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is anyone "going green" for their wedding

Is anyone on this board trying to plan a "green" wedding?  My main goal is to make sure the big day has as little impact on the environment as possible so I'm trying to brainstorm ways to make that happen.  Some things I've come up with so far

1. Skip out on save the dates.  Our wedding is not going to be until June of 2013 so plenty of time to get the word out to "save the date" other ways

2.  Sent paper invitations only to those guests who do not use email/the internet.  Everyone else will get an evite with a link to a wedding website.  Not 100% sure how I feel about this, as I know some people would like to have some sort of paper memory about the day........but it defintely would cut down on paper resources being used

3.  Make a charitable donation in memory of a family member who passed away at a very young age on behalf of the wedding guests instead of table favors.  If FMIL insisists on favors (which she is already alluding that I *must* do), I have a friend who makes chocolate pops in the shape of the breast cancer ribbon.  she charges $1 per pop and donates all the proceeds to charity.  I may end up doing both of these ideas actually.

4. Use a photographer that will give us our photos on a disc and the rights to printing so we can pick and choose which ones we want printed and make our own photo albums.

5.  No wedding program.  We are getting married at our reception site by a JOP and are hoping for a under 20 minute ceremony so no need for a program.

6.  Keep the extras of the reception to a minimum.  I've been to a few weddings that have the venetian table and while a nice touch, I notice that most of it doesn't get eaten........

7.  Minimize fresh flowers.  Basically only the wedding party will have fresh flowers, I don't plan on using any for additional decorations.

If anyone else is "going green" and has additional ideas I'd love to hear them!!

Re: is anyone "going green" for their wedding

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    I'm trying to do this. 

    For save the date, we're going to use: punchbowl.com.   We are sending invitations but will have guests RSVP through phone or website.

    We are also thinking about doing a charitable donation inleui of favors.

    I'll have to think about what else we are doing.  We choose our venue in part because they're a green hotel and that avoided additional transportation between venue and hotel.
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    Awesome.  Yes I planned on using punchbowl too!  I like the idea of doing RSVP via phone/email/website too.
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    Mandafly84Mandafly84 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper First Comment
    edited February 2012
    Nope.  I realize that's a rather curt answer but I do my fair share to help the environment.  I recycle, I use the re-usuable bags at the grocery store, I drive a car that gets 40+ mpg, etc.  When it comes to my wedding, I want invitations and flowers.

    Things to consider:
    -Not doing STDs is perfectly fine, but only doing an e-vite is going to lead people to believe that you're having a very very casual wedding.  As in, "backyard BBQ, this wedding is really no big deal."  I can't imagine getting an e-vite for an important event like a wedding.  Plus, I read an article once that argued that the energy needed to keep computers up and running canceled out any environmental benefit to not using paper products.

    -Charitable donations are considered improper.  I'm a little fuzzy as to the details why, but because charities and causes are so personal to people, it's best to not donate in someone's name.  Again, I'm a little fuzzy on the details but I'd ask the "favors" board.  They can explain it better than me.  Best to just not do a favor, period.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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    The 'issue' with the charitable donation is that you are donating to something on someone's behalf to a charity which they might not believe in.  For example (and I am NOT trying to cause a fight by this just an example) giving to the Susan B Komen to support breast cancer and they in turn support planned parenthood so if someone doesn't support abortion then they be offended by a donation to Susan B Komen foundation, once again just an example.  

    I have a friend from high school who works at this company if you are looking for more ideas.  They are actually based in CT. 

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    rswan412rswan412 member
    First Comment
    edited February 2012
    i agree with everything PP have said. I do support the environment- and have thought of doing things in a "green" way, but I feel like I do everything else to do good for the environment, and i don't want to skimp on my wedding. That being said, it's a personal choice. If you and FI are very environment friendly, and doing that for your wedding makes sense, then do it as much as you can! It's your day- who cares what anyone else thinks..

    As for favors, I never had a problem with any donations in lieu of favors. I'm not a huge favor fan anyways- I feel like they're a waste of money for a lot of people because they get thrown away. I'm a huge fan of "reusable" favors- something guests can re-use.
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    edited February 2012
    Check out http://www.botanicalpaperworks.com/ 
    Their invites, place cards, favors etc. are made of seed paper so everything is plantable.  I"m sure if you did a google search on seed paper favors you could find other similar companies.   My fiance is a landscaper so we were thinking of possibly doing seed paper place cards (or packets of seeds saying "please be seeded") that double as favors.  Hope that helps!!!
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    Thanks for all the insight/suggestions.  I'm definitely going to look into the seed paper company.  Also to clarify on the donation thing.  I can understand that charitable donations can be questionable in regards to maybe not supporting a cause everyone agrees with, but in my case, I have a cousin who passed away at 3 years of age due to complications from a genetic condition he was born with (spinal muscular atrophy).  I would love to be able to make a donation to Families of SMA (fsma.org) in his memory, as he was a great little boy who left our family at too young an age.  FSMA does really great work, and unlike some other non-profits, they are not a multi-million dollar organization.  Donating in his memory means a lot to me, and my famliy (especially my aunt and uncle) would really appreciate the gesture. 
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    edited February 2012
    I think donating to a cause that you and your family are passionate about such as FSMA is a great idea! 

    If you can afford it, a suggestion is to purchase small pieces of seed paper w/ a note printed on them saying that a donation has been made in their name... That way they will still have an environmentally friendly favor to take home and plant, and you will have also made the donation.
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    I love that idea!
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    I've seen donations done in lieu of favors plenty of times and have never heard any guests complain! We were thinking about donating to ACS b/c so many people in our families have been affected by Cancer (including FI father who passed 3 years ago). When I mentioned it on a board I was called an AW, if you want to make a donation and honor your family member do it, and don't worry about what someone else has decided is proper etiquette.

     http://www.save-on-crafts.com/halosecopa25.html
    This site has seeded paper for programs and invites and even seeded envelopes, b/c I do agree with PPs that invites are one thing you can't skip.
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    Giving a donation in lieu of favors is also a custom at Jewish weddings, FWIW. I've seen it at every Jewish wedding I've gone to. 
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    cdbishopcdbishop member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited February 2012
    I definitely think the idea of a donation is very nice and especially if it is a organization with meaning to your families.  I was just stating what others say about donations.  But if your group would be fine with it, I don't see any problem with it. 
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    I agree, I probably can't skip paper invites to the wedding.  Do you think it would be ok though to do RSVP through phone or email, rather than having them send a paper card back?  I plan on putting all the info (who is attending, meal choice, etc) into an excel spreadsheet anyways so the cards they send back would just get thrown out......and what about doing punchbowl.com invites for the bridal shower, instead of yet another paper mailing?
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    You can always just say, "RSVP by X date."  Technically that's more appropriate than response cards.

    As for favors, the issue is multi-fold:
    1) Donating to a charity isn't a gift to anyone else.  It's you taking YOUR money and giving it to the organization.  That's lovely but it's not a present to anyone but the organization.  

    2) It's kind of AWish to do it.  "Look at us!  We gave to CHARITY!!"  Some people may be just fine with giving to a charity but broadcasting it is what leaves a bit of a bad taste.  Philanthropy at its best is when it's not done for attention - you know?

    3) What if the charity is one that others don't support?  The example of Susan G Komen is great.  Plenty of people want to fight cancer but they don't support an organization with such huge overhead where a VERY small portion of their donations go to fighting cancer.  Others have very strong feelings about the American Red Cross.   If you're donating in your guests' names, they may not all appreciate the gesture.  It sounds like your side of the family will appreciate it but will your FI's?  And does your family need to know about the donation?

    I'll also echo PP about the lack of paper invitation.  I've only attended one wedding with an e-invitation (not evite) and the groom designed their website so we knew it wasn't terribly casual.  However because it was an email and not paper, it was also something that we forgot about responding to.  
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    SB1512SB1512 member
    5 Love Its Name Dropper First Comment First Anniversary
    edited February 2012
    Well the knot has a story about charitble donations, so it can't be that poor taste to do.

    http://wedding.theknot.com/wedding-planning/wedding-favors/articles/real-couples-wedding-favor-donation-stories.aspx

    or I can do something like this

    http://www.trufflesforacause.com/

    guests get chocolate, charity gets $$.

    also, i always thought that a wedding was a celebration of two people getting married......not an occassion for guests to expect a favor.
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    DiLynn83DiLynn83 member
    First Comment
    edited February 2012
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_connecticut_is-anyone-going-green-for-their-wedding?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local Wedding BoardsForum:65Discussion:b9234d5e-3d6d-48b9-a3d2-cdede6926797Post:c838b586-39bd-435b-82ba-8539dcf3d704">Re: is anyone "going green" for their wedding</a>:
    [QUOTE]Well the knot has a story about charitble donations, so it can't be that poor taste to do. <a href="http://wedding.theknot.com/wedding-planning/wedding-favors/articles/real-couples-wedding-favor-donation-stories.aspx">http://wedding.theknot.com/wedding-planning/wedding-favors/articles/real-couples-wedding-favor-donation-stories.aspx</a> or I can do something like this <a href="http://www.trufflesforacause.com/" rel="nofollow">http://www.trufflesforacause.com/</a> guests get chocolate, charity gets $$. also, <strong>i always thought that a wedding was a celebration of two people getting married......not an occassion for guests to expect a favor.
    </strong>Posted by SB1512[/QUOTE]

    This is true!  No one is saying you need to give your guests favors, I think PPs are simply explaining that a charity donation is NOT a favor and NOT a gift to your guests.

    My humble opinion is that weddings aren't really the place for charity, and I'm not sure how the two ever got intermixed.  Charity is wonderful.  Weddings are wonderful.  But the two, together, are weird.  I would also prefer that a couple not attach my name to any donation they might make.
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    They got intermingled as times changed.  Back in the day couples needed money, household items, etc because they were just starting out.  Today, many (but not all by any means) couples already own homes together, have full time jobs and are overall successful in their lives.  Perhaps as people came to realize that they already possessed all they wanted and needed, they decided rather than be a consumer to the process, they'd rather contribute.  Google donations for wedding favors or any type of similiar search term, it appears as if it's definitely a growing trend, and one that is becoming more and more accepted.  It's a hot and heated topic, everyone is going to have their own opinion.  This is my and FI's wedding and I think we are entitled to do what we see fit and meaingful to us.  If one of our guests is going to make a stink and huff and puff about it, they mabye they don't care about us and our marriage as much as we thought are are only showing up for free food and booze.  Any guest who is going to critcize every single detail of the day (and that goes for everything from decorations to food to music, to receiving or not receiving a favor, etc) has clearly lost touch about what the real occassion is about......the union of 2 people who love each other.
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    Keep in mind a few things:

    1) The Knot exists to make money.  They have many things on their website that make it appear OK to do things that aren't proper etiquette.  It's understandable to believe that everything on there is correct but it simply isn't.

    2) I think you're missing the point of your reception and how things evolved.  Times certainly have changed but asking for money never was nor is appropriate.  It doesn't matter if you are wanting it for yourself or for charity.  It's still not acceptable to ask people to donate to charity.

    3) It may be a growing trend but grown trends aren't indications of appropriateness.  Walk through a high school and see what teens are wearing.  The attire may be trendy and completely inappropriate all at the same time.  The same goes here.

    4) Your wedding is about doing what is important and meaningful to you.  What you're referring to is your reception which isn't for you and your FI.  It's for your guests.  The wedding ceremony is about your union but the reception is where you receive and host your guests and provide hospitality for them in the form of food and refreshment.  Yes, the donation as a favor thing is a small detail but your post made it seem like the reception was all about what you want when it's really about doing things for your guests.

    5) You don't HAVE to do any favor at all.  They're not required at all.

    6) Guests shouldn't be openly criticizing you.  However, why would you do something that could possibly offend?
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    Please listen to Banana.
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    My original intent for this thread was to gain any other ideas for "going green" for the wedding.  it's definitely taken off on a different course.  I didn't post to hear things about what I should or shouldn't do (although with any post people are going to voice their opinions so you can't avoid it and I expected it), I wanted anyone's input who was also trying to be environmentally friendly.  After talking with friends and family I don't think anything we are doing in is poor etiquitte or will be recieved that way.  Yes, we changed our minds and will do real invitations.  For favors we are either going to the truffles for a cause or the plantable seed packets.  The seed packets are relatively inexpensive so if we go that route we will still probably make some sort of donation but not let anyone know so as not to be an AW as others have suggestsed.  Guests money would not be going towards charity, it would be our money.  We can even do it so no one's name is attached, we can just make a donation in honor of our union. 
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_connecticut_is-anyone-going-green-for-their-wedding?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local Wedding BoardsForum:65Discussion:b9234d5e-3d6d-48b9-a3d2-cdede6926797Post:81f9433a-325f-451a-bc7c-d95a15aa904f">Re: is anyone "going green" for their wedding</a>:
    [QUOTE]My original intent for this thread was to gain any other ideas for "going green" for the wedding.  it's definitely taken off on a different course.  I didn't post to hear things about what I should or shouldn't do (although with any post people are going to voice their opinions so you can't avoid it and I expected it), I wanted anyone's input who was also trying to be environmentally friendly.  After talking with friends and family I don't think anything we are doing in is poor etiquitte or will be recieved that way.  Yes, we changed our minds and will do real invitations.  For favors we are either going to the truffles for a cause or the plantable seed packets.  The seed packets are relatively inexpensive so if we go that route we will still probably make some sort of donation but not let anyone know so as not to be an AW as others have suggestsed.  Guests money would not be going towards charity, it would be our money.  We can even do it so no one's name is attached, we can just make a donation in honor of our union. 
    Posted by SB1512[/QUOTE]

    I say this totally respectfully, but you're pretty new around here.  No one was trying to jump down your neck, but rather show you how a few of your ideas (while well intentioned) might turn out to be poor choices, and why.  Several of the topics you mentioned have been discussed over and over again on different boards.

    Of course your friends and family aren't going to tell you if something is poor etiquette.  They love you and a.) don't want to hurt your feelings, and b.) are probably willing to overlook your etiquette mistakes.  We don't know you and we're going to tell you, objectively, if something can be done in a better way.

    But it sounds like you're on the right track now.  I like your favor ideas, and I think if you're going to do the charity donation you're doing it the right way by not attaching any of your guests' names.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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    To jump in for other "going green" ideas, check out places like recycled bride or the knot classifieds for repurposed decorations.  Saves money + it is probably better for the environment (although shipping obivously would come into play in terms of carbon impact).  Still it could keep some things out of a landfil for longer!  I'm planning on doing this/checking out some vintagey/salvation army type places for vases, little decorations, ect instead of buying new.

    Another option would be instead of using cut flowers is using planted ones that people can take home, although for bouquets this is probably difficult!

    Jewlery is another area where you could buy used or recycled.  For you/your wedding party if the bridemades are getting jewery.  I liked the rings at GreenKarot.com and Brilliant Earth, both of which use recyled metals and ethically sourced gems. 

    I've thought about skipping invites as well to save on paper/mailing, ect.  I think that I'll end up sending to the older/more traditional crowd, but that parents/close computer savy friends I'll do something online.   I think for many groups this would be an issue, so its kindof up to you/how well you know your people.

    I had a friend who did the donation thing.  Each person had a small pebble at their place and got to put it in one of 3 charity options they had set up with vases/descriptions about the charity.  They donated to the charity that got the most votes.  I thought that was a cute idea, although I do recongnize how many charities can be politically, or otherwise charged, I did like the way they did it.
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    Thanks lalans for the ideas!  My first stop for a wedding dress is going to be brides to be in glastonbury.......they do discontinued samples from boutiques as well as donated dresses so they are less costly but also doesn't require production of a new dress.  there is also a place in NYC called the Bridal Garden that is a completely non-profit boutique.  all proceeds of gowns sold go to benefit education for NYC children. If brides to be doesn't pan out I'm going to try and make a trip to the city to check them out.   when i'm done with my dress i'll definitely be having it cleaned and donating it.  the place we are having our wedding (most likely) offers centerpieces already but if we decide not to use those I'm planning on shopping around at thrift/consignment shops to find vases or other centerpiece decorations.  what will be cool about that is that each table will have something unique!  since the wedding is more than a year away i definitely have time to think about the favor issue.  i really like what Truffles For A Cause does so it is something I'll look into more, but getting an environmentally friendly favor such as the plantable seed packets is also a great option.  I just want to make sure whatever I do isn't something that isn't useful or will get thrown away.
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