Invitations – Send out plantable invitations. Botanical Paper Works is a Canadian company that creates wonderful invitations your guests can plant after receiving them. The paper’s embedded with wildflower seeds so you just plant the paper in soil, water it and then watch the flowers grow! You can go one step further by creating a wedding website and sending out your invitations electronically. Not only do e-vites cut down on waste, it’s an easy way to track RSVPs and the website is a perfect tool to provide your guests with updates.
Rings – Stick to conflict free diamonds mined in Canada. Birks favours the use of Canadian diamonds in the creation of its bridal jewelry. You can also melt down old jewelry that you no longer wear and have your rings custom made. Wood rings are yet another option. Touch Wood Rings is based in British Columbia where artist David Finch will work with you to create a ring you love and feel good about wearing!
The Dress – Wedding dresses made of organic cotton, hemp, soy, bamboo and fair trade silk are becoming more and more available. Not only is this option environmentally friendly but natural fibres are breathable and a lot more comfortable too. Located in Toronto, Adele Wechsler's collection of glamorous eco-couture wedding gowns were created not only with the environment in mind, but with a bride's need for style as well. You can also go vintage and buy from a local thrift shop or have a family member’s or close friend’s dress tailored to you. Karma Wear is an eco-boutique in the Byward Market that exclusively sells environmentally friendly clothing. Their dresses are perfect for your rehearsal dinner or a casual outdoor summer wedding and these are dresses your bridesmaids really will wear again. Really.
Makeup – Go green glamorously with CARGO Cosmetics. Their PlantLove professional collection is a complete line of eco-fabulous makeup available at Sephora. My fave is their lipstick - each cased in a tube made entirely of corn. This bright idea has even inspired Hollywood to go green. Ten of the lip hues dubbed Celebrity Favorites were designed by top actresses who individually collaborated with CARGO to create their ideal lipstick shade.
Venues - Hold your ceremony and reception at the same place to cut down on the fuel that would be consumed if your guests had to travel from one location to the other. It’s also great if you can choose a venue that is close to home. The closer the venue, the less distance required to travel and the less energy consumed.
Food – Ask your caterer to use the 100 mile rule – basically, work with ingredients that are grown and produced within a 100 mile radius.
Transportation - If you’re looking to arrive in style, instead of renting a limo for your grand entrance, why not use a horse and carriage? It’s romantic and doesn’t burn gas. Have the wedding party carpool and encourage guests to do the same.
Accommodations – Check with the Hotel Association of Canada for hotels rated under their Green Key Eco-Rating Program. Here’s a look at how our Ottawa Hotels are doing (rated out of 5 keys).
Flowers - Use locally grown flowers instead of flowers that are out of season which may have been flown in from other areas of the world and grown with pesticides.
Decorations – Try to reuse your ceremony décor for your reception as well. Doing this will also help you reduce your costs! Again from Botanical Paper Works, check out their plantable confetti perfect for outdoor weddings. Scatter it everywhere and the following spring a carpet of wildflowers will mark the occasion!
Guest Favours – The greenest thing to do when it comes to favours is to forget about them altogether. They’re really more commercial than traditional anyway. But if forgoing the favours isn’t an option for you, why not donate to a local charity in your guests’ honour?