Board #190 | Rustic Charm (Earth Friendly #1)

Happy Earth Day! I’ve got some earth-friendly wedding boards for you that I’ll be posting over the next few days – hopefully you’ll be inspired to make your own wedding or next event as green as possible. Today’s board was inspired partly by Jennifer and John’s beautiful eco-chic wedding featured a few weeks ago, so check that out for more ideas. It is worth noting that this exercise in creating earth friendly wedding boards is really similar to last week’s budget friendly boards – many of the same tips apply, and there is no reason that an earth friendly wedding can’t also be stylish and beautiful.

Mood: rustic, picnic kitsch
Palette: brown, red, orange, yellow

{click image to enlarge}

Top row from left: photo by Jonathan Canlas, photo by Suzy Clement, punch from Brides, cake by Miette
Row 2: ribbon bouquet from Martha Stewart Weddings, photo by Gertrude & Mabel, photo by Blonde Tulip, photo by Vallentyne via Elizabeth Anne Designs
Row 3: rough diamond ring by Sarah Perlis, invitation by Hello!Lucky, citrus centerpiece by Ariella Chezar, seedling favors from Martha Stewart WeddingsRow 4: hemp silk wedding dress by Get Conscious, picnicware from Branch Home via Pretty Little Things, photo from Martha Stewart Weddings, sustainable wood card by Night Owl via Creature Comforts

10 Ways to Go Green
1. Re-use colored glass bottles for bud vases. Remove the labels and arrange the bottles in a row anywhere you need some decorations, using single organic blooms.
2. Choose an earth friendly venue. This can mean a carbon neutral hotel or restaurant, or a lodge that thoughtfully blends architecture and nature. Having an outdoor, daytime wedding will save energy by eliminating artificial lighting. If you go with a picnic-type reception or rehearsal dinner, be sure to use tableware that is biodegradable and organic.
3. Serve drinks in bulk, rather than offering individual bottles and cans of beverages. (I’ve been looking for where you can find these large jars with no luck; if anyone has a source for these, please share!)
4. Go for an organic cake. Either choose a baker who uses organic ingredients, or make one yourself with as many organic ingredients as you can find.
5. Go with non-floral options. Ribbon, paper, or beaded flowers are do-it-yourself projects that are earth friendly, budget friendly, and your bouquet will be a nice keepsake of the day. Bowls of in-season organic fruit can double as both centerpiece and favor.
6. Get married in a place that doesn’t require your guests to travel too far, or that at least has all events within walking or biking distance from each other. If your guests do have to travel a significant distance to get to your venue, consider purchasing carbon offsets to keep your day as carbon neutral as possible. Also, if most of your guests are staying in the same hotel, provide a shuttle to take them to the ceremony and reception.
7. Use living plants for both decor and favors. Larger potted citrus trees can help to create boundaries at the ceremony or reception, and smaller ones would work well on tables. Give your guests seedlings to take home with them, or give them a small card telling them that you’ve planted a tree in their name.
8. Get creative with second-hand items. In this board, a pair of unhinged doors frames the altar, and mismatched chairs line the table.
9. Choose earth friendly accessories and bridalwear. Sarah Perlis‘ diamond rings are not only affordable, they’re also earth friendly: she uses recycled gold and responsibly mined diamonds. This dress by Get Conscious is made of entirely natural fibers: a hemp silk blend, and vintage lace trim. If your dress is custom made, choose fabrics that are natural and organic.
10. Hello!Lucky prints all of their invitations on 100% cotton papers, or you can request paper made of 75 – 100% post-consumer waste. These fun wood cards by Night Owl are made of sustainably-harvested yellow birch, and would be a really fun save-the-date.


  • Valerie says:

    I think the container store sells the jars. Search for “glass jars” on the website and they have the classic glass jars with the glass lids. They have one that is 2 gallons. You might also want to to try e-bay and search under “apothecary jars”

  • Peonies and Polaroids says:

    This is gorgeous. We are planning as eco friendly a wedding as we can – ceremony and celebrations at one venue, which is a family home. All of our stationary is DIYed using recycled paper, rose petal confetti gathered from a local park once it had fallen, soya candles instead of paraffin and lots of recycled jam jars as candle and flower holders. Small things but hopefully they will make a difference!

    ps, the 4.7lt version of these jars from ikea would be similar, without the lids –

  • One Love Photo says:

    Thanks for reminding me about Earth Day! I just found out I am going to be working on a green wedding book! I am so excited about the project, hope it all falls into place. These are great suggestions. Also ask what your vendors do to be green. I donate 5% to Sierra Club or whatever charity the couple wants me to donate. I also donate my time to the Heart Gallery, photographing foster kids who want to get adopted by a family. Spend your money with people who give back. Spend it on independent vendors and thoughtfully-made merch! Happy Earth Day!

  • Rebecca Green says:

    Check out some of the beautiful, plantable, seeded papers available — very eco-friendly ways to invite guests, show them to their table, and detail the ceremony program or menu options!

  • Kate says:

    Wedding Webcasts are also a great solution for far away guests. If they can’t travel that far – or would rather be green about it, they can simply log in to your webcast to share your special day with you.

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