Having an eco-friendly event is all the rage these days, and with good reason. We’re all trying our best to be as conscientious as possible when it comes to the environment. With an event as big as a wedding, it’s important to do your part to keep the environment healthy and intact while planning for such a monumental day. The wedding experts at Conklyn’s Weddings have several ideas to help you keep your wedding as beautiful as you’ve always dreamed it would be while maintaining a responsible stance for the environment. Check it out- you may even discover a few tips that you prefer over the traditional wedding “musts.”
There are so many ways to choose an eco-friendly venue or make your venue as eco-friendly as possible. First, consider having your wedding and/or reception outdoors. You’ll make use of natural light and limit the amount of artificial decor required to make the space beautiful. Hosting the ceremony and reception in the same location will reduce fuel emissions by guests and vendors. You can also make use of local venues (like hotels, art galleries or botanical gardens) that regularly practice eco-responsible measures.
Eco-Alternatives to Paper Products
One obvious way to reduce the amount of paper used at your wedding is to go digital with all communication, eliminating paper save-the-dates, invitations and programs altogether. If you choose to include paper items throughout your wedding, consider using recycled paper and organic vegetable-based ink for a safe, eco-healthy option. Some invitations are even made with seeds, making them plantable. Your guests can literally grow your invitation in their own garden. Instead of paper plates and plastic cups, opt for reusable china to reduce waste at the end of the reception.
Flowers are considered an essentially traditional part of any marriage ceremony, but there are definitely some great ways to include flowers responsibly. Instead of cut blooms, think about choosing potted varieties, which can be taken home and replanted, or sent home with guests! This can be done with plants and topiaries as well. Find locally-grown blooms that will be in season during the month of your wedding to reduce the cost of transporting them from elsewhere. Here are some popular fresh wedding flowers according to their seasonal availability:
Fall: amaryllis, asters, calla lilies, dahlias, marigolds, sunflowers, and zinnias
Winter: daffodils, evergreens, hyacinth,and tulips
Spring: allium, freesia, iris, lilacs, peonies, tulips and violets
Summer: dahlias, geraniums, hydrangea, peonies, roses, sunflowers and zinnias
Year-round: baby’s breath, birds of paradise, eucalyptus, ferns, gardenias, ivy, lilies, orchids, statice, and stephanotis
Creating an eco-friendly dining experience for your wedding guests is super easy these days. Choose local catering that boasts farm-to-table, organic or vegan options. Work with your reception venue to offer recycling containers and compost bins for any waste left on plates. Use biodegradable or reusable utensils, dishes, and stemware wherever possible. Donate any leftover food to a local food bank or shelter so it doesn’t go to waste and benefits your community.
By choosing local vendors for your catering, flowers, seating, photography and any other services, you’ll not only support local businesses (and possibly farms); you’ll also be reducing fuel emissions from vendors that might travel a distance to service your wedding. Many companies have excellent donation and give-back practices that re-energize the local economy as well. Be sure to ask each potential vendor what they do for the community, how they protect the environment and what their stance is on eco-responsible practices. You’ll likely find plenty of options that align with your eco-friendly mindset.
Repurposed Wedding Attire
Finally, the wedding attire for the bride, groom, and the entire wedding party can be worn with purpose and care that protects the environment as well. Choose to borrow or rent everything from tuxedos and wedding gowns to bridesmaids and flower girl dresses. Wearing something vintage, like your mother or grandmother’s wedding dress, is a great way to tie tradition and family history into your special day. Or consider repurposing a used dress to suit your personal style. Any of these options reduce the production of new material and limits unfair labor usage.
We’re all aware by now that making small changes can have a big effect on the world around us. With an event as big as a wedding, you have a golden opportunity to not only provide an eco-friendly day for yourselves, your friends and your family, you are also modeling for your loved ones simple, easy ways to enjoy a special occasion without deviating from your sense of responsibility for the environment. You’re also leaving a legacy for your future children and grandchildren when you set a precedent they’ll be proud to follow in years to come. For more great ways to make your wedding day eco-friendly, talk to the wedding professionals at Conklyn’s Weddings. We’ll happily discuss substitutions or adjustments you can make to your wedding plans so your wedding becomes a bit more green.