The list of printed materials for your wedding—save-the-dates, invitations, reply cards, programs, and so on—can be long. And these pieces are often a beautiful part of the look and style of your day. But if your goal is reducing environmental impact, there are ways to have your paper and be Earth-friendly, too.
"Consider emailing the save-the-date," says Juliette Fagerwold, planner and owner of San Diego-based Simply Elegant Weddings. This is typically a more casual piece, and you can establish the theme of the day in a fun, relaxed way. Send a simple email, or use an online service, like Paperless Post, to design your digital message.
As for the formal invitation, "emailing a wedding invitation is still not considered proper etiquette," Fagerwold says. But there are ways to reduce the amount of printed materials you use. She suggests a modern take with just "one envelope, one invitation, and one insert card that directs guests to your wedding website." Information typically included on extra inserts, such as a map, lodging, and transportation options, can live on the site. On the day of, some couples omit paper components like programs and menus altogether, but you can include them and make a difference by using environmentally-friendly paper and ink. "Beyond recycled materials, cotton papers are a great option, since it's a natural, renewable resource," says Rachelle Schwartz, co-owner of California-based luxury stationer Wiley Valentine. The suite above, for example, was designed by her company on 100-percent cotton paper. And, she says, soy-, rubber-, and water-based inks are all green choices.
Overall, let your eco-friendly approach inspire you to think creatively. "For example, menus that double as place cards will cut down on the pieces needed," says Schwartz, "and make the menus extra-special."