Your wedding day is a reflection of everything that matters most to you. That includes living sustainably, and with the increasing attention on the environmental impacts of everyday life, ways to go green at your wedding have become more and more accessible.
Every aspect of the wedding planning process can be done with sustainability in mind, from the venue to the décor, the food, and the clothing. Because weddings are a major event, they utilize large amounts of energy and create a lot of waste but by using tips like these you can counteract those impacts and celebrate knowing you’ve done your part for the planet.
The obvious starting point in planning your green wedding is the venue. Choosing a reception location that is eco friendly doesn’t have to limit the ambiance, either. Beautiful outdoor locations provide natural décor and will utilize less electricity and other resources than a banquet hall or hotel. The added bonus of the natural setting and scenery means you’ll also be spending less on flowers and décor for the space, saving money and waste.
For tabletop décor, scour the internet, antique shops, and flea markets for second-hand finds that fit your vision. By reusing these items you are reducing the need for new ones and making a positive impact on the waste that comes along with production. After your big day, donate or resell anything you’re not planning on keeping for sentimental reasons and pay the impact forward.
When it comes to the wedding dress, bridesmaids’ dresses, and suits or tuxes, the greenest option is to go vintage. Vintage wedding dresses bring classic style and a romantic touch to the festivities, and reusing is the easiest way to live sustainably. The same goes for jewelry. Vintage wedding or engagement rings are not only beautiful heirloom pieces you can pass down to continue their tradition, they come with their own story, whether the romance of a long-lasting marriage or the mystery of where an antique shop find could’ve been in the past.
If vintage isn’t your style, seek out companies that offer organic gowns and jewelry. Rings made from recycled metals can be as beautiful as gold or platinum, and they come with a unique history.
One of the biggest features of any wedding is the food. Choose caterers who use organic and responsibly sourced ingredients, meats, fish, and vegetables. Seafoodwatch.org is run by the Monterey Bay Aquarium and provides guidance on choosing sustainable seafood that is responsibly caught or farmed. After the reception explore local options to donate any leftovers and double your positive impact.
A great way to include your guests in the efforts is a charity registry. Instead of gifts, register for donations to be made to environmental causes. You can also register for gifts through green companies that are Fair Trade Certified or hold other certifications that ensure they do business responsibly. Forgoing the traditional favor for a charitable donation is another way to reduce your consumption and do good at the same time. Your guests will appreciate the positive efforts and won’t miss the often-overlooked memento.
Finally, despite your best efforts, energy is a requirement to throw an event. Fortunately, you can purchase carbon offsets that will render your celebration completely carbon neutral. We partner with Carbonfund.org to provide carbon-free shipping for our products, and you can use them to purchase your own offsets.
Whether you want an entirely green event or are just hoping to add a touch of your sustainable lifestyle to the festivities, throwing an environmentally conscious—and still personal, fun, festive, and fashionable—wedding is easier than ever.