Planning weddings with the earth in mind

Your wedding will be a beautiful celebration of love as you and the very special person you're marrying exchange promises to share your future. It's exciting to look forward to spending many happy years together! In this busy time of planning for the big day, you may not have thought much about how important it will be to your future to have a healthy planet to call home. You'll be happy to know that there are several things you can do to lessen your wedding's impact on the environment and help ensure a beautiful earth for your new life together.

Many couples today are planning weddings that keep the planet in mind. Popularly referred to as "green weddings," their celebrations incorporate environmentally responsible products and services into all aspects of the planning and festivities. From invitations , to wedding attire, ceremony and reception sites, food and beverages, flowers and favors, honeymoon, and gifts, couples consider what impact their choices will have upon the planet and those who inhabit it. There are plenty of green options for creating a uniquely elegant and personal wedding - and rest assured, granola and Birkenstocks are defintely not required!

With so much news about the big problems our planet is facing, it may seem that the impact of going green for a one-time event lasting only a few hours would be a very small slice of the huge ecological pie (or wedding cake, in this case!). The truth is that each environmentally sound action you take does make a difference. Just as in your daily life, it is very important to reduce, re-use, and recycle on your wedding day.

In addition to the direct environmental impacts of earth friendly wedding choices there are other reasons why couples choose green celebrations. For those who are already living an eco-friendly lifestyle, a green wedding is a natural expression of their personal values. For other couples who are just beginning to nurture their environmental awareness, planning a green wedding is a tremendous opportunity to learn together with shared purpose and broader commitment. Green weddings also provide the opportunity to build awareness in the people attending. It may be the first time many guests will experience the delicious pleasures of organic cuisine or the lustrous beauty of a natural hemp and silk wedding gown. What a wonderful way for them to learn about earth-friendly delights, in an environment of love and joy!

Environmentally conscious weddings can also provide a significant economic boost to providers of green products and services. A wedding is one of the largest expenditures that a couple will make in their lifetime - thousands of dollars for a single event. With 2.5 million weddings annually in the U.S., the wedding industry has grown to a $70 billion a year business. That's a whole lot of that other kind of "green!" It has been said that "consumers vote with their wallets," so as more wedding dollars are spent on earth friendly products and services, the more inclined businesses will be to provide a larger variety of them - and that's very good news for the planet!

As you can see, there are many reasons for planning a green wedding, but you don't need to stress out about incorporating green perfection into every detail of your wedding plans. Sometimes cost and convenience will be deciding factors in the choices you make. The important thing is to consider the options, and do your best to incorporate as many earth-friendly practices into your planning as are practical for you. The result will be a celebration of love that encircles not only you, your family and friends, but also reaches out to the entire earth.

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