green weddings

The Green Wedding Series: Photography

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In part 3 of the Green Wedding series, we'll take a look at making your wedding photos more eco-friendly.  Photography may not be the first thing you think of in terms of "green" but here are some ideas:

  • The number one step in green photography is shooting digital, not film.  Most photographers are already doing this! Just be sure yours is.
  • Ask potential photographers if they offer an online gallery.  Not only is this great for sharing images with family and friends, it saves the need to print 500-1,000 proofs!
  • Also ask if those online images can be downloaded - some photographers use low-resolution files which won't print nicely, or use a flash-based site where you can't right-click to save the file.  Ask if there is an option to have downloadable high-res images.
  • Only order prints of the images you are truly going to frame.
  • Don't place disposable cameras on each table at the reception.  This tends to waste a lot of paper and chemicals, and the images aren't usually very good.  Many of your guests will have digital cameras with them - create a website that allows your friends and family to upload the photos.  Snapfish has a great "Group Room" option!
  • While you definitely want your wedding album to look great and to stand the test of time, there are some greener options out there.  Ask your photographer what options he or she recommends.
  • Lastly, hire a local photographer rather than one that needs to fly or drive several hundred miles to get to your wedding.

The Green Wedding Series: Stationery

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Welcome to part 2 of the Green Wedding Series!

Being an old-fashioned girl, I don't think it's appropriate to skip the printed invitation for an event as formal as a wedding. However, there are definitely ways to be eco-friendly when choosing your invitation:

  • Look for companies that do not provide an inner envelope.  It's very pretty, and I love the concept, but it does add up to a lot of extra paper.
  • Also ask about invitation styles printed on recycled or tree-free papers.  The invitation pictured above is from the Naturally Ever After line from Carlson Craft.
  • Some companies offer papers that have wildflower seeds embedded.  Your guests can bury your invitation in their yard and get a beautiful batch of flowers!
  • Vegetable- or soy-based inks are less harmful to the environment that petroleum-based inks.  Ask your printer if they offer this option.
  • Use a local printer whenever possible; be sure to ask if they will print them in-house or send them out!

If you want to go digital with some or all of your stationery, here are some ways to go:

  • Create a wedding website.  List all of your accommodations, travel info, local attractions, etc. online instead of mailing packets to your out-of-town guests.
  • Check out sites like Glö or Wedding Window for email invitations, save-the-dates, and RSVPs.
  • Remember that not all your guests may be as tech-savvy as you are.  Be sure to communicate all the necessary information by phone or handwritten note to anyone without email or internet access.

The Green Wedding Series: Decor

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In the first part of our five-part series, we'll be sharing some ideas for incorporating eco-friendly decor into your wedding.  You don't have to skimp on the look you want in order to be "green:"

  • Select a location with a naturally beautiful setting.
  • Choose flowers grown locally to reduce the amount of fuel used in transportation.
  • Ask your florist about organic flowers or flowers grown without heavy pesticides.
  • For centerpieces, consider pretty plants that can be added to your garden instead of cut flowers.
  • Rent as much as possible - most florists have a variety of containers for your centerpieces so that you don't need to purchase new ones.
  • If you will be using candles, select beeswax or soy versions.
  • Re-use flowers as much as possible.  For example, move ceremony arrangements to the reception, and use your bouquet as the centerpiece on the sweethearts' table.
  • Donate flowers to a local hospital or retirement home after the wedding!
(photo from Squidoo.com)

The Green Wedding Series

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Did you know that First Coast Weddings is featured in the Green Bride Guide Vendor Directory?

Since "green" or "eco-friendly" weddings continue to be a hot topic, we thought we would create a blog series with this in mind.

Stay tuned for posts on:

  • Decor
  • Stationery
  • Favors and gifts
  • Photography
  • Food and beverage

Going green is easier than you think!  Have a great tip?  Share it below.

Green Bride Guide Approved!

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I was just notified that First Coast Weddings has been approved as a vendor on The Green Bride Guide!

Being green isn't hard; here are a few ways that we try to stay eco-friendly:

  • Our office is as paperless as possible.  We use Google Apps to keep all of our client files, vendor files, and business documents online and easily shared with our whole team.
  • We recycle whenever we can, including the stacks of out-dated wedding magazines.  If there's something we love, we cut out that page rather than storing the whole issue.
  • Our team carpools to events when possible.
  • Our clients often choose to discard items they buy for their weddings - candles, vases, baskets, mirrors, and more.  Rather than toss them into the trash, we toss them into our storage unit, and let future clients use them for their events.
  • We are also happy to take floral arrangements from the wedding to local nursing homes - the residents love to see all the flowers, and many florists will make them in disposable containers if you request this ahead of time.

What are your favorite ways to go green?  Is there anything you are planning for your wedding that is eco-friendly?