How To Have An Eco-Friendly Wedding

Wednesday, January 13th, 2021 Wedding Ideas, Tips and Inspiration

Bride and Groom Photo Courtesy via Willow and Ben
Sustainable Food Photo Courtesy via EKR Pictures
Eco-friendly Invitations Photo Courtesy via EKR Pictures

How To Have An Eco-Friendly Wedding 

Your wedding day is meant to give you memories of a lifetime. But planning a celebration can also come with excess waste. From food, flowers, decorations and more, the list can quickly grow. We’re not advising not to have a celebration, but perhaps consider some environmentally friendly ways that can create a more sustainable one. 

Planning an eco-friendly wedding doesn’t have to be as complex as most couples think. With the rise in environmental awareness, there are plenty of green wedding ideas. From engagement rings, food, decorations, invitations and even steps to take after the wedding, there are countless ways for you to still have the wedding of your dreams while being green. 

Eco Friendly Engagement Rings 

A little can go a long way. We know the sound of purchasing an ‘eco friendly wedding ring’ doesn’t sound like glitz and glamour, but we think these rings are just as beautiful. According to Erica Kill Razee from Capiche Events, an environmentally conscious wedding planning company, it’s more ethical to purchase lab-created stones compared to diamonds that require mining which can be harmful for the environment. Lab created rings she explains “are not harmful to the earth, and are not involved in any conflict trade.” 

You can also go the alternative route and purchase wedding bands that use recycled gold and conflict free diamonds that are harmless to the environment. Some of these ethical engagement wedding rings can also come at a cheaper price, making it more affordable for couples. 

Environmentally Conscious Wedding Invitations 

As awareness on how to become more green comes to a rise, it’s easier to take action on wedding planning, and that includes creating eco-friendly wedding invitations. The slogan itself, “save a tree” is truly an important thing we must keep in mind in when choosing your invitations. 

Recycled Paper

Instead of using traditional card stock paper, use some high-recycled content paper that uses alternative fibers like bamboo. Some may ask how much recycling paper can really save but according to Ariel Dekovic, coauthor of 365 Ways to Save the Earth “Every ton of recycled paper saves 17 trees, 7,000 gallons of water.” This may be something you want to consider when picking your save the dates, wedding invitations, and thank you cards. 

Online invitations

Minimize your mailing and opt for online invitations. You can do this for other wedding related events as well. From bachelorette parties, rehearsal dinners, cocktail hour, etc. You can even go as far as telling your maid of honor to throw a virtual wedding shower for you instead of a destination one. This option isn’t only ethical, but can also save you a ton of money. 

Green Wedding Venue 

One of the easiest ways to ensure that you reduce you and your guests’ carbon footprints and remain green is by choosing an eco-friendly wedding venue that aligns with your vision of being ethical. 

You can use Green Building Getaway as one of the ways to find the most sustainable buildings. That way you won’t be harming the environment and will still be able to host your wedding guests just as you've always envisioned. And with so many venues taking measures in making sure their venue is green, you won’t need to worry about sacrificing your big day. 

If you’re looking for something more organic, choose an outdoor space compared to an indoor one. Not only will this be a great way for you to enjoy Mother Nature and all its beauty but you’ll also be saving a ton of energy use with lighting and any other unnecessary power sources. Plus all your photos will be in natural light, giving you that golden hour glow for timeless photos. 

Eco-friendly Floral Arrangements and Decorations  

Having decorations is a must for your wedding day but can also really take a toll on the environment, especially if you don’t recycle after using them. 

Sustainable Wedding Flowers 

There’s no doubt that fresh flowers for wedding decorations will look the best. But having freshly cut florals are extremely impactful to the environment. Consider potted plants, like succulents, orchids, or even trees as decorations. These pots can be reused at home, in your backyard or even as eco-friendly wedding favors for your guests to take home. Or perhaps you’re planning a boho affair, use dried flowers like pampas grass or seed pods for your big day. These can be reused numerous times while still looking brand new. Not to mention, they’ll look super trendy as home decorations. If you’re really wanting fresh flowers though, we recommend choosing seasonal blooms from local farms or nurseries, which will reduce the need to transport flowers from far areas that aren’t close to you.

After your wedding consider donating your flowers to different organizations like hospitals, senior centers, shelters or even to your guests. Forget tossing your beautiful arrangements and be sure that they get recycled in some way. Some nurseries and florists will even go as far as to compost your flowers for you after your wedding. We recommend contacting your local florists to see if this option is available. 

Recyclable Wedding Decorations

If you plan on using other decorations like signs, lanterns, or rugs, there are a variety of ways that you can recycle these. Think about using them in your home after your wedding. Place the lanterns in your backyard and the rugs that were created for your ceremony aisle inside your home. If something doesn’t quite match, donate it to your local thrift store or even let a close friend use these items for their big day. It will be a waste just to throw away decorations, especially if you bought them brand new. 

Sustainable Wedding Food and Drinks 

When it comes to how to be eco- friendly with food and drinks, it can be a hot topic. Especially for our couples that want a wide range of selection for their guests. 

Sustainable Food

We recommend looking for local caterers who focus on sourcing local, sustainable and seasonal cuisine. You can even go as far as to ask the farmers how they source their food and protein including seafood and beef. By choosing local grown food and catering, it will reduce less carbon footprint from long distance areas. But if you’re really looking to be eco-friendly and if it’s fitting for you and your guests, consider having a full vegetarian menu. There are many plant based meals that require fewer resources to produce and taste just as delicious. 

After the reception, don’t let any extra food go to waste and donate any untouched food to your local food bank or community center. This ensures that there’s no excess food being thrown away and you’ll also be giving a tasty meal to someone in need. 

Sustainable Drinks 

Be eco-friendly when it comes to your alcoholic beverages as well. According to Brides, it’s better to search for natural and organic environmentally conscious producers who focus on how to create their products using sustainable factors. It’s things like single plastic packaging and utensils that are damaging the earth. Instead, pour from bigger glass bottles and use recyclable utensils that can be reused multiple times. 

Next Steps

Now that you’ve got the basis on how to plan an eco-friendly wedding, talk with your partner on which of these you can incorporate into your big day. Perhaps you’ll plan a backyard wedding, or maybe choose to go vegan for your menu. Whichever you choose, know that these steps you’re taking will go a long way for our environment and will make a huge impact in the world we live in. 

How To Have An Eco-Friendly Wedding
How To Have An Eco-Friendly Wedding
How To Have An Eco-Friendly Wedding

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