Weddings are beautiful events and they create unforgettable moments of great love. Weddings however, also tend to generate a lot of waste. Leftover food, decorations, and wedding supplies typically end up in the trash once the day is over. Luckily, there are plenty of eco-friendly options for couples looking to make an environmental difference.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
We’ve all likely heard the three R’s since kindergarten, but there is a reason for their popularity - they’re as useful for wedding planning as they are in the classroom.
Reduce: By hosting your ceremony and reception in one location you’re making an impact by reducing fuel consumption. Encourage family and friends to carpool to the venue or hire a single form of transportation for your guests, like a bus or trolley. At the end of the night, this will also help your crew get home safely!
Consider going paperless! There are many wedding website builders you can find to get all of your info in one place and reduce waste by combining invitations, registries, and travel information.
To cut down on packaging/shipping waste in the gift department, request money, digital gift cards, local or handcrafted gifts, or forgo gifts altogether. When it comes to the send-off, shy away from one-use items like glow sticks. Try and stick with eco-friendly items like dried flowers, lavender, or even leaves.
Brittany Renee Photography
Working with a caterer mindful of composting is a great way to reduce food waste and if you have non-perishable leftovers, connect with a local shelter/food pantry to see if they have need for your excess food. Try working with local breweries or shops for drinks to ensure that all containers are recyclable or reusable.
Reuse: If you’re a DIY bride, consider decor ideas that can be used after the wedding in your home.
Instead of buying a new dress a family heirloom or vintage wedding dress. This could also work for jewelry, shoes, or many other items. Encourage the bridal party to wear pieces they already own, or try to find outfits that they can wear for another occasion.
Jeff Lopez Photography
Recycle: If you do decide to send out paper save the dates, invites, or RSVP’s, consider using paper/stationery made from recycled materials. Invite guests to recycle the envelope when they receive your announcements in the mail. When booking your venue, ask the venue coordinator if they recycle at that location, and how you can have recycling containers available for your guests and caterer.
Small changes to your weddings can make a big impact! You don’t have to cut corners to make eco-friendly wedding choices. With a little bit of planning, you can have a wedding that makes you feel twice as good when it’s over.