Why You Should Plan a Sustainable Wedding
Have you ever left a reception at the wee hours of the morning to see caterers throwing out vast trays of food, bins full of trash and bags full of plastic confetti? Then it should come as no surprise that experts estimate 2.5 million weddings per year each produce 400 to 600 pounds of waste.
Planning for an eco-friendly celebration means finding ways to take a few small steps that could make a significant impact on your wedding’s environmental footprint.
6 Tips For A More Eco-Friendly Wedding
1. Eco-Friendly Wedding Dress Ideas
In recent years, environmental concerns are more than just a blip on the global radar. Consequently, eco-conscious alternatives for wedding dresses are gaining momentum in the wedding industry.
When you choose your bridal gown, there are a few options to consider:
Look for vintage dresses online or in local consignment shops. You will wear a beautiful piece of historical fashion and save money.
Shop eco-friendly wedding designers. To get started, check out Indiebride, The Cotton Bride, and Reformation.
Rent the dress of your dreams. Renting dresses for events marking major life milestones is becoming increasingly popular. Why? Because who wouldn’t want to get married in a completely unique designer dress for less than $300?
2. Give Your Guests Eco-Friendly Wedding Favors
Traditional wedding favors bring to mind plastic bubble bottles, matchboxes, playing cards, and candles. Unfortunately, most of these small baubles end up in the back of a junk drawer for years to come, or worse, end up in landfill.
For a simple, sustainable alternative, give items to your guests that they’ll be able to use right away:
Locally made edible gifts
All-natural, package-free soaps
These are great alternatives to the usual favors that will signal your commitment to the environment and delight your guests all the same.
3. Book a Local Venue
A great wedding venue can mean the difference between a regular old ceremony and an intimate occasion that you and your guests will remember for years to come.
Look for spots connected deeply to the local community that clearly understand the environmental impact of their events.
If you’ve got your heart set on a particular venue, consider holding the reception in the same place as your ceremony. This way, you save on travel, use fewer decorations, and you’ll be able to get the party started right away.
4. Hire Eco-Friendly Caterers
When you hire eco-conscious businesses to cater for you, paying the bill is a vote for others in the area to follow suit. Depending on what your specific sustainability values, there are a few options to look at:
Vegan and vegetarian restaurants.
Places that source from local farms.
Eateries that grow their own ingredients.
And after your event, you could give back to the community. An estimated 10% of all wedding food is wasted at the end of the big day. Look for a local food bank that will take your fresh leftovers, or if there is none, look for a local compost to put the extra food to good use.
5. Buy Local Flowers
As prevalent as flowers are during any wedding ceremony, it is important to consider sourcing them sustainably for your celebration.
Certain flowers might look beautiful, but they have to be shipped into the area and were not locally sourced. A majority of the cut flowers sold in the US are also tied to unethical flower farms.
Instead of exotic flowers, choose plants that are:
Locally grown with no harsh chemicals.
Either in season or can be grown year-round.
Flowers and herbs native to the area.
To avoid waste, once you no longer need the floral arrangements, you could give them to guests, donate them, or dry and save them to preserve as a memory of your union.
Alternatively you can check out Something Borrowed Blooms where you can rent beautiful flowers all made from premium silk - your guests may not even notice the difference!
6. Create A Sustainable Wedding Registry
One of the most exciting and daunting parts of post-wedding bliss is considering how to deal with all of the stuff you accumulate. To avoid going home with household goods that may have sounded like a great gift idea at the time but will inevitably sit in a closet somewhere for the next 15 years, a wedding registry is essential.
If you are looking to build an eco-friendly household, you need a sustainable wedding registry.
So, how do you make one?
Make a list of gifts that you want but might not buy for yourselves and a list of items that you know you need.
If you’re not sure if you need or want anything, consider asking for money or charitable donations to be given in your name.
Research all of the products you listed and try to find the brands that match up the best with your values.
Planning a wedding can be stressful, and with everything on your plate, you don’t always have the time to research sustainable products on top of calling the caterers and negotiating with venues.
Luckily, there already exists a sustainable wedding registry service. We call it Everlastly.
Everlastly connects you with sustainable products and helps you build a registry that you can trust. We choose products based on independent research and rate them according to our Evergrade sustainability index. Any items that don’t make the cut simply don’t make it onto the website.
When you choose Everlastly, you can be confident that you will receive low-impact high quality wedding gifts that will last for years to come.
So sit back, relax, and breathe. Your big day is almost here, and we’ll help you make it a breeze.
If you are interested in learning more about how Everlastly can help you with your wedding registry, sign up for our newsletter here!