Whether you’ve heard the reports about the event industry being a bit un-environmentally friendly or you’re just trying to do your best to lessen your carbon footprint in general, there are some important ways you can help to plan an eco friendly wedding. Let’s dive in…
The first biggest way to be environmentally friendly with your wedding is to reduce the number of single-use anything. Dishes, napkins, glassware… these can all be rented from caterers or rental companies instead of buying disposable.
Instead of intricate several-card invitation suites, consider reducing the stationery to an invite and an RSVP card — possibly even combining your save the dates and invitations into one. Or you can go entirely paperless! For a more traditional route, you can order your suites through eco-friendly suppliers as well to off-set if you do want to keep them a little more involved.
Consider also your transportation needs. If you can lessen the amount of travel guests need to do from one location to the next, or if guests can carpool, that could be a great option.
And of course the biggest “reduce” suggestion is to reduce your guest count. Having 80-100 guests is a very different footprint than 200-300 (and 20 is very different from 100!) From food to flights and everything in between, cutting down on the number of people makes a big difference as well.
If a friend of yours in a similar size got married recently, or you’ve always dreamt of wearing your mother or grandmother’s dress, wearing a secondhand dress can make a significant impact. The fashion industry is one of the biggest contributors to pollution, and by buying from a sustainable designer or wearing vintage or secondhand dresses (consider the bridesmaids too!) you can be more environmentally friendly.
Reusing decor throughout the day is another great option for being more eco-friendly, and a double benefit is you can lower your costs for the day too! Buying floral decor that can be moved from ceremony to reception, and using your wedding party’s flowers for centerpieces or decor, can really make a big difference.
As for flowers, consider what happens to them after the day. Your bouquet can be preserved (for instance by Flora Petal Farm!) to turn it into a beautiful keepsake. But what about centerpieces or arch arrangements? Some wedding planners and venues have connections to local retirement homes where they can take your flowers after the wedding for others to enjoy. Touch base with your area homes to see if they accept these kinds of donations!
For other decor, choose items you actually would like to display in your home. If you don’t want 15 lanterns with candles in them, see if a rental company has a similar option you can rent that they can use over and over!
These tips are just the tip of the iceberg to plan an eco friendly wedding, but they are a good starting spot! Leave your other suggestions in the comments for how couples can dive even deeper into environmentally friendly weddings.