Getting married should be one of the happiest days of your life. Hopefully, it starts a shared life journey between you and the person that you love. Having said that, it should also be a chance to demonstrate your shared values, and knowing how to plan an eco-friendly wedding is an opportunity you can’t pass up.
Use Vintage Jewelry
If you’re the one doing the proposing, set an eco-friendly tone early by using a ring that has little or even no environmental impact. Rather than risking a conflict or blood diamond through a jeweler, recycle or reuse something that’s already gorgeous. Estate jewelry or a family heirloom brings new life to older pieces. Remember that gold can be melted down and refined to set a diamond on a new band.
Mail Out Environmentally Friendly Invitations
When reviewing potential wedding vendors for your big-day invitations, look for these options:
- Recycled paper at a minimum
- Upcycled fabrics
- Someone who plants a tree with every order
An outdoor ceremony is best if you can do it. Appreciating and enjoying nature goes hand in hand with trying to save it. At the very least, getting married under sunshine means your ceremony doesn’t need power for lights and air conditioning.
There are plenty of places to wed outdoors. For example, the list of Denver’s best wedding venues includes several primarily set outdoors. Just make sure that the clean-up and anything else involved is top-notch.
Opt for Existing Decor
Cut blooms make for great scenery wherever you wed, but they’re also often disposable plants grown for a single-use and transported long distances thanks to fossil fuels.
Whether you host your ceremony and reception indoors or out, why not look for a place that is already full of gorgeous decor? A winery can offer you a scenic background, greenhouses have lush and verdant aesthetics most of the time, and a botanical garden has all the floral decor you could ever want or need.
Serve Meatless Cuisine
From the rehearsal dinner to the wedding reception, keep the menu either vegan or at least vegetarian. Overconsumption of meat and dairy harms the environment, given how much land and how many resources it takes to raise cattle and livestock. While growing fruits and vegetables also requires some footprint, they don’t need nearly as much of the world’s finite resources.
Donate the Decor
Leftover pieces of decor can often be donated, recycled, or reused. Anything from flowers to extra food can be put to use by some local charity or another. Even things like lanterns, mirrors, and signage might be something you can drop off at a local Goodwill so the next frugal couple can enjoy it too.
Rent Anything You Can
Anything single-use is unlikely to be great for the planet, so aim to swap out disposable items for reusable items:
- Rent stemware over plastic glasses
- Skip paper plates for rented china
- Rent linens instead of paper products
- Skip plastic straws in favor of stainless steel
If stainless steel straws don’t suit you, consider paper straws. They decompose faster without hurting sea life. Avoid plastic straws at all costs.
Consider printing as little as possible. There is no real need nowadays anymore to send out printed invites, which creates paper waste and CO2 emissions during transport. Modern couples choose digital invites (emails, WhatsApp, websites) instead. According to Schmittat Wedding Photography in Surrey, already now, most couples request digital versions of their wedding photographs instead of printed albums. Digital wedding photos can be watched on any screen at any time, they will not age over time (paper does!), and most importantly, they create far less waste and CO2 emissions.
Your Honeymoon Counts Too
Don’t leave your Earth-loving habits at your wedding venue. Ride off into the sunset in an electric, or at least hybrid, limousine, if one is available. Then, travel to your honeymoon at an eco-tourism destination where you can balance enjoying the world while also helping it heal.
Your wedding shouldn’t just start a happy life together but also establish your jointly held values. Practice eco-friendliness anywhere you can, from the ring to the ceremony to your honeymoon. You’ll be glad you did, and so will the planet.