Just keep in mind that no wedding can be perfectly environmentally friendly, and there will always be some level of waste involved, so don’t hold yourself to a super strict standard, or you’ll feel nothing but guilt on what should be a very special day. After all, you can’t fix the world with a single sustainable wedding, but you can work to make more eco-friendly choices and maybe even inspire others to do the same.
Choose a convenient location
If most of your family and friends are located in a specific area or region, consider hosting your wedding there. A destination wedding generally requires everyone to fly, and a remote location means a lot of travel by car, contributing to environmental damage. Think about what location would minimize travel, which is convenient and more affordable for your guests, as well as good for the environmental.
Ask your venue the hard questions
Having a sustainable wedding will depend in large part on your venue, so be sure to ask about their practices before you sign on the dotted line. Do they recycle? Does their menu have vegan options? How do they dispose of food waste? How are their ingredients sourced? What kind of cleaning products do they use? Be sure to ask your venue about any eco-friendly initiatives they participate in, and don’t be afraid to search elsewhere if your potential venue doesn’t meet your standards.
Select an organic, locally sourced menu
Many caterers not only offer vegan options, but source their ingredients from local and organic farms. Choosing these menu options can reduce your weddings environmental impact. You can also look at purchasing alcoholic beverages from local wineries, breweries and distilleries to reduce your footprint.
Limit your stationery or go digital
Paper waste is a huge issue with weddings, but fortunately that’s an easy fix! You can create digital save the date cards, invitations and RSVPs to eliminate paper altogether. And if you must have some stationery, create a stunning invitation that you can use for a keepsake and skip the other paper items altogether. Also, be sure to ask if your stationery can be printed on recycled paper.
Shop vintage or second-hand
For your wedding day attire, look for vintage dresses in second-hand shops. You may be surprised how glamorous and stunning a vintage dress will look. They make for incredible photos!
Choose reusable décor
Items like balloons and floating lanterns look lovely but are a hazard to the environment. Instead, opt for décor you can pick up from second-hand and thrift stores and repurpose either as home décor or pass on for someone else to use. Objects like vintage books, glassware, candlesticks and bunting add a gorgeous touch to your wedding while also being eco-friendlier.
Give back with your wedding favors
Instead of passing out favors, which can use up a lot of wasteful packaging, consider giving to a charity in each of your guest’s name. Pick an organization whose mission is close to your heart or choose an environmental group like Greenpeace, Sierra Club or the International Fund for Animal Welfare.
There are a variety of ways you can make your wedding more environmentally friendly and have a sustainable wedding. Just be willing to think beyond the traditional wedding for solutions!