Doing our part - however small - to save the environment is a step in the right direction. And earth-loving brides everywhere are choosing to tie the knot in a more eco-friendly way. The push for recycled, organic, do-it-yourself green wedding fetes is growing in popularity as more couples want to do their part for the environment. And for couples on a budget, an eco-friendly wedding helps you save a little cash in the process.   
Many couples erroneously believe that a green wedding equates to tacky, bohemian, and an overall sacrifice of quality. If done properly, your own green wedding will be just as elegant or upscale as you want it to be, though more environmentally conscious of course. Many bakeries are now experts at whipping up organic, eco-friendly wedding cakes that are just as beautiful as their non-organic counterparts, while locally grown flowers are likely even fresher than exotic arrangements that have been flown or trucked in.

So, when it comes time to plan your big day, consider some of these eco-friendly wedding ideas to help the earth in your own way.

Invitations: Many stationary and bridal supply companies now offer green wedding invitations and save the date cards on 100% recycled paper or tree-free paper products. Some of the more gung-ho green wedding experts recommend getting rid of the paper altogether by using electronic invitation programs. This is probably not the best idea; your guests will enjoy receiving something in the mail that informs them of your wedding day. And as far as etiquette goes, electronic invitations are a little impersonal. For a dual purpose invitation that encourages your guests to put their green thumbs to work, select stationary companies sell invitations with seeds imbedded into the paper, so guests just plant your green wedding invite and wait for it to grow! Another option is to send pretty postcards (made from recycled paper of course), which will cost you a lot less in postage prices.

Flowers: Those pretty flowers you see at every wedding are, in fact, likely quite toxic. Sprayed with dozens of chemicals to prevent insects from eating their beautiful blooms, these flowers are that not great for the environment, and even the workers who handle them on a daily basis have fallen ill. And if you order birds of paradise, gardenias, or other exotic flowers that must be shipped from abroad, you're permitting yet another truck, loaded with diesel fuel, to get on the road. Instead, choose seasonal flowers that are homegrown, thereby supporting your local farm subsidiary. Another great green wedding idea is to grow your own flowers, though you'll have to start months in advance. If you choose this method, you can keep the flowers in the pots, leaving them just as they are - simplistic, but elegant centerpieces.

Dress: A quick search online for 'green wedding dresses' will turn up dozens of websites offering eco-friendly wedding gown material, and if you're willing, you can have your green wedding dress made from hemp, cotton, or silk - organic of course - just for you. You can also re-fashion a vintage wedding dress, taking it to an alterations specialist so it fits perfectly, or purchase a simple, white cotton dress while holding your own homegrown bouquet of tulips. Some designers, such as Adele Wechsler's Eco Couture and Tara Lynn Studios, are finally catching on and creating whole lines of eco-friendly wedding dresses with one thing in mind - helping the environment and using earth-nurturing materials.