The Society of American Florists estimates that 29% of weddings take place in the spring and another 35% occur in the summer. This means many couples are in the final stages of wedding planning at this very moment. Before you finalize your plans for your big day, take a look at these suggestions to learn how you can make your wedding more eco-friendly:  

Give the Gift of Green

Thank your guests for coming to your wedding by giving each of them the gift of green! There are many eco-friendly wedding favors for couples to choose from, including small potted plants, reusable water bottles, or tasty treats tucked in recyclable packaging. This is the perfect way to show your commitment to green living while also expressing your gratitude for your guests.

Use Recycled Paper

Print your wedding invitations, programs, and menus on eco-friendly paper. Look for vendors that use recycled paper, and if you want to take it one step further, ask the vendor to use vegetable-based inks as well. There are even some vendors that offer plantable paper, which is paper that will grow into flowers or herbs when planted in the ground.

You can also make an effort to reduce the amount of paper you use for the wedding. For example, send paperless save the dates to remind your guests of your upcoming nuptials. Save the dates aren’t as formal as invitations, so it’s perfectly acceptable to send these via email.

Register For Eco-Friendly Items

Take the time to research each and every item you add to your registry. Figure out the materials used to create the item, where and how the item was made, and how it can be disposed of when you no longer need it. It may take a little longer to put your registry together, but you can rest easy knowing all of the items you have chosen are eco-friendly.

Purchase A Used Wedding Dress

Save money–and the planet–by purchasing a used wedding dress instead of buying a brand new one. There are countless retailers that sell pre-owned wedding dresses at discounted prices, so it shouldn’t be hard to find a beautiful, gently used gown.

Brides also have the option of wearing their mother’s or grandmother’s wedding dress. Don’t be afraid to modernize the dress and make it your own with the help of a local seamstress. You may be wearing your mother’s or grandmother’s dress, but it doesn’t have to look like you are!

Donate Leftover Food

There’s bound to be extra food at your wedding reception, so plan ahead. Work with your caterer to ensure the leftover food from your big day will not go to waste. There are many wedding caterers that will coordinate pick-ups and drop-offs with local food banks and non-profit organizations after the event is over, so make sure you cover this with them in advance.

Your wedding is one of the most special days of your life. By following these tips, you can make it one of the greenest, too!