Organizing and hosting a bridal party is an important and often fun responsibility for a bridesmaid or trusted family member. As you collect names and begin to formulate a plan for the event, be certain to remember the things that the bride-to-be considers important: If you know her to be environmentally conscious or notice her browsing for eco-friendly wedding favors, be sure to plan a green bridal party that reflects her commitment to the planet.
There are ways to make any wedding shower a more Earth-friendly event. Whether you are looking for a subtle reduction in the party's impact or you are planning an overtly green-themed bash, choose from some of these great ideas to minimize the carbon footprint of the bridal shower you are planning.
Seeded wedding; Credit: © American Bridal
Invite Guests Consciously
Paper invitations are a lovely tradition for bridal showers, but recipients usually discard them without ceremony. To cut down on waste, some bridesmaids opt to send e-cards or email invitations; however, many feel that this is too informal a gesture. Recycled wedding shower invitations, handmade cards or postcards are solutions that strike a compromise between traditional niceties and earth-conscious consumerism. Made with paper that contains flower or other plant seeds, seeded invitations encourage guests to make a lasting contribution to the environment.
Compost cookies; Credit: flickr
Serve a Sustainable Meal
A great way to reduce the carbon footprint of a bridal shower is to be mindful in planning the meal. The menu should ideally consist of organic foods, particularly those gathered from local farms. If your bride-to-be or any guests are vegan, ensure that there are plenty of animal-free items on the menu. Serve free-range chicken, sustainable seafood or grass-fed dairy and beef for the carnivores. Skip processed and packaged snack foods like chips and pretzels, and opt for homemade crackers. Create an array of vegan delights including cookies, cakes and candies: Those who typically use eggs, milk and butter may be surprised to know that they are not necessary for a delicious dessert.
Opting for reusable tableware is an easy way to cut back on waste. It is often possible to purchase plates, glassware and silverware for less than a dollar each. Additionally, replacing paper napkins and tablecloths with cloth cuts down on trash. Check for party equipment rental services in your area as an alternative to buying, or find a caterer that can provide all of these items as a part of an eco-friendly meal.
Green bridal party; Credit: flickr
Give Gifts Greenly
Encourage the attending guests to skip paper products for presenting their gifts. Many bridal showers generate enough wrapping paper, gift bags and bows to fill several trash bags. Baskets are a green solution that generate little waste and make an excellent addition to the gift. Recycled wrapping paper, cloth gift bags and elements of the gift itself are other green alternatives to traditional gift presentation. For instance, small kitchen gadgets can slide easily into a tea towel or oven mitt; gardening tools can be arranged in a window box or planter.
Find Earth-Friendly Favors
There are plenty of great eco-friendly bridal shower favors from which to choose. Seeds or small plants can symbolize the growth of love in the union of the bride and groom.
Organic chocolates, handmade soaps and loose organic teas tucked into stainless steel tea balls make decadent gifts. Explore retailers like American Bridal, which offer environmentally friendly favors that are sure to delight the bride and her guests.