Being eco-friendly these days is the name of the game, as we all seek to live and work in a cleaner, healthier environment. We all do our part to recycle and repurpose in our daily lives, but when it comes to planning a big event like a wedding, the idea of keeping things green can be daunting. That’s why the wedding experts at Griffin’s Weddings have compiled this list of ways your can maintain an eco-friendly celebration that you and your guests will love. Take a look and find a few ways you can alter your wedding plans to be more eco-friendly. You’ll feel good about making small, important changes on such a big, important day.
Choosing the location for your ceremony and reception might be one of the first major decisions you make when wedding planning. For an eco-friendly locale, consider something outdoors to make use of the natural sunlight as well as natural foliage or other surroundings. You’ll cut down on artificial decor while maximizing the environment around you. Holding your ceremony and reception in the same location also cuts down on unnecessary fuel emissions from guests traveling between the two parts of the wedding.
Eco-Alternatives to Paper Products
A quick, easy way to reduce the use of paper at your wedding is to go digital. Have a wedding website, send secure email wedding invitations, and consider digital photography to eliminate the use of paper, chemicals, and postal fuel (delivering invitations and responses). If you still have a need for some paper, like place cards and programs, consider using recycled paper with vegetable-based ink to create biodegradable pieces. Some paper companies even use plantable paper with seeds woven through the paper. Let your guests plant your program or place cards in their own garden after the ceremony!
Many flowers can be grown organically, meaning harsh chemicals and toxins are replaced with natural fertilizers and pest control measures. These make great options for cut floral bouquets and centerpieces. For even more organic and earth-friendly decor, choose potted plants, topiaries or flowers that can be sent home and planted after the wedding. Choose pieces of fruit or vegetables for centerpieces and have guests toss herbs instead of rice or bubbles as you leave. Another quick way to make your wedding day eco-friendly is to include locally-grown, in-season flowers. Here are several popular wedding flowers listed by 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
Organic, vegan, farm-to-table catering is everywhere these days and should be a cinch to secure locally. In addition to an ethically-sourced menu, think about including reusable or biodegradable plates, cups and utensils to reduce waste. Talk to the venue managers ahead of time to be sure you can have recycling containers and a compost bin available for waste at the end of the reception. You can also arrange to have any leftover food donated to a local food bank or homeless shelter. Many caterers will even deliver the leftovers for you as a service to the community.
When choosing your florist, photographer, caterer and anyone else that will be providing services at your wedding, search local businesses first. Not only does this help the community at large (including local farms), you also reduce fuel emissions when vendors don’t have to travel far to provide their services at your wedding. You might also find that some of your vendors have a give-back policy or practice eco-friendly measures as standard procedure. It never hurts to ask!
Repurposed Wedding Attire
To keep your wardrobe eco-friendly, think about repurposing a pre-used wedding gown or other wedding apparel. It’s often traditional to wear your mother’s or grandmother’s wedding dress, but you can also find something unique at a vintage clothing store that can be redesigned to suit your style. You can also rent dresses and tuxedos, or donate your dress when the wedding is over so someone else can benefit from it, as well.
There are plenty of small adjustments you can make to your wedding plans that will keep the essence of your special day intact while taking a responsible stance on how you care for the environment in your celebration. Not only will you feel good about including eco-friendly options throughout your wedding ceremony and reception, but you will set an example to your friends and family that shows how simple it is to make little changes that matter. You’ll also be leaving a legacy for your children and grandchildren that you can be proud of. For more great ideas about turning your wedding day into an eco-friendly event, talk to the professionals at Griffin’s Weddings. We’re happy to give you more tips and advice that will transform the traditional into the forward-thinking, ethical event you’d like to host.