Waste is for Suckers: How to Save Green by BEING Green

March 17, 2010

I used to think a green wedding would equal something granola-y, full of hemp and cost double what we had in our budget. I know, right? So short-sighted! So here’s how to save a ton of money, be earth-friendly, keep a clearer conscience and still have a colorful, fun event:

BUY LESS CRAP!

Or specifically, crap you can’t find a home for after the wedding. Before you buy something, assess where the item will go after the honeymoon. The landfills and dumpsters don’t need my wedding decorations, they’re already full, thank you.

All the photos in this post (unless otherwise noted) were taken by the talented and gifted photographers Chris Hinkle and Anthony French of Mira Weddings.

cowboys

Our cowboy bunny, cowboy hats and dollar store plastic cowboy dudes who invaded every surface of the room and filled our ball jar centerpieces were handed off to a children’s cowboy birthday party.

jubby

The awesome cat painting and cowboy room decorations adorn the walls of our house, as well as the cardboard JUBBY letters (Julia + Bobby= Jubby)

banners

The six flag banners I lovingly sewed over my furlough last year were bought by our venue, the Hotel Congress.

tissuepaperballs

The tissue paper balls were reused at a craft fair in December, then destroyed (also lovingly) by toddlers at our Indiana reception. Put to good use, indeed. (Toddler photos by Amy Wilson)

platters

We sold some platters, gave some to friends, donated some to my hair salon (they use them to display hair product) and brought a few back to Goodwill.

squirrel

If your wedding is truly a reflection of you as a couple, it is easy to get away with cheap options and just shop within your current belongings. The toys for our seating card table were from our house or borrowed from family. The squirrel is mine, it’s a long story. 🙂

seatingcards

Buttons appeared everywhere, as our seating cards (each table was a different cowboy and the buttons told guests where to sit), as extra goodies in our welcome bags, as presents in our invitations, not because we saw them used in another wedding, but because we already had the equipment and supplies. Look around your house and find things before you buy new machines, gadgets and materials. It will be greener and less expensive.

mustaches

When something doesn’t work out, but you have the supplies already, just use them. NO ONE will know your original plan! We were going to have a DIY photobooth, but realized the logistics were a headache. My mom had already purchased mustaches, so instead of tossing them, we had a friend pass them out. No one realized their original purpose and they were a huge hit.

A lot of times, I wanted to buy something I thought would be good for our aesthetics. From dance floor decals to vintage table decorations to photo printers, if I didn’t have a home for it after the wedding, it wasn’t worth it, which saved our budget in the end. Even if something’s on sale, is it really worth tossing it in the trash?

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