March '08 Go Green!

Green Wedding Décor:
Planning your eco-friendly wedding is easier than you think!

by Elissa Scott

With everyone from big companies to your local grocer moving toward eco-friendly practices, why not “greenify” your wedding? For all of you lovebirds who are planning nuptials this year, you’ll be happy to know that decorating with the planet in mind is now easier than ever!

While the blowing snow doesn’t exactly inspire dreams of a summer wedding, vows are exchanged all year round. With the approach of spring, it’s a good time to start planning and getting those creative juices flowing to ensure a green wedding.

It all starts with the engagement ring. There are eco-options available now that are becoming increasingly popular such as wood, reclaimed, coconut and even vintage. The wedding dress, of course, also takes center stage. Try vintage, your mother’s, a rental or second hand…If you do end up purchasing a new gown, you could donate the dress to charities like the ‘Brides Against Breast Cancer’ (

Planning the invitations can be an awesomely creative venture. Use recycled or minimal paper or invitations implanted with flower seeds. The guests can then plant the card in the ground, as the paper will completely biodegrade and the seeds will grow into wildflowers; a reminder later in the season of a love that blooms. Consider eliminating paper all together by mailing e-vites along with a complete wedding website, with directions, hotels and event listings.

Don’t forget to visit the ‘I Do Foundation’ ( when choosing a registry, creating invitations, or purchasing wedding favors. Their helpful website lists tips and ideas for how “your wedding can raise money for charity”.
Celebrate nature by planning an outdoor wedding (as weather permits). Be sure to keep the ceremony and the dinner or after party all at the same locale to avoid pollution from driving from place to place.

For flowers, why not consider growing your own? A Chinese proverb says, “The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago, the second best time is now.” Alternatively, buy local from the Farmer’s Market (local and organic). Even silks last a lifetime and can always be reused, gifted or donated after the event.

For centerpieces, potted petite perennials or elfin bushes can be taken home to plant by guests. Anything made with the unlimited recyclablity of glass, is my preference. Low-lying bowls filled with seashells or polished river rocks, water and floating buds. Beeswax or soy candles can flicker a glow of an enchanting evening. Fill rapidly renewable grass baskets, spilling forth with fruit like apples, based on your color theme. Guests can then take them home to later enjoy or deliver to a homeless shelter.

The ceremonial feast can be organic and vegetarian if you wish, served on biodegradable or compostable plates, made from cornstarch or sugar cane. Rather than disposable dishware, opt for rentals that are merely rewashed and reused. While in India, I went to a ‘Puja’ (a special occasion celebration), and we sat cross-legged on the ground and ate delicacies with our fingers, served on giant tropical banana leaves.

And for that all-dreamy honeymoon, an eco-travel holiday will offset your carbon footprint as you revel in your love. Eco-spas on a tropical beach, bird watching in the jungle or a floating eco-lodge, can all be a romantic getaway from the run of the mill. ( Plus, traveling is always a fantastic creative inspiration for interior decorating, when you come home to cross the threshold.

Photo Descriptions: All white decor, don't forget to put organic linens on your gift registry!, an eco and chic tablescape, a mother nature tablescape.

When Elissa Scott isn’t practicing Ashtanga, she is a Home Design Expert, Columnist and Professional Speaker, specializing in eco- chic renovation and new construction. Visit her website at

No comments: