Green Events Checklist

Suggestions from Erb Students, collected by Rick Bunch.

The following is a checklist to GREEN your event.


—Provide locally sourced and organic meals

—Purchase local organic produce at local farmers market for reception

—Offer vegetarian dining options or go vegan

—Offer local wines: local whites from Michigan and reds from U.S.

—Instead of throw-away favors, make fresh pumpkin donuts in wax paper bags

—Purchase local beeswax candles for party gifts

—Compost and/or donate leftovers after the reception

—Recycle all table scraps at a local pig farm

Read more…


—Wear organic, animal-free make up

—Consider wearing a used or an heirloom wedding dress

—Consider hemp clothes for the wedding party

—Purchase clothing that can be used often for everyone in the wedding

—Buy a diamond engagement ring that is certified to come from conflict free mines

—Make rings using conflict free stones and repurpose family heirloom jewelry

—Make rings from recycled gold and beryl stones


—Support local parks by choosing them as a venue

—Consider the location/time of year (are they heating or cooling an inefficient space – i.e. tent, etc)

—Hold the event at a venue featuring sustainable practices.  Incorporate an educational component about sustainability.  Include tours for guests to show the no-flush compost toilets, domestic water solar heater, solar panel arrays on the roof for electricity, a solar-powered heating system

—Have information for guests to read about interesting natural features they will pass on the way to the reception

—Consider having all energy come from a solar-powered generator


—Stay at a hotel with environmental certification such as LEED or GreenSeal.

—Encourage carpooling to events

—Provide options to offset carbon emissions from travel


—Choose green registries for gifts

—Organize group share accommodations for guests

—Use compostable bags for gift/treats

—Use reusable bags as welcome bags

—Request no wrapping paper on gifts from registry

—Toss lavender buds instead of rice


—Live big-band with minimal amplification to reduce energy use

—Invite local musicians to play


—Look for local wildflowers from farmer’s market

—Reuse flowers bouquets for reception tables and BBQ tables

—Reuse table decorations from wedding coordinator’s stockpile

—To eliminate wasteful cut flowers, incorporate local, renewable resources for reception decorations (ie. pine cones, pine boughs, apples, etc)

—Borrow vases, baskets and reusable candle holders

—Donate reusable decorations to local thrift store after wedding

—Repurpose reception table decorations for morning-after brunch

—Use recycled napkins

—Use compostable dinnerware at the rehearsal dinner

—Consider minimal indoor lighting

—Look into the linen service (ie. how the linens are handled, cleaned, etc.)

—Reuse wrapping paper


—Send evites for save-the-dates

—Use online RSVP to eliminate extra envelopes and inserts in the invitation

—Send invitations and thank you notes made from recycled paper

—Have programs made of paper that is plantable

—Create table cards and name tags from sustainably harvested wood or wood from already fallen trees

—Donate packing peanuts and boxes from gifts to local shipping store

—Use reclaimed wood for a “Just Married” sign

Helpful Green Wedding Resources:


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