Your wedding is meant to be one of the most memorable days of your life, but with that can also mean that it can be of the most wasteful—tossed paper goods, food, and flowers headed straight for the trash. Obviously, these are huge factors in a wedding, so we don’t suggest to opt out, rather we’re suggesting to “think green” for your wedding day. By making these small sustainable changes, you can make a major impact on your wedding, and the rest of the world. Planning a sustainable wedding doesn’t necessarily have to be difficult. In fact, sustainable weddings have been more common, and we’ve noticed an upward trend on “greener” wedding decorations on the market and eco-friendlier options when it comes to florals, catering, and more. If you’ve decided to “think green” for your wedding, but don’t know where to start we’ve turned to the experts on how to plan a sustainable wedding!
Connect with your local brides
The beauty of the Internet is that there is now a place for brides-to-be & newlyweds to link up! Finding your dream dress doesn’t have to lead to disappointment now that there is a marketplace for past brides to pass their wedding baton (and dress) over to the about-to-be-wed bride! Purchasing pre-loved dresses not only saves you money, but helps to create less waste! – Ingrid Szajer, Co-founder of Stillwhite.com
Save the Date…and the planet!
Stationery: Lily & Roe Co. | Photography: Sanaz Photography
An easy way to reduce your wedding’s carbon footprint is to start with the invitations. Nowadays, there’s a wide variety of post-consumer recycled paper and even seed paper available. Ask your stationer if they can print your invite using soy-based inks, which put less pollution into the waterways. By using reply postcards and nixing the inner envelope and tissue, you’ll use less paper altogether while saving on cost. And of course, you can always go the digital route! – Jenna Miller, Creative Director at Here Comes the Guide
Go the lab grown route
Lab grown diamonds are chemically and optically identical to their mined counterparts, with none of the negative impacts on the earth. Lab grown diamonds are sustainably grown, and when set in responsibly sourced precious metals, are a far superior choice for the environment. Lab diamonds are human friendly, too: they’re guaranteed to be of known origin and conflict free. Best of all, lab grown diamonds typically retail for about 30% less than mined diamonds! We know that for the modern, socially conscious bride it matters where your diamonds come from. Lab grown diamonds are the only way to guarantee your diamond is truly conflict-free and of known origin. – Lindsay Reinsmith, Co-Founder of Ada Diamonds
Say no to wasteful samples
More often than not, bridal and bridesmaids companies have thousands and thousands of samples on hand that no longer can go to use and in turn end up being waste. Motee Maids has a new and exciting concept that allows brides to have a creative input in the design process to ensure each of their maids has a gown perfectly suited to them, that they will wear time and time again. – Rosanna Garden, CEO, Motee Maids
Consider using dried flowers as an alternative for your wedding decor!
Event Design: Feathered Arrow Events | Photographer: Wild Whim Photography | Floral Design: Shindig Chic Designs
They last way longer, and are super trendy right now. Win, win! – The design team at Bloominous
Photographer: Amber McWhorter Photography
Go the DIY route with your wedding flowers and use lots of greenery, like our Eco-Chic collection. You’ll save money on your floral budget, and have an overall more sustainable wedding! – The design team at Bloominous
A sustainable & budget-friendly option
Photographer: Wild Jasmine Photography
Studies show that the average American will throw away over 80 pounds of clothing this year, which amounts to 25+ billion pounds of textiles ending up in our landfills. Renting clothing (like your wedding tuxedo and/or wedding dress) which you know you’ll only wear a few times can help combat this. – Nathan Bellah, Director of Marketing at Generation Tux
Leave with your wallet & belly full
Photographer: Anya Kernes Photography
What a great way to wow your guest and reduce your carbon footprint… Create an edible seating chart. We had a bride who decided to have edible fortune cookies as her escort cards… This eliminated the amount of paper she would be using. To take it a step further, how about swapping out your plastic straws for some bamboo straws… – Susan Dunne of Weddings by Susan Dunne
Charity Donation in lieu of favors
Photographer: Colin Gordon Photography | Signage: Paige by Design
Instead of gifting your guests with a trinket they have no use for, consider making a monetary donation to a charity or cause that is close to your heart. This helps cut down on the likely case that your favor will be thrown in the garbage the next day and puts your money into something that is meaningful to you. – Daulton Van Kuren, Owner & Principal Planner/Designer, The Refined Host
You get an arrangement, and YOU get an arrangement!!
Event Design: Cape Cod Celebrations | Photographer: Kate Murphy Photography | Floral Design: Flora Chella Design
At the end of the night give your guests a floral arrangement to take home and enjoy. That way people can enjoy the flowers for a week or so after the fact and not immediately tossed at the end of the night. – Kari Dirksen, CEO + Lead Planner, Feathered Arrow Events
If you’re looking for other ways to lead a sustainable life, check out how we decided to “think green” on St. Patrick’s Day and beyond!