The latest wedding trend is also good for the planet. Eco-friendly weddings let couples embrace sustainable event planning methods from planning to execution to cleanup.
The wedding industry has a reputation for being rather wasteful. After all, many of the decor and fashion items that are purchased are only used once. Annually, U.S. weddings release an average of 63 tons of CO2. A single wedding wedding is likely to produce 400 pounds of garbage!
With stats like these, it’s not hard to see why couples are trying to be more mindful on their wedding’s impact on the environment. The great news? Typically, these eco-friendly practices come also with cheaper price tags. Opting for second-hand fashion items such as antique jewelry or a vintage dress can help you save big while also achieving a timeless, elegant look.
You’ll find some of our favorite eco-friendly wedding ideas below:
- Host the ceremony outside: Consider hosting your ceremony outside. This allows you to cut down on electricity use while also taking advantage of natural scenery. Hosting your ceremony and reception in the same place cuts down on travel time for your guests and reduces carbon emissions.
- Go paperless: It’s easy to go paperless, and it also keeps everything streamlined and organized in the same place. Ask your vendors to send PDF vendor packets and bring an iPad along to your vendor meetings so you can reference the materials online. Also take advantage of free wedding websites so you can communicate details to your guests online. You can also try sending digital save-the-dates and invites on recycled paper.
- Stage a sustainable exit: Consider switching out a traditional confetti toss in favor of something more eco-friendly. You can use dried petals, olive leaves, or fall foliage to get a whimsical, dreamy exit that doesn’t make a mess and requires 0 cleanup.
- Arrange transportation: Rent a shuttle to get your guests to and from the venue in order to cut down on the need for multiple cars. This will reduce carbon emissions and drunk driving risks.
- Choose seasonal flowers: Sustainable floral is another great way to cut down your carbon footprint. Purchase flowers from a local vendor and make sure your bulbs are in season to prevent the need for cross-country transportation.
- Buy vintage accessories: No one says your wedding-day outfit has to be brand new. Add a timeless look to your wedding outfit with antique earrings or a second-hand dress.
- Embrace candlelight: Set the mood with candlelight. This dramatic lighting alternative is romantic and dreamy. Using candles also allows you to cut down on your electricity usage, and if you’re hosting your reception outside, use citronella candles to help keep the bugs away.
- Hire the right caterer: Food waste is a huge contributor to your wedding day garbage, so be mindful of who you choose to cater your special day. If you hire a farm-to-table cateter, you’ll get fresh ingredients, a seasonal menu, and produce purchased from local farms. You can also see if your caterer can set up grazing table which eliminates the need for clunky and wasteful food displays.
Discover more eco-friendly wedding fashion ideas with this visual from Zola below!