Holding your marriage ceremony or reception outdoors is a no-brainer for those of us who love to celebrate under a blanket of stars. But with being gifted such a great backdrop comes great responsibility. When you choose to get married outdoors, choose to give back to the hostess with the most-est…Mother Nature AND leave no trace! While the everyday rules of “carry in – carry out” apply, Holly Hills Lane is sharing its top 10 ideas for staying true to being green.
It’s not easy being green. (But it’s important.)
– Kermit the Frog
Top 10 Tips for Giving Back to Mother Nature
One immediately thinks dresses for the bride and maidens of honor, but take it a step further and have a little extra fun. You can theme your outdoor wedding to a specific period in time. One of my all-time favorite weddings was featured years ago in a Martha Stewart Weddings magazine. The bride and groom had a low-key wedding in the woods, and asked their guests to wear patterns and fabrics from the 60s/70s. Picture tweeds and plaids. Then throw in an appropriately themed camping in the woods backdrop (also made of vintage fabric) and what a photo album they must have had!
Just as with clothing, there are SO many options for using centerpieces and other decorations that give back. Chalkboard themed signs and artwork are still hip, but consider using real chalk, so you’re not stuck with 16 signs that number your tables or ceremony rows, lol. You can either resell your gently used decor to another couple OR give bits and pieces away to family and friends. In some cases, schools may even accept your donation to be used in the classroom or for school plays.
Having been in the business of growing baby trees as favors and centerpieces for many moons, I lean towards green when it comes to party favors. There is nothing I hate more than my son coming home with a handful of plastic “favors” that end up becoming garbage. The landfill called and they don’t want your plastic novelty items from China anymore (and neither does the mom who no longer has room for it in the kitchen junk drawer, lol.)Instead of physically giving away items, consider making a donation to a national of local nature or wildlife organization. Just think of the money you are spending to send everyone home with a scented candle.
I would be remiss not to make mention of my dual purpose cake toppers. Long after the last piece of that beautiful wedding cake is gone, the Holly Hills Lane line of cake toppers will find a permanent home on a shelf or mantle. And if you’re so inclined, you can mail your cake topper back to me at a later date so another event can be added to the backside (i.e. baby shower, milestone anniversary or birthday, etc.) Make your cake topper yet one less item that ends up in the landfill after your event.
Just don’t go there. Enough said.
Bird (or Wildflower) Seed instead of Confetti
Confetti is cute but songbirds are cuter. Before throwing anything into the air at your venue, be sure to know the rules. But birds seeds for your venue’s geographic region will be picked up by our fine feathered friends and “re-distributed” around town, helping to keep wildflowers growing and the birds and bees a’ buzzin’.
Use Plastic Alternatives for Serving Food & Drinks
Ask your caterer what your options are. Be prepared to pay extra or to supply your own. Being green isn’t always convenient, but just remember your outdoor venue is still immaculate for a reason;)
Offer Carpooling (or Public Transit)
In many cases, venues will offer you the ability to park in one location and offer you the option of transporting guests via shuttle bus, golf carts, etc. But when it comes to getting married in the wild, consider renting an approved parking lot where guests can park their cars to then be transported to the mountain or lake.
Share the Memo
Make sure your guests fully understand the philosophy of Leave No Trace and Carry In-Carry Out policies. Encourage them to take pride in their contribution and tag pics on their favorite social apps with #LeaveNoTrace.
Embrace the Moment
In the words of Thomas Merton…“This Day Will Never Come Again.”
No matter how hard you try, this day WILL never come again. So live like your pre-owned tweed pants are on fire, while drinking from your sustainable paper cup albeit still shaking those bird seeds out of your hair;-)
Do you have a suggestion I can add to the list? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!