1. Location, location, location
With friends and families so dispersed these days, it is important to pick a location that in convenient for the majority of your guests. Not only will it decrease their travel costs (which they will be grateful for), but it will also decrease the carbon footprint of your wedding. Also, because couples spend about half of their budget on the reception venue, choosing a place that gives back to the community makes a big difference. Good examples include community centers, museums, and public gardens.
2. Choose local seasonal flowers
Couples spend an average of $2,000 on flowers. Flowers are one of the most heavily pesticided crops in the world and more than half of the flowers available in the United States are imported from overseas (which uses fuel and contributes to global warming). By choosing seasonal flowers you not only decrease the cost of your wedding, but you decrease your impact on both the environment and human health. You can see what's growing at nearby farms by checking the database at Local Harvest.
3. Go organic
Ask your caterer about including a few seasonal, organic elements in your menu. If you can't find a green baker, see which vendors are willing to substitute in organic flour, sugar, eggs and milk (all of which are easy to get at most large supermarkets).
Image: Better Health
The average wedding produces 600-800 pounds of garbage! Try to cut down on waste by skipping one time use items like disposable aisle runners and kitchy favors. Let your bridesmaids wear something they already own or pick dresses in a specific color so they will wear them again (we all saw 27 Dresses - bridesmaids dresses are never as re-wearable as you think they are).
You can have a luxurious wedding, save a ton of money, and decrease your impact on the environment by borrowing, renting or purchasing pre-owned items. For example, for my wedding I bought a pair of once worn Vera Wang shoes for $50 on eBay. After my wedding I resold them on eBay for $50 - so I only paid the cost of shipping. Because nothing new was created there was no waste and very little environmental impact (just the shipping). You can now rent wedding dresses and jewelry in addition to table linens, glasses and chairs - take a look! I also recommend donating as much as you can after your wedding. I gave my dress to Brides Against Breast Cancer. Before your wedding, make arrangements to donate leftover food and flowers and make sure your venue recycles cans and bottles.