Planning a wedding can be a ton of fun, but it can also be an overwhelming experience. From the dishes and the decor to your venue and your vows, there are tons of decisions to be made around every aspect of the process. And as you make these decisions, you’ll need to weigh your priorities to create a day that’s meaningful for you and your soon-to-be spouse.
If you’re concerned about your environmental footprint, it can be smart to keep this in mind as you make these decisions around your big day. Weddings can generate a lot of waste and use up a ton of resources, so it can be a good opportunity to make a positive impact. Aiming for an entirely green wedding may not be feasible, but there are lots of steps you can take to make your ceremony and reception more eco-friendly. Here are just a few of them!
Look for local caterers. When choosing someone to provide the food for your wedding celebration, look locally. Find catering companies and bakeries that source ingredients from nearby farms to create fresh and healthy meals for your guests. And when you’re putting the menu together, be realistic about how much food your guests will eat. Many brides and grooms severely overestimate the amount of food needed for the buffet, and you usually won’t get the option to take the leftovers to-go.
Evaluate your flowers. For many, flowers are an essential piece of a wedding celebration - but they don’t have to be! Many flowers used in wedding arrangements are grown with harsh pesticides and chemicals to keep bugs at bay, which isn’t great for our environment. If you’re determined to use real flowers at your event, opt for locally-grown, in-season flowers whenever possible. If your florist can’t tell you how yours were grown, you may want to consider an alternative for your bouquet and centerpieces. From bouquets of brooches and paper flowers to centerpieces consisting of books, family photos, and other mementos, there are lots of creative options to consider!
Rent, don’t buy. Renting supplies for your wedding instead of buying them can be a great way to cut down on costs and your environmental footprint. You can rent tables, chairs, dishes, centerpieces, decor - even your wedding dress!
Consider eco-friendly favors. If you’re planning to send your wedding guests home with a favor, make it a green one! Succulents or potted plants make great gifts for guests who live close by, but if you’ve got a lot of out-of-town visitors in attendance, a packet of seeds or a sweet treat for the road can be perfect picks. Alternately, you can make a donation to a charity on your guests’ behalf in lieu of a favor - or skip favors entirely.
Keep these steps in mind as you tackle the wedding planning process and you’ll find yourself with an event that leaves a minimal impact on our environment. What eco-friendly wedding tips and tricks are you aware of that didn’t make it on my list? Leave a comment and let me know!