Harper contacted me a few weeks ago to offer writing a guest post on such an important topic! Planning an eco-friendly wedding doesn’t have to be difficult, read on for tips to making your wedding a little more Earth friendly.
If you and your partner try your best to be eco-conscious in every other area of your life, it only makes sense that you’d both want your wedding to reflect the ethical principles you hold dear. However, your typical wedding doesn’t tend to align with the values of an environmental warrior. What with the electricity used throughout the day, the paper and plastic in the decorations and catering materials, and emissions involved in traveling to the venue, the typical traditional wedding isn’t exactly eco-friendly. Check out some great tips and tricks below to achieve a green wedding.
Make it close
As far as is possible, make your wedding site geographically close to those in your wedding party. Not only will a proximate venue guarantee that more of the important people in your life will be able to make it, but planning your wedding nearby will reduce the fuel emissions involved in taking the wedding out-of-state. Plus, if your wedding location is near enough, you can ride to your ceremony in a horse-and-carriage, if you so wish!
Make it small
Fewer people usually means less collective waste, so it’s a no-brainer that having a smaller wedding will have less of an environmental impact. In light of this, why not review your prospective guest list, and make sure that you are inviting only the most important people in your life? One way to curb guest numbers is to consider doing away with plus ones.
Get rid of paper stationery
One of the least eco-friendly things about organizing a wedding is the stationery that’s involved – and, to some extent, expected. Rid your wedding of the dross of environmental damage by either taking things digital, or using recycled paper for your invites and placeholders.
Choose an eco-friendly venue
Choose beautiful, eco-friendly spaces or venues that will reduce energy consumption. One of the easiest ways to do this is to select a space that boasts many large windows to bring in natural light. Depending on your wedding theme, this could be a beautiful outdoor space like a local beach or botanic garden, or it might be a unique site like a gallery.
To further save on lighting, have both your ceremony and reception during the day. If you do go ahead and have your reception party at night, consider a candlelit setting for less cost – not to mention extra romance!
Build your menu from the grass up
Be a model to your wedding guests, and fix a menu for your wedding dinner that champions sustainability. Source locally-produced foods, and if you and your partners are vegan or vegetarian, have fun reflecting this through your favorite gourmet dishes in your wedding spread.
Greenify your wedding favors
Leave your guests with the best possible impression of your wedding – and more than that, your values – by organizing eco-friendly wedding favors. Little potted succulents or cacti are a sure crowd-pleaser, as are organically-made foodstuffs, or even a flower or two from the wedding bouquet. The truly philanthropic couples out there may even wish to donate to charity on behalf of each guest, and to let them know with a receipt or token.
Eschew the registry
The modern tradition of the requisite “wedding gift” is an eco-warrior’s nightmare. Not only does a registry put pressure on your guests to provide the goods, but the very notion of a registry promotes the very materialism you’re trying to push against.
You might opt to do away with a gift registry altogether, or to ask for something creative and different – such as some lovingly-chosen garden plants, or for money towards your favorite environmental cause or charity.
Capture Your Favorite Moments Digitally
Last but not least, don’t forget to hire an excellent wedding photographer to capture all the lovely, solemn, sweet, fun, and silly moments from your eco-friendly wedding. Of course, you can print out some of your favorite pictures from your special day to hang on the wall or give to family, but the majority of your wedding photos can easily be stored on a USB drive or shared on from your online cloud storage system – saving paper in the meantime!
Auckland-based freelance writer Harper is passionate about responsible living and believes that even if you start small, simple changes can make a huge difference in our environment. Harper has previously written for local businesses who promote eco-friendly solutions such as Sea Containers. See more of her work here.