How to Plan an Eco-Friendly Wedding: 10 Green Wedding Ideas
Choosing to go green on your wedding day would help lessen your ceremony expenses, have a lower impact on the environment, inspire others to adopt an ethical lifestyle, promote eco-mindfulness with long-lasting and beneficial effects for our planet. Here’s how to reduce your wedding’s carbon footprint and have a sustainable party, making your day even more special and memorable than a traditional wedding!
What is a green wedding?
A green wedding is a wedding that has been planned with nature in mind, incorporating elements such as natural materials and organic food. A green wedding does not have to be limited to just the bride and groom but can also include family and friends.
A green wedding is a sustainable, environmentally friendly wedding, that couples try to plan in environmentally conscious ways, such as: pursuing greener vendors, bringing reusable goods to the event, avoiding air conditioning and heating systems, recycling materials, or assembling reusable gowns for their bridesmaids.
Green ceremonies are also about being eco-conscious in the choices you make about your wedding including using organic materials without toxic dyes, using handpicked flowers for the wedding bouquet, avoiding a large-scale affair, participating in activities that green travel companies offer, and going to an eco-friendly honeymoon resort.
Why is it important to have an eco-friendly wedding?
It is important to have an ecological wedding because of the impact that your big day will have on the environment. It is estimated that over 20 million animals are killed for their fur each year, and over 7 billion pounds of greenhouse gases are produced. The wedding industry is the second largest polluter, only behind transportation. With some simple changes to your wedding, you can not only be sustainable but save your money, and the life of lots of animals, while also being mindful about nature in general which will contribute to yours and your wedding guests’ personal wellbeing.
What are the basics of green weddings?
A green wedding is a wedding that has an emphasis on using natural materials in order to create a more sustainable event. Green ceremonies are for couples who are aware of their carbon footprint and want to make sure the Earth is cared for during and after the event. The basics of a green wedding boil down to the choices you are making while planning your wedding day: being mindful about your waste, recycling everything you use, favouring renewable energy, serving a sustainable wedding cake, and having small intimate weddings instead of a large scale traditional affairs. It’s all about enjoying your union rituals in an appreciative way towards the beauty of nature, and promoting a sustainable fun atmosphere on your most special day.
What are some green wedding venues and where could a green ceremony take place?
It’s easy to go green with your wedding, as an eco-friendly wedding can take place almost anywhere! There are many eco-friendly venues for weddings that can provide you with all the facilities you need whatever your wedding date would be.
How about an outdoor wedding?
Many couples choose to have a wedding at a location that is remote from urban areas because it allows them to use volunteer workers, local resources, and sustain local communities, while also avoiding polluted big cities.
An environmental-friendly wedding could be held outdoors, or in an environmentally friendly venue, and there are many options to choose from. Plan on tying the knot with your partner at the perfect time and location for an ecological wedding by choosing to have your wedding:
- at an idyllic river valley or on a coast gently downhill for a great view
- at a local park in a wonderfully secluded spot for the best intimacy in the heart of the nature
- in the spring or summer to make use of natural light
- in a place that uses a village-hall heating, like local community centres and banquet halls that also offer affordable rates
- on a rural farm or on a beach
- at a ready made wedding village
Wedding decor ideas to help you go green
1. Go eco with your wedding décor
Why spend money on buying decorations that will just end up in landfills, when you can find a venue that has a built-in decor or provide their own decorations? And the same goes with flower arrangements. Why bring in flowers if the farm has its own? Alternatively, you could get your flowers from a local organic farm.
Avoid having to throw away tons of paper napkins by using organic cloths that would bring a nice touch to the table arrangements.
Recycle tents, tables and chairs. Many of these can be used in another event or kept for someone’s business instead of disposing of them.
Use recycled or repurposed decorations for your wedding, like old silverware you can use as a center piece.
Bring your own cups, plates and utensils to be used during the reception. Use recycled napkins for this purpose too if you can’t find biodegradable alternatives.
2. Replace confetti with environmentally friendly alternatives
Please make sure to find out what you are throwing at your wedding. It is important that people know about the harmful effects of confetti on animals and the environment. Why not replace plastic confetti with hand-made recycled paper confetti? Or how about asking guests to throw birdseed instead, so the birds get a treat? You can also use hand picked leaves, flower petals, ribbons, meadow flowers or even rice for prosperity.
3. Consider ecological bridesmaid dresses
Brides could save a lot of money by buying their wedding dress from a charity shop, renting, borrowing, or wearing a dress they already have. Another alternative would be to DYI your wedding dress to fit body type and personality, and there are many possibilities, from buying the fabric and designing it themselves or hiring a dress maker instead of opting for an expensive designer dress. Materials can also be bought on sale or recycled from old clothes.
Why not consider recycling your wedding dress and accessories? Either give it a second life at the next big event you are attending or gift it to someone that would happily user it.
A fun idea is to have a wedding dress made out of paper. This is great for people who are dedicated to helping the environment in any way possible. Paper dresses are original, unique, and easy to make by finding a pattern online or at a craft store.
4. Be conscious of floral decor arrangements
If you must have flowers, consider growing your own or buying local. Dress up your table with green plants or flowers, instead of pieces that are not biodegradable. If you really want floral arrangements, ask your florist to find out if they will be composting them afterwards. Be sure to use all the greenery that nature offers! You can also use dried out flower bouquets and repurpose them afterwards instead of wasting them.
5. Send green wedding invitation cards by avoiding the use of paper
Send your invitations by email instead of wasting paper. If you have to send invitations, why not include a coupon that people can donate for charity or give them directions on how they could recycle their RSVP cards. By reusing materials you can save a lot of money and it will help the environment!
6. Opt for sustainable meals
The most important thing to keep in mind for sustainability is the food. When you have a wedding, it’s important that your guests eat well and not just from a vending machine or catering truck.
Ask caterers about sustainable and seasonal food, how they source their proteins and where they get their vegetables from. Look for caterers who focus on local, sustainable, and seasonal cuisine, and collaborate with organic farms that are using natural substances to fertilise the soil instead of synthetic chemicals that may be harmful for the environment.
Offer vegan-friendly menu options. Plant-based meals will consume fewer resources and you won’t be harming animals in the process. You can also opt for organic, fair trade, and local products, making sure that the foods you eat are both nutritious and environmentally friendly.
7. Encourage guests to take party leftovers
Let your guests know that on their way out they should pick up any trash or litter they see and make sure to take home any left over food instead of wasting it. Really encourage them not to leave anything behind! Donate what could be reused – giving away non-essential could be the perfect take home gift. Recycle cans, bottles and any other materials you have had at the reception by making a small donation to a local organisation that works on recycling waste.
8. Promote use of public transportation
Encourage your guests to use public transportation to get there and wherever they are staying afterwards instead of driving their vehicles, which would add pollution from car emissions in addition to the carbon footprint.
9. Ask for environmentally friendly wedding gifts
Save on wedding costs by asking guests to contribute money towards a cause such as an environmental charity of your choice instead of spending money on gifts. If they do want to bring a gift, then make sure they are using tote bags for your gifts.
10. Consider a local honeymoon resort
Consider staying closer to home for your honeymoon, and if you have to go to another country, stay in a hotel that is close to the airport. If you are taking your honeymoon overseas, consider an itinerary with multiple legs or one where most of your flights take place at night when aircraft emissions are at their lowest.
Have fun enjoying a guilt-free wedding day
There are numerous ways to create a green wedding, and we showed why that is important. It’s time to take a stand against the use of non-renewable resources, toxic chemicals, and polluting industries.
By planning a green wedding, couples can save the environment and limit the spending at the same time. It is important to plan your wedding around the environment. Keeping it green is fun, environmental-friendly, and can save you a lot of money, too. Helping the environment with this endeavour will make your day even more special and memorable, so you can enjoy your big day guilt-free!