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Green Your Wedding: Invitations and Paper Products

With my pending nuptials less than two months away (how did that happen?!) I’ve been thinking a lot about how to decrease waste at our wedding.

Between the save-the-dates, invitations, programs, place cards etc. there’s a lot of paper involved for just one day!

Some in the green community suggest going completely electronic and sending e-vites in leui of wedding invitations. Why didn’t I go this route?

Well, in a word – parents.  They’d sooner I get married in a black dress.

All kidding aside I believe here’s something to be said for some traditions and the sentiment involved. Further, from a practical standpoint it seems simpler to receive an RSVP and entrée choice from a physical piece of paper.

I decided to order fairly simple invites printed on recycled paper from Wedding Paper Divas.  There’s a decent amount of printers out there that specialize in green invitations including Great Green Weddings, Minted, and Earthly Affair.  

My bigger paper savings, though, are coming from some adjustments to items I consider “not-so-necessary”:

– Instead of hundreds of individual place cards we’re using a “chart” that will map out guests seating arrangements.

– We’re foregoing menu cards as the hope is people will remember what they chose to eat and don’t need a card as refresher.

– The program (a sentimental item for me) will be printed on recycled paper and as short as possible. 

– No extra napkins with our initials on them. I’ve asked our caterer to use cloth napkins wherever possible.

Brides and grooms-to-be and wedding guests: any other suggestions on saving paper? Bridesmaids – don’t forget to recycle your dress after the big day if you’re so inclined!

Posted by Beth

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Beth is a Health and Wellness expert who believes sustainability goes hand-in-hand with self care. She’s the girl whipping up kombucha cocktails at parties, and extolling the benefits of canning vegetables to anyone who will listen. View all posts by Beth Funari

6 thoughts on “Green Your Wedding: Invitations and Paper Products

  1. I like the no placecard idea. Please keep the ideas coming! I’m getting married in October

  2. Hi Beth,

    Thanks so much for getting into the details re green weddings. The whole process can be educational – who ever thinks about most of this stuff, who thinks about stationery?

    We’ve specialized in green weddings, eco paper and printing, for 15 years –and know a good deal about traditions and the history of paper. (I started the company specifically to introduce tree free papers to the marketplace!)

    So — paper has been made out of trees for only 125 years. Paper was invented 2, 200 years ago. For about 98% of it’s existence paper was not made from trees. It was made from plants, bushes, and old clothes. (Cotton rag paper is just that — rag. Like the dollar bill. It’s made from cloth fibers)
    Traditional invitations are 100% cotton rag — upcycled old clothes. Not made from trees at all. So, if you want a very traditional wedding invitation, get a letterpress printed invite on cotton rag paper. No waste with letterpress. We use flax oil based inks. (even greener than soy). And very little ink at that. Most invites use about a quarter teaspoon of ink.
    There are also 100% treefree papers made from post harvest waste — sugarcane papers, mulberry papers, mango papers. The fiber would have been burned or dumped, instead, we make gorgeous paper from it.

    Recycled wood pulp paper. The eco choice is 100% PCW papers. Some companies green wash this, and say their paper is 30% recycled. First, that is 70% virgin pulp — and the 30 % may come from the mill floor, not your recycling bin. It should be 100% PCW to be green.

    Currently, about 98% of the paper that we all put on our curbs for recycling, gets shipped to Asia. US mills are not using it!!!
    So we all have to make sure the few mills that are making 100% post consumer waste recycled paper — survive.

    Rag paper, hemp paper, lokta paper, mulberry paper is archival — it lasts 500 – 1500 years. Another plus. Also, the paper is gorgeous. Divine. Sexy.
    Some designs that are 100% eco here: http://www.invitesite.com/weddings/Eco-wedding-invitations-page1.php

    All our designs are DIY imprintable — and DIY assembly. So, great prices.
    THese have letterpress printed elements (Ben Frankliin was a letterpress printer. He also cornered the market on rag so he could be sure of a steady paper supply….Philly Phacts)

    Best,

    Helen Driscoll
    InviteSite.com
    3MusePress

  3. I love the simple invites. Also, having a wedding website can cut down on some of the information needed to be sent to guests via the invitation.

  4. Pingback: Fredy
  5. My boss didn’t send out rsvp cards and had his guests respond on their wedding website. He built it with wordpress and they have plugins for rsvps, registries and more!

  6. I love it! Such a great idea and hope more people try this trend! (Plus, it probably saves HUNDREDS of dollars.)

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