Weddings are one of the most beautiful ceremonies you can witness, especially if it is your own. Every detail has been meticulously thought out right down to the last name card. Most brides plan out their weddings months maybe even years in advanced, as it takes copious time to plan. However, most weddings are not very environmentally friendly and use a lot of resources. That is why Enji came up with 10 small ways to help make your wedding (or friends) a little more sustainable. Every bride wants her wedding to be the best, but that doesn’t mean she should forego sustainability. Implement these small actions and your wedding can maintain its elegance while still being environmentally friendly.
1. Recycled paper
Invitations can become expensive fast, especially for big wedding of 100+ guests. But, an easy way to save money and the planet is by using recycled paper on your invitations. Not only is it more sustainable than traditional paper, but it also creates a unique look for your invitations. You can find multiple patterns or designs you can even pick from.
2. Electronic invites
If you are looking to save even more and be more organized, consider an electronic invitation. You waste no paper, and you don’t have to worry about your invitation getting lost in the mail. Digital RSVP will also make it easy for you to keep a copy of how many people will attend your wedding. Its environmentally friendly and convenient.
3. Seasonal flowers
A lot of flowers for weddings are not grown organically and rely on unethical farm labor. An easy way to ensure you are not partaking in these practices is by using seasonal and local to your area. This way your flowers are fresh do not rely on heavy chemicals. Another easy way is to reuse your dinner rehearsal flowers at the wedding. This helps eliminate the need to buy separate flowers for separate occasions.
There are a few companies that also help in the flower department. Rebloom is a company that help recycle flowers after events. They either help pick up your flowers after the event, or they resell you flowers from a different event up to 90% off. Repeat Rose has a different dynamic. They will collect your flowers after a wedding and “restyles them for redistribution to patients in hospices, cancer treatment centers, and domestic abuse and homeless shelters” plus you get the added benefit of a charitable tax credit. We all know flowers can be expensive, so having a few dollars come back to your is always nice.
5. Upcycled Gown
The bride is one of the most important pieces of a wedding, so her gown must be stunning. However, they can cost a fortune for a one-time occasion. Consider asking relatives if you can upcycle their gowns. Wearing your grandmother’s dress that you made your own, tends to hold more significant value than a dress off a rack. If you don’t have relatives who can give you their dress, there is always thrift stores. Do not fall for the stigma that thrift stores are dirty and poor, a lot of women donate their one of a kind designer dresses to second hand stores, so that means you can potentially get an amazing gown for a fraction of the price.
6. Recycled metal
The rings are the most symbolic ritual of a wedding. In September we wrote another article “Jewelry Trend: Recycling Family Jewelry To Make New Wedding Rings” that helps break down the trend of recycled wedding rings. It is a beautiful sentiment of being able to blend two separate families into one. Recycling your family’s jewelry means your wedding rings will be cheaper, one of a kind, and helps represent the unity of two families.
7. Seasonal and local
Just like flowers not all food is created equal. By choosing local and seasonal foods, you reduce the needed chemicals and hormones to grow off season food and cut the shipping cost of having to import them. Buying local helps support farmers and gives you the best tasting vegetables/ fruit, since they get to ripen on the vine under the best conditions.
Your silver and flatware is also important for your meal. An easy way to reduce waste is by renting glassware, cloth napkins, and anything else that can be washed and reused. This gives the illusion of fancy dining, while still being eco-friendly.
A lot of waste is created during the cocktail hour and the reception. Ask ahead of time on how your venue will dispose of all the waste. If the venue does not recycle ask if you can arrange for recycling bins to be placed around the wedding venue. This will help eliminate waste and reduce clutter during cocktail hour. You would be surprised how many venues get cluttered with empty glasses, plates, and trash simply because guests cannot find the proper waste receptacles.
Location seems to be a recurring theme in this blog, but with good reason. The location of your venue dictates how much transportation is needed for everything from decor to guests. Destination weddings can be stunningly gorgeous, but also very expensive. If you have a limited budget choose a venue that is close to home, but still elegant. This will reduce transportation costs and fuel consumption. Suggest your guests carpool and provide resources for them to do so. These small details will help reduce your carbon footprint.
Weddings can are a beautiful and intimate event, and by implementing a few simple extra steps into your wedding you can help create positive outcomes. Not only will the planet thank you, but so will your bank account. What ideas do you love? Will you implement any at your wedding or suggest them to friends? Let Enji know on the comment section below, or send us a photo and we might feature your sustainable wedding on our blog.