Whether you want a small intimate wedding or an extravagant wedding with all the trimmings, you can still plan an Earth friendly wedding. Reduce the impact your wedding will have on the Earth by thinking green when planning every detail, from the rings to the honeymoon. Many of these tips are simple to do and unless you tell, your guests may never even notice the difference.

The Rings

Being green goes beyond caring for the Earth. It also involves caring for its people,Green wedding ideasCredit: Amazon because only when people have all their needs met and live without conflict can they then also care for the environment. Start your green wedding planning by buying conflict-free diamonds. Diamonds have long been used to finance rebels, violence, and wars. In 2003, dozens of countries entered into the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme. The Kimberley Process keeps conflict diamonds out of the jewelry market and ensures only conflict-free diamonds are sold in jewelry stores. When choosing your rings, ask to see the Kimberley Process certificate to guarantee you are buying conflict-free diamonds.

Be CheapEarth friendly weddingCredit: Flickr: Sherry's Rose Cottage

Shop local thrift stores for your wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses, and even the décor. You’ll not only save money, you’ll be recycling. Since most wedding attire is only worn once, no one will notice that it’s not a new gown. Look for small boutique style consignment and thrift shops and you may find some unusual or vintage gowns that set the tone of the wedding. For bridesmaid dresses, thrift store shopping may make it difficult to find all the same dresses for all your bridesmaids. Instead, look for dresses that are in the same color scheme and coordinate well together. Enlist the help of the shop owner. If the thrift shop owner knows what you are looking for, she can look for your dresses when buying stock for the store. 

The Wedding Location

Reduce the carbon footprint of your wedding by choosing the most central location you can in relation to your guests. If the wedding is near the majority of your guests, there will be less driving and flying to get to your wedding.

Support Local Businesses

Like having a central location for the wedding, supporting local businesses near that location for all your wedding services will also reduce the wedding’s carbon footprint and help make for an environmentally friendly wedding. Local photographers, florists, and caterers won’t have to travel far and will certainly appreciate the local business your wedding provides them.

Wedding FavorsEnvironmentally friendly weddingCredit: Amazon

Keep the green theme when choosing your wedding favors. Many companies cater to green weddings by selling naturally derived wedding favors. Some options include seed packets, beeswax candles, bamboo products, birdhouses, pine cone fire starters, tote bags, and potted plants.

The Honeymoon

You can travel anywhere you want and have a green honeymoon as well as a green wedding. To do this, take an ecotourism vacation for your honeymoon. The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) defines ecotourism as, "Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people." Through the TIES website you can find a honeymoon that will take you remote preserves that help support the local community in that region. 

As you can see, making your wedding green doesn’t necessarily mean having a barefoot wedding amongst the trees at a spot your guests have to hike to, unless of course that’s your style. You can have any style of wedding you want, from the back-to-nature wedding to a black tie affair, and still have an Earth friendly wedding.