Wedding Favors and Bridesmaid Gifts
Green Ways to Show Your Gratitude
You have the freedom to go green at every turn in your wedding planning, so remember your commitment to a healthy planet when it comes to showing your gratitude. Whether you opt for a simple gesture or a more elaborate expression of thanks, you have plenty of options for eco-friendly wedding favors and wedding party gifts to thank your friends and family in thoughtful and sustainable ways.
Do a Favor for the Planet
Green alternatives to conventional dresses, cakes and gift registries are not too difficult to find, but wedding favors tend to pose a challenge to the eco-conscious couple. Besides being impractical, little ornaments and material mementos are often left behind, which makes them particularly wasteful elements of the reception. If you decide to buy wedding favors for your guests, your best bet will be to pick gifts that are useful, reusable, or enduring:
- Wine glass charms are useful for the reception, but they're also sure to come in handy at the next cocktail party. With a few beads, a bit of wire and a stamp or two, you can whip up the charms yourself, and if you can afford the time and effort, you could even personalize them with your guests' initials.
- Individual potted trees can easily be replanted in the yard, so your guests will remember your wedding for years to come while they enjoy some shade and greenery.
- A small treat like candy or chocolate is a classic choice, and it's something that most guests will enjoy rather than leave behind. Some companies can even personalize your candy with your initials, wedding date, or a portrait of you and your spouse-to-be!
Remember that individual favors aren't your only option – a collective gesture can be as sweet and memorable as any tangible trinket. If you have a favorite charitable organization, you can take the money you would have spent on favors and make a donation on your guests' behalf, placing a card on each table to let everyone know why you've made that choice.
If you'd feel more comfortable giving a material gift alongside your donation, why not send home your beautiful table accessories and décor with some lucky revelers? This way, you don't have to spend extra money on little bobbles, and you can feel good about finding permanent homes for your upcycled vases, jars, candle holders and other crafty arrangements. Test your friends and family with questions, riddles and fun challenges throughout the party, and each winner can choose their prize from the table.
Green Alternatives to Classic Bridesmaid Gifts
Planning a wedding is no easy feat, and your wedding party is sure to be a big source of help and support during that time. Show how much you appreciate their efforts with a thoughtful gift that suits their style and supports your planet-friendly values. A personalized gift basket is always a good choice, since you can tailor each gift to the individual taste of each bridesmaid. You might like to opt for a theme to pull all the eco-savvy items together:
- For the kitchen. More artists and designers are turning to recycled glass for their modern kitchen creations. A flattened wine bottle cheese plate with a favorite local vintage is a great idea for a wine and cheese lover, and a set of glass tumblers made from reshaped beer bottles is a good choice for a playful party girl. If glass isn't your thing, consider giving each bridesmaid a rustic bowl, tray or set of utensils made from reclaimed wood that will be as unique as each of them. When you're ready to wrap it all up, use an organic cotton kitchen towel with a neat print instead of wrapping paper.
- Jewelry and accessories. Jewelry is a traditional and elegant choice for a bridesmaid gift, and many brides like to give their best girls matching pieces to be worn with their wedding outfits on the big day. Instead of pricey gems and shiny metals, you might want to consider beaded, paper or embroidered jewelry made by a woman's cooperative in a poverty-stricken country. There are several organizations that are empowering women around the world with new skills and fair wages to help improve their standard of life, and their creations range from playful and vibrant to cultural and sophisticated.
- A beautifying basket. A collection of natural, cruelty-free beauty products is something everyone will enjoy. Fill up a basket with mineral makeup in her favorite colors, along with some deliciously indulgent vegan soaps and bath gels, and top it off with an aromatic soy candle. You can wrap the whole thing up in a traditional cotton Turkish bath towel, a beautiful, practical, and versatile accessory for any bathroom.
While you can't always control what gifts you receive, you can certainly opt for eco-friendly presents when it comes time to show your appreciation for your wedding guests and wedding party. As you search through local boutiques and online shops for the perfect tokens of appreciation, you might even stumble upon a new favorite company or brand that will take the footwork out of future eco-conscious shopping.