you want to share it with your friends and family, and have a really good time doing so. Yet, with each additional invitation, out of town guest, plate of food, glass of champagne, and piece of cake, the eco-impact goes up. Thankfully, there are more and more options for green-conscious couples to have a beautiful, meaningful, fun wedding and not trash the planet in the process. Today, we’ll look at some of the options available to couples before the big day arrives.

Before the question even gets popped, you can be a little greener with GreenKarat [www.greenkarat.com] engagement and wedding rings. Unfortunately, industrial and manual methods of extracting precious metals and gems can damage land and ecosystems. Small scale miners often use excavation and extraction techniques which are harmful both to themselves and to the environment. Thankfully, GreenKarat offers recycled gold and absolutely won’t touch “conflict diamonds” — that is, those that raise questions about smuggling, chain of custody compliance, and doubtful monitoring and verification in regards to financing the activities of various rebel groups. They also offer synthetic gems (no mining required) for those who have, shall we say, less traditional expectations about the ring. Once fingers are properly adorned, it may be time to start planning the big day. Services and sites like Green Elegance Weddings [www.greeneleganceweddings.com] and Organic Weddings [www.organicweddings.com] offer tips, info and services for couples who want their big day to be a green day. With eco-friendly wedding apparel, invitations, gifts, flowers, food and beverages, honeymoons and do-it-yourself projects, there isn’t much that can’t be made greener. There’s even a whole magazine devoted to the subject now; Portovert [portovert.com] focuses on content that empowers engaged couples with inspiring, eco-chic ideas for engagement parties, bridal showers, weddings and other related events. But “don’t expect to find inspiration for wheat bundled arrangements and DIY hemp dresses here,” they say; it’s a “more hip, less hippie” way to go green, and that’s what we like to see.

Perhaps the biggest decision before the big day involves the dress: something so important to most brides that they’ll wear it just once and keep it forever. For something so special and individual TreeHugger thinks it’s good to know where your dress came from, how is was made and what is it made of. London-based Wholly Jo’s [www.wholly-jo.co.uk] make gowns from organic, fair trade and cruelty-free products. They use Peace Silks (a vegetarian option), and organic cotton and hemp fabrics and also take opportunities to recycle old dresses. Of course, if a trip to London isn’t in the cards, we also approve of the increasing popularity of vintage dresses. Of course, if using someone else’s wedding dress is too much, there’s always the paper wedding dress [www.treehugger.com]. We’re just saying…

Stay tuned for more green wedding tips throughout the rest of the week!