Green wedding guides

Somewhere in the middle of this decade (2005/2006) there was a sea change in the world of weddings. Couples on both sides of the Atlantic – my husband and I included – decided it was time to plan a wedding that gave something back.

Why then? Perhaps the evidence of climate change had started to become too hard to ignore. Perhaps awareness of fair trade had reached a tipping point.

Or perhaps the fact that the cost of the average wedding was tipping £20k was a wake-up call.

Whatever the reason, we were hungry for a different type of wedding…. and hungry for information on how to plan it.

We turned to our trusty keyboards and tapped in terms such as ‘ethical weddings’, ‘eco weddings’ and ‘green weddings’ only to find that they yielded… not very much.

And so the trawling began, the endless emails, phone calls, long late night internet searches and brainstorms to figure out how you go green – but on budget – for your buffet, your venue, and of course your dream dress.

After celebrating in something at least approaching sustainable style, it seemed a shame simply to file away those folders marked ‘ethical wedding’ with their little green books of suppliers and ideas.

So some of us began websites to share our experience – as was the case with our own Ethical Weddings – while others got out their recycled notebooks and started to scribble.

The result a couple of years on is a veritable verdant library for the green bride and groom with four books on the subject out last year and another this month!

Here’s our run-down of the green wedding guides that will save ethical brides and grooms-to-be a whole load of hassle…

Green Weddings That Don’t Cost the Earth by Carol Reed-Jones
US – 1996 – 163 pages – ISBN-10: 0965083306 ISBN-13: 978-0965083300

This guide was ahead of its time arriving nearly a decade before any other author put pen to paper on the subject. As with many of those that followed, however, it was born out of the author’s desire to share what she had learned when planning her own green wedding. It starts with a detailed section on what exactly a green wedding is and is then packed full of tips – especially DIY ones. Some of the resources will no doubt be out of date by now but the ideas remain strong and well worth a read.

Organic Weddings: Balancing Ecology, Style and Tradition by Michelle Kozin

US – 2003 – 192 pages – ISBN-10: 0865714967 ISBN-13: 978-0865714960

This was the first book I found on ethical or organic weddings when I was planning my own wedding and although the author and I are on different sides of the Atlantic, her suggestions were still very useful and the case studies inspirational. There are plenty of pics too which is always important!

And now we get to the latest flurry of green wedding guides just waiting to find a place on your bookshelf!

Eco-chic Weddings: Simple Tips to Plan a Wedding with Style and Integrity by Emily Anderson
US – 2007 – 168 pages – ISBN-10: 1578262402 ISBN-13: 978-1578262403

Former Event Director at Martha Stewart Living, Emily Anderson knows how to do weddings in style. But with her passion for conscious consumerism, it’s not going to be at the sake of the planet. Pick up this book to steal Emily’s great style tips while polishing your green halo!

How to Get Married in Green: Have an eco-friendly wedding without compromising on style
by Suzan St.Maur

UK – 2008 – 192 pages – ISBN-10: 1845282701 ISBN-13: 978-1845282707

By a veteran wedding writer passionate about the planet, this book is determined not to send you off on a guilt trip but to help you keep a healthy balance between green aims and budget. Covers every aspect of planning in an easy-to-digest format and includes a great resource directory too.

Green Guide for Weddings: The Handbook for Weddings That Don’t Cost the Earth by Jen Marsden
UK – 2008 – 224 pages – ISBN-10: 1905731493 ISBN-13: 978-1905731497

This is a great guide (and not just because I wrote the foreword!). Jen Marsden leaves no (ethically sourced) stone unturned from engagement ring to eco venue, confetti to low carbon honeymoon.

There are tips galore, all served up in a lighthearted, unpreachy way that will have you tripping down the aisle green-guilt free. And if you’re looking for people to show you how it’s done, it’s packed full of green couple case studies so you can copy their best bits (including pretty pictures!).

The Green Bride Guide: How to Create an Earth-Friendly Wedding on Any Budget
by Kate L. Harrison
US – 2008 – 304 pages – ISBN-10: 140221345X ISBN-13: 978-1402213458

Kate works in environmental law and policy and her husband is an environmental historian so this is a stylish looking but seriously green guide that goes into each and every area of wedding planning. As the title promises, it also provides options for all budgets with a handy $ / $$ / $$$ coding system. As it follows their 2007 wedding it’s bang up-to-date too. The only thing it’s missing is the pics!

The Everything Green Wedding Book: Plan an Elegant, Affordable, Earthfriendly Wedding
by Wenona Napolitano
US – 2008 – 304 pages – ISBN-10: 1598698117 ISBN-13: 978-1598698114

Wenona has written for Ethical Weddings (see her articles on Wooden wedding rings and Vintage wedding dresses) and her green wedding guide came out in December.

A trained bridal consultant and floral designer, she has gone for the green life wholesale – she and her husband even run a green cleaning business! The Everything Green Wedding Book focuses on easy and affordable ways to turn your wedding a stylish shade of green.

Green Wedding: Planning Your Eco-friendly Celebration by Mireya Navarro
US – 2009 – 208 pages ISBN-10: 1584797126 ISBN-13: 978-1584797128

Here’s a quick peek into a green wedding guide out this month. Mireya Navarro is the style correspondent for the New York Times so we should be able to expect some pretty on-trend tips in what is promised to be ‘a savvy, authoritative, insightful guide that will help readers conceptualize the wedding experience to reflect the I-care-about-the-planet values of the bride and groom’.

Couple this with some fantastic photography and it’s one to watch out for. My copy just arrived in the post so the full review will follow soon!

And that’s the end of our list… for now. All you need to do is factor in an extra month to your wedding planning schedule to get through all that reading!

If you’ve already read a green wedding guide and want to tell us what you thought of it, send in your review and we’ll post it on our blog.

Happy planning!

Katie x

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