Weddings might be full of elegance and glamour, but they’re also known to leave heaps of waste and environmental damage behind if not planned sustainably. From tailoring clothes that most bridesmaids will wear only once to food waste from the buffet, there are definitely many wedding practices that can be changed.
Planning a sustainable wedding isn’t that hard. There are plenty of sustainable alternatives to choose from. Here are a few ideas to make your wedding more sustainable:
Shop for Local and Ethical Products
When shopping for decor items and wedding favors, choose shopping from small and ethical businesses. You may not realize it, but there are many small businesses that offer great quality products that you can support.
Make sure to buy local for these items that might be on your wedding checklist:
- Florals and bouquets
- Cakes and pastries
- Table centerpieces
- Wedding favors
- All decor items
- Clothing and accessories
And don’t forget to bring your grocery bag when shopping too!
Don’t Use Plastic and Single-Use Items
Avoid using plastic and other single-use items in your wedding. Ditch the straws, plastic cups, and plastic bags – they will all lessen the elegance of your wedding anyway. Opt for reusable cutlery, reusable glasses, and hemp bags. Provide a water dispenser instead of giving away plastic bottles.
You can even tell your guests to bring their own takeout containers – that’ll help you save up on plastic and on food waste too!
Choose to Borrow than to Buy
When possible, choose to borrow items from close friends and family rather than to buy new items that you’ll probably only use once. You can also look for a place where you can rent items that you need for your wedding.
Many brides would probably want to buy new gowns, shoes, and accessories, but these things can also be rented if you choose to. Think about things that you are willing to compromise. It will not only lessen your waste but will also help you save money.
Choose a Sustainable Venue
Your wedding can cause carbon emissions especially your guests need to get on a plane ride or drive for a few hours. Of course, you should get married wherever your heart desires. But if you are concerned about how sustainable your venue is, consider holding it somewhere close to where the majority of your guests live.
You can also choose an alfresco venue or a venue that supports sustainability in your area. Check out garden farms or hotels that support sustainability through their practices and services.
Limit Material Gifts
While gifts are always fun, receiving gifts that you don’t really need is wasteful. Why not create a list of material gifts that you and your partner need, instead? Your guests can choose and cross out which gifts they will give so that no one buys the same gifts. You can also ask for cash gifts instead.
If you want to skip materials gifts overall, why not choose a charitable cause that your guests can send their gifts to? Look for non-profit environmental organizations that you can trust. Not only will you help advance their causes, you and your guests will also feel great about being able to help.
Donate What You Can
After your wedding, choose to donate what you can. You can partner with local charities to give out food that wasn’t consumed. You can donate the florals and bouquets you used to hospitals or retirement homes. You can even donate all the excess giveaways and decors you used to thrift stores or charities you think could use them.
Giving your wedding decoration a second life will give your wedding a deeper meaning as well.
Planning a sustainable wedding isn’t as hard as you think. You can start small and start slowly. Remember that it doesn’t need to be perfect. Don’t beat yourself up if you fail to do one of these steps. What’s more important is that we are trying to do our best to lessen our waste and environmental impact, one step at a time.