If you consider yourself to be a generally eco-friendly person, or you would like to become a bit more green in your habits, I have a wonderful suggestion for you. You can take one of the biggest and grandest days of your life, and be an eco-friendly bride.
Making green wedding choices doesn’t need to be a big statement, however, and you don’t have to hammer home a message in the midst of all your celebrating. You might just have the care and protection of the planet always in your heart a bit, and this makes sense to be a central consideration in your wedding choices.
Being an eco-bride should not mean compromising on the other things that are important to you. As you will see from our tips below, you can easily make green wedding choices without having to reduce your standards or give up on luxuries, pleasures or fun.
There are actually many little things you can do in your celebration to help look after the planet, but for simplicity, we have broken this down into 3 easy steps to be an eco-bride.
Use Less of Everything
Keep your numbers lower
The size of your wedding will obviously have an impact, both environmentally and economically. Inviting fewer guests is the first way to reduce your impact, meaning fewer invitations, less energy usage, less transportation and carbon emissions, less water and so on.
It also means you can make conscious choices about which guests to invite and keep it just to those people who are important to you. Having fewer guests also means your day can be a bit more relaxed and mindful, with you being able to spend a little quality time with each one.
Source green transportation, or choose an all in one venue
Using an all-inclusive venue for your wedding can make a lot of sense financially and for convenience on your big day. Some gorgeous spaces offer accommodation, ceremony, photo opportunities, reception space and pretty much everything you could need for a great day.
This lowers the carbon footprint of transporting yourself and all of your guests across the day. Another option is to choose venues close enough to each other to walk or arrange for everyone to catch public transport together (this could be great fun for your guests, as well as a way to see more of your home town).
Ban all single-use items from your day
So many of the items we use in everyday life are single-use items only, and these seem to increase with celebrations.
Anything that you only buy to be used once for your wedding day has the ability to add to the amount of waste that ends up in landfills and waterways. Either recycle or resell any bigger single-use items (such as your dress, centrepieces or flowers) or decide not to use the smaller ones at all.
Ban the use of straws, glitter, helium balloons and anything else that is likely to just end up as waste. If you are having a wedding on a hot day or in a public place like a park, instead of giving away plastic water bottles, give custom-made re-useable ones that can double as favours.
Reduce your Waste
Use eco-friendly confetti, leaves or bubbles
Remember the days when everyone got married and as they walked down the aisle they were covered in small pieces of paper confetti. Then these pieces of paper would end up in the gardens, waterways etc.
Well, now there are some other options to consider if you would still like the traditional of having something thrown as you make your debute as partners in life.
You can make confetti from leaves, which is a great DIY project, especially if you have kids. All you need to do is collect some leaves (maple or oak trees are the best) and hole punch the leaves.
Or if this is not your cup of tea, than you can buy some dried petal confetti that will not only smell amazing but is 100% eco-friendly. A company like Everland Petal Confetti can help you out with this.
Choose favours that won’t go to waste
While wedding favours are thoughtful and meaningful and can be super-cute, they also tend to end up as waste. Some guests love the little trinkets and gifts they receive at weddings and set up a display, but in all practicality, even people that really love you may not have a use or a place for the favour you give them.
Rather than creating something memorable, but sort of impractical, why not choose wedding favours that will definitely be enjoyed. Some suggestions include:
- Custom-made cookies, donuts or cupcakes
- Seed packets or small plants or trees
- Mason jars of hot chocolate or cupcake mix
- Fairtrade coffee or organic tea
- Eco-friendly soaps or bath salts in recyclable packaging
Sell your wedding dress
Have you ever thought of buying a pre-loved wedding dress? The fashion industry as such a major contributing factor to carbon emissions. So sharing the love and reusing a wedding dress will not only lessen your carbon footprint but also be save you a stack of money. We have some beautiful, affordable dresses available in our shop if you would like to come and see if there is one for you www.onlydreamdresses.com/shop
Recycle and Share the Love
With almost all aspects of your wedding day, you could either reuse, recycle, sell or pass on things that you use. Look across everything you will buy or have bought or used for the day, and ask yourself two questions:
- What can I source second-hand for my wedding?
- How can I recycle or make sure items get reused after my big day?
This could include ideas such as:
- Giving your wedding flowers to guests as favours
- Choosing centrepieces that people can take home (see our blog on centrepiece ideas here)
- Giving invitations that are tree-free or recycled. We love the tree-free seed paper that is embedded with flower seeds, and which you can soak and then plant in your garden.
Choose eco-friendly suppliers
Many wedding reception venues make a conscious effort and take extra steps to look after the environment while still being able to rock a great party. Look for venues in your region that make green efforts such as recycling water, using solar energy, sourcing local food and supporting a paddock to plate philosophy.
You could also look for a community-based or not-for-profit venue such as a community garden.
Talk to venues in your region about the green steps they take before choosing where to host your reception.
Locally sourced food, wine and favours
If you are DIYing your catering, then you can make some excellent eco-friendly choices for your wedding. Look for caterers that source fresh local produce and use less waste in their cooking. Choose local beers and wines, which reducing the carbon footprint from transportation, as well as supporting smaller business in your community.
You can also support local businesses and markets in your wedding favours, such as giving handmade products such as soaps, candles, preserves, cheeses and more. You could buy flowers from a local market or farmer and make bouquets yourself.
Donate to charity with your favours
Another great way to give back to the environment and the community is to donate to charity with your wedding favours. This is also a wonderful way to raise awareness of an issue that is dear to your heart.
Many charities will give you pins, ribbons or other tokens to give your guests to show that you have made a donation in honour of your special day.
One we love is the Starlight Foundation wedding pin…..check them out here https://shop.starlight.org.au/collections/wedding-favours
If you had a green wedding, let us know in the comments what your favourite part of it was.
Main image by Brooke Taelor