If you’re planning an eco wedding you’re bound to be wondering how you can make your invites and stationery a little more sustainable. Obviously, things made from card and paper that are mostly single use aren’t the most eco friendly by their nature. Choosing digital or online invitations is a great way to be more eco friendly. But sometimes you just want a beautiful invite in an elegant envelope right? We get it, here at Green Manatee we are great believers in progress over perfection. So have a read of my 5 tips on how to make your wedding invites and stationery more sustainable.
1. Look for low minimum orders and only buy what you need
Simply avoiding waste is one of the biggest things any of us can do to help our planet. With things like wedding invites and stationery it is so tempting to over order, to round up to the nearest big number. A little careful planning and a good understanding of your actual numbers will go a long way to avoiding unnecessary over ordering and waste. Order as close to the actual numbers as you can. If you chose handmade wedding invitations and stationery you’ll find you have far more flexibility with the numbers than a more automated print process. The cost per invitation might be higher but the minimum quantity is likely to be lower.
2. Choose wedding invites and stationery made from recycled or tree free paper and card
Recycled paper card is far better for the environment than that made from virgin pulp or fibres. Less energy and water is consumed in the manufacturing process, and of course it’s reusing old paper and card that would otherwise end up in landfill (did you know that paper can be recycled 4 to 5 times?). This all adds up to more eco friendly wedding invites and stationery. There are also lots of tree free paper options on the market, with paper made from cotton rags, hemp, and all kinds of plant derivatives such as orange peel, grape stalks, olive stones and walnut shells.
3. Avoid the bows and blog that will make wedding invites and stationery hard to recycle.
I know, we’d love to think that all those lovingly created invitations and order of service booklets will be kept forever in the memory boxes of your nearest and dearest. The harsh truth is that sadly they won’t, and many will end up in the bin. Help reduce the environmental impact of this by choosing stationery that can be easily recycled, and actively encourage your guests to do so. Remember that matt, uncoated paper and card is widely recycled, often in your household collection. Many glossy, coated and glitter card can’t be recycled and will end up in landfill.
4. Keep your printed invitations as minimal as possible
It’s become increasingly popular, over recent years, to include lots of extra details in wedding invitations. Gift wishes, accommodation details, menus and reply cards are commonplace and they all use extra bits of card and paper. Think about whether you can put all those extra details onto a website instead and avoid the paper overload. Consider whether you actually need a reply card or whether a response by email or phone will do the job. And if you do decide that you need a printed reply card, what about a postcard instead of using an extra envelope. It really is a case of every little helps!
A top tip I give my couples is to set up a dedicated wedding email address for your guests to respond to. It will help to stop replies getting lost in your regular inbox, and you can even set up an autoresponder with all that extra guest info.
5. Find clever ways to ‘double up’ on ceremony & reception stationery items
We all love a ‘buy one get one free’ don’t we? Well this is kind of the same thing. There will be some wedding stationery items that can be made to multi-task, reducing waste and probably a few pennies too. Here are my favourites:
- If you are having wedding favours, have the tags printed with your guests names so you don’t need separate place cards
- Have your order of ceremony printed onto compostable glassine bags and pop some biodegradable confetti inside
- Three sided table number columns (or table Toblerones as I have affectionately called them) include the table name or number, menu and a thank you note or message from you all in one.
- Really want to give each of your guests a menu? Make it into a beautiful bookmark complete with their name and a thank you message – voila, menu, place card and favour all in one!
These are just a few ways you can easily make your wedding invites and stationery more sustainable. If you have your heart set on printed invitations then choose recycled or tree free paper and card, minimise the extra insert cards and be mindful of how easily they can be recycled after. For your ceremony and reception stationery look for clever ways to double up, saving paper and pennies at the same time. Remember that every little helps. Many couples making small changes will have a big impact.
Jo created elegant wedding invites and stationery for eco conscious couples, you can see her designs on her website www.byjo.co.uk
Looking for more ways to make your wedding more sustainable, check out Kacey’s blogs: