Are you planning a wedding and looking for ways to make your special day more eco-friendly? In an era where environmental sustainability is at the forefront of our minds, why not extend these principles to your wedding? We've gathered expert tips to help you create a wedding that's not only memorable but also environmentally responsible. From eco-conscious candles to locally sourced ingredients, here are some great ideas to reduce your wedding's carbon footprint.
1. Opt for Glassware Over Plastic
Minimize waste and elevate your wedding's elegance by choosing reusable glassware over disposable plastic cups. Tyretta Obeng of Glass House suggests, 'Single-use anything is not good for the environment. Ditch plastic cups, and try renting stemware! Using stemware is a great sustainable option and provides a more elegant feature to your big day.'
Northern Pacific Center adds, 'When planning your special day, consider using glassware instead of plasticware. Not only does it add an elegant touch to your wedding, but it's also a sustainable choice that reduces waste. Plus, the clinking of glasses during toasts sounds so much sweeter!'"
Kat Larrea on behalf of Glass House
2. Minimize Food Waste with Plated Meals
Samantha Morrow of Crave Catering shares a valuable eco-friendly wedding tip: "At CRAVE Catering, one way we are trying to eliminate food waste is by going back to strongly recommending plated meals. We provide our couples with premade, easy-to-use templates that make collecting RSVPs and guest meal selections easy. When we know what each of your guests is eating, we have far less waste. We have also added an entirely separate VEGAN menu for more sustainable meat-free options as we have seen many couples asking for that this year. As we continue to follow trends, we are keeping sustainability and our footprint in mind with every food decision made."
Consider choosing plated meals for your wedding to not only create a more elegant dining experience but also reduce food waste, which is an essential step in making your wedding eco-conscious.
Bella Mystique and Lilia Flower Boutique on behalf of Crave Catering
3. Embrace Locally Grown Flowers
Shara Luginbill, from Shara’s Floral Designs, offers a fantastic eco-friendly wedding tip: "Use locally grown flowers!" Embracing locally grown blooms not only supports local florists but also reduces the carbon emissions associated with transporting flowers over long distances. Opting for local, seasonal flowers can make your wedding more environmentally conscious and sustainable.
Krista Esterling on behalf of Shana's Floral Design
4. Say No To Floral Foam
Floral foam, also known as oasis foam, is commonly used in the floral industry to create arrangements and centerpieces. While it's convenient for arranging flowers, it's considered harmful to the environment as it is non-biodegradable and contains toxic chemicals that can leach into water and soil. "When it comes to floral, use arrangements that do not require foam. Instead, use chicken wire or frogs as a sturdy base for fixing blooms in place in an arrangement. This design gives flowers easy access to water without using foam," suggests Krista Hess Crawford of de Vasco’s Daughters.
Flow Event Group
5. Reduce Emissions by Selecting An Inclusive Venue
Kasey Morris of Bold North Cellars advises, "Select an inclusive venue so that guests don't have to travel to multiple locations, which will save on both gas and emissions.” Hosting both your ceremony and reception in one place simplifies the logistics for both you and your guests. Having everything at one venue will not only make it easier to manage transportation and reduce travel time, it will also ensure everyone can attend different parts of the celebration without stress and of course, reduces the carbon footprint associated with travel.
Courtesy of Bold North Cellars
6. Create Sweet Memories, Not Waste
Candace Holmstadt from 651 Studio Floral suggests forgoing forgettable party favors that will get thrown away and instead, enhance your desserts. "Nobody ever said no to sugar as a wedding treat!" In addition, consider utilizing a statement furniture piece, such as a hutch, as part of your wedding decor to display the sweet treats and then find a permanent place for it in your home afterward.
Courtesy of 651 Floral Studio
7. Consider a Greener Ride for Your Guests
"Use a propane school bus for the guest shuttle," suggests Mike Canine of Lorenz Bus Service. These buses burn cleaner with fewer emissions, reducing the environmental impact of transportation.
Summit Hill Studios
8. Request Digital Delivery for Photos and Videos
Choose to receive your wedding photos and videos online rather than through physical media like USB drives or hard drives. This eco-friendly approach reduces carbon emissions by eliminating the need for shipping, packaging, and conserving fuel. Dan Riggs of Summit Hill Studios adds, "Most of us consume media on our phones now anyway. You can download your entire photo and video gallery right to your phone, laptop, tablet or computer for safe keeping. We also store your media on our servers FOREVER so you can always request a duplicate copy of your gallery from us! … and eventually you'll lose the USB stick anyway.” Summit Hill Studios also provides long-term storage, ensuring you can always access your precious memories.
Summit Hill Studios
9. Opt for Biodegradable Confetti
When celebrating with a send-off, choose biodegradable tissue confetti paper instead of traditional confetti. As Carlee Kurtti from The Skyroom at the Red Wing Golf Course suggests, this eco-friendly option is better for the environment, ensuring no lasting impact on the surroundings.
Culture Studios on behalf of The Skyroom at the Red Wing Golf Course
10. Search for Second-Hand Decor
Carrie Scarfino of Cragun’s Resort on Gull Lake recommends being flexible when it comes to your decor and consider going with a general color scheme. Search for second-hand items (such as wood flowers, vases, and runners) to purchase on social media and online marketplaces. This sustainable choice reduces waste and is even better if the items are sourced locally, minimizing shipping-related emissions.
Alexa Myli Photography on behalf of Cragun's Resort on Gull Lake
11. Embrace Digital Invitations and Online RSVPs
Kelly Bollis of Maven encourages couples to embrace digital invitations and online RSVPs to reduce paper waste and the need for printed communication. This modern choice not only reduces the need for paper communication, but also keeps your guests informed and engaged throughout the planning process.
Ester Knowlen Photography on behalf of Maven
12. Select a Sustainable Wedding Venue
Amy Knight, from Urban Daisy, shares her approach to sustainability: "We are a mother/daughter-owned wedding venue, and we designed our space with an emphasis on sustainability and nature. We have live trees and plants throughout the space, a 15' T moss wall, a greenery ceiling installation with interchangeable light fixtures, a green wall barback, and a planter wall." Sustainable venues often implement eco-friendly practices, such as energy-efficient lighting, waste reduction, and responsible resource management, which reduces the environmental footprint of your wedding. Additionally, many eco-friendly venues are located in beautiful natural settings.
Courtesy of Urban Daisy
13. Maximize the Life of Your Flowers
Felicia Kohlhagen of Florology encourages couples to repurpose ceremony florals to extend their use and benefit the local community: "Your backdrop or arch floral can become unique statement pieces for the head table, or elevating reception architecture elements like fireplaces or staircases. When the event is done, hire your florist to tear down your florals and take what is appropriate to a local nursing home for seniors to enjoy for as long as the flowers last, then they can compost whatever is viable too!"
Whitley Sander on behalf of Florology
14. Ceremony Program Alternatives
Dawn Dacut at Fluttery Celebrations suggests staying green by eliminating traditional ceremony programs. Instead, showcase the wedding party and parents' names and provide event details using a poster-size sign that can be displayed all day and night. This versatile sign can also feature the day's schedule and menu. Initially, place it at the ceremony site, and later move it to the reception entrance. By adopting this eco-friendly choice, you not only reduce paper waste but also add a unique and sustainable element to your wedding.
Photo courtesy of Flutterby Celebrations