5 New Green Winter Wedding Trends

Contributor
Pull out all the stops this winter by adapting these green trends to your own "white wedding"

Just because a winter wedding is considered "off-season" and "nontraditional" doesn't mean it can't be as festive as a ceremony in spring or summer. All you need is a little imagination, some do-it-yourself skills, or an amazing collection of costumes for a themed wedding.

1. Ice, Ice, Baby

Winter ice lanterns are an incredibly easy DIY touch that only use natural materials. You can line your walkways with the lanterns, put them on fence posts, place them around a buffet of chilled foods at your reception, or set them in the snow for a beautiful outdoor photo op. All you need is water, a used paper carton or some other round container and natural pieces to place inside like cranberries, pine needles, or seasonal flowers.

Fill the can with water halfway. Let the water freeze. Once frozen, place cranberries on top of that layer around the perimeter and add water. You can build layer upon layer of beautiful red cranberries suspended in ice and place a soy tea light inside to illuminate your ice candle. Once the wedding is over you can reuse the candles for a holiday event if they are still frozen or just let them melt away. All of the materials used are natural and compostable, plus the birds will have a delicious winter snack waiting for them in the form of crisp cold berries.

2. The Proof is in the Frosting

Each year more brides are doing away with plastic cake toppers and focusing on lovely layers of whipped and textured frosting for their cake decor. For winter weddings there will be a specific focus on creating frosting and cake fillings made with seasonal fruits such as blackberry or orange. For example, if a bride lives on the East Coast or in the Midwest and wants a seasonal winter fruit, she can lean towards apples or pear. For West Coast brides, cantaloupes, honeydew, tangerines, pomegranates and strawberries will be fresh and in season.

This new trend familiarizes brides not only with seasonal and local fruits, but hopefully also extends to the rest of their wedding food to include vegetables. The seasonal movement is in for this winter. Make green choices for your wedding and you will probably end up saving green by avoiding the shipping costs (and carbon footprint) of transporting fruits from other areas of the country.

3. Have a Carbon Neutral Wedding

Each one of the 2.5 million weddings this year in the United States will produce an average of 62 tons of carbon dioxide. A carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide emitted due to your consumption of fossil fuels. So the carbon footprint of your wedding would include any travel, items shipped, and the carbon footprint of the vendors that you hire for your big day. Your wedding’s carbon footprint extends to any leftover items that end up in landfills such as save the dates, invitations, food, and flowers to name a few.

A Carbon Neutral Wedding offset eliminates the impact of your wedding on the planet. While the green movement encourages reducing waste and lowering fossil fuel consumption, this is not always possible in our day-to-day lives.  When you can't cut back, supporting these projects balances your own emissions and contributes to a sustainable future for the planet.

Your special day is the perfect opportunity to share your commitment to the environment with friends and family by helping to build clean energy projects in communities across the country. What a great way to start life as newlyweds! Give your wedding guests carbon offsets as favors. They will feel better about the impact their carbon footprint had on your special day.

4. Art Deco Vintage Venues

Winter weddings are often held in historic mansions or banquet halls. What better era to choose for a fancy indoor venue than a ritzy roaring 20's wedding? You can also give back to the venue if they offer donations to the restoration of this historic treasure. The 1920's theme is going to be huge in 2013 and is a great way to liven up a strictly indoor winter wedding. Brides will be shopping for vintage gowns, vintage gloves, vintage hairpieces and so much more. Art deco earrings, hats, and costumes will take center stage.

Guest favors and decor will also have that old time feel with vintage found objects, beautiful fabrics, tassels, gold and lots of organic bathtub gin. An old fashioned photo booth for entertainment will keep guests coming back for more black and white pictures of their wonderful night. Brides can choose a live jazz band that specializes in 1920's music and have a grand old time while the photographer captures black and white or sepia tone images for an old Hollywood look. Any wedding that places importance on using vintage or antique items and avoids buying new mass produced products is an extremely eco-friendly affair.

5. Bringing Woodland Whimsy Indoors

Woodland weddings were a huge hit this past spring and summer. Take the untamed wilderness indoors and add a touch of rustic charm to your decor with wooden cake stands, coasters, ornaments and favors. Bring some bare branch trees indoors and dress them up with vintage ornaments, antique crystals or plantable favors in fun shapes like hearts and flowers.

Woodland wedding themes are also a great way to share your favorite charities that support forests. You can give your wedding meaning by including donations to these organizations or donating in your guests names as favors. Making something new out of a devastated tree population is another popular wedding trend this winter. Trees ravaged by insects like the Colorado Beetle Kill Pine are often made into new items such as ornaments. Using wood that would otherwise go to waste is the perfect way to go green this winter season.

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