1. Ask your suppliers for digital versions of their promotional materials. Companies spend fortunes on this stuff, and although they are beautiful, they are so wasteful (think of how gorgeous the pictures will look on your new iPad!) While you’re at it, suggest to your vendors – in particular the corporate ones with big resources – that they accept digital signatures on their contracts. There are numerous secure options out there.
2. Now it’s your turn; it’s important to find a good place to store all these electronic documents, and you want to do it in a way that makes them accessible to your significant other. I use Basecamp, an incredibly intuitive yet powerful product from 37 Signals.
3. Ask the Chef to design your menus using local foods. Check out www.localvore.net. Speaking of local, do not import bottled water, especially from the South Pacific. If you must have bottled water, look for local options.
4. Stay away from endangered fish; find out more at the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s outstanding website.
5. Holland deserves it’s reputation for flowers, but local options abound. Take advantage of them! Challenge your florist to use local flowers.
6. Hire a green limo. Green limo companies are popping up everywhere, and Champagne tastes just as good in the back seat of a hybrid. If you have a lot of guests that will be coming from the same distant area, hire a bus for them (one of the reasons I love planning weddings in New York is that no one needs to drive.)
7. Instead of party favors, plant a rainforest tree on behalf of your guests. Or ask them to plant a tree on your behalf. Or give to www.conservation.org.
8. Not everyone is ready for digital invitations; there’s something very special about a gorgeous printed invite, the “portal” to your wedding. But if you are ok with them, no one does it more elegantly than Paperless Post.
9. After the invitations have gone out, use the internet to communicate. Include a green page, letting your guests know what you are doing to make your wedding green, and ask them to do their part.
10. For your honeymoon, take a bicycle tour of the Loire Valley (I promise you, the food and wine tastes infinitely better after a long day on a bike!)
That’s my top 10. But equally important, there are some things not to do. For example, do not ask the venue to turn up the thermostat. When your guests start dancing, the temperature will rise quickly. Your guests should be comfortable, and the last thing you want is to see perspiration spots in your wedding pictures!