If living a sustainable lifestyle is important to you, your wedding day should be no exception. Here are 11 simple tips for eco friendly wedding planning.
- Start with your engagement! The diamond industry is unfortunately infamous for being unethical, so do some research and encourage your significant other to purchase from a jeweler who sources their materials ethically. If you don’t want to stray from the traditional diamond, consider a lab-grown diamond or moissanite. These options are both very similar to natural grown diamonds, but more ethical and often a bit more affordable, too! Even consider recycling jewelry, by using a family heirloom. You can either keep the original piece as is for a vintage ring or use the diamonds to build a new piece that is reset to be more modern! If you already have your engagement ring, keep this in mind when choosing wedding bands.
2. Did you know, the average wedding produces 400 pounds of trash? Avoid waste from disposable dinnerware and opt to use China and glassware. If you can’t avoid disposable all together, use biodegradable or recyclable options. Renting these items can be much more eco-friendly, and so is finding vintage pieces to recycle.
3. Use recycled paper for anything printed or even better use digital invites! Instead of putting all of your wedding information on paper invites, create a wedding website and tell your guests about it in the paper invitations. This is a good middle ground between mailing the physical invitations that your guests expect, and using a bit less paper. Websites also allow for real time updates, which can be super useful, especially during the chaos of COVID-19.
4. Consider wedding party outfits that can be worn again. Long gone are the days of ugly bridesmaids dresses that will be hidden in closets for decades to come! Find dresses that flatter your bridal party. If you choose long gowns for your wedding, they can be hemmed to cocktail length afterwards for another occasion! Ask your bridesmaids if they have a dress from a different wedding they could rewear – pending approval from you, of course! For the guys, renting tuxes is more sustainable than purchasing, unless they have plans to rewear their suit in the future.
5. DIY your centerpieces using vintage or recycled items. You never know what hidden gems your local thrift store may have. Stock is constantly changing, too. If you don’t find something you like the first time, check back in a few weeks! Another option is to use a rental company instead of buying pieces that will never be used again. Check with your florist as well! Sometimes they have candlesticks or other small details they can add on.
6. If you don’t want to go the DIY route, choose a florist that sources his or her blooms locally! Talk to your florist about reducing waste and ask if its possible not to use foam in your flower installations.
7. Repurposing your trendy wedding decor. Signs can be used anywhere after the wedding. Simply wipe the writing off your mirrored sign, and your “Welcome” sign becomes a new mirror for your living room! The same thing can be done with chalk boards, or signs that can be painted over. Candle sticks, table number frames or faux flowers can be incorporated into your house decor as well. There are many websites and groups where brides resell their wedding decor, this is a great way to reuse items instead of buying new and contributing to waste.
8. Donate leftover flowers and food. Check with your local nursing home or shelter before wedding day and ask if they would accept your flowers and/or food the day after your wedding.
9. Useful gifts are much more sustainable than the super cutesy alternatives that will just be thrown away. If you’re giving gifts to your wedding party, consider reusable options that you know they’ll love. Maybe your coffee loving BFF could use a reusable, ceramic travel mug instead of getting her latte in a single use paper cup. Instead of using tissue paper or confetti, you could wrap gifts in a thin scarf or blanket!
10. Hire vendors who specialize in eco-friendly work. Look for a venue that works with the surrounding nature, like a reserve. Sometimes caterers work with food from local farms or suppliers, which is more eco-friendly than shipping ingredients in. Hiring a team of people who care about sustainability is sure to help you make your day more eco-friendly! They may also have more sustainable ideas they’ve learned over the years.
11. End the celebration with an eco-friendly grand exit. While confetti and sparklers are beautiful, they aren’t always the best for the environment. Choose something like flower petals or bird seed confetti instead. If you decide to go with something like bird seed, check with your venue or a local environmentalist first. You want to find seeds that are safe for native birds and won’t cause accidental harm to the local ecosystem!
Having a more sustainable and eco friendly wedding doesn’t have to be difficult or cause any major changes! A big theme here is finding items that are being repurposed, or can be repurposed. The less that gets thrown away post-wedding, the better! These simple fixes are bound to make your day not only beautiful, but great for the environment, too! Let us know during your consultation if sustainability is important to you. We’ll do the work and find the best of the best to make your wedding day not only perfect, but sustainable.
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Bianca Nichole Events is a wedding planner in Austin, and will travel to San Antonio, Fredericksburg and the surrounding Texas Hill Country area.