Green Wedding Guide: Invitations

Sending Sustainable Invitations

Set the stage for a sustainable wedding with your invitations! Since invitations are your guests' first clue as to the kind of even you're planning, set the expectation for a green wedding. And while online invitations are still reserved for birthday parties rather than weddings, you can still use real invitations and be eco-friendly with these tips:

Choose your paper wisely. Be mindful as you choose what kind of papers the invitations are printed on. There are endless options, including recycled, tree-free and sustainably-sourced papers that are available in every color and texture. Ask your vendor for suggestions.  Erickson Design uses high-quality recycled, reclaimed, and cotton papers. Spilled Ink Press uses FSC certified stock, meaning the wood pulp used is grown and harvested sustainably.

There's also plant paper! Perhaps you have seen those great papers with seeds embedded in them, Spilled Ink Press can create save the dates on those so guests can plant them when they come off of the refrigerator.

Avoid plastic! Like with all other areas, steer clear of plastic-coated or metallic papers that are not easy to recycle.

Think ink. Ask your printer about what kind of ink will be used to print the invites. Of course, vegetable and soy-based inks are preferable to petroleum based ones.


Save the scraps! Paper scraps are a resource in themselves and can be saved for other uses, reused for jotting notes, or for art. Erickson Design donates pretty scraps to Chicago Public Schools art programs!

Although online wedding invitations may be tacky, consider online save-the-dates, response “cards,” or shower invites.

Reduce the number of pieces in your invitation by putting rehearsal dinner, hotel, maps, post-wedding brunch, registration, or other information online only.

Make pieces serve double-duty – A printed RSVP card can act as an escort or place card on wedding day!

Q. Are wedding programs necessary?

A. No, you could post a schedule of the ceremony timeline by the entrance and avoid programs altogether. If you want to have programs (especially for longer ceremonies or with big

families/wedding parties), do not print one for every guest but consider that many guests are coming as couples, are part of the wedding party or family, or will not take a program.