In the wedding industry, everything bigger, flashier, and more extravagant is generally trumpeted as the ideal for a dream wedding. We, on the other hand, prefer a more down-to-earth and eco-friendly approach.
Of course, we’re farm folks, so we’re a little (okay, a lot) biased. But among all the couples we’ve seen say “I do” at East Lynn Farm, the Earth-conscious brides have put together some of our favorite weddings to date.
So, if you’re looking to host your own eco-friendly wedding that not only has a minimal impact on the planet, but also doesn’t skimp on any of the fun details that come along with such a special celebration, you’ll want to consider these tried-and-true tips:
1.) Set the Stage
Eco-friendly weddings definitely have a different vibe than an over-the-top or traditional affairs, so set the stage for your eco-conscious fete with the right type of invites.
Our favorite eco-friendly invites are either plantable paper or e-vites, and both of these options send a loud and clear message about the eco-conscious theme of your big day.
By sending out a plantable invite (we love these seeded papers from Botanical Paperworks) you’re not only are sending something unique that supports your mission, but your guests can take part in benefiting the planet, too!
E-vites, on the other hand, allow you to skip out on any potential waste related to your invites. (We’re fans of Paperless Post.) And extra bonus: you’ll save big on postage!
2.) Go Local
Not only does using local vendors reduce your wedding’s carbon footprint due to your materials not needing to travel as far, but this principle also applies to local vendors who source their goods locally.
Let’s take one of our preferred local vendors located in Purcellville, VA, Meadowview Farmstead, as an example. They offer a variety of floral design packages using flowers straight from their gardens that range from the total service package where they’ll work with you from start to finish in creating the perfect floral pieces for your wedding, to a bulk flower package where you let the team at Meadowview Farmstead know how many stems you will need and they will put together buckets of beautiful fresh flowers for you to pick up (a perfect package for DIY brides).
Many other florists create their out-of-season and ultra-pricey designs by sourcing various blooms from all over the world or country, which produces tons (literally) of CO2 emissions.
Go local plus locally-sourced and you’ll also be supporting small business sustainability!
P.S. – Many East Lynn Farm brides have used flowers from our gardens and fields to create unique and seasonal bouquets and table arrangements. Have a favorite bloom or a flower specific for to your family or cultural heritage? Let us know and we can custom-grow it for you!
3.) Host a Farm-to-Table Reception Meal
Speaking of locally-sourced, you can’t beat a farm-to-table meal for your eco-friendly reception!
Whether it’s using vegetables and herbs from our gardens, pasture-raised meats, or even serving your dishes alongside local, organic spirits and wines (check out Virginia locals Catoctin Creek Distilling Company and one of our preferred local vendors, Philip Carter Winery), there’s a certain charm that comes with pairing the rustic atmosphere of a working farm with local fare.
We can connect you with fabulous caterers like Bluewater Kitchen and Market Salamander that specialize in farm to table dining. They’ll coordinate with us to design a menu featuring foods that are fresh from our fields on the day of your wedding!
4.) Reduce and Reuse Decor Elements
In addition to locally-sourced flowers for table arrangements, we love seeing couples find unique ways to decorate their receptions using upcycled, sustainable or biodegradable materials.
Some ideas include:
- Clean burning candles in recycled glass containers to create ambiance.
- Mason jars for drinking glasses instead of plastic cups for casual dining.
- Reclaimed wood for ceremony and reception signage and décor, e.g. our vintage farm doors make great signs and barrels can be used as cocktail tables.
- Pieces of decor that can easily move from your reception to your newlywed abode.
The list goes on, all you just have to do is get a little creative with your thinking…and maybe brush up on your arts and crafts skills.
5.) Do-Good Favors
If you don’t plan on making part of your wedding decor double as a favor, let your wedding favors serve as a way for your guests carry on the eco-friendliness in to their communities.
Some of our favorite eco-friendly favors include seed packets, mini plants, cork coasters, bird seed ornaments that can be hung in the backyard, and locally sourced honey or jam.
Are you into knitting and other fiber arts? Next time our sheep get sheared, we’ll save the wool and help you transform it into a unique stain of yarn for your guests.
There you have it, our five top tips to get you started with your picture-perfect eco-friendly wedding down on the farm!
Need additional inspiration or interested in picturing what East Lynn Farm would look like as the venue for your green wedding? Take a look at our Weddings page and get in touch to arrange a farm tour, we’d love to have you!