Planning an Eco Wedding

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Wedding invitations, response cards, reception cards, directions, etc. etc. etc. The “what I’ve been told I have to print” list goes on and on. But designing and printing all that stationery is time consuming and expensive. Really expensive. And once it’s printed, you can’t hit the back button or make any last minute changes.

To top it off, your guests don’t even need all that paper. They’re just going to store the info to their iCalendar, toss the invite into the trash, and email you their RSVP.

At least some of your guests will put the invitation in the blue bin, right? But if the paper was treated with UV coating, varnish, laminate or metallic ink, their good intentions will actually contaminate the recycling stream with harmful toxins.

Eco-wedding invitations

Why spend all that money and go through the bother, when everyone lives online and even your grandmother has a smartphone? Take advantage of wedding sites and apps that save you time and money, simplify your printing needs and become your wedding lifeline.

All that said, if you just love the tradition and beauty of paper stationery, you can still choose from a variety of beautiful, eco-wedding stationery options that can be safely recycled… or planted.

Let a wedding site do the heavy lifting

Sign up for an all-in-one wedding website or app to manage everything more easily. The site will keep your pre-wedding and wedding day information in one convenient place — times, dates, venues, hotels, activities, everything.

You can send hassle-free invites for your engagement party, bachelor/bachelorette parties, shower and rehearsal dinner straight from the website. And let the website handle the RSVPs, as well as send the logistics and reminders to just the “yes” guests, so you can easily keep your caterer up to date.

Unlike printed invites, you can make last minute changes as needed and send updates with a click. Plus you can upload wedding photos for your guests — and those who couldn’t make it — to enjoy.

Opt for more sustainable paper

Eco Wedding Invites by Paper CultureFeel free to skip the individual inserts (directions, venue info, hotels) and choose all-in-one wedding invites instead. The creative layout minimizes paper use, keeps things elegantly simple, and some of them even transform into the RSVP envelope with a clever fold.

You can also choose stationery that has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) to ensure the trees have been harvested from a responsibly managed forest.

Another option is to choose beautiful — and often compostable — stationerymade from fast-growing plants such as bamboo, hemp or sugar cane. Or paper that has been embedded with wildflower or herb seeds. Now, instead of discarding the invite, guests can plant it, water it and watch it grow.

To ensure your stationery has not been bleached, look for paper marketed as Totally Chlorine Free (TCF) or Processed Chlorine Free (PCF). You may also want to skip the UV coating, varnish and laminate to avoid chemicals. Instead, opt for uncoated wedding stationery or ask for a water-based “aqueous” coating.

Similarly, skip the metallic and petroleum-based inks and ask for soy or other plant-based inks, which are chemical-free and easily recycled.

Finally, replace throwaway seating cards at the reception with a memorable keepsake. For example, an adventurous couple might use fun luggage tags instead. Or avid gardeners can write guests’ names and table number on garden pots, seed packets or flat stones to share their love of the outdoors.

Here are some companies that offer eco wedding stationery…

Use these wedding checklists

A wedding website or app can track important guest information for you. Or you can use these checklists if you decide to go the stationery route.

Invitations Event date Sent date # of invites RSVP yes RSVP no Done? (✓)
Engagement party
Save-the-dates
Bridal shower
Rehearsal dinner
Bachelor party
Bachelorette party
The wedding!
Other

Guest Info (invitation inserts)

Done? (✓)
RSVP cards
Reception information
Map & directions
Registry information
For out-of-town guests:
Hotel accommodations
Restaurants
Sightseeing ideas
Welcome package
Other

Wedding day materials

Done? (✓)
Wedding ceremony
Welcome signs
Ceremony programs
Other
Wedding reception
Welcome signs
Place cards
Table cards
Menus
Other

After the celebration

Done? (✓)
Thank you cards
Wedding announcement
Research
Share.

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