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Your Guide to Green Weddings in Glacier National Park

There’s a reason travel aggregators like Tripadvisor.com received 476 reviews about the Prince of Whales Hotel in Glacier: This one-of-a-kind vintage hotel has served as a Glacier landmark for a century, so if you wish to throw a green wedding at this venue, there’s no more appropriate destination. One couple raved, “I want to live here!” Legions of repeat visitors travel to this unique Glacier landmark for annual anniversary trips and couples hosting their ceremonies on site tend to stick around for their honeymoons. What’s so compelling about this area for couples planning weddings? An ecologically-responsible ceremony and reception isn’t just practical, it’s easy to pull off, so if nothing but a green wedding will do, these tips are sure to help.

Choose a one-of-a-kind venue

Nestled within the valley is the Prince of Wales Hotel, an organically constructed building in the best tradition of architects like Frank Lloyd Wright. Locally-sourced construction material and decorative touches are breathtaking, from the dramatic granite façade to log-beamed ceilings and massive fireplaces. Sustainability was not yet a vocabulary word in the 1920s when this building was erected 100 years ago, but materials used for construction have stood the test of time. Every bride's wish for a green wedding can become reality at this Glacier National Park architectural jewel.

Save fuel, time and effort

by using hotel staff to make all of your wedding arrangements. The Prince of Wales has been staging weddings for decades, so if you tell staff that your theme is “eco-chic,” they are happy to work with you by making sure that sustainability rules, whether your wishes are that nothing be used for the ceremony and reception that can’t be recycled, or honoring your request for organic ingredients only for your wedding supper and celebratory meals. Say the word and everyone from the pastry chef down to the wait staff will make sure your wishes are followed to the letter.

Make a natural bouquet

to eliminate the huge expense of ordering cut flowers, which are the epitome of waste since fresh flowers last for such a short time before they wilt and die. Gather girlfriends early in your wedding planning stages, download instructions from the Internet for elegant cloth flowers, purchase fabric and craft a bouquet of satin calla lilies plus nosegays for attendants. Ship them to your hotel early so they await your arrival.

No need to spend a fortune entertaining guests

if you choose Glacier as your destination. Every wedding guest’s calendar can be filled with activities that show off the magnificent scenery during all four seasons. Arrange for skiing opportunities when winter arrives or a rehearsal picnic dinner under the stars in summer on the night before the big day. A guided walk among back-country waterfalls, Alpine meadows and cliffs makes an ideal activity for small parties. Remind your guests, as they a walk among the scenic sites, to leave every place they visit untouched, in accordance with Glacier's “Leave No Trace” appeal.

Take a pass on expensive decorations

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Instead, use organic interior or exterior vistas and environments to set the mood. Mountains, wild flowers, sunshine and forests provide so grand a summer backdrop, decorations would be put to shame. Springtime and fall in Glacier defy description, so don’t try to compete with Mother Nature. In the winter, think about taking advantage of Prince of Wales’s annual holiday décor by scheduling your wedding near Christmas. The lodge morphs into a 17th century manor worthy of Charles Dickens, so adding one more decoration makes no sense. You can always use a proliferation of candles to set the mood since they help reduce the use of electricity, are romantic and guests can take them home afterwards.