How Can I Plan an Eco-Friendly Wedding? Part 2 – The Table Settings and Decor

By Ebony Porter, June 13, 2016, Green

As a Bride-to-Be myself, I want a beautiful, well-thought-out wedding. But as I started planning my wedding, the cost and disposable nature of most wedding supplies really dampened my excitement. As a lover of all things green, I sought out ways I could incorporate recycling, reusing, and resourcefulness to plan the best day of my life. With the Eco-Friendly Wedding series from Bounce Energy, we’ll show you how you can cut costs with your wedding planning, while making it sustainable, earth-friendly, and absolutely gorgeous. 

In our first post on planning a beautiful, eco-friendly wedding on a budget, we covered the flowers, bouquets, and green foliage that are either carried down the aisle, used to decorate the chapel, or to spruce up the reception hall. Next, we turn to the table settings and decor.

How Can I Plan an Eco-Friendly Wedding? Part 2 - The Table Settings and Decor | Bounce Energy Blog

The days of serving punch and cake are long gone. Those who attend weddings are expected to be fed these days, and the decor of the table settings has become a big chance to be super-creative, as it can set the tone for the event.

How can you go about designing your dream wedding while keeping Mother Nature in mind? While it’s possible to rent what you need, we’d rather share tips on how to upcycle and recycle your wedding materials so you can use them in the future. And if you can find these supplies already used, you’re saving even more!

Follow along as we give you ideas on how to save money while keeping your wedding day green.


How Can I Plan an Eco-Friendly Wedding? Part 2 - The Table Settings and Decor | Bounce Energy Blog

Steer yourself away from boring white tablecloths by choosing colors and patterns! Once you’ve decided on your colors and theme, head to the fabric store and select 2-3 fabrics that sync with your theme so you can construct your tablecloths. Making them is simpler than you think, as it only requires hemming a few sides of the cut fabric.

But how is this eco-friendly? After your wedding day, turn the tablecloths into clothing, pillow covers or curtains so the decor of your big day can live on forever. This can be especially exciting for those who haven’t started families yet. Turning fabric from your wedding into a baby quilt is a great way to celebrate your special day, letting the colors and pattern of your reception stay with your entire family for years.

I am personally buying more than a dozen yards of organically grown linen and dyeing the linen with indigo to make two 1/2-yard long tablecloths. Using organic fabric ensures that pesticides were not used in the production of the fibers. I also feel that organic flax, cotton, and linen are softer and wear better over time. I will then use the dyed linen to make clothing for my two daughters, along with patchwork and whole-cloth quilts! 

Cloth Napkins

How Can I Plan an Eco-Friendly Wedding? Part 2 - The Table Settings and Decor | Bounce Energy Blog

Don’t use paper napkins at your wedding! They’re not classy at all. Using them for cocktail napkins is acceptable, although throughout the night, your average guest will use between five to seven each! So, if you have to use them, please set out a bin labeled for paper recycling.

To really exude both class and green, choose cloth napkins. If you purchase them new, choose durable ones you can re-use at all those future dinner parties you plan on having as a newlywed. Or give them to your bridesmaids and groomsmen tied up neatly in a ribbon as a thank-you gift after the wedding (and after they’re washed and ironed). The wedding lives on forever that way during all yours and their dinner parties.

To truly go green with your cloth napkins, hop online to purchase vintage linen and cloth napkins for a steal. You can then add some vibrancy by dying them to match your wedding theme and decor.

Water Glasses

How Can I Plan an Eco-Friendly Wedding? Part 2 - The Table Settings and Decor | Bounce Energy Blog

Consider purchasing small, 8-ounce jam jars for water glasses. They are the perfect size and give your table a rustic, earthy feel. Once you are done using them, use them to bottle up your seasonal jam and homemade barbecue sauce or for spice storage.

Table Decorations

How Can I Plan an Eco-Friendly Wedding? Part 2 - The Table Settings and Decor | Bounce Energy Blog

We have a bunch of ideas for you, especially if you’re the crafty sort!

  • Purchase large candles to bring light, ambiance, and romance to your tables. At the end of the night, bring them home – or give them to the wedding party as gifts.
  • Potted plants are a great way to bring fresh greenery to your tables that can be reused, as opposed to disposable fresh-cut flowers. If you do use fresh-cut flowers, either compost them when you’re done or dry them out to be pressed into fun artwork pieces you can share with friends and family. Do the same if you include items like twigs or moss in your table decor.
  • If you’re having a wedding in the fall, decorate with pumpkins and gourds! You can then use those pumpkins as decoration at your house throughout the season, including Halloween and Thanksgiving.
  • If your wedding is beach-themed, consider decorating the table with found shells that you and your sweetie collected during those romantic walks on the beach. Resist buying large shells online: they aren’t eco-friendly, as they require thousands of miles of travel to land in your hands.
  • Use what’s already in your craft box! Being green means using what you have, so get creative and see what you can come up with using your own imagination. And if you’re having trouble, there’s always Pinterest!

What are your ideas for how to keep your table settings green and eco friendly? Share with us below!

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