In my last story, I shared Vanity Fair’s recent article supporting sustainability in the wedding industry. I had a wonderful experience sharing my knowledge with the magazine and it inspired me to go a few steps further. My company cares about making weddings more sustainable. The decisions we make are intentional and purposeful, with our planet in mind. But not every wedding can be equally sustainable. So what can you do to lessen the impact from your big day? Here are ten ways to reduce your wedding’s impact on our planet. You might not be able to achieve them all, but making different decisions where you can, can makes a big difference!
1. Plan your meal accordingly. Serve plated meals (instead of buffet that typically have much more food waste). And serve local, seasonal, and organic foods – your guests will enjoy the meal more anyway!
2. Support sustainably-focused wedding businesses and venues. During your tour, ask the venue what they do to reduce their use and impact. Do they recycle or compost? Do they grow their own food or shop locally for seasonal product? Find out what practices your event professionals have in place? Do they carpool? Do they outlaw plastic water bottles during setup and strike?
3. Purchase carbon offsets for your guests, especially if you’re hosting a destination wedding. This gift could even be in lieu of wedding favors or welcome bags. Share the gift of education and giving back by alerting your guests to the purchase of offsets in their name.
4. Consider a wedding closer to home versus far away. Your travel footprint will be much less when you account for everyone traveling to your big day.
5. Send a digital save the date and limit the number of printed paper goods in your invitation suite. Less is more sometimes. Skip the inner envelope and no one will even notice.
6. If the style suits your fancy, design your reception space with potted and live plants and flowers instead of cut ones.
7. Repurpose your ceremony decor into your reception (this often saves you money too!).
8. Register for charitable gifts instead of goods. Give back on your big day instead of asking guests for traditional gifts or housewares.
9. Be intentional about where you get your rings. Shop for ethically-sourced diamonds or opt for a vintage piece that’s been around for generations!
10. Donate any leftover food or floral product that you can. Arrange ahead of time for your vendor team to make plans to help others through your wedding. And in those conversations, don’t be afraid to request no plastic water bottles at your wedding, straws or any other small changes that are important to you.
Are you thinking of making any changes to your wedding to be more environmentally conscious? Tell us how! We love to learn more and better ways to be better to our planet.
Photo by Ashley Sawtelle.