Liesl Menning's Eco-Friendly Wedding

The Martha Stewart Show, December 2008

Martha's assistant, Liesl Menning, got married in Tennessee in September, 2008. She had an elegant wedding that was also eco-friendly by using some of the following ideas.

The Invitation
Liesl chose invitations from the Martha Stewart line at Crane and Company that used soy-based ink and were printed on cotton paper, which is eco-friendly because its source will always grow back. Her save-the-date notice was sent by email to cut down on using paper.

Sapling Favor
Guests received tree saplings from the Arbor Day Foundation as favors. They were wrapped in paper, and there was a card attached that gave planting instructions.

The Dress
Liesl chose to have her wedding dress dry-cleaned in an eco-friendly way by J. Scheer and Company; all soaps used in the process are biodegradable. Unlike conventional dry-cleaning solvents, no toxic gasses are released as a by-product of the process, and the organic, environmentally friendly solvents won't contribute to global warming.

The dress is now being donated to the I Do Foundation, which will sell it through a consignment partner. The I Do Foundation will then donate 20 percent of the proceeds from the sale to the charity of Liesl's choice, and use the remaining funds to support the I Do Foundation's ongoing work to encourage charitable giving at weddings. The dress will be used again instead of getting stashed away in a box.

Green Wedding Misconceptions
Some people think you can't have a chic wedding that is also eco-friendly. But you absolutely can be eco-friendly and still put on an elegant and economical event -- it's about prioritizing. Having an eco-friendly wedding doesn't mean you have to do everything in a green way. For instance, your dress doesn't need to be made of muslin, but your invitations can be made from recycled paper.

Resources
See Liesl's wedding, from the initial planning to the ceremony and reception, in a television special called "Gorgeous and Green," airing on the Style Network on Saturday, December 20, 2008. For more information, visit mystyle.com. See photos of Liesl's wedding on The Martha Blog. Get more great wedding ideas with marthastewartweddings.com.

Special Thanks
Special thanks to the Arbor Day Foundation for giving tree saplings to our studio audience.

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