How to Make Your Wedding Simple, Small, and Green

This week I bring you an article by Debra Lynn Dadd, an advocate for the environment who incorporated many eco-friendly aspects into her own wedding in 2004.

Have A Simple, Small, Green Wedding

by Debra Lynn Dadd

Barefoot Bride

A wedding is one of life’s major rites of passage. It is certainly something to celebrate! Today, wedding books and magazines promote large weddings so that more and more wedding products can be sold. Wedding expenditures run into many thousands of dollars. And after this major outlay of money, most of what is purchased is never used again.

On the Spring Equinox 2004, my ex-husband (yes, that’s right! my ex-husband!) Larry and I remarried. We had been together for almost seventeen years, and had divorced several years ago when our relationship problems seemed impossible to resolve. But we still loved each other, so we figured out what to do to make things better, and are now happier than ever.

In planning our wedding, we wanted to keep it simple, small, and full of meaning. We wanted a ceremony and celebration that would be easy to prepare for and manage. We wanted an intimate occasion, surrounded by our closest friends who would participate with us in the intention of our union. And as we planned our wedding, we used the same guidelines for health and the environment that we practice in our daily home life.

Since most books and articles are about planning big weddings, I want to offer some tips on planning another sort of wedding that can be beautiful and meaningful in its own way.

  • Make it your day. Each wedding can and should be a unique expression of the couple getting married. So create the day just the way you want it, to please the two of you.
  • Choose the wedding traditions that are important to you. When it comes right down to it, the essentials of a wedding are the two people to be married, the minister or justice of the peace who performs the ceremony, the ceremony itself, and the guests who witness it. Everything else is decoration and tradition. Learn about wedding traditions and choose to do those that will make your day special.
  • Write your own ceremony. The entire reason for having a wedding, really, is the ceremony. The most important aspect of a wedding is not the decorations, but the vows and intentions that are stated in the ceremony and that you give to each other. Research the time-honored patterns to wedding ceremonies and follow this pattern in your own personal way.
  • Invite meaningful guests. When you have a small number of guests, you can spend more time with them and really experience their presence. Minimum is just the two of you, the minister, and a witness. Invite family and friends with whom you have real relationships. Eliminate those that might be invited out of social obligation.
  • Have your wedding at home, either indoors or in your garden, or in a park. Rather than spending a lot of money on floral arrangements, we put that money into tidying up our back yard and planting perennial flowers that we are still enjoying today.

Looking back on our wedding day, we are very pleased with our simple, small wedding. We were able to relax and enjoy the day and experience the love and support of our best friends. Best of all, we still had energy left for the honeymoon…

For many more details on planning your simple, small, green wedding (including choosing flowers, rings, clothing and reception, and photos of Debra’s wedding), visit and click on “You are invited to… My Simple, Small, Green Wedding”. Debra is also available as a consultant to help you plan your wedding.

Hailed as “The Queen of Green” by the New York Times, Debra Lynn Dadd has been a leading consumer advocate for products and lifestyle choices that are better for health and the environment since 1982. Visit her website to learn more about her new book Home Safe Home, to sign up for her free email newsletters, and to browse 100s of links to 1000s of nontoxic, natural and earthwise products.


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