2. Chalkboard chic: Stylish slate signs will take the place of paper wedding programs, seating cards, and menus. Chalkboard signs can be made to look elegant and fancy or sweet and rustic, and can be created inexpensively at home using scavenged picture frames, chalkboard paint, and a little creativity. Reducing paper waste at your wedding never looked so stylish!
4. The “staycation-moon”: The popular staycation trend meets the honeymoon as couples skip the expense and carbon footprint associated with honeymoon travel in favor of romantic hometown adventures. Picture a week of museum visits, local theater and sporting events, park picnics, bucket-list adventures, and romantic dining — no luggage required!
5. Intimate weddings: Weddings with small guest lists create less waste, offer more warmth, and give couples tons of flexibility when choosing a location. Intimate wedding celebrations range from elegant multi-course dinners in hotel penthouses to backyard barbecues featuring local bands and brews.
6. Cocktail wedding dresses: Short wedding dresses are all the rage, and just about every major bridal designer has debuted a knee-length collection for 2011. A cocktail-length dress can be worn again, and many are just as formal and elegant as a long gown. Look for short and sweet styles like these gently used wedding dresses, which are for sale on Recycled Bride right now.
7. Paperless Invitations: Electronic wedding communication is easier and prettier than ever, with companies like Glo offering stunning, interactive online save-the-dates, reply cards, invitations, and more. E-mail invites are less expensive than paper and help to reduce wedding waste.
8. Greener Gifting: Registries have gone green, with tons of new options for brides and grooms who want to receive ethically-made gifts and support the sustainable economy. Two of our faves are the Green Bride Guide Shop and The Knot’s Gift Registry 360, which lets couples create one centralized registry with products from any online retailer they choose. And green donation gifts, like Bluebell Giving Cards, will be popular as both wedding presents and guest favors.
9. Face Forward: Long veils are sitting on the sidelines this year, as brides forgo them in favor of birdcage styles and unique hair accessories that can be worn again. Expect to see 2011’s brides in headbands, vintage hair clips, flowers, and chic tiaras.
10. Flexitarian Feasts: Another trend inspired by Chelsea Clinton’s wedding is reducing the amount of meat on the menu. This year, more couples will offer vegetable- and grain-based meal options for their guests in an effort to save money and save the Earth.
11. Wedding Recycling: More brides, grooms, bridesmaids and guests than ever are shopping and selling on sites like RecycledBride.com. Smart users enjoy the financial, environmental, and social benefits of wedding recycling, and discover the joy of sharing, saving, and passing on treasured wedding items to other happy couples.