8. Go green at the reception.
Similar to the ceremony, the reception can also be done sustainably. We’ve gone over catering and florals, which are obviously a big part of the reception, but there are more ways to keep your reception eco-friendly! One way is to host your reception outdoors. It will reduce the carbon footprint of the reception and allow for the beauty of nature to do most of the decorating work for you. As with the ceremony, you can utilize decorations that can be donated or reused once the reception is over. Mason jars with sustainably sourced candles are a great centerpiece and also can be given as gifts to wedding guests, reducing the need for additional items.
Another way to reduce the environmental impact of your wedding is to have reusable signage at your reception. Talk to your venue about their options — odds are they have tons of options for you. If not, they can help you find what you’re looking for.
9. Be versatile with your registry.
There are many routes couples can take when creating a sustainable and eco-friendly registry. Some couples choose to have guests donate the money they would have spent on a gift to a charity. Others request gifts that are lifetime pieces that are environmentally efficient. Others request that items purchased as gifts must be made in an artisan shop with sustainably sourced materials.
Each of the options mentioned above are good ways to make your registry eco-friendly, sustainable, and socially conscious. Couples should talk through what their sustainability priorities are and make decisions from there. Think through your post-wedding lifestyle when completing your registry and make sure you’re asking for things you’ll actually use. You’ll be amazed at how creative your guests can be!
10. Get guests green gifts.
Many couples want to give as much as they receive on their wedding day by getting gifts for their wedding guests. When choosing what to give your guests, there are many excellent options that are environmentally friendly. One great option is to give succulents or seed packages. Succulents last a long time and require very little water, while seed packages enable your guests to grow a plant in memory of your wedding. Other great options for green party favors are bamboo straws and reusable water bottles. These items are reusable and cut down on single-use plastic straws and bottles.
Fair trade items are also a great way to ethically give gifts to your guests as well. The fair trade movement is “a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers…”
Supporting these businesses is a great way to ethically give your guests something they will cherish from your big day. Some great examples of fair trade items are soaps, decorative glass bottles, and pillows. Check out the myriad of options for fair trade gifts.
11. Explore eco-friendly honeymoon options.
After the wedding is done and the gifts are given, it’s time for the bride and groom to go on their honeymoon! This is a special time for couples to connect and start their new lives together. For those environmentally conscious couples, this can be a great opportunity to have a positive impact as well. One option is to make your honeymoon a volunteering opportunity. You can do this locally, with a group, or internationally. There are many volunteering opportunities for couples to choose from, and it’s a great way to make an impact while starting your new life with your spouse.
If volunteering is not how you want to spend your honeymoon, there are still some great options for couples who want to have a positive impact on the environment. There are many eco-friendly resorts and destinations that utilize sustainable practices. These resorts do everything from utilizing biodegradable materials to not using animal products.
Put these eco-friendly wedding ideas to good use when planning your big day!
Your wedding is one of the most important days of your life, and taking a well-thought-out approach to being environmentally friendly will not only reduce the waste from your wedding, but will also have a positive impact on the environment. And that peace of mind about how your day will impact the environment and the people and companies who support it will only make your day even more special.