Most people recognize the effects of human activity on the environment. We all see fires, floods, hurricanes, and other natural disasters getting progressively worse each year. So, what can you do to have a more eco-friendly wedding? We’ve shared some of our best and easiest eco-friendly wedding tips tips to help you go green without sacrificing your style.
Choose an outdoor venue
Your venue choice sets the ambiance and is generally one of, if not your first major wedding planning decisions. Getting married outside is one of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint. The sun can provide natural lighting for the ultimate in solar power at a farm, vineyard, or meadow. Look for venues with gardens, hilltops and refurbished barns to not only set the mood, but provide a beautiful backdrop for your photos.
Eco-friendly wedding venues
There are simple ways to make indoor events more green. Many venues are eco-conscious these days and the easiest way to do it is to hold your ceremony and reception in the same location. Consequently, your guests won’t have to travel to the reception venue which cuts back on fuel emissions. Or, you can have a daytime wedding and choose a venue with gorgeous sunlight streaming through the windows. As a result, you can leave the lights off.
You can also look for hotels and venues with a LEED rating. LEED certified buildings are built with or retrofit to green building standards. This means they save energy, water, resources, generate less waste and support human health. They do this not only in during the construction process, but through recycling, choosing energy-efficient appliances and using biodegradable products.
Rent some of your décor
Did you know many vendors will let you use some of their most expensive pieces without charging you full price? As long as you return everything in the same condition you received it, you can upscale your décor for a fraction of the price. For things like tents that require professional installation and expensive or bulky items, your vendors will even pick them up at the end of the night. Therefore you don’t even have to worry about returning them yourself.
And it’s not just expensive items. Small items such as votive candles are inexpensive, but you’ll likely need a lot of them. Rent them instead! After all, what will you do with 144 gold mercury glass votive candles after your wedding? Instead, you can share the love and luck of all the couples before and after you who have used those same items. It’s your “something borrowed”!
Use potted plants
There are few things more elegant than an orchid. Live plants are the ultimate eco-friendly wedding option. They not only add a natural element, they thrive by cleaning the air we breathe. As a florist, I can help you choose the right plants and containers to create whatever vibe you want for your wedding.
You can incorporate potted plants in place of or in conjunction with your fresh cut floral designs as centerpieces. You can use potted sword ferns as your aisle markers. Then, when the receptions starts they can be moved in front of your sweetheart table to create a Pinterest worthy photo set up. Or, envision the dramatic statement you can make with hanging baskets of English ivy suspended over your head table.
Use plants as favors
How about mini succulent pots as favors? A tiny orchid as your name card holders not only makes a great first impression, it makes a great gift. A Christmas cactus or little pine tree with your guest’s name on the pot is something they’ll appreciate and likely not leave behind.
Potted plants can either be re-purposed at your new home together or given as gifts to select guests. And, wait for it… some florists may even rent out larger, more expensive plants!
Now, we’re not suggesting you haul the blue bin you use at home to your wedding reception. Your venue or caterer will likely have some ideas to help you create a nice looking receptacle station with clear delineation of trash and recycling.
You could even take it a step further and have a separate bin just for compostable items and food waste. You’ll be surprised how many of your guests will actually be looking for a recycling bin. By giving them the option from the outset, you can likely cut the landfill waste from your wedding in half.
Use non-disposable or compostable tableware
Washing dishes will use some water, but probably less than was used to make that plastic fork in your hand. We’re not suggesting that you have to use the good china, just that real table settings are a more eco-friendly choice at your wedding than single use. And, if you have to use the single use, opt for a compostable version.