How to make your wedding more environmentally friendly

Weddings are one of the most joyous celebrations in a couple's life, but they can also be incredibly wasteful. From single-use decor to disposable dinnerware, weddings can leave a big carbon footprint. However, with some thoughtful planning, you can have a beautiful and environmentally friendly wedding. Here are some tips on how to have an eco-friendly wedding.

In our declining environment, it's important to think about these things.

Choose a sustainable venue: Look for wedding venues that have eco-friendly practices such as using renewable energy, recycling, and using locally sourced food. Consider having your wedding at a park, beach or forest to make the most of the natural beauty around you.

Reduce waste: Use reusable dinnerware and glassware instead of disposable items. Have a solution for guests to reuse their cups throughout the evening, such as tape and a marker or stickers. Tell you guests to bring Tupperware in case their are food leftovers. Send your save-the-date and thank-you cards online, or at least on biodegradable/recycled paper. 

Choose seasonal and local flowers, or fake ones that can be reused: Use seasonal flowers grown locally to reduce the carbon footprint associated with transportation. Avoid flowers that have been sprayed with pesticides and chemicals. Consider using potted plants that can be reused after the wedding. And if you do use flowers that are not local to their environment, dispose of them correctly. Or use fake ones! You might think that sounds terrible, but they can actually look really beautiful if you buy/rent quality ones and you can't tell in photos.

Choose sustainable decor: Use sustainable materials such as bamboo, recycled paper, or fabric for decorations. Rent or buy second-hand items instead of purchasing new ones. Use battery powered or soy wax candles.

Serve locally sourced and organic food: Choose a caterer that uses local and organic ingredients. Consider serving mainly (better-yet, fully) vegan options as meat and dairy have a higher carbon footprint. Avoid packaged snacks and drinks, and instead offer bulk options.

Reduce transportation emissions: Encourage guests to carpool or use public transportation to reduce emissions. Consider having your wedding ceremony and reception at the same location to minimize travel. If you're having a destination wedding, consider only one long haul flight with train or bus connections instead of two flights if you need to take a layover.

Buy second hand clothing, rent, or wear what you already own: There are so many wedding dresses in second hand shops, on Facebook marketplace, and apps like Vinted. Take a look there or find a rental shop for your dress or suit. Encourage your guests to avoid buying a new outfit for this wedding, and instead wear something they already own or go second hand shopping as well. Maybe they can even borrow a dress from a friend!

By incorporating these eco-friendly practices into your wedding planning, you can have a beautiful and sustainable celebration. If you think this sounds like a lot of work, your wedding planner can help you with a lot of these things! So just make sure to hire a planner who shares the same values as you. Remember, every small step counts in creating a greener future.

Second hand dress at an eco rescue horse ranch in Squamish, Canada

Local flowers and foliage with second hand decorations

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