When you think of your wedding celebration do you picture huge cut flower bouquets and tables heaped with food?
Or do you picture an eco friendly wedding that is a little more environmentally friendly and creates less waste?
Whether you’re super environmentally conscious or you’re just looking for a few tips to be more green in your wedding celebration, we’ve got you covered.
None of our tips are budget busters and incorporating one or all of them won’t make you crazy.
Or at least no more crazy than planning a wedding already is.
You can choose to try to incorporate all of these ideas, or just pick one or two that feel right for your celebration. Remember that this wedding is all about you!
Start with Your Location
Choosing your venue is typically one of the first big decisions when you start wedding planning.
Have you considered being married at a park or preserve? Or a beach?
If you’re married in a state or national park your rental fee is likely to be very inexpensive and it will generally go back to supporting the park itself.
Many State parks have unique area’s to host a celebration. Depending on the time of the year your view will be different than other times. This means that your wedding will have a unique and one of a kind feel to it.
Obviously an outdoor wedding checks off several eco friendly wedding options right off the list – you’ve got natural lighting and no a/c or heat. This may not only save you money, but it can help you save the environment too!
Many parks and preserves also have natural beauty that will cut down on your decor expenses.
It doesn’t take much decor to enhance an already beautiful setting.
If you choose to go with an indoor venue you can explore green buildings here. This is a great place to find LEED spaces and hotels. You may be surprised what you can find in you area.
Consider the Flowers
Did you know that cut flowers and greenery are not very environmentally friendly?
Because of their use of chemicals, fertilizers and plant growth regulators these farms are not great for our environment.
Who knew that it takes so many chemicals to make a pretty bouquet?
And the majority of roses that we see in flower shops are imported from South America. So along with the chemicals you also have the transportation to factor in.
Have you considered using potted plants or trees for your centerpieces and decor? You can transplant them to your garden afterward, or even send them home with guests as your wedding favors.
If you’re planning to use cut flowers you’ll want to try to use ones that are in season, possibly native to your area and try to work with a local and sustainable farm or nursery.
We have to say that we love receiving those beautiful invites by regular mail. There’s something special about a wedding invitation on heavy paper.
If you’re like us, and just love the mailed invites we’ve got some ideas for making them eco friendly.
Look for stationers that give back to the environment when a purchase is made. Consider using recycled paper or seed paper for your invitations.
The seed paper can be planted directly into your garden after the event, and the next season you’ll have a lovely reminder of it!
Consider using paperless invites for your save the dates. Since this is less formal an e-mail or online invitation can be used.
Another good idea is to set up your wedding website and include information on it. You can add directions and registries directly onto the website and direct everyone to check it for updates. This will help cut down on the inserts you’ll be mailing.
Eco Friendly Menus
Most of us don’t think of food as being an eco friendly option and it’s certainly one that’s hotly debated.
You’ll have to determine what works best for your budget and for your guests.
While vegetarian is considered more sustainable, it’s certainly not the only way to go with a menu.
Local, sustainable and seasonal are the best choices to be eco friendly with your menu. Ask your caterer how they can support this.
Be sure to plan ahead for the leftovers, because there will be leftovers. You may be able to donate these to a shelter if the arrangements are made before the event. If you’re planning to take the leftovers you may want to provide your own reusable containers for them.
Rent Instead of Buying
There are many items that you can rent if you’re only planning to use them for this one event. Most of the decor and also the glasses and dishes.
Glasses and china will elevate your event and leave less trash behind at the end of it.
If you aren’t planning to use china and glass then go for compostable dinnerware and then be sure that there’s a designated compost bin for it.
Eco Friendly Wedding Favors
There are lots of great ideas on favors that are eco friendly.
Individual seed packets, potted plants or a local specialty make great gifts.
We had our local coffee maker roast a special blend for gifts at Lauren’s wedding.
At the End of Your Celebration
Throwing bird seed, rice or paper is not very earth friendly. Think about some other options for your send off such as dried lavender or flower petals.
You could possibly have a flower mix made up for your event that contains seeds to locally grown choices. Native flowers are always a fun memory when they pop up the next year.
Check into donating your decor after the wedding. Many nursing homes, hospitals, or senior centers love receiving flowers for their residents and employees.
Even small steps can make a huge difference in hosting an eco friendly wedding. One small thing can make a big difference so pick and choose the ideas that you enjoy to use for your wedding.