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Celebrate your love for each other and the planet

Environmentally conscious weddings are one of the hottest trends in the industry right now with couples across the country looking for ways to go green. Although the idea of an eco-friendly wedding can be a little intimidating for couples on a budget, caring for the planet doesn't have to be expensive or difficult. Brides who are concerned about the impact their special day will make on the world around them can host an Earth-friendly event by making a few simple changes to traditional wedding day norms.

Invitations
Conventional wedding invitations use a lot of paper, which can contribute to the deforestation of our nation's woods. The average invite uses more than five pieces of paper which can really add up when multiplied by a hundred or more guests. Couples who want to get word of their special day out there should replace a traditional "save the date" card (they're usually thrown out after the date has been marked on a calendar) with a plantable seed card favor, which will create a beautiful bed of wildflowers when planted in soil. In the age of technology, couples commonly set up a wedding website, which can be used as an E-vite system to keep track of R.S.V.Ps and meal choices.

Decorations
Printing out paper wedding programs can use a lot of natural resources, but there are alternatives. For an outdoor summer wedding, program fans can be used to keep guests cool while also providing information about the day's events. Though it seems like rice and seeds could do no harm when thrown at the end of a wedding day, these items are often eaten by birds and small animals who can be seriously injured and choke. Providing guests with eco-friendly wedding confetti poppers is a great way to avoid a mess with biodegradable papers that naturally disintegrate over time.

When decorating a reception area, brides should consider the amount of disposable goods being used and how those items will affect the environment. Dinner set-ups for a wedding typically use fine china sets and cloth napkins, which are already better for the planet than paper goods - but many foods are sprayed with pesticides that are harmful to the Earth. Opting to use local and farm grown produce and livestock can help to cut down on the impact your event's dinner will have, and these items typically taste better than others so it's a win-win situation.

Favors
Even if you think you've found the perfect party favor for your guests, the trinket you have selected will likely be tossed in a trash bin soon after the wedding ends. Giving a personalized and meaningful gift, like a glass photo coaster, is a fun way to ensure that your purchase will go to good use. Simply set each table in the reception area with a coaster that contains a picture of the bride or groom and the family member or friend who is occupying the seat. For an extra special treat. Hand out personalized wedding gum favors to help restore minty fresh breath after the meal has ended.