Decorating your ceremony can prove costly: both to you and the environment. Opting for non-floral decor—especially items that can be reused—will help both problems. Check a few of our favorite non-floral wedding ceremony decor ideas.
The quintessential wedding image: the newly-married couple leaving their ceremony, being pelted with rice.
Why the heck do we do this, anyway? Throwing things at a newly married couple is a very old tradition, and is intended to give newlyweds good luck. Most of the items thrown at the couple represent fertility and abundance.
Although the rumor that rice kills birds is widespread, it’s actually an urban myth. If you’d like to have it thrown at you (and your venue allows), feel free. Looking for a more eco-friendly wedding rice alternative? Check these out:
Green your Footprint – Use one of many easy-to-use online tools to calculate your wedding’s carbon footprint, and then offset your emissions.
Eco-Invite – Create your own Wedding Page.Save on printing costs by putting your save the date and RSVPs online, and include maps, lodging suggestions, and even your proposal story! If you do send invites, choose recycled or tree-free paper.
Recycle, Reduce, Reuse – If it can’t be recycled, reduced, or reused . . . Rent! Ask if your vendors have a recycling policy. Plan ahead and find a shelter or retirement home for leftover food or flowers. Creatively use recycled materials throughout your ceremony and reception.
Reusing decorations from your wedding ceremony for your reception is a great way to save resources — both environmental and monetary.
It can, however, be a bit of a logistical nightmare to get your decorations from place to place if you aren’t organized. Which is why, of course, we suggest:
You and your partner should not be responsible for setting up the ceremony or reception. Your job is to get married and enjoy the day. Delegate these tasks to a Day of Coordinator or a trusted family member or friend. You may also be able to pay your florist to help, for a small fee.
Create a checklist of items that need to be moved, along with their location at the ceremony and their destination at the reception. Make sure this checklist is in the hands of at least two of your helpers. Store back-up copies in an easily accessible place in case the originals are misplaced (if you have a smart phone, try storing it in your email).
If you have a lot of items to reuse, delegate specific tasks: two people to pack up items at the ceremony, two people to move them, and two people to set up the reception, for example. Think about having an “understudy” for each function, just in case someone is unable to help you on the day of.
Consider whether you will need large vehicles, a dolly, or multiple people to transport the items.
Take photos of each decoration that needs to be set up or moved. If possible, take photos of each item as it should be displayed in each location.
Create a timeline. At what time do things need to be set up in each location? When should the items be moved? How long do you estimate it will take to do the setup?
Make sure that all items are well organized. Provide tupperware bins and anything needed to protect the items during the move from location to location.
Remember, the key to a well-run wedding is organization. Try to anticipate the issues that may arise, and make alternate plans in case they’re necessary.