When it comes to planning your dream wedding, there’s no denying that it’s an exciting, joyous, and sometimes stressful journey. Some days it seems like the tasks will never end, but you keep going because you know that when your special day comes, it will all be worth it.
But as you embark on this adventure, have you ever stopped to think about the environmental impact of your big day? Sustainable wedding planning is a growing trend that not only reduces waste but also leaves a positive footprint on our planet.
So, if you’re a bride-to-be looking to make your wedding day both beautiful and eco-friendly, you’re in the right place. In this guide, we’ll take you through ten essential steps to create a sustainable and environmentally-conscious wedding that you, your guests, and Mother Earth will cherish forever.
Choosing a Green Venue
The foundation of any eco-friendly wedding begins with the venue. Opt for a location that aligns with your sustainability goals. Consider outdoor spaces like botanical gardens, vineyards, or even a beach, which naturally require fewer resources to decorate and maintain.
If you prefer an indoor venue, look for one with LEED certification. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It’s a voluntary rating system devised by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in 1998 to score and certify the sustainability of new building projects. In short, a LEED certification signifies eco-friendly building design and operation.
When it comes to wedding invitations, there are plenty of eco-friendly options. Ditch the traditional paper invitations and opt for digital invitations instead.
If you’re set on physical invites, choose recycled paper or plantable paper invitations embedded with seeds that guests can later plant and grow as a memory of your special day. Many small businesses that specialize in handmade paper offer this option – it’s both fun and eco-friendly, and you will be supporting a small business in the process.
One of the most visually stunning aspects of any wedding is the decor. However, many cheap and widely available decorations often used at weddings are one-time use. Where do you suppose all of those balloons, streamers, and confetti and going to end up after the wedding is over?
Instead of using disposable decorations that end up in landfills, go green with reusable and natural elements. Consider potted plants, succulents, and fresh flowers as table centerpieces, and give them away to your guests or plant them at home afterward. Use biodegradable confetti or eco-friendly balloons for a touch of whimsy without harming the environment.
Re-Use Your Attire
Your wedding gown and the bridesmaids’ dresses are key components of your wedding day look. Choose sustainable and ethically made wedding attire, or consider renting your gown.
Choosing your bridesmaids’ dresses is a great opportunity to practice sustainability. These can easily be selected in timeless styles and colors, making them versatile enough to be worn again on different occasions. Encourage your bridesmaids to help you choose something that suits their personal tastes.
Bella Bridesmaids has one of the widest selections of styles, colors, silhouettes, and fabrics available – with so many options, it’s easy to find a dress that your bridesmaids will want to wear again and again, rather than throwing it out.
Craft a wedding menu that not only tantalizes your taste buds but also supports local farmers and reduces your carbon footprint. Opt for a farm-to-table menu featuring seasonal and locally sourced ingredients.
Also, consider serving a vegetarian or vegan meal to reduce the environmental impact associated with meat production.
Show your guests appreciation with eco-friendly wedding favors that won’t end up in the trash. Think about giving away potted plants, personalized reusable tote bags, or handmade candles in recyclable packaging.
Gifts that are meant to be well-used and well-loved carry so much more special meaning than a cheap trinket that will either end up forgotten in a drawer or thrown out a month or so after the wedding.
Transportation and its environmental impact are, unfortunately, a part of weddings that we simply can’t get around. Unless all of your guests live within walking distance of your venue, they are going to have to rely on cars, buses, or even planes to attend your celebration.
Reduce the carbon footprint of your wedding by encouraging guests to carpool or use eco-friendly transportation options. If your venue allows, provide shuttle services or rent a fleet of electric or hybrid vehicles to transport your guests.
Reduce Food Waste
Make sure to set up clearly marked recycling and compost bins at your wedding venue. Work with your caterer to minimize food waste and donate leftovers to a local shelter or food bank. Reducing waste is a significant step toward an eco-friendly celebration.
Sustainable Gift Registries
When creating your wedding registry, opt for sustainable and eco-friendly items that align with your lifestyle. Request experiences, contributions to a charity, or eco-conscious home goods. This way, you’re not just accumulating more stuff but also making choices that support the planet.
As you embark on this journey of love and commitment, remember that your wedding day can also be a celebration of your love for the planet. By following these eco-friendly wedding planning tips, you can create a wedding that not only reflects your style and personality but also leaves a positive impact on the environment.
Every step you take to be more conscious in your choices brings you closer to making the wedding industry cleaner, greener, and even cheaper for everyone. If we all move towards more sustainable practices in our own weddings, the industry as a whole is sure to follow.