A Guide to a Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Wedding
Your wedding day is going to be one of the happiest days of your life. Most couples want to go all out in celebration, so we’ve put together some ideas for throwing a great party and keeping traditions alive while being aware and proactive about how your wedding could impact the environment. Planning an ethical wedding doesn’t have to be difficult, so keep reading for a few tips on what you can do to minimize waste!
Find a vendor that uses recycled paper or up-cycled fabrics and materials like leather and wood. Not only are these materials elegant, they’re mother nature approved. Some companies focus on eco-chic wedding stationery through their emphasis on sustainability, affordability, and design. Botanical Paperworks wedding invites are made from seed paper and their non-plantable invites are made from 100% recycled paper. They also have a really great piece on Sustainable Weddings via their website. Check it out!
You can always go the digital route, where companies like Greenvelope have beautiful wedding invitation templates featuring elegant designs from independent artists. By sending e-mail invitations, brides are also making the eco-friendly choice to save trees by going paper free.
We are also really into the idea via Paperless Post’s guide to ask your guests not to wrap gifts. “They probably won’t mind, since it’s one less thing to do!” Otherwise they recommend Wrappily for eco-friendly paper.
Some eco-friendly materials to be mindful of when selecting your wedding attire are satins, hemp-based silks, or organic cotton knitted lace and general fair trade products. The good news is, many wedding brands are made to order, which is inherently less wasteful than fast fashion. Some eco-friendly brands include Christy Dawn, Reformation, and Wear Your Love. NearlyNewlyWed and StillWhite offer pre-loved dresses for significant discounts – after all, it’s only been worn once! Another great tip? Search for rings at vintage shops or estate sales and recycle a gorgeous ring that will be unique AND eco-friendly.
Your venue is determined by a number of factors – the season, guest count, and more. Be mindful of venues that take sustainability seriously. An outdoor space is top pick when it comes to being mindful. Reducing travel by hosting your ceremony and reception in the same location will also lessen your footprint.
RENT! RENT! RENT! Anything single use is not good for the environment, so renting decor and equipment will help minimize waste of items not needed after the day has ended. One thing to look for is decor that’s already built into your venue. Wineries and botanical gardens are a great first start, and some venues have stunning greenhouses filled with all kinds of flowers and plants. If you need flowers to decorate, think local and in season. Exotic florals may need to be flown in, which makes them both wasteful and expensive. A great option to ensure your flowers aren’t single-use is to donate them to local hospitals, retirement homes, or women’s shelters. Non-profits can help with collections and donations. You’ll put a smile on someone’s face while looking out for the environment – a match made in heaven!
Catering + Food.
As much as we love seeing countless options of food being served at a wedding, there WILL be leftovers which, unfortunately, almost always end up in the trash. Consider donating leftovers to a homeless shelter or local food bank. Some caterers will do this for you, so be sure to ask around!
The Grand Exit.
Lastly, the big one – the exit! Typically couples like to have their guests light sparklers or throw confetti; but there are some great biodegradable options that are just as pretty and fun, such as dried flowers, leaves, herbs, and bubbles! Check out some great Eco-friendly wedding exit toss ideas from BRIDES here.
We hope this guide has been helpful for considering some easy-to-implement sustainable options for your special day. And don’t forget to check out the guide we’ve referred to via Paperless Post! They have written an excellent piece on Sustainable Party Planning and Ideas. With our tips and guide combined, not only will your wedding be beautiful, but you’ll feel really good about the impact it will have.