Every bride wants their big day to be the most memorable. From the decor to the cake, the wedding dress, the menu, every part should echo glam and elegance. But it shouldn’t be at the expense of the environment, so more often green wedding becoming a hit.
The big celebration is associated with massive waste, and most of it is non-biodegradable. From tossed paper goods littering the venue, and leftover flowers thrown in the garbage area, to excess food thrown away, a wedding day can quickly become chaotic.
In fact an average wedding produces 63 tons of CO2 and 400-600 pounds of trash. It doesn’t have to be so.
How to Have a Sustainable Wedding?
Green weddings have become a go-to solution for eco-conscious couples and those looking to reduce wedding costs.
And planning a sustainable wedding doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as sourcing sustainable ingredients for the wedding menu, or shopping second-hand decorations, flowers, rings, and wedding dresses.
The following green wedding ideas may give you some inspiration.
1. Sustainable wedding rings
Although a new gold ring is shiny and gorgeous, you don’t have to buy the most expensive ring from the jeweler. Research shows producing one gold ring causes 800 kg of CO2 emissions and 20 tonnes of toxic waste.
As such, you want to consider recycling a retro ring. You can find one in a vintage store or an estate jewelry store. Alternatively, wear a family heirloom. Your mom, granny, or mother-in-law may have one passed from one generation to another.
Another sustainable option is to wear a lab-grown wedding ring and this alternative is particularly handy for brides who want to wear an eco-friendly diamond ring. The stones sparkle like real diamonds, and the metal bands are made from recycled metal.
2. Eco-friendly wedding table decorations
Wedding decorations have a significant effect on the environment and most items (balloons and sky lanterns)are made from non-biodegradable plastic.
For a more eco-friendly wedding, focus on reusable or recyclable items like vintage candlesticks, ribbons, glassware, and macrame. You may also source for biodegradable glitter and non-toxic candles.
If you must use modern table decorations, find couples planning to sell their decor after the wedding. Instagram and Facebook Marketplace are great places to look for sustainable wedding decorations like lighting, glassware, linens, and more.
3. Sustainable wedding flowers
Wedding flowers are a huge part of decorating a wedding venue and the reception, often at the expense of the environment.
You can opt for a more sustainable wedding floral arrangement by reusing the flowers at the ceremony for the reception area.
As for the bride, seasonal blooms make a great sustainable alternative. Look for florists dealing with sustainable flowers to source for locally grown flowers to avoid ferrying them long distances.
The bridal party’s bouquet can be used to decorate the cake table with roses, potted orchids, and succulents, making up the centerpieces.
4. Eco-friendly wedding invitations
Virtual invitations are just as effective as regular paper invitations but if you must go the traditional way, use recycled paper. Upcycled wood, fabric, and leather are great materials for wedding invitations.
5. Eco-friendly wedding favors
Wedding favors are a thoughtful way to thank guests for celebrating your big day with you, but you need to be eco-conscious.
Since most guests forget about the gifts as soon as they leave the wedding, investing in edible gifts is best.
The gifts double up as snacks for guests traveling long distances. Alternatively, mobilize your guests to donate to a charity in their names.
You can announce on the menu cards or make a placard directing them to the escort-card station.
6. Eco-friendly wedding venues
Finding a sustainable wedding venue can be challenging but the outdoors make a great eco-friendly venue as long as it’s well-decorated.
Getting married with backdrops of a rolling countryside or lush forest is refreshing, and you enjoy scenic backdrops in wedding photos.
However, if such wedding venues are out of reach, look for areas with built-in decor. For example, botanical gardens, greenhouses, and wineries have scenic backdrops that don’t need much decoration.
7. Eco-friendly Wedding Dress
Wearing an eco-friendly wedding dress appears overreaching, but it’s possible. You don’t need to join the fast fashion fad to look fabulous in one day.
Look for wedding dress designers who use eco-friendly fabrics to make them. Velvet, cotton silk, tulle, polyester voile, and organic cotton are excellent sustainable fabrics for wedding dresses.
Alternatively, purchase a second-hand wedding dress from Etsy, Preowned Wedding Dresses, or Nearly NewlyWed, among other stores.
8. Eco-friendly Wedding Cake
Every bride feels the pressure to serve delicious wedding cakes, and you can achieve it more sustainably.
You may ask your baker to use locally sourced organic ingredients and add seasonal fruits. As for the cake decorations, ask the baker to use reusable items like rustic log plinths and ribbons.
9. Sustainable Signage Options
Wedding programs, menus, and signages require paper which isn’t eco-friendly. You may opt for multi-purpose sign options that can be reused after the wedding. Glass pieces and chalkboards, for example, can be customized with paint or markers.
10. Sustainable Dishware
Disposable dishware is an excellent option for brides looking to reduce costs but it isn’t always eco-friendly.
You can buy used dishes, rent them from suppliers dealing in wedding dishware or buy cheap plates sold in thrift stores.
But if you’re hell-bent on using disposable dishware opt for biodegradable options. Compostable cups, plates, bamboo tableware, and wooden cutlery are great sustainable alternatives.
These ten ideas will inspire you to host the sustainable wedding of your dreams. Not only does it help reduce waste, but it’s a great way to minimize costs.
Be sure to liaise with the vendors and caterers beforehand to identify areas you can employ more sustainable options. For caterers, you can ask if they compost food scraps, save leftovers, or use seasonal produce to prepare food.