‘Conscious’ weddings are announced as one of the hottest wedding trends of 2019 but actually they are great anytime: this is a great way to get married in an eco-friendly way without wasting anything – from flowers to money. Let’s take a look at some ideas and tips, and I’m sure you’ll want to include them into your wedding, too!
Choose wedding stationery on recycled paper, it can have beautiful texture, shades and looks, each guest will feel special receiving such one-of-a-kind invitation. Keep an eye out for stationers who offer vegetable-based inks to avoid using chemicals. If you don’t like this idea, go to a calligrapher to write out the invites for you: this way you will be saving lots of energy and toxic chemicals that would have been used in the printing process. Besides, calligraphy is extremely popular for wedding stationery now. The third idea is to avoid any money and paper wastes and sending electronic invites: they will make RSVPing easier and can include absolutely everything you want, even your favorite romantic song!
Cut down on energy getting married outdoors, like on a farm or vineyard, where the sun can provide all or most of your lighting. There are tons of beautiful botanical gardens, hilltops and refurbished barns where you may celebrate your wedding.
If you want to be indoors, there are several ways you can make it green. First, hold your ceremony and reception in one place—no one will have to travel to get from one event to the next, which cuts back on fuel emissions. Another way is to look for hotels that recycle and use energy-efficient appliances and biodegradable products.
Most cut flowers are not grown organically, so to make sure your blooms are as sustainable as possible, look to companies that are local or farm-to-table. Ask your florist about in-season and local flowers—this will save you money, too. If you have your heart set on a flower that isn’t local or in season, look for flowers that are VeriFlora-certified. This means that they aren’t grown with chemicals or under harsh working conditions.
After your celebration, don’t throw those flowers away! Work with a company like Rebloom or Repeat Roses that will pick up the arrangements are reuse them. Another eco-friendly choice is to choose potted blooms, plants or topiaries as centerpieces. This way, your guests can take them home and replant them after the wedding.
Don’t buy a brand new wedding dress, upcycle a gown used by someone in the family or a close friend into something unique that fits your wedding. You can also find amazing vintage dresses at thrift stores, if you look carefully. By upcycling, you will be lowering your environmental footprint, saving money, and wearing something that carries meaning. If you can’t let go of the thought of having a wedding dress that is only “yours”, then considering buying one from a label that specializes in eco-friendly clothing, or a designer that specifically makes sustainable gowns.
Use heirloom jewelry from your family or just change some jewelry that you already have or that someone gifted. If it doesn’t work for you, consider brands that offer sustainable wedding jewelry, ensuring that the majority of the materials used to create your rings are ethically sourced and recycled.
Food and Drink
When choosing your wedding food, the greenest option is to go local and choose seasonal produce. It will reduce your carbon footprint as the food won’t fly from different parts of the world and the local farmers and growers will thank you for the positive effect your choice has on their businesses and community.
Rather than investing in a fancy spread of buffet dishes, most of which will probably go to waste, plan out your menu carefully according to the number of attendees. Consider having a serviced three-course meal instead of a buffet spread, as research shows that buffets result in much more wasted food. Instead of throwing away the leftovers, donate them to your local food bank or to those in need—a great way to give back on your special day!
For an eco-friendly wedding, look for plantable favors like potted saplings, herbs or succulents. Another idea is to go edible. Look to local businesses like coffee houses for a bag of their signature beans, candy shops for chocolate bars or jams in reusable glass jars from an orchard. Another idea? For a totally different option, go for a charity donation. Display a sign letting guests know you’ve made a donation to a meaningful cause in lieu of favors. Such an idea may also work for your own wedding presents: offer your guests a list of organizations they can donate and let them decide to make you a gift.