How to update wedding traditions to a contemporary zeitgeist. Eloping, theme weddings, alternative ceremonies & vows, indie styles, vegan & organic.

Mary is a Humanist Chaplain and a Marriage Officiant (equiv. to a Justice of the Peace) in New York City and Toronto, Ontario. Write to us at any time: or


Recycled wedding favors and decorations

Many of the DIY bridal sites have ideas you can borrow and make yourself, of course, so you don't have to worry about the carbon offset imprint of shipping your eco-recycled wedding invitations from San Francisco. Here's an example. Etsy was spotlighting these decorations made from recycled Harlequin Romanance Novels (cut as daisies with buttons for the center). It looks to me like they xeroxed the pages and enlarged the print, though. However, most public libraries discard or sell their romance paperbacks for a dime - get your young relatives or someone else crafty to make the flowers - or fold the pages into orgami shapes (they've painted the edges, and you could also fold them into baskets and paint the tops). You could probably use the cover for stuff, as well - put them in those $1.00 picture frames that stand up -- table decorations, perhaps. The point: a little browsing around on the etsy and will give you lots of ideas you can adapt for a no-cost/low-cost wedding.

Here is a post on our ethicalweddings site on recycled paper and tree-free invitations.