Elope! 5 Ways to Say ‘I Do’ to Preserving the Earth on Your Wedding Day


The month of June has become synonymous with wedding celebrations, as most couples choose summertime as the sunny, idyllic backdrop to say their “I dos.” So now is a great time to discuss the fact that a wedding can be meaningful and magnificent regardless of the number of attendees or money spent. Speaking from first hand experience, my husband and I eloped six years ago in Santa Barbara, Calif., and by doing so, we saved a lot of cash, not to mention, our wedding day was as green as it gets. If you’re a greenie and you dream of running away and eloping, here are some reasons why eloping and preserving the planet are a match made in heaven.

No Invitations or RSVP’s

With only two people showing up for the big day: you and your honey, you’ll save trees by eliminating the need to send out save the date cards and wedding invitations. You’ll also save on fuel costs for the postal service who would otherwise have to run around delivering invitations and follow-up RSVP cards. Of course, if a big wedding is still your plan, you can look into online invitations which require none of the above as well! Paperless Post offers gorgeous virtual options.

No Carbon Emissions or Fuel Consumption Due to Travel

Guests won’t need to travel to and from your wedding ceremony, which drastically cuts back on the carbon emissions and fuel that would be expended due to air and car travel.

Save the Flowers

I had one gorgeous bouquet of roses, and my husband wore a single rose boutonniere on the lapel of his tuxedo, which saved copious amounts of flowers from being cut for decorative purposes to fill a venue and for use as centerpieces. We also purchased our locally grown blossoms the morning of our wedding day from a Santa Barbara florist.


Don’t Let Them Eat Cake

My husband and I got the most adorable and delicious small wedding cake to share between us, which we special ordered from a local bakery in Santa Barbara called Henning’s Cakes. There was enough for us to dig into our wedding day, and enough to freeze two slices to eat on our one year wedding anniversary to recall the sweetness of the day.


One Caveat: Photography – But Wedding Photography Can Be Eco-Friendly!

My only regret about our low-key wedding day is that we didn’t hire a professional photographer to capture sentimental moments like only a pro can. Although we got some great candid shots, as seen in this post, I am envious when I look at the priceless photos of my friends who had their special day documented and now forever preserved in pristine albums. Of course, I’ll always treasure our photos, but they’re not the same as professional grade images. So this is the one area I’d say to spend money and resources on. Check out this video on green wedding photography at the Mother Nature Network.

If you don’t want to give up your plans for a big white wedding, but you still want the special occasion to be green, fret not! Here are 9 eco wedding tips and 20 online resources for planning an eco wedding to get you started on your walk down the aisle, and here is information on eco-chic wedding gowns, from a previous post, Eco-Wedding Bells Are Ringing. You can also get a firsthand glimpse into a green wedding by reading this two part series.

Images: Beth Shea