Eco-friendly Weddings: How to Plan a Sustainable Wedding
Incorporating sustainability into your wedding doesn’t mean compromising on elegance or beauty. As a wedding photographer of over 400 weddings, I’ve observed the growing trend of eco-conscious ceremonies and can vouch for their authentic charm.
Things to consider when planning eco-friendly weddings
As you set out to weave sustainability into your wedding celebrations, it’s essential to approach each decision with mindfulness. The beauty of eco-friendly weddings lie in the details, and each choice can significantly influence the broader impact on our environment.
From selecting the decor to coordinating with vendors, keeping eco-conscious principles at the forefront will ensure your celebration is in harmony with nature. Here are some key factors to consider as you embark on this beautiful, green journey –
Choosing an Eco-friendly Venue
The setting of your wedding creates its primary ambiance. Outdoor venues, from lush botanical gardens to serene beachfronts, naturally reduce energy consumption, providing an authentic, organic backdrop.
For those inclined towards indoor celebrations, there’s an increasing number of venues championing green practices such as measures like solar energy and recycling. Even better, some are affiliated with environmental initiatives such as 1% for the Planet, seamlessly blending commitment with celebration.
Try to choose a venue that also cuts down on paper and plastics and any un-necessary waste.
Digital invitations are convenient, customizable, and completely paper-free. For those partial to traditional paper invites however, choices are available. Recycled or ‘plantable’ options have become increasingly popular.
Plantable cards, which bloom into wildflowers or herbs when planted, offer a dual purpose: conveying information and later, adding a touch of nature to a guest’s garden. Adding QR codes for RSVPs or additional wedding information is both contemporary and eco-friendly.
Dress and Attire
The most eco-friendly way to dress yourself is to recycle your clothing – one of the more wasteful costs at a wedding tends to be the bridal gown, despite being absolutely beautful, they tend to only be worn once and can use a lot of resources to make. Try second hand stores or hand-me-downs, after all, vintage is on it’s way back to popularity!
Several designers have embraced sustainable materials without compromising on elegance. For the bridal party, the trend of renting outfits is rising. This way, the attire doesn’t just find a one-time use, promoting both fashion and sustainability.
Rings and Jewellery
The symbol of your eternal love can also be a symbol of commitment to the environment. Ethically sourced gemstones and recycled metals are becoming the preferred choice for many couples.
Alternatively, wooden rings or rejuvenated heirloom pieces offer a unique and eco-conscious touch to your wedding jewellery, ensuring your love story is intertwined with nature.
Decor and Florals
Nature offers a bounty that can beautify any setting. Opting for local and seasonal flowers supports local businesses and reduces transportation emissions. Potted plants are another charming option.
Not only do they serve as decor during the ceremony, but they can also be taken home by guests or the couple, continuing to flourish long after the festivities.
Catering and Menu
By choosing organic and locally sourced dishes, you ensure freshness and support local agriculture. A vegetarian or predominantly plant-based menu is another fantastic way to keep things green. And if you’re looking to surprise and delight your guests, edible centre pieces can be both a visual and a fun treat!
Your grand entrance doesn’t have to be a grand emission. Electric cars are stylish and sustainable. If you wish for something more playful, a tandem bicycle is both eco-friendly and photo-worthy. For your guests, consider suggesting carpooling or chartering a bus or shuttle, turning the journey into a shared, eco-friendly experience.
Gifts and Favours
Donations to your favourite green initiative can be a meaningful gesture, and can illicit more giving from your guests when stated it’s for a charity.
For tangible gifts, items that can be used and reused, like bamboo cutlery or cloth bags, are both practical and aligned with the theme. Gifting plants is another heartwarming option, signifying growth and nurturing.
Every wedding has its share of waste, but with conscious choices, this can be minimized. Using compostable tableware is a start. Planning the food servings meticulously and having a plan for any leftovers, such as community donations, ensures that the celebration remains waste-free.
This approach doesn’t just benefit the environment; it also adds a layer of community involvement and sharing to your celebration.
Hair and Makeup
Opting for cruelty-free and organic beauty products ensures you’re radiant while making a positive choice. Embrace natural beauty with minimalist makeup, letting your genuine joy be the highlight of every photograph.
Preserving memories needn’t cost the earth. Digital albums are a brilliant way to share and keep your special moments, ensuring longevity without the use of paper. Innovative photography methods, like using drones, can capture the entirety of your eco-friendly setting, providing unique angles and perspectives.
Working with Sustainable Suppliers
One of the most impactful ways to ensure your wedding is eco-friendly from the ground up is by partnering with sustainable suppliers who share your vision for a greener celebration.
As wedding photographers, we are proud members of 1% for the Planet. This means we donate a minimum of 1% of all our proceeds to environmental causes. We also carbon offset all our operations, ensuring that every step we take, from photoshoots to post-production, treads lightly on the earth.
Collaborating with suppliers that prioritize sustainability doesn’t just align with eco-friendly goals; it amplifies them. These partners, with their green practices, bring expertise and authenticity to your celebration, ensuring that the essence of your big day is both beautiful and responsible.
By weaving in sustainable choices at every step, your wedding day becomes not just a personal celebration, but also a testament to your commitment to a greener world.
How to Find Suppliers for Eco-Friendly Weddings
But how do you find suppliers who resonate with eco-friendly weddings? Here’s a guide to help you in this quest –
Research and Recommendations
Start with a basic online search to identify suppliers in your area who promote eco-friendly practices. Many businesses these days proudly highlight their green initiatives on their websites.
Don’t underestimate the power of word of mouth, either. Ask friends or family members if they know of any suppliers who prioritize sustainability. Recommendations can often lead you to trusted vendors whose eco-credentials have been tried and tested.
There are dedicated platforms and directories online that list eco-friendly wedding vendors, ranging from caterers to florists. Websites or apps focused on sustainable living often feature sections dedicated to events and weddings, making your search more streamlined.
Certifications and Affiliations
Check if the supplier has any eco-certifications or is affiliated with environmental organizations, such as 1% for the Planet. Such badges are often a testament to their commitment. Suppliers who carbon offset their operations offer a tangible measure of their environmental responsibility.
When you have shortlisted potential suppliers, don’t hesitate to ask them specific questions about their practices. This could include inquiries about the origin of their materials, their waste management procedures, or their energy sources.
Suppliers genuinely committed to sustainability will appreciate your interest and will be transparent about their operations.
Attend Green Events or Expos
Eco-friendly expos or green-themed events often feature stalls or presentations by suppliers who focus on sustainability. These events are not just informative but also provide an opportunity to interact directly with potential partners, allowing you to gauge their authenticity and passion.
Reviews and testimonials provide real-life feedback on suppliers. While most reviews might focus on the quality of service, some might also shed light on the eco-friendliness of the supplier’s practices, giving you insights from those who’ve already employed their services.
Finding suppliers for eco-friendly weddings may require a bit more time and effort compared to the conventional route, but the results – a wedding that aligns with your values and treads lightly on the earth – are absolutely worth it.