A ‘green wedding’ has nothing to do with the color green. It refers to an environmentally conscious wedding that minimizes the negative impact it has on the environment. The trend towards ‘green weddings’ or ‘eco-friendly weddings’ is not new in Europe or the USA. It is, however, relatively new in the Middle East.
The good news is that many couples are becoming increasingly conscious of the carbon footprint their actions and choices leave on the environment, even when those affect one of the most important days of a couple’s life; their wedding. It’s best to be mindful of how you contribute to the earth even during your wedding.
A lot can go on during your big day, expect a lot of leftover food, fresh flowers, heaps of plastic packaging right after the celebration, not to mention, the carbon footprint that your guests make in getting there.
If this has you worried, give yourself a pat on the back. You’re on the right path to making your eco-friendly wedding as ecologically conscious as possible.
Think of homegrown and local flowers, recycled decorations, and other eco-friendly ideas for your wedding. Continue reading, we have some very useful tips to help you plan a green eco-friendly wedding.
Minimize Your Guest List
Minimize the number of your wedding guests. Fewer transportation runs, invitation cards, and less food waste at the wedding means better outcomes for the environment.
Choose The Right Venue
Choose the wedding reception’s location wisely. The closer it is to the majority of your guests, the less Carbon Dioxide emissions your wedding will generate.
You can save big on energy consumption by getting married outdoors during the daytime. A wedding venue on a garden, farm, or even your own backyard significantly sets the tone for your eco-conscious celebration.
If you’re not so keen on outdoor events, there are still ways for you to protect the environment while staying indoors. For instance, you can hold the wedding and reception in one place. This way, guests won’t have to travel from one location to another, thus, reducing fuel emissions and carbon footprint.
For a step further, research nearby hotels that use energy-efficient appliances or support biodegradable materials. This way, you won’t feel so guilty about doing it indoors.
Minimize energy consumption at your wedding by making sure that the banquet hall, for example, has energy-saving light bulbs installed, or better still, use more candles (bee wax candles are best). You’ll absolutely love the romantic glow created by the candlelight – it’s perfect for a wedding! If weather permits, an outdoor wedding saves on heating and cooling bills.
Choose Your Caterers Wisely
Work carefully with the venue or caterer on the amount of food needed for your wedding and set a policy for the reuse of unused food (e.g. donate to a charity organization). Use only locally grown produce and minimize imported food. Organic fruit and vegetables grown in your country are the best choices for a green buffet at an eco friendly wedding.
Look for a catering company that aligns with your environmental principles. Choose one that has good relationships with its farmers. If your venue only allows in-house catering, you’ll want to inform the chef about your wishes as early as possible. Know where the caterer gets your food from and suggest local alternatives.
Sourcing in-season food from your local butchers and farmers is the best way to go.
Reduce wedding waste by serving a meal free of animal products. Cutting out meat is better for the environment and will also lessen the carbon footprint of your wedding. You will probably find out that more and more of the younger generation are either vegetarians or vegans.
Your Wedding Flowers
The flowers and foliage you use may seem like the least of your worries when planning an eco friendly wedding. But it turns out that not all flowers are organic, some farmers use chemicals to repel bugs and insects. This affects the soil and can even cause harm toward the workers who handle the plants.
To keep you at ease, source your flowers from sustainable suppliers. Some companies offer flowers that are farm to table where they cut the stems and deliver the flowers to you in less time. Instead of using cut fresh flowers for your wedding centerpieces and decor, opt for live plants in pots and vessels.
And don’t throw away your beautiful flowers just yet after the wedding! There are eco-friendly companies that are willing to pick them up and reuse them later on. Make sure to donate your leftover flowers to a charitable cause.
Here are some great ideas on What Do You Do With Your Flowers After the Wedding?
Skip Bottled Water
Do not use bottled water. Ask the caterer to provide filtered water in glass jugs to minimize the use of plastic bottles.
Skip Single Use Items
Instead of plastic straws, consider biodegradable options such as bamboo straws, wheat straws, or even reusable straws for your guests to double as wedding favors such as silicon straws, or metal straws. The same goes for paper napkins - do not use them. Replace them with cloth napkins.
Second Hand Wedding Decor
Choose reusable items over disposables, consider buying or renting used wedding decorations from a former bride.
One way to ensure your wedding purchases don’t go to waste is by buying items that can be reused in your home, or items you can sell later on to other wedding planners or brides.
One lovely idea is to use empty bottles for your flower arrangements - take a look at: Flower Centerpieces in Bottles for Your Wedding.
Save on Paper
Rather than sending printed wedding invitations, send digital invitations.
If you do opt for printed wedding invitations, print them on plantable seed paper.
Your Wedding Dress
Vintage dresses exude a charm like no other and are a great way to protect Mother Earth on your wedding day. You can find preloved wedding gowns that are still in good condition from online shops or even local thrift stores.
Better yet, use a dress that has been passed on through generations within your family. Not only will it hold sentimental value, but it will also give you a classic, elegant vibe like no other.
Renting a wedding dress is also a great option, also consider renting and even selling your wedding dress after thee wedding is over.
Your Wedding Favors
Wedding favors are tricky to plan. Give away useless ones, and they’ll end up in trash bins before you know it. There are a lot of ways you can create eco-friendly favors.
You can hand out homemade jam or ground coffee by placing it inside reusable jars.
Handmade soaps also make cute thank-you gifts. Make sure to skip the plastic and wrap them in paper.
Give your guests customized seed packets or birdseed ornaments. Mini succulents or potted plants are also a great giveaway idea.
Aside from ecological wedding favors, you can also hand out gifts for your groomsmen and bridesmaids when asking them to be part of your entourage. They’ll appreciate the gesture and give you their resounding yes.
Eco Friendly Wedding Rings
Choose a conflict-free diamonds that are stones that are ethically mined and sold, with no connection to criminal activity or terror groups.
If you have a family ring or even just a stone you could use, consider upcycling it into a new wedding ring.
Wood rings are also a new trend, for example, Mr. Lentz created unique eco-friendly wood wedding rings for nature lovers. The Mr. Lentz shop offers wood and all-natural moss rings.