The Complete Guide To Planning an Eco-Friendly Wedding

The Complete Guide To Planning an Eco-Friendly Wedding

In a lot of ways, wedding planning can quickly become a very wasteful process. With so many different vendors to hire and services to coordinate the day of your wedding, couples don’t always realize just how much waste they create. However, planning and coordinating an eco-friendly wedding can be a stress-free process. To learn more, check out our complete guide to planning an eco-friendly wedding. We’ll discuss our tips and tricks to reduce waste and stick to your sustainable values.

Some of the points this article will discuss include:

  • Upcycle decorations
  • Minimize paper waste
  • Use organic materials
  • Offer shuttle services
  • Avoid destination weddings
  • Consider your venue
  • Stick to sustainable lighting 
  • Rent, don’t buy 
  • Donate to green charities 
  • Choose your menu wisely 
  • Give your guests leftovers

Let’s get started!

The Complete Guide To Planning an Eco-Friendly Wedding

Upcycle Your Wedding Décor

When it comes to waste, wedding décor and decorations make up a large percentage of this figure. Between glitter, confetti, signs, and even flowers, these decorations can accumulate into one large and unnecessary waste collection. If you’d like to prevent your wedding day from creating this excessive amount of waste, consider using reusable decorations instead.

When you use recyclable decorations, you prevent your décor from going straight into a trash bin directly after your wedding. Not only will opting for recyclable decorations be beneficial for the environment, but this practice will also benefit your budget. Rather than wasting materials and money on one-use items, check out these reusable wedding décor lists.

Minimize Stationery Paper Waste

Stationery is a considerable budget consideration for most newly engaged couples. However, paper waste can easily make an eco-friendly wedding fairly unsustainable by sending out save-the-dates, bridal shower invitations, wedding invitations, and RSVPs.

However, there are plenty of ways to fight back against this paper waste. Here are our top tips on how you can minimize paper waste for your wedding.

Go Digital

Wedding websites are one of the most convenient and effective ways to plan a more sustainable and budget-friendly wedding. In addition, when you create a wedding website, you can reach out to your wedding guests via email to make coordinating your engagement party, bridal shower, and RSVPs even more effortless.

There are plenty of guides on how to start a wedding website that will help you get started. Once you’ve established your site, you can create custom registries, RSVP pages, and invitations without using excess paper or decorating materials.

Since it’s common for wedding guests to forget to manually submit their RVSP, having a simple URL will make this process even more accessible to your guests.

The Complete Guide To Planning an Eco-Friendly Wedding

Keep Your Guest List Small

When you get married, it’s natural to want to share your special day with as many people as possible. However, if you prefer to keep your ceremony and reception more intimate, consider hosting a micro-wedding instead. Micro-weddings include a small bridal party and a significantly smaller guest list.

Having fewer guests at your wedding will use less paper, decorations, and energy. As a result, your intimate wedding will have a considerably smaller carbon footprint, and you can rest assured that you’ve stayed true to your sustainable lifestyle.

Use Organic Materials

Depending on the types of details you include in your wedding stationery, these additional decorations can be highly harmful to the environment. Unfortunately, materials such as glitter and confetti are not sustainable and can cause major issues to reusable materials such as paper.

Opting to use organic materials and decorations on your invitations will ensure that you’re able to recycle your stationery with more peace of mind.

The Complete Guide To Planning an Eco-Friendly Wedding

Avoid Destination Weddings

If your goal is to throw an environmentally conscious wedding, hosting a destination wedding will likely not help you meet this goal. Instead, the process of traveling to your international destination will push your carbon footprint above the average of most couples.

If you’re set on marrying the love of your life in a different country, consider keeping your wedding party as small as possible.

Offer Shuttle Services

When it comes to weddings, there are a lot of moving parts to keep track of. Getting your bridesmaids and groomsmen in one spot is already a challenge, but ensuring that all your guests get to the ceremony and reception is another headache.

Offering a shuttle service to your wedding is a simple solution that ensures your guests have easy access to attend your wedding without creating an excessive amount of pollution.

Using a shuttle service will save a considerable amount of gas and help you host the eco-friendly wedding of your dreams.

Consider Your Venue

When many couples prioritize environmentally conscious practices into their wedding, they don’t know where to start. Apart from minimizing waste, it can be challenging to decide how to host an eco-friendly wedding.

One of the easiest ways to ensure that your wedding embraces sustainability is to choose a wedding venue that shares your eco-friendly values. Here’s what you should look for in an eco-friendly venue.

  • Transparency: How does your venue promote sustainability? Do they have a recycling program? Is their facility built with eco-friendly electric and HVAC systems? How transparent is your venue coordinator? If you find that your wedding coordinator cannot or will not give you a direct answer to any of these questions, it may be best to look at another location.
  • Urgency: Wedding venues that prioritize eco-friendly practices will likely advertise this. As you begin to browse different venues, narrow your options down to facilities that explicitly say they care about sustainable weddings.
  • Flexibility: There isn’t one uniform way to throw a sustainable wedding. Your eco-friendly vision may differ slightly from that of your venue coordinator. These differences do not matter, but the flexibility of your venue coordinator does. Can your venue help you host a wedding that mimics your sustainable lifestyle? If not, it’s time to move on to the next venue.
The Complete Guide To Planning an Eco-Friendly Wedding

Stick To Sustainable Lighting Options

Who doesn’t love a wedding ceremony or reception that includes warm, romantic glowing lights? This lighting can set the mood for your special day and be a magical detail to remember. However, while twinkling lights can make your wedding look like a dream, they can also use a considerable amount of energy.

Avoiding traditional light bulbs will help prevent high energy usage. Instead, LED lights and motion sensor lighting will be the most effective way to create the romantic lighting you love with less energy waste.

Check out these additional ways to make your wedding lighting eco-friendly.

Rent, Don’t Buy Equipment

There are countless reasons why renting instead of buying supplies is better as you plan your future wedding. Apart from the fact that most couples don’t reuse most of their wedding materials and decorations, renting wedding gear is a more sustainable option.

Rather than creating brand new materials for your wedding, vendors can instead reuse their equipment for your wedding. As a result, your ceremony will ultimately create less waste, and you’ll save significantly on your budget.

Include a Green Charity in Your Wedding Registry

Want to make a greater contribution to the environment on your wedding day? If you and your partner are passionate about sustainability, including green charities in your wedding registry could be beneficial. There are plenty of charities that are dedicated to the improvement and protection of the environment.

Find a charity that matches your goals and include this organization on your wedding registry. Your guests may choose to donate money in your name as a generous gift.

The Complete Guide To Planning an Eco-Friendly Wedding

Choose Your Caterers Wisely

The food options you choose for your wedding can also contribute significantly to your carbon footprint. Where your caterers source their food from and what types of items they serve are factors that can affect how eco-friendly your wedding is.

For the greenest approach to your wedding menu, keep your food options local. Ask your caterers where they source their food and only use menu items that support local farms and businesses.

Next, consider opting for a vegetarian menu. This piece of advice tends to be more controversial since many wedding guests are not vegetarian. However, sticking to a meat-free menu will help reduce the number of greenhouse gases emitted into the environment.

Give Your Leftovers To Guests

After your reception dinner, you’ll most likely have several plates of food leftover. Unfortunately, many weddings end with these leftovers simply being thrown away. If you’d like to host a sustainable wedding, we recommend collecting your extra plates of food and sending these leftovers home with your guests.

Who doesn’t love leftovers? Gifting these plates to your guests will prevent unnecessary food waste and ensure that each guest goes home with a full stomach.

We hope our complete guide to planning an eco-friendly wedding has been a beneficial resource. As you begin planning for your big day, remember to inquire about green practices from each of your wedding vendors. The more proactively you plan to be eco-friendly, the easier your wedding planning process will be!

Want to read more guides, advice, and tips on how to throw the wedding of your dreams? Here at Everyday Bride, we feature articles written by experienced wedding vendors. To read more top-level industry advice, explore the Everyday Bride website for more information.

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Everyday Bride

Freelance Writer
December 14, 2021

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