Eco-Friendly Wedding Ideas

Eco-Friendly Wedding Ideas 1

By Karlyn McKell

Eco-friendly weddings are growing in popularity as more and more couples consider the environmental impact of their celebrations.

The wedding industry as a whole is notorious for its waste. Most of the things that go into a wedding day are single-use, such as the decor, food, and fashion. This waste adds up to more than 400 pounds of garbage a year, resulting in 63 tons of CO2 annually. With stats like these, it’s not hard to see why couples are taking notice and steps to reduce their role in this waste.

The good news is that going green pays in more ways than one. More often than not, sustainable wedding practices also help lift up local businesses and vendors, decrease wedding costs, and make the world a better place.

Here are some of our favorite eco-friendly wedding ideas:

 

Choose an eco-conscious venue:

If you are trying to achieve a zero-waste wedding, or simply a more sustainable celebration, working with likeminded vendors is essential. The biggest vendor you’ll work with, that will have a role in everything from planning to waste removal, is your wedding venue. Ask about LEED certifications, Energy Star ratings, and waste removal practices upfront so you can get a good idea of who you are working with. Remember that outdoor spaces such as campgrounds, farms, and gardens tend to be more eco-friendly.

 

Go paperless:

One great thing about the digital revolution is that it reduces the need for printed materials. Set up a wedding website to communicate details of your special day online, and consider sending digital save-the-dates and invites. You can even track your wedding planning on an online checklist.

 

Host the ceremony and reception outside:

Cut down on carbon emissions and electricity waste by hosting your ceremony and reception at the same outdoor location. This will eliminate the need for guests to travel to two different sites, and cut down on electricity usage.

 

Stage a sustainable exit:

Rather than littering on your way out the door with a traditional confetti toss, look into a more green alternative instead. Toss green leaves into the air, and wave your hands because mother earth just don’t care!

 

Arrange transportation:

If your venue is off the beaten path, consider arranging transportation to cut down on the need for multiple cars at your venue. Arrange guest pickup points at the wedding hotel or a central location in town, that way guests will be transported to and from the event in one shuttle.

 

Eco-Friendly Wedding Ideas 2

 

Choose seasonal flowers:

Participate in sustainable floral practices by featuring local blooms in your wedding bouquet. This will also help cut down on floral costs. You can even consider picking your own bouquet of wildflowers. In addition, consider decorating your venue with potted plants rather than floral displays because these blooms will live on well past your wedding day.

 

Rent your tuxes:

You and your groomsmen can save costs while saving the environment by opting to rent your tuxes rather than buying. This option still lets you look good in photographs.

 

Buy vintage accessories:

While not every bride will opt for a vintage wedding dress (and that’s okay), you can incorporate vintage pieces into your ensemble and encourage bridesmaids to do the same. Consider rocking a vintage veil and antique jewelry for a chic, timeless look. If it’s cold outside, always opt for faux fur.

 

Embrace candlelight:

Set the mood and cut the electricity with candlelight. This eco-friendly lighting alternative doubles as romantic decor, and can also help keep bugs away.

 

Hire the right caterer:

Chances are, your wedding menu will be one of the biggest waste contributors of your wedding day. Reduce this waste by hiring farm-to-table caterers who serve seasonal menus and prepare food sustainably. Also consider setting up grazing tables, which reduce the need for clunky and wasteful display setups, and consider ditching meat altogether in favor of a vegetarian or vegan menu.

 

Send leftovers home:

Once your guests have finished eating and dancing, they’re probably going to be in the mood for a midnight snack. Secure boxes ahead of time and send guests home with leftover food and dessert. You can also donate the food to a nearby shelter or consider composting it.

 

For more eco-friendly wedding ideas, check out our visual from Zola below!

 

Eco-Friendly Wedding Ideas

 

Guest Author at

Karlyn McKell is a content marketing specialist who lives in Austin, Texas. She is regularly published in the lifestyle and wellness space.

She’s committed to helping make the world better through writing, and when she’s not writing she’s busy perfecting her yoga flow.

30 thoughts on “Eco-Friendly Wedding Ideas

  • January 8, 2020 at 12:37 am
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    I didn’t know there were all these options available! Thanks for sharing, being eco-friendly is so important.

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  • December 28, 2019 at 3:34 pm
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    My cousin had an eco-friendly wedding. Everything that was purchased for the wedding was bought locally – the dress, food, decorations, etc. They didn’t use any disposables either.

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  • December 28, 2019 at 10:19 am
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    These are great eco-friendly wedding ideas. Great point about hiring the right carter

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  • December 26, 2019 at 12:33 am
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    Nice! these are practical yet great wedding practices that will really help a lot. Aside from ecofriendly it’s economical and budget-friendly too.

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  • December 24, 2019 at 8:49 pm
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    These are really excellent eco-friendly wedding ideas. Heck! I never knew a wedding could be eco-friendly. Amazing and creative.

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  • December 23, 2019 at 5:24 am
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    I love the idea of having people take leftovers home. That is a great sustainable idea and also more parting gifts!

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  • December 22, 2019 at 10:32 pm
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    Wonderful collection of ideas for having a more sustainable wedding. Most of the ideas also apply to non-wedding events, making this list a definite keeper. Great way to help make the world a happier place. Thanks!

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  • December 22, 2019 at 5:11 pm
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    I love all of these eco-friendly ideas! Especially using seasonal flowers! Thank you!

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  • December 21, 2019 at 7:35 pm
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    Great tips for anyone getting married! I will be sure to past this post on to my sister who is getting married next year.

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  • December 21, 2019 at 2:33 pm
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    great ideas. i have a friend getting married this next year. i will have to pass this along to her.

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  • December 21, 2019 at 12:11 pm
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    I have always wanted a garden wedding but my parents and my husband’s parents are both conservative and were steadfast in their decision to have our wedding inside a basilica. If we do get to live to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary, I will make sure to do a garden wedding for the renewal of our wedding vows. Oh, and I love the digital invites. Less paper, less waste!

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    • December 22, 2019 at 11:31 pm
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      I love the eco-friendly ideas, especially for the decor, giving away leftovers and going paperless.

      Reply
  • December 21, 2019 at 11:15 am
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    Wow, perfect ideas and very eco-friendly. I totally love this especially the Buy vintage accessories instead of common expensive accessories it helps to save the budget!

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  • December 20, 2019 at 10:16 pm
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    Such great ideas! I just sent this to my cousin who is looking to do this for her wedding!

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  • December 20, 2019 at 7:10 pm
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    I love the idea of planning an eco-friendly wedding. It’s something that most people don’t think about.

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  • December 20, 2019 at 4:35 pm
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    Very nice ideas for planning an eco-friendly wedding. If I ever get to that point I will make sure to follow them. haha

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  • December 20, 2019 at 12:37 pm
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    I love, love, love this post. Great ideas.

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  • December 20, 2019 at 12:15 pm
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    These are all fantastic ideas! I’ve never really thought about the carbon footprint of a wedding before.

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    • December 24, 2019 at 1:23 pm
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      Me either. Upon consideration though, I can definitely see it.

      Reply
  • December 20, 2019 at 12:15 pm
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    Candlelight is nice for setting a mood. I love your ideas here.

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  • December 20, 2019 at 11:58 am
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    I love the idea of sending leftovers home and getting flowers that are in-season. I really never thought about what it took to get flowers that were out of season before.

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  • December 20, 2019 at 10:33 am
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    Great ideas, especially renting the shuttle, it allows guests to be able to have an actual conversation with one another instead of stressing about their commute while driving.

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    • December 20, 2019 at 5:03 pm
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      This is one of my favorite tips as well because it helps the environment and improves the guest experience! (while also curbing drinking and driving risks) A win-win-win.

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  • December 20, 2019 at 10:26 am
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    Going paperless….this is a great one! The world today can definitely use less paper and plastic; wedding or otherwise.

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    • December 20, 2019 at 5:04 pm
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      Yes! Wedding websites make it so easy now to do everything online, from your invites, to your reservation details. My favorite tip is to encourage vendors to provide PDF product packets online only.

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  • December 20, 2019 at 3:38 am
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    I love all of these Eco-Friendly ideas. I think my favorite is embracing the candlelight. I just think the setting with candles lit would be beautiful as well. Thanks for sharing!

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    • December 20, 2019 at 5:05 pm
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      Thank you! Candlelight ambiance is especially beautiful at romantic events such as weddings.

      Reply
  • December 20, 2019 at 3:20 am
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    With an overwhelming amount of people practicing more eco-friendly conservation, having an eco-friendly wedding is an excellent idea. These are great ideas and tips to pass along to our friends and family who are engaged.

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  • December 20, 2019 at 3:15 am
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    I think this is an awesome idea for a wedding. Less clean-up and a venue that suits your needs for eco-friendly is something engaged couples should consider.

    Reply

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