Your wedding day is supposed to be one of the most wonderful days of your life, but with between paper/card/foil waste, excess food, leftover flowers and a dress you never wear again, it can also be a very wasteful and environmentally destructive day.
But the good news is that it doesn’t have to be. We’re certainly not saying you should skip your wedding celebration or go without the wonderfully indulgent details, but if you’re conscious about sustainability and want to reduce the negative effects on the environment, there are absolutely tons of small changes you can make that will have a major impact.
We’ve gathered 15 ideas for a sustainable wedding that will totally inspire you and show you exactly how you can have a greener wedding day.
1 – Choose a Sustainable Venue
One of the best ways to have that environmentally friendly wedding of your dreams and dramatically reduce your wedding’s carbon footprint is by choosing an eco-friendly venue. Ask your venue about what they do to be sustainable – ask about food sourcing, food waste, disposable decor and equipment, their linens and where they source their wine.
2 – Sustainable, ethical engagement ring
When choosing your engagement ring & your wedding bands, look into the origins of your diamond or whichever gemstones you choose. If you are buying a new diamond ring, it’s important to ask your jeweller if they source conflict-free diamonds.
There is also the option to go with a lab-created diamond. These have less of an impact on the environment as there is no mining involved in the harvesting process.
Another brilliant option is to go vintage. This is a great way to reduce the environmental impact and avoid creating further cruelty or conflict.
3 – Choose Eco-Friendly Invitations with Be Our Guest
Going digital with invitations is an awesome way to save paper/card/foil. Many traditional invitations are made of non-recycled materials and are not actually recyclable either. But be aware also that some companies produce a lot of digital waste such as spam emails, unsustainable servers and excess battery waste on your device.
Our wedding app ‘Be Our Guest’ lets you go digital for all of your wedding invitations so you can save paper, we also give you the option of sharing meal orders with your venue to save food and we are digitally sustainable – we don’t have a mailing list, we don’t spam customers or pass on your email to anyone, our application has been engineered to be low data/battery use and we use sustainably sourced cloud-based servers that are powered entirely by renewable energy.
We also promote and champion sustainable suppliers!
4 – Using natural Decor
One way to avoid bringing disposable or single-use decorations is to find a venue that already has decor that you like. When searching for your ceremony & reception venues, keep a keen eye out for places that provide decorative details which match your wedding day style.
5 – Ethical Florists
6- Recycle or donate your Decorations
Instead of throwing out your leftover decorations, consider the alternatives. There is a myriad of ways to recycle, upcycle or donate your decorations and reduce waste at your wedding. Flowers can be given to hospitals, there are many organisations that will handle this for you, collecting the flowers from your wedding. Other decorations can be given to family and friends or donated to charity.
7 – Borrow or use existing Decorations
For decorations like mirrors, signs, lanterns, chalkboards, disco balls, etc, there are plenty of options.
Instead of buying new ones, perhaps use items you already own or borrow from family and friends, buy second-hand items, rent these items or choose decorations that you can incorporate into your home decor after your wedding.
8 – Rent your decor
9 – Create an Eco-Friendly Registry
10 – Reduce food waste
11 – Give Edible Favors
Delicious, edible gifts are one of the most wonderful favors to give your guests. They are generally loved by guests and with good reason too! Guests who are travelling to your wedding will appreciate a midnight snack and something that they don’t have to add to their luggage!
12 – Sustainable Meals
Search for caterers who focus on locally grown, sustainable & seasonal foods. Ask your suppliers about the farmers that they work, their farming practice, the use of fertilizers and potential water pollution with as well as how they source their meats if you are opting for meats at your wedding. Another option is to go plant-based for your wedding or choose a banquet-style meal.
The same thing for your wedding wine. Search for organic, vegan-friendly, natural, biodynamic vineyards, locally produced wine if possible and to champion eco-conscious wine producers who place their focus on being sustainable in their vineyards and the wineries.
13 – Confetti
When you throw rice or bits of paper on the lawn of your venue it can damage the earth. Instead of using traditional paper confetti, why not opt for a plant-based alternative like lavender!
14 – Booking a zero-waste Honeymoon
There are many honeymoon hotels and resorts that focus on sustainability in everything they do. Not only do these places provide amazing accommodations, but they have eco-friendly practices such as reusing water, conserving energy, partnering with local conservation efforts, reducing paper waste with digital alternatives, providing sustainable food menus and not using disposable items.
While on your honeymoon, you could opt to support local environmental projects, such as visiting sustainable, ethical animal sanctuaries, taking part in a beach cleanup, or eating at restaurants that source their foods sustainably.
15 – Get Be Our Guest
Use our eco-friendly app to organise your wedding. You get a low-data/low-energy app, your guests all get one too. With over 100 features including digital stationery for every part of the wedding and guest meal orders, Be Our Guest helps you to reduce food, energy and paper waste.
With our lift sharing and shared guest transport options, you can reduce the carbon footprint of your wedding and our supplier directory champions ethical, sustainable suppliers.
I hope that these tips are helpful. Good luck planning your big day. Please read our other blogs or download our eco-friendly wedding app for free from the links on our home page.