While yesterday’s inspiration board was rustic and a little more bohemian, it’s entirely possible to have an earth friendly wedding that is also elegant and refined. I also think that it’s important to remember that, yes, it’s noble to make absolutely every aspect of your wedding green, but it doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing. Just being thoughtful about your choices and taking the earth friendly option when possible will add up.

Mood: intimate, sophisticated
Palette: ivory, cream, gold, silver, black

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Top row from left: Morgan Davies dress from Brides UK, China Cabin via Here Comes the Guide, white peacock feather from Isari Flower Studio, mercury glass vases via Desire to Inspire
Row 2: cake photo by Sugar Love via The Bride’s Cafe, invitation by Paper Stories, champagne, silk flower bouquet photo by Mallory Samson
Row 3: cake topper via Hello!Lucky, white gifts from Brides, cheese from Martha Stewart Weddings, rose petals and candle centerpiece from R. Jack Balthazar
Row 4: organic truffles by The Bleeding Heart Bakery, hair comb from Encore Bridal, dress by Sara Berman

10 Ways to Go Green:
1. Even your wedding dress can be something you will re-wear. Choose something that doesn’t scream bridal, like a skirt suit, a tea-length dress, or an off-white cocktail gown. If you do want to go with a more traditional wedding gown, consider buying one second-hand, and then reselling it or donating it after your wedding day.
2. A smaller guest list means smaller environmental impact overall: less traveling, fewer invitations, fewer decorations, etc. The China Cabin, just across the bay from San Francisco, hosts no more than 55 guests! It was originally the first-class social saloon on a ship. Though the ship was taken apart for scrap metal, the China Cabin was removed intact and set on pilings. Now that’s a new way to think about the term re-use!
3. Go with non-floral decorations. Here, white peacock feathers embellish every place setting. The gorgeous ruffly bouquet was made by the bride using silk flower brooches; after the ceremony she pinned one on each female guest.
4. Go vintage. Check out ebay, antique stores and flea markets for things like vases and cake toppers. Anytime you re-use something, you’re being earth friendly!
5. Buy your invitations from a company that are committed to using earth friendly practices. Paper Stories is one example: they use tree free or post-consumer waste paper and non-petroleum ink that makes minimal environmental impact (read their blurb about soy-based inks). And they’ve got great style! In place of paper save-the-dates try Pingg.com for sending email invites, and create a wedding website instead of including tons of extra inserts.
6. Register green. Check out I Do Foundation and Wishpot, as well as Greenfeet and Branch Home. On Send Us Off, you can even register for an eco-friendly honeymoon!
7. Serve as much organic local food and beverages as possible. In the Bay Area, Cowgirl Creamery is a personal favorite for cheese. Truffles from The Bleeding Heart Bakery are a good organic, edible favor option if you’re in the Chicago area. And keep in mind that buying organic isn’t always better if it has to travel many miles to get to you – all of the carbon emissions that go into transporting the item can easily outweigh the good of it being organic.
8. Use eco-friendly candles, made from sustainable ingredients. Even better, buy handmade candles from local producers (check out your local farmer’s market for possible vendors).
9. Check out Encore Bridal for your accessories – or even your dress. This beaded hair comb is not only earth friendly by being second-hand, but you’ll also save $180 by not purchasing it new. I told you that budget-friendly and earth-friendly go hand in hand!
10. Let your bridesmaids choose their own dresses, and they’re more likely to wear them again. For this elegant wedding, you might ask that they all wear black, and it’s up to them whether they go ahead and buy a new dress, or wear the little black number that’s already in their closet.

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