Our wedding day is supposed to be one of the most wonderful days of your life, but with between paper/car/foil waste, excess food, leftover flowers and a dress you never wear again, it can also be very wasteful and environmentally destructive day.
Venues can be a major source of waste between leftover food, drinks, single-use containers, paper waste and how they source, clean and transport their items, how they power their energy as well as their policies for guests.
But the good news is that your wedding day doesn’t have to be wasteful or harmful to the planet. One of the best ways to be sustainable is to choose the right venue.
Not only are you reducing the carbon footprint of your own wedding but you are supporting those forward-thinking venues that offer this option.
1- Look in sustainable directories
When searching for venues online, look at green wedding blogs and sustainable wedding directories to find lists of green wedding venues. We have a listing of sustainable suppliers on our Be Our Guest wedding app (which you can download for free from this site).
2 – Look at the certification
Across the world, there are organisations that provide eco-friendly venues and hotels with certificates to prove sustainable practices. The environmental protection agency (EPA) in many countries provides this service.
3 – Look at the website
Sustainable wedding venues will often mention this on their website and give a list of what they do to be greener. Look out for venues that reduce food waste, ban or reduce the need for single-use plastic bottles and bags, that plant trees or flowers, that have eco-friendly policies with regards to cleaning laundry or linens.
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.
4 – Think about food
Go to your potential venue with the right questions. Ask about sourcing food, about whether they provide organic, seasonal, locally-produced foods. Ask them what they do with food waste and how they can minimise it. What do they do with leftovers?
Ask your venue if they are using Be Our Guest to save food by getting guest meal orders in advance!
5 – Ask about Tablewear
Does your venue use long-lasting tableware or go for disposable, single-use tableware? Do they use sustainable, eco-friendly dishwashing detergent? Where do they get their linens and tableware?
6 – Do they have 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. Not only is this more eco friendly, but it will also save you money. What a win-win solution.
You could opt for a winery that offers beautiful, natural backdrops, an outdoor wedding in the countryside or a wedding at your nearest botanical gardens for instant floral decorations.
7 – Ethical Suppliers
Does your chosen venue work with other ethical, eco-friendly suppliers? Perhaps they have a list of these?
8 – Eco-friendly transport
If your venue is out of town, do they provide any shuttle buses or shared transport for guests?
9 – Wine and beer
Does your venue stock organic, bio-dynamic or locally produced wine and beer? Do they provide vegan-friendly wines and beer? Do they support smaller vineyards and breweries by offering these options?
10 – Vegan options
Does your venue support veganism when it comes to your wedding day? Will they provide vegan options for your guests? Eating less meat and more plant-based foods is a great way to help the planet by reducing the negative impacts of animal & dairy farming.
There are so many amazing plant-based alternatives on the market today, and your caterers or the venues should offer these delicious alternatives for your guests to enjoy!
It’s also a great way to be more inclusive for your vegan, vegetarian or lactose-intolerant guests. If you don’t want to go 100% plant-based, you can still introduce more of these options to the menu and to your evening buffet or welcome reception.
11 – Recycling
Don’t forget to ask your potential wedding venues about recycling. Do they have a recycling policy? recycle everything that they can? Or do they have policies for re-using recyclable products?
Can they compost leftover foods? Do they use recycled products themselves?
There can be a lot of waste & excess packaging on a wedding day. This is something that you might not even think about when you are planning your big day. Do your potential caterers or venue use have eco-friendly recycling practices?
12 – Paper waste
Does your potential wedding venue use paper for promotional materials? Guest information booklets? Meal orders? Or they provide digital alternatives?
13 – Travelling to your venue
Is your venue easily accessed by the majority of your guests? Yes, you have found a sustainable wedding venue but the biggest carbon footprint of the wedding day could then be from guests travelling to & from the venue, so, the closer the venue is to most of your guests the better.
It goes without saying that you may have people flying in from other places. But the key here is to reduce the carbon emissions for most of the guests, not the outliers.
One great way to do this is to hire a shared transport wedding bus to take guests to and from the reception/ceremony.
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.