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Green wedding vs. etiquette (xp on the knot)

I posted this on the knot, but wanted to get the green nestie thoughts:

We live in Seattle (and grew up in California), and try to live as semi-green as possible (minimal impact, compost/recycling, eating local/sustainable as much as possible, mix of new and "redone" furniture, only have 1 car - and try to use public transportation as much as possible, etc.). 

Some thoughts we've had so far for how to incorporate that green feeling into the wedding include: no flowers at reception with exception of bouquets (and even then, we're looking at other options like feathers?), reusing decor as much as possible instead of buying new, our venue provides local/organic food, soy candles, etc. 

I'm torn when it comes to the "paper" aspects of our wedding. I love paper/design, and will be making our invitations myself out of partially recycled paper. We are having a reasonably formal, evening reception, and I'm using the invitations to indicate that tone (calligraphy on the envelopes, etc.). 

However, we wanted to have online RSVP (FI and I both work in the computer industry, so he will be coding our wedding webpage). We'll have a phone number for those who don't want to reply online, but are we breaking a horrible etiquette rule by not providing response cards? (obviously, people could also mail us response cards if they so choose) We wanted to avoid the extra waste, plus the unnecessary transport of the envelopes.  

Thoughts? Our wedding is on the smaller side (75 total including +1s), and our close friends and family obviously know how we feel about the environment.

Any other green vs. etiquette thoughts? 

Re: Green wedding vs. etiquette (xp on the knot)

  • Oh, someone posted a website once where you could get plates and stuff made out of fallen leaves.  They were beautiful!  I'll try to google, but maybe someone else still has the link.  Also, have you chosen your location yet?  I was married out in a field in front of an old farmhouse.  We did have bouquets and centerpeices, but other than that not much decor at all.  The natural beauty of the trees and planted flowers were perfect.  It was also very cost effective!
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  • [IMG]http://i1016.photobucket.com/albums/af289/HollyWalter/DSCF0058-1-1.jpg[/IMG]
  • So are you going to include response cards with the invite?  It doesn't make sense to me to include response cards (especially making the cards and envelopes and putting a stamp on each one) if you want people to go to the webpage  or call.  It's a change from tradition but I don't think it is a etiquette blunder.

    We did live flowering plants for the centerpieces that went with the guests as they left.  I still have one (four years ago, it's a cyclamen).  We didn't bother with a favor; I consider it a huge waste of time and money.  I didn't have bridesmaids because I didn't want to hassle anyone and I really didn't need them, which also meant less bouquets and dresses etc. We didn't make programs; I really didn't see the point.  We had a similar size wedding and most people knew the wedding party.  Who needs a program for a wedding ceremony anyway?  We didn't bother with decorations or additional flowers; less hassle, money, and stuff used one time.  I refused to get caught up in wedding related stuff (you have to have this, you have to do that, etc) and took a step back and evaluated the whole wedding from a new perspective.

  • I think it's fine to not include a response card.  The only negative I see is that you may not get 100% response, but let's be honest NO ONE does even with stamped, addressed response cards included! 

    If you did want to include flowers, the bouquets can double as centerpieces (some of my friends did this).

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  • This isn't really about etiquette so much as the wedding industry. Etiquette is about manners, and there's nothing rude or thoughtless about skipping paper RSVPs and doing a phone/online RSVP. That's actually probably more convenient for most people.

    I just attended a lovely wedding up on Whidbey where they did the invites and RSVPs via an online site (not evite, can't recall the name).

    Depending on where you get them and how they are grown, there's nothing wrong with flowers. They support an industry that means growing stuff, which (setting aside poor growing practices and chemicals) means more plants filtering our air! And they are compostable and biodegradeable. I got married in Carnation and my site did my flowers, the lady who owned it was an avid gardener. I'm sure there are some great local options for flowers, presuming you are okay with local flowers. I had gorgeous bouquets of all local stuff, but all I can remember is lots of delphinium.

    Congrats on the upcoming event and I think its great you're trying to make it green!

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  • I messed up my own response cards, so I can't comment on appropriate etiquette. I just wanted to say that I bought the glass containers (vases, cups, etc.) for my candy favor table at the Salvation Army and a local second hand store. It looked great. I'm sure you could do something like this for your centerpiece, but fill them with something more appropriate.
  • My sis is getting married in Oct and they did the online RSVP, with the exception of 5 or 10 reply cards for the over 70 set.  

     

    She made her invites from recycled paper, and one of the sheets of paper has seeds imbedded, and you can plant the invite and grow flowers, lol.

     

    She also did all biodegradable plates/cups/silverware, as the wedding is at a state park and using "real" tableware was not an option.

    ETA:  for the centerpieces for my g'mas funeral, we collected glass bowls from various people as well as the thrift store, and floated a few gerbera daisies in each bowl.  It looked great and used a fraction of the flowers compared to whole bouquets. 

  • I don't think there's anything breaching etiquette here.  You're providing your guests a way to RSVP - for the technologically impaired you have given a phone number, so I think you're covered.  We just did our RSVPs by website and phone and had an AWFUL response rate.  I ended up having to make around 40 calls after the RSVP deadline, out of only 60 invites sent.  I think that's more of a function of our guests than the method of RSVP, though.

    Some of the other stuff we're doing is planted flowers for decor, having cut flowers only for bouquets from local farmer's market, local food and wine, had my dress and all bridal party clothing made locally with organic materials and designs everyone will wear again after the wedding, providing a shuttle for our guests to encourage car pooling.

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  • image Alisha_A:

    This isn't really about etiquette so much as the wedding industry. Etiquette is about manners, and there's nothing rude or thoughtless about skipping paper RSVPs and doing a phone/online RSVP. That's actually probably more convenient for most people.

    I just attended a lovely wedding up on Whidbey where they did the invites and RSVPs via an online site (not evite, can't recall the name).

    Depending on where you get them and how they are grown, there's nothing wrong with flowers. They support an industry that means growing stuff, which (setting aside poor growing practices and chemicals) means more plants filtering our air! And they are compostable and biodegradeable. I got married in Carnation and my site did my flowers, the lady who owned it was an avid gardener. I'm sure there are some great local options for flowers, presuming you are okay with local flowers. I had gorgeous bouquets of all local stuff, but all I can remember is lots of delphinium.

    Congrats on the upcoming event and I think its great you're trying to make it green!

    I agree with all these things..We are going to a wedding next month where the couple is getting all their flowers from the local farmers market--so all the flowers are local and organically grown. 

    I'm not really understanding that people "can of course do RSVP cards if they want.." so are you providing the option? B/C you undermine the point of the online by providing the cards--and confuse people...I would do one or the other and make it clear :) THAT is what I would think etiquette would dictate. 

    At our very small wedding..this isn't really "green," but I am allergic to "fake" things in food--nitrites/nitrates etc, so everything was fresh and simply made. We had mini grilled cheese and turkey sandwiches and the turkey was all natural etc. We also got married at a botanical garden--that lessened the amount of flowers we really needed, we rented our candle holders, plates, glassware etc..we had a local drink as a welcome drink (Prickly pear punch--yummy!) 

  • image suzymarie:

    My sis is getting married in Oct and they did the online RSVP, with the exception of 5 or 10 reply cards for the over 70 set.  

     

    I have friends who got married recently who did this. The grandparents who didn't know how to use or didn't have a computer received response cards and everyone else received instructions on how to respond online. Since you are having a smallish wedding, you should be able to figure out which of your guests are not tech savvy. 

  • I don't think it's a breach of etiquette to skip RSVP cards, but I would expect that if you don't include reply cards, you will have to make a lot more phone calls to ask if people are coming or not.  Nothing wrong with that if you are up to it.  OTOH, the environmental impact of a few recycled postcards isn't that great either.  The absurd environmental impact of the USPS is not coming from personal letters, it's coming from junk mail.

    I would call it a major breach of etiquette to send out thank you note's by email rather than snail mail. 

  • It is actually most appropriate not to include reponse cards.

    I did not use them for my wedding.  I simply asked people to respond by either email or snail mail and gave them the addresses.

     

  • (obviously, people could also mail us response cards if they so choose)
    I think for this, OP was talking about 'original' response cards ie on home stationary, if the guests wish. Opposed to printing custom response cards which was against old-time etiquette.
    For what it's worth, as long as you provide a phone number, I think you're hitting etiquette. Ignore any crazies over on the knot - they're paid by the WIC
  • We did online RSVPs and also provided my parent's phone number if people wanted to call.  My parent's LOVED getting those phone calls, it gave them a chance to reconnect with some people (they were hosting the wedding, btw, which is why we gave out their number).  I received two beautiful hand-written notes from the 70+ crowd who preferred to respond via mail and that was fine with me.  I still have those letters in my wedding scrap book and enjoy reading them.

    And I didn't even have a green wedding.  I just did it that way to cut some costs and because I had noticed that's how the past 4 or so wedding invitations I'd received were doing things and it seemed like a better way to me.  

    Also, for centerpieces we did glass vases with sand, shells, and candles and at the end offered them to the guests.  They were all taken and two of my family member's have them on their kitchen tables as centerpieces to this day!  So offering things like this to your guests is a great way to get them re-used and also make your family happy.  :)

    Finally, I'm divorced now and actually thinking of planning another wedding in the (distant) future and I definitely want a green wedding this time around so I've been spending some time on Etsy exploring options on there.  You can find some fabulous and unique things on Etsy that are eco-friendly and also help support a small home business.

  • If you really feel that you need response cards you could do postcards instead of using envelopes - this is what I did. I don't think you need them though and as long as you have the option of calling (for people that don't use the internet) then I think you're fine with not including them.

    For our wedding we only had flowers for bouquets and didn't use them as centerpieces. We bought little lanterns (1/2 from Ikea, 1/2 from someone selling them from her wedding) and candles (that someone gave me free from their wedding - used but once they were lit no one could tell Smile). We ended up selling all of the lanterns to another bride after the wedding.

     

     

  • The last wedding I went to, no response cards were sent. There was no website on the invite, but I think there was an email and phone number. Honestly, I didn't even think of the green aspect of it. I just said , huh, no card and then I pulled out my personal stationary and wrote a note of acceptance. No big deal. Surely any old fashioned folks will do the same thing I did?
    - Jena
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  • I did response cards and then put them in a photobook and used them as my guestbook so that the guests could sign next to their card.  It has made a great unique memory.  I personally would include RSVP cards but now a days people don't.  However, a lot of my IL's weren't tech savvy and we of the over 50 crowd.
  • We did a phone and email RSVP. In our area it seems to be the new trend.
  • image Jen&Joe06:
    We did a phone and email RSVP. In our area it seems to be the new trend.

    That's what we did 5 years ago. We sent a lot of invitations. It would have been a total waste to buy that many stamps, when emailing or phoning is actually easier for most guests. We only had to make a handful of phone calls out of over 100 invites.

  • image suzymarie:

    My sis is getting married in Oct and they did the online RSVP, with the exception of 5 or 10 reply cards for the over 70 set.  

     

    She made her invites from recycled paper, and one of the sheets of paper has seeds imbedded, and you can plant the invite and grow flowers, lol.

     

    She also did all biodegradable plates/cups/silverware, as the wedding is at a state park and using "real" tableware was not an option.

    ETA:  for the centerpieces for my g'mas funeral, we collected glass bowls from various people as well as the thrift store, and floated a few gerbera daisies in each bowl.  It looked great and used a fraction of the flowers compared to whole bouquets. 

    I was going to mention this as well. I think it is awesome. :-) 

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  • image suzymarie:

    My sis is getting married in Oct and they did the online RSVP, with the exception of 5 or 10 reply cards for the over 70 set.  

     

    She made her invites from recycled paper, and one of the sheets of paper has seeds imbedded, and you can plant the invite and grow flowers, lol.

     

    She also did all biodegradable plates/cups/silverware, as the wedding is at a state park and using "real" tableware was not an option.

    ETA:  for the centerpieces for my g'mas funeral, we collected glass bowls from various people as well as the thrift store, and floated a few gerbera daisies in each bowl.  It looked great and used a fraction of the flowers compared to whole bouquets. 

    I was going to mention this as well. I think it is awesome. :-) 

    Lilypie First Birthday tickers Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • image foundmylazybum:
    image Alisha_A:

    This isn't really about etiquette so much as the wedding industry. Etiquette is about manners, and there's nothing rude or thoughtless about skipping paper RSVPs and doing a phone/online RSVP. That's actually probably more convenient for most people.

    I just attended a lovely wedding up on Whidbey where they did the invites and RSVPs via an online site (not evite, can't recall the name).

    Depending on where you get them and how they are grown, there's nothing wrong with flowers. They support an industry that means growing stuff, which (setting aside poor growing practices and chemicals) means more plants filtering our air! And they are compostable and biodegradeable. I got married in Carnation and my site did my flowers, the lady who owned it was an avid gardener. I'm sure there are some great local options for flowers, presuming you are okay with local flowers. I had gorgeous bouquets of all local stuff, but all I can remember is lots of delphinium.

    Congrats on the upcoming event and I think its great you're trying to make it green!

    I agree with all these things..We are going to a wedding next month where the couple is getting all their flowers from the local farmers market--so all the flowers are local and organically grown. 

    I'm not really understanding that people "can of course do RSVP cards if they want.." so are you providing the option? B/C you undermine the point of the online by providing the cards--and confuse people...I would do one or the other and make it clear :) THAT is what I would think etiquette would dictate. 

    At our very small wedding..this isn't really "green," but I am allergic to "fake" things in food--nitrites/nitrates etc, so everything was fresh and simply made. We had mini grilled cheese and turkey sandwiches and the turkey was all natural etc. We also got married at a botanical garden--that lessened the amount of flowers we really needed, we rented our candle holders, plates, glassware etc..we had a local drink as a welcome drink (Prickly pear punch--yummy!) 

    FMLB-- did you get married at TBG? My sister's wedding was there in May and it was such a beautiful place!

    [IMG]http://i40.tinypic.com/dw2pu8.jpg[/IMG]
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