Plan Your Wedding; Save the Planet
Weddings can be big, beautiful events. They create unforgettable moments of great love. Unfortunately, however, weddings often also generate a lot of waste. Leftover food, decorations, and wedding supplies tend to be trashed when the big day has ended. Luckily, there are plenty of eco-friendly options for couples looking to make an environmental difference.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
We’ve all likely heard the three R’s since kindergarten, but there is a reason for their popularity - they’re as useful for wedding planning as they are in the classroom. A few hints: get your vendors on board, source locally, and utilize the things you already own.
Reduce: Consider going paperless for items such as save the dates, invites, or RSVP information. Wedding website builders like Zola, WeddingWire, Minted, or the Knot cut down on waste by combining invitations, registries, and information.
Hosting your ceremony and reception at the same site is a great way to reduce fuel consumption. Weather permitting, opt for an outdoor wedding to utilize natural light and cut down on electrical costs. Encourage family and friends to carpool to the venue or hire a single form of transportation for your guests, like a bus or trolley. At the end of the night, this will also help your crew get home safely!
To cut down on packaging/shipping waste, ask for money, digital gift cards, local or handcrafted gifts, or forgo gifts altogether. For wedding favors, consider giving guests something local such as tea or honey, or sending them off with Earth-friendly favors, like plants or seeds. When it comes to the send-off, shy away from the one-use items such a glow sticks. Try and stick with eco-friendly confetti, like dried flowers, lavender, or leaves.
Reduce food waste by working with a local caterer mindful of composting. If you have non-perishable leftovers, get in touch with a local shelter/food pantry to see if they have need for your excess food. Check out local breweries or shops for drinks, and work with them to ensure that all containers are recyclable or reusable.
Reuse: Eco-friendly weddings are a trend we can really get behind. Luckily, thousands of other couples have also jumped on board. In your search for dreamy decor or the perfect dress, we recommend starting with websites specifically designed to recycle wedding goods.
If you’re a DIY bride, check out decor ideas that can be used after the wedding. When it comes to food, consider using reusable dishes, silverware and serving utensils. Many caterers include dishware, but you can also find outside sources happy to rent to you for the day.
Instead of buying a new dress, consider rentals, a family heirloom or vintage wedding dress. This could also apply to jewelry, shoes, and many other items. Encourage the bridal party to wear pieces they already own, or try to find outfits that they can wear for another occasion.
Recycle: If you decide to send out paper save the dates, invites, or RSVP’s, consider using paper/stationery made from recycled materials. Invite guests to recycle the envelope when they receive your announcements in the mail. When booking your venue, ask the venue coordinator if they recycle at that location, and how you can have recycle containers set up.
Work with your venue to set up sites where guests can put all recyclable and compostable materials such as cups, bottles, and food scraps. If your venue does not have composting resources, find a caterer that does.
Wedding planning can feel overwhelming, but small changes can make a big impact! You don’t have to cut corners to make eco-friendly wedding choices. With a little bit of planning, you can have a wedding that makes you feel twice as good when it’s over.