I wrote this article back in 2008 for a site called WedFog. I thought I would dust it off this April in anticipation of Earth Day on April 20.
Are you getting married in New Hampshire because of the beautiful landscapes, rolling hills, stunning lakes and quaint communities? Most people, who get married here, do so because of the environment. So if the environment drew you to your wedding venue, then how are you going to use your wedding to protect that environment?
This is something I think about everyday. As a New Hampshire wedding photographer, I exploit the natural environment every day of the week. I use the landscapes for backgrounds, the sun for beautiful light and vegetation as props. I feel that makes me personally responsible for ensuring the preservation of these resources. My business has been configured around this philosophy. If you care about these things too, then I’ve got some suggestions to green your New Hampshire wedding. Greening your wedding does not mean you have to get married barefoot with daisy’s in your hair. Although I’ve photographed plenty of those, the last couple of years the trend of Eco-Chic weddings has really caught on. There are now very classy, beautiful, extravagant green weddings happening all over our state. The easiest way to plan any wedding is hire a New Hampshire wedding planner. Any wedding planner is likely to make your wedding a more enjoyable (less stressful) endeavor. I am lucky enough to have worked a number of times with the wonderful Jennifer Horne who specializes in planning green events. If you are a do-it-yourselfer, then check out these 10 easy ways to green your New Hampshire wedding.
Tip #1 - Not everything wedding related has to be new.
- Slightly used wedding dresses are available through some charities like the Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation where all of the proceeds go tot he Breast Cancer Foundation.
- Dresses can also be bought new by a group of women and shared. I’ve heard of dress shares set up onNew Hampshire’s Craig’s List.
- Tuxes can be (and often are) rented. But if you buy something new how about getting something that might be able to be worn to another occasion.
Tip #2 - Wedding Invitations
- There are beautiful tree-free paper companies out there. Check out Twisted Limb for exquisite recycled paper or Greenfield Paper for plantable seed paper.
- Many companies (even Costco) offers recycled tree paper and print with soy or corn based inks. Check out Greener Printer for excellent offset printing options.
- Ask your guests RSVP by email. It’ll save you postage and paper costs.
Tip #3 - Rings & Jewelry
- Commission a New Hampshire Craftsman to design and pour your rings.
- Buy a recycled gold ring from a company like Green Karat.
- Insist on fairly traded diamonds from a supplier like Brilliant Earth.
Tip #4 - Venue
- Pick a venue that recycles, conserves water and energy and has a green initiative. Find a number of recommended tips and resorts at the Green Hotels Association. The one I know of in New Hampshire is the Eastern Inns in North Conway.
Tip #5 - Favors
- Give the gift of Carbon-Neutral. Native Energy is a carbon offset company based in Vermont who has a special web page to help you calculate and offset your wedding’s carbon footprint.
- Evergreen Tree favors or place cards. They are adorable and quite hearty from the Arbor Day Foundation.
Tip #6 - Wedding Photography
- What is your photographer doing in their business practices to preserve the environment? Do they recycle? Do they drive a gas-guzzler to your event?
- Ask your photographer where their products come from? A domestic album has a lower carbon footprint then one bound over-seas.
- Ask for paper-less proofing by viewing your photos on-line.
Tip #7 - Wedding Flowers
- As beautiful as flowers are, it is quite a shock to hear of all of the exploitation in the flower industry. If you do nothing else, I highly recommend finding a local florist and asking what will be in season locally at the time of your wedding. If it’s organic, it’s all the better! But local first, organic second.
- If you are having a winter wedding or have always dreamed of having roses at your New England wedding, then try Organic Bouquet for some organic although not local options.
Tip #8 - Catering
- Stick to the local first, organic second rule. The most pollutant factor is food production is transportation. The only organic caterer I know of in New Hampshire is Tommy Mizuna of Greenfield.
Tip #9 - Wedding Apparel
- Consider a Hemp or recycled dress from Seams in Beverly, Massachusetts.
- Organic wedding dresses and men’s apparel are available from Boll Organic.
Tip #10 - The Honeymoon
- Driving has a lower carbon impact then flying. That said, most people want to go to a tropical location for their honeymoon. So if you do fly, use a sustainable travel agent to help you plan a green honeymoon. Think of carbon like dollars, if you spend a bunch on flying then it be best to tread lightly while on vacation. The activities you do on your honeymoon can be high in carbon cost or low. A company like Sustainable Travel will help you figure this all out.
And there you go, now your New Hampshire wedding will honor the ground that you are exchanging your vows on. Thank you for protecting our beautiful natural environment. Now have a beautiful, eco-chic wedding!
Thea Dodds runs the eco-chic New Hampshire wedding and portrait studio, Authentic Eye Photography, based in Plymouth, NH. See more of her work at www.authenticeye.com.