The first thought in a Colorado bride-to-be’s mind is most likely not her wedding’s carbon footprint. With that said, Colorado residents are increasingly eco-consciou, and the modern bride- and groom-to-be may consider the negative impact that their ceremony could have on the environment. While going green can often mean spending more green, there are some options that can actually save some dough. And good news: Eco-friendly doesn’t have to mean twigs, tofu and thrift stores. From the extreme to simple changes, it’s always a nice day for a green wedding on the Front Range.
Backyards and mountain spots are typically the least pricey way to host a more eco-friendly wedding. Colorado is home to many green venue options. Try Devil’s Thumb Ranch near Granby or EventGallery 910Arts in Denver. Also, having the reception at the same place as the ceremony limits the effects of transportation.
Invitations are a simple yet effective way to lessen your impact on the planet. Use invites made of 100 percent recycled paper or other recycled materials if you want to mail them the traditional way. Or, even better, opt for evites, which don’t use any paper goods at all. Customizable wedding websites, such as weddingwindow.com, allow the couple to electronically send save-the-dates, ceremony invitations, bachelorette party details, gift registries and much more. It’s a stellar way to be eco-friendly and potentially save money.
Catering often produces a lot of unnecessary waste, but it is actually one of the more expensive ways to go green. Still, there are options. Expert chef and sustainability guru, Matt Busker, runs Catering Consciously, an eco-friendly catering company based in Northglenn. From econtracts to using only compostable products, Busker doesn’t cut any eco corners. And all of the food is local, organic and created according to seasonality.
“Our No. 1 priority is providing a menu that is based on locally grown food,” Busker said. “If it is grown in Colorado, we get it first.”
While using a green catering company will certainly help save the environment, it usually costs up to 50 percent more than a traditional caterer. Though it’s worth talking to your potential caterer about pricing options. Busker says he tries to work with a budget, even if it means cutting his profit. If green catering isn’t in the realm of possibility, use dishware that can be re-used, provide guests with a recycling bin, donate leftover food or use it for compost and choose a menu that reflects the season.
Another effortless way to be more eco-committed without splurging is by using a florist who uses flowers naturally found in Colorado. Denver’s Plum Sage uses local, organic flowers based on the season, while still offering some of the most beautiful arrangements around. They buy much of their local product from Pastures of Plenty Farm in Longmont.
Choosing a photographer dedicated to reducing waste is something many brides don’t consider but it might be the easiest way to be more sustainable without spending any extra money. Colorado wedding photographer Michele Hart chooses only local, eco-friendly photo labs, limits paper use and uses rechargeable batteries, among other things. She says dedication to sustainability doesn’t have to sacrifice quality or conveying a couple’s personality.
Sure, you love the planet and all, but your biggest priority is finding the dress (not just a dress, the dress). Style and earth-friendliness are not necessarily mutually exclusive. ECO-Bridal Gowns in Denver is a haven for the green-minded brides of Colorado; buy new gowns made with sustainably sourced materials or peruse the consigned dresses.
For the Colorado bride there are many shades of green. Some brides have even gone so far as setting up a carbon-offset program for their guests’ travels, requesting monetary contributions to a charity in place of gifts or buying a used wedding gown. Regardless of your level of commitment to sustainability, there are plenty of ways to get hitched without sacrificing style or your commitment to the environment.
Devil’s Thumb Ranch
Plum Sage Flowers
Michele Hart Photography