There is so much that goes into a wedding, so much planning, so much love and time that goes towards your special day. It is so amazing to see more and more couples embracing eco friendly practices throughout their wedding day. There is no reason why you can't have a fabulous wedding and also think about the Earth in the process. I've compiled a few ideas of things you can keep in mind for your wedding that will not only impress your guests, but cause you to tread a little lighter on Mother Earth while you say your I Do's.
Choose a Venue or caterer that uses local foods
Be honest with your venue or caterer about what your wishes are and search one out that uses local foods and beverages. Local food mean less has to be shipped, reducing your wedding's carbon footprint. Plus, local food means business for local farmers and businesses and can often be much more fresh. Foodies rejoice!
Don't be afraid to ask your venue about their policies about recycling and composting. Check if they compost any of the leftover food. Even if they don't currently utilize that option, your voice is a great tool to influence venues decisions going forward.
Choose in season flowers or planted arrangements
Along the same lines as local food, fresh in season flowers are a great way to incorporate some Earth friendly practices into your wedding day. Choosing flowers that are in season means they will not have to be shipped from elsewhere which can often even save you some cash. Embracing what is in season makes your wedding beautiful and in tune with the season you chose to get married in. Ask your florist which flowers or plants they recommend. Don't forget to compost the dead flowers after the wedding, or dry them out to keep them. Another option is to choose to have more planted, growing arrangements at your wedding. Terrarium centrepieces, planted decor for the ceremony and little planted succulents for bridesmaid bouquets. The sky is the limit.
Talk to your wedding planner
Keep your wedding planner in the loop about your desire for an eco friendly wedding. They will be a great resource in helping you scope out vendors that align with those values and who are willing to work with you. In the end you can surround yourself with a team of vendors all working towards a badass wedding for you and a group high five to Mother Earth.
Consider Eco friendly decor and details
Shop for decor at second hand stores, rummage sales or flea markets. Not only will you walk away with some truly unique pieces but you'll be using items already in existence instead of encouraging the production of new items. Take a good thorough journey through Etsy and support your local artisans for decor as well. Check to see if they can ship using recycle friendly packaging. After your wedding, you can resell your decor for another eco loving bride to use. Check out local artisans and support local businesses. The great thing about local businesses is the ability to speak to and get to know the people behind your wedding details. They can let you know what goes into the making of their product.
Get your guests in on the fun
Give your guests a mason jar with their name on it to use for the drinks for the night. This will help eliminate garbage in the form of plastic cups. Search rummage sales and thrift stores for mason jars, no need to buy them new. Then your guests can bring them home and continue to use them after the wedding. Offer paper straws that can be composted.
Talk to your stationer
There are a ton of options when it comes to your wedding invitations. Consider emailing your save the dates to save on paper. Discuss recycled paper options for the actual invitations.
Although not for everybody, and I would not begrudge anybody their dream gown, there are additional options for wedding dress shopping. Renting a wedding dress is an option, although alterations are difficult for rented dresses. You can find great and unique wedding dresses at consignment shops that can be altered to a masterpiece made just for you. Or if you desire to go the custom route, seek out dressmakers who have local fabrics to choose from. If you have no desire to save your wedding dress, sell it to another bride after the wedding so it can find a new life.
Forgo the packaged favours and opt for something package free. There are a ton of package free favour options. Or if you do choose packaging go for something recyclable. A great idea for eco friendly favours are a packet of seeds in a biodegradable pouch. Just plant the seeds in their packet and watch them grow. Or choose to forget traditional favours all together and donate to a local eco charity.