It’s no secret that planning a wedding can be stressful and trying at times. However, it can be even more complicated for the eco-conscious couple who want to host an earth friendly wedding. Suddenly, the happy bride and groom are faced with a variety of choices and, more often than not, will discover it isn’t alway easy being green. Suddenly, we are forced with the dilemma of choosing convenience over more sustainable items due to cost or time.
Thankfully, all is not lost.
Couples can still enjoy the wedding of their dreams with a little creative thinking. Yes, it’s possible to organize an eco-friendly wedding that gives you all the “feels” without breaking the bank or your principles. Afterall, we want our relationship to be the item that lasts for years down the road, not the trash leftover from the wedding.
12 tips on how to organize an eco-friendly wedding:
Start planning early. Depending on where you live, it isn’t always possible to walk into a store and purchase green products. Don’t wait to the last minute if you want to organize an eco-friendly wedding and buy items in bulk to cut down on costs and unneeded packaging. You need to start now and allow plenty of time to locate or order items you want.
Locate the perfect venue. Not all venues are created equal and this is especially true when it comes to being eco-friendly. Before booking or putting down deposits, look for a location that can host the ceremony and reception in one place to reduce driving. Also, consider the natural lighting and how much input you will be able to have over the food and products used.
Purchase recycled paper invitations. When choosing invites, look for eco-friendly versions made from recycled materials. You can buy a variety of high-quality products that feature handmade paper, paper with seeds inside that can be planted, and so much more!
Go digital. Ditch paper invites altogether and use digital options for inviting people to the wedding, reception, and even for RSVP’s.
Buy local. Reduce your carbon footprint by hiring local vendors to buy local products and services. Also, purchase in-season produce and foods to add regional flare.
For flowers, pick organic or upcycle your own. There are a variety of eco-friendly options available. If you can’t find organically grown or sustainable flowers that are in-season, make your own from vintage fabrics or old books. You can also throw the bouquet and choose potted plants!
Embrace reusable table coverings. While it’s tempting to get plastic tablecloths that can be rolled up and thrown into the trash, keep things classy and eco-friendly with cloth or reusable table coverings. Many venues may already provide this option, but you can always buy your own or borrow from friends and family.
Find something borrowed. Rent or borrow reusable centerpieces, decorations, and other big ticket items. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel for each wedding and it makes financial sense while being better for the environment.
Go vintage and buy used. Instead of buying all new items that come with packaging, hit garage sales, thrift stores, flea markets, and online resellers first. You can also repurpose items your family already owns for the wedding for one-of-a-kind items. Look for ways incorporate old doors, Mason jars, containers, bicycles, feeders, wedding dresses, lace, fabrics, and more on your big day! This will keep items out of the landfill and give your wedding personality for pennies on the dollar.
Ditch the disposable silverware and table settings. Go old school and pump up the glam by using real plates, glasses, and silverware complete with cloth napkins. By saying no to the plastics, styrofoam, or paper products you will be eliminating these one time use items from heading to the landfill. If you don’t want to hassle with dishes, but want the convenience of disposable items, you can find disposables made from rice, wood, and potato products. These, unlike plastic, can be composted or dissolve naturally over a short period of time.
Get lit. Many couples love the ambience white light provides at their reception, but this trend often involves a multitude of string lights and numerous outlets which require a lot of energy. Instead of buying any old strings of lights, look for LED options featuring Energy Star ratings to save power and prevent unneeded energy use.
Donate leftover items. Many of us overplan and find ourselves with extra decorations, flowers, food, and more. Others would love to enjoy or use this surplus! Instead of trashing extras, consider donating your extra resellable items to a charity thrift store, giving flowers to a hospital or church, or ask about donating leftover nibbles to a mission or food kitchen.
What tips can you share for organizing an eco-friendly wedding?
Authored by contributing writer, Shannon Lochwood.
Shannon Lochwood currently lives in Southern California. She has a passion for weddings and loves to write about anything related to special "I do" moments. In her free time she loves to hike and spend time with her family and her two lovely dogs
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