As more couples look for ways to reduce their environmental footprint, green weddings are one of the hottest trends in the industry in 2023. Also known as eco-friendly weddings, green weddings are about planning with sustainability and practices that reduce waste and energy usage in mind.
Here are five simple ways you can be more intentional when planning your special day, all while reducing the event's carbon footprint in style.
Use Recyclable Invites
They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression, and the invitation is the first impression guests will have. The invitations you choose are an opportunity to start off strong by demonstrating your commitment to sustainability right out of the gate.
Instead of using traditional paper invitations, consider choosing something made from recycled or plantable paper. Plantable invitations are made from seed paper and can be planted after the wedding, making them a zero-waste option.
Choose Sustainable Attire
When thinking about what your bride's maids and groomsmen will wear, look at dresses and suits made from eco-friendly materials like organic cotton, bamboo, and/or recycled fabrics.
You can also consider renting your wedding dress or suit instead of buying new. This not only saves money, but also reduces garment waste by keeping another piece of clothing (one that will likely never be worn again) from entering the usage cycle. Plus, you won't have to bother with finding somewhere to store it for all those years!
You can also opt for vintage or second-hand clothing to reduce the environmental impact of producing new clothing, or even consider resurrecting a suit or dress that's been in the family.
Choose Eco-Friendly Decorations
Choose eco-friendly decorations for your wedding that can be reused, composted, or recycled. This includes using potted plants or succulents as centerpieces, opting for reusable linens, and/or choosing non-toxic candles. You can also create DIY decorations by incorporating natural materials like wood, branches, or flowers into your centerpieces.
Reduce or Eliminate Single-Use Plastics
Single-use plastics, such as straws, water bottles, and utensils, contribute significantly to plastic waste. Reducing or eliminating the use of single-use plastics by providing guests with reusable water bottles or biodegradable utensils is one option. You can also opt for glass or metal straws instead of plastic ones, and compostable tableware. The Happily Ever After and Mrs. and Mrs. plates are perfect examples of eco-friendly tableware that can be reused, reducing the need for relying on disposable single-use plastic plates.
Provide Eco-Friendly Favors
Eco-friendly favors that they can reused or composted are an excellent way for your wedding to plant a sustainable seed. Ideas include seed packets, reusable shopping bags, or homemade jams or candles in reusable glass jars. The key is to avoid single-use items and provide something that guests will enjoy and appreciate.
Choose a Green Venue
Choose a venue that prioritizes sustainability and has eco-friendly practices in place. This includes venues with renewable energy sources, natural lighting, and composting or recycling programs. You can also consider tying the knot in an outdoor venue like a garden or park, options that are beautiful, more sustainable, and have the potential to connect you and your guests to the natural environment.
Serve Local and Organic Food
When weighing your food and catering options, factor in the degree to which each vendor uses locally sourced and organic ingredients. This not only benefits local farmers and agriculture, but also reduces the carbon emissions associated with long-distance transportation, and by extension, those your wedding will ultimately be responsible for. You can also consider vegetarian or vegan options, which have a lower environmental impact than meat-based dishes.
Donate Leftover Food and Flowers
Finally, think about ways you can reduce waste by insisting that leftover food and flowers be donated to local charities or composting them after the event. This ensures that excess food and flowers do not go to waste and can benefit those in need.
There are countless ways to make your wedding more eco-friendly, of which the ideas above are but a few. But intentionally incorporating sustainable practices and products into your big day should be a no-brainer. Consider incorporating some of these green wedding ideas into your main event, and lean into the positive impact your wedding can have on the environment (and your guests) when you plan with intention.