How To Have An Eco-Friendly Wedding

June 10th, 2022 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

Sustainable Wedding Ideas for Eco-Conscious Couples 

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 certainly not advising you to cancel your celebration, but there are some environmentally friendly ideas to consider that can help create a more sustainable event. 

8 Ways to Have a More Sustainable & Eco-Friendly Wedding

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 that couples are using. From engagement rings to food and decorations to invitations, there are countless ways for you to still have the celebration of your dreams while being green. There are even steps to take after the big day to help!

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 glamor, 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 bands that use recycled gold and conflict free diamonds that are harmless to the environment. Some of these ethical engagement 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 is becoming more mainstream, it’s easier to take action in your wedding planning and that includes invitations. The slogan itself, “save a tree” is truly an important thing we must keep in mind when choosing your invitations. 

There are brands, such as botanical paperworks, that create plantable invitations. They are eco-friendly wedding invitations printed on seed paper that can be planted and grow flowers after being used. Talk about doing something great for the earth!

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 events as well. You can create a wedding website to manage all of the necessary tasks from bachelorette parties, rehearsal dinners, cocktail hour, guest lists, seating charts, 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 can also save you and your guests a ton of money. 

  1. Green Wedding Venue

One of the easiest ways to ensure that you reduce you and your guests’ carbon footprints 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 . With so many venues taking measures in making sure their venue is green, you won’t need to worry about sacrificing your big day and will still be able to host your guests just as you've always envisioned.

Host Your Event Outside

If you’re looking for something more organic, choose an outdoor space instead of 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 power sources. Plus all your photos will be in natural light, giving you that golden hour glow for timeless photos. Outdoor settings also come with their own natural decor!

  1. Sustainable Wedding Flowers

There’s no doubt that fresh florals for wedding decorations look the best. But, having tons of freshly cut flowers for your event can be extremely impactful on the environment. Consider potted plants, like succulents, orchids, or even trees as decorations. Reuse these plants at home, in your backyard or even as eco-friendly wedding favors for your guests to take home. If you’re planning a boho affair, consider using dried flowers like pampas grass or seed pods. These can be reused numerous times while still looking brand new. Not to mention, they’ll look 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 areas that aren’t close.

  1. Donate Your Floral Arrangements

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 event. We recommend contacting your local florists to see if this option is available. 

  1. 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’s wasteful to throw away decorations, especially if you bought them brand new. 

  1. Reduce Food Waste

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 locally grown food and catering, it will reduce your overall carbon emissions. 

Another option to consider, if it’s fitting for you and your guests, is 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 give a tasty meal to someone in need. 

  1. Drinks & Silverware

Try to avoid items like single plastic straws, packaging and utensils that are damaging the earth. Instead, pour from bigger glassware bottles and use reusable utensils that can be used multiple times. According to Brides, it’s better to search for natural, organic and environmentally conscious producers who focus on how to create their products using sustainable factors,

Next Steps

Now that you’ve got the basics on how to plan an eco-friendly wedding with less environmental impact, talk with your partner on which of these you can incorporate into your special day. 

Perhaps you’ll plan a backyard wedding, or maybe choose to go vegan for your menu. You may not have a completely zero-waste wedding ceremony, but whichever ideas you choose to use, know that these steps you’re taking will go a long way for our environment and will make an impact in the world we live in.

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