Your wedding day is undeniably one of the happiest and most special days of your life, but it can also be one of the most wasteful. From plastic packaging and paper goods to leftover food and excess flowers, a large amount of waste is dumped in the garbage after the wedding, eventually ending up on landfills – it’s no wonder an increasing number of couples are looking at ways of having a more sustainable celebration. If you want to have an environmentally conscious reception as well, here are some eco-friendly wedding ideas that will help you plan the wedding of your dreams:
Choose a sustainable venue
One of the easiest ways to have an eco-friendly reception and reduce the carbon footprint of your celebration is to opt for a wedding venue that truly takes sustainability seriously. Plenty of event spaces nowadays are going green and have proper certification to prove it, so you won’t have to sacrifice style in order to be sustainable. Another alternative would simply be to opt for an outdoor ceremony and reception. Whether it’s in a garden, a vineyard or even a farm, an outdoor wedding will help you significantly cut down on energy use, while providing you with the most beautiful backdrop.
Say ‘yes’ to a vintage wedding dress
The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about sustainable wedding dress shopping is re-wearing a gown, maybe even your mother’s or your grandmother’s. If you like the idea of wearing a family wedding dress, but don’t really love the look and fit of it, you can easily work with a seamstress to make it more suited to your personal style. If you don’t have such a valuable family heirloom, you can also visit local vintage shops and consignment boutiques, or even check out some websites where you can rent or buy pre-loved wedding dresses.
Be mindful of the food and drinks
When choosing your wedding food, the most sustainable option would be to go local, and find caterers who are devoted to sustainable practices. You might even want to consider reducing the amount of meat in your wedding meals, or even go completely vegan, as it’s a great way of reducing waste, and your carbon footprint. As far as drinks are concerned, talk to the bartenders and make sure they only serve the drinks in glassware, without handing out unnecessary cocktail napkins with every drink. It would also be a good idea to swap single-use plastic straws for great silicone straws from Australia that can easily be kept, washed and reused after the reception.
Try paperless or recycled invitations
When it comes to the invitations, the most eco-friendly option you can choose is to simply send out e-invites. Apart from saving tons of paper from going to the landfill, e-mailing your invitations might also save you a substantial amount of money. If you still want to send out physical invites, however, find ones that are compostable, biodegradable, made out of recycled paper, or even made by upcycling alternative materials, such as fabric, leather and wood.
Rent the details instead of buying them
Whether it’s paper or plastic, single-use items are harmful to the environment, so try to rent décor and equipment details, instead of buying them. Swap out the plastic cups and paper plates for rented glassware and China – not only will it reduce landfill waste, but your whole reception will look more classy and elegant. Similarly, instead of tons of paper napkins, try to rent linen napkins, tablecloths and runners, or even ask your venue if they can provide washable and reusable linens for your reception.
Get the most out of your eco-friendly wedding flowers
Botanical centerpieces are the most popular wedding décor elements, and they are undeniably beautiful. However, freshly cut flowers aren’t exactly environmentally friendly. Consider opting for succulents or potted plants and flowers instead – not only will they make for wonderful and unique centerpieces, but they can also be replanted at home or even given as lovely favors. If you simply can’t bear the idea of not having traditional flowers, then opt for blooms that were grown locally without the use of pesticides, and make sure they are properly composted after the celebration.
Even though it might seem like a daunting task at first, throwing an eco-friendly wedding, while still achieving your dream celebration, is more than possible, as long as you pay attention to details.