Eco Friendly Weddings
Your wedding day is one of the best days of your life as a couple, but with excess food thrown away, leftover flowers and wedding stationary thrown away, this day can also be your most wasteful. Your wedding should be a reflection of you as a couple which includes your style, love story and values. We are not saying you forgo the party or skip the gorgeous wedding details, if you are eco-conscious and you want to reduce the effects to the environment your event will have, there are many small changes you can make that will have a big impact allowing you to have the perfect eco friendly wedding.
What does it mean to plan a sustainable wedding and where do you begin?
Sustainable weddings, or green weddings, are celebrations planned where the couple’s goal is to try and lower their ecological footprint. There is no right way to plan an event that is 100% green, because it would be impossible. The goal is to try and lower the event’s impact on the environment in whichever way you can.
Over the last few years, the idea of a sustainable wedding has changed in many ways. Firstly due to climate change, this has developed into a more pressing issue therefore there is greater need for couples to think about sustainability when planning their wedding. Secondly, there has been a rise of eco-friendly products. If you have attended a green wedding in the past you could easily tell, currently one can have a green wedding with any theme style and the guests would find it hard to tell it’s a green wedding unless they were told.
There’s no reason your dream wedding can’t be a green wedding, too. Here, are a few of our favourite ideas for executing an environmentally conscious wedding.
There are different elements of the location that can make it eco-friendly.
One of the most sustainable aspects about having an eco-friendly venue is choosing a central location or where the majority of your guests live. Locations that are out of town can take a considerable toll on the environment due to emissions associated with car and air travel. If you’re curious about the carbon emissions associated with your flight plans check out this carbon emissions calculator. If your venue is not near public transportation, consider providing a shuttle for your guests or encouraging them to carpool.
Another aspect is you can consider a venue that can brag about its energy efficiency. You can search for hotels and event spaces to host your wedding that have (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certifications and Energy Star ratings. With so many beautiful venues going green, you won’t have to sacrifice style to be sustainable.
It is also important to consider a venue and or caterer that will recycle any waste products from your event and, if possible, reuse items left behind. Consider gifting your reusable decorations to your guests, friends or save them for a future party.
Go for an eco-friendly Menu
Food can be a hotly debated topic in the eco-friendly wedding conversation. When it comes to choosing the menu, consider a few things. Look for caterers who focus on local, sustainable, and seasonal cuisine. Ask about the farmers that they work with as well as how they source proteins, including seafood and beef. The more local, the smaller the carbon-footprint from long-distance shipping. Ask your caterer if it’s possible to buy fresh food instead of frozen. Frozen products often mean more processing and more energy used to get them from farm to your event.
The same goes for alcohol, source it from local wineries, distilleries and brewing as another great way to reduce your carbon footprint. For something like wine, look for natural, organic, and biodynamic bottling to support environmentally conscious producers who focus on being earth-friendly in the vineyard and the winery. Bear in mind that single-serve packaging creates more waste, therefore consider pouring from bigger glass bottles like magnums that you can easily recycle.
Pass on paper
Paper invitations are traditionally known as the norm but save-the-dates, invitations, programs, menus, and thank-you cards can quickly add up to a whole lot of paper. There are greener alternatives such that the back and forth correspondence can be done digitally. Digital invitations can be both beautiful and affordable, and they make tracking RSVPs easy!
If you are still for the idea of sending something in the mail, you can consider using the most earth-friendly stationery, print invitations, programs, and menus on seed paper. Seed paper is a biodegradable material that sprouts into flowers when planted in a pot of soil. The seed paper can have a second life after inviting family and friends to join the fun, it’s a perfect fit for both your wedding and the environment.
Look for Built-In Décor
Why bring in decorations if they already exist at your venue? When thinking about booking your ceremony and reception sites, look for spaces that offer details that fit your wedding style. This will save budget for you and resources for the earth, a win-win situation, right?
Some of the places you can consider are wineries, they offer scenic backdrops, botanical gardens give you instant floral décor, and greenhouses feel lush and verdant without adding cut blooms and gardens with canopies.
Depending on how some trends like sky lanterns and balloons are disposed of after the wedding, they can be harmful to the environment and to local wildlife. For a more eco-friendly wedding, try to focus on recyclable or reusable items like glassware, bunting, macramé, ribbon, books, and vintage candlesticks, some of which you can hire. It’s also a good idea to source non-toxic candles, biodegradable confetti and biodegradable glitter for the big day.
You can also go for décor that you can bring home after the wedding. This not only eliminates waste but also reduces the overall carbon footprint of the wedding.
Planning a sustainable or green wedding doesn’t necessarily have to be harder than planning a less environmentally friendly affair. You can find plenty of sustainable wedding ideas, the market also has eco-friendly wedding decorations, greener options for catering, invitations and more.
The benefits of planning an eco-friendly wedding benefits the planet as whole and also shows your value as a couple that is enthusiastic about sustainability and making a change.