Eco-Friendly Wedding Design to Celebrate Earth Day

I want to talk about eco-friendly New York weddings, something I’m especially conscious of on Earth Day. I know what you’re thinking: “I care about the environment, but my wedding still needs to look sensational.”

I get it. Just because something is eco-friendly doesn’t make it pretty, no matter how noble.

Doing right by the environment is vitally important to me as a wedding designer so I’ve done a fair amount of thinking and researching, to see how your wedding can be less wasteful while also being beautiful and not budget-busting.

Below are some of my favorite ideas and techniques, as well as some suggested partners in the effort to make weddings more sustainable.  Have a tip of your own? Send it my way!

1. Handmade is beautiful. If you’re creating signage, forgo printing and use natural materials, like these wooden table numbers created from fallen tree branches.

2. Go online. Create a website that includes the invite, RSVP, and map, etc. The cost of a good designer and developer to make the site will be less than design and printing costs for an old-fashioned letterpress invite.

3. Go green, literally. It hurts to see all those fresh flowers bite the dust after just one night, doesn’t it? Consider potted plants. Think lush tropical foliage or glamorous oversized palms. I love to use succulents (currently as on trend as you can get) as part of centerpieces, and invite guests to take them home as gifts.

4. Ditch the bottled water. This can be a big money saver. Offer pitchers of water to guests instead of an endless supply of H2O in plastic bottles, even with a custom label.

5. Pass it on. Even though I’ve been at this a long time, I’m still always astounded at how much stuff is left over after an event.

I love Materials for the Arts, a non-profit organization that takes unneeded items from events and businesses and redirects them to schools and nonprofits with arts programming. Full-disclosure: I’m on the board. But that doesn’t make them any less awesome.

Got tons of food? Give City Harvest or Rock and Wrap it Up a ring — they’ll make sure those appetizers end up in someone’s mouth, not in the trash.

Happy Earth Day!