how to make a wedding eco-friendly

How to Make a Wedding Eco-Friendly

More and more individuals are making simple lifestyle choices to lessen their impact on the environment. Whether it is something as simple as turning off the television when leaving a room, bringing our own tote bags when buying groceries, or recycling, we’ve all been taught that even the smallest efforts can make a positive difference. Your wedding is no different. Large events naturally produce significant waste and greenhouse gases, so consider putting forth the effort to make your wedding as eco-friendly as possible.  

The venue you choose plays a pivotal role in how eco-friendly your wedding is, so make sure that you are asking all the right questions. For instance, what happens to excess food? It could be used as fertilizer for farmers or donated. What cleaning practices has the venue adopted?

What kinds of pesticides are used on the ground? Are the kitchen’s ingredients locally grown and sourced, or are they being flown in? Is there plenty of natural light and, if not, does the venue use environmentally conscious options like LED lighting or compact fluorescent bulbs? What steps does the site take to properly recycle? The sad reality is that many hotels and spaces that claim to be “green” are taking minimal steps and, by making such queries, you can communicate to them that going the extra mile will positively influence their profits. 

Good news–vintage is in! Being both fashionable and eco-friendly has never been this easy. Save a lovely garment from being tossed by having a relative’s dress altered to fit your body and preferences (imagine how much it would mean to your grandmother to have you married in the dress she donned all those decades prior). Plus, you would be flabbergasted by the carbon footprint that accompanies purchasing a newer dress, especially if it was not made locally.

Finding a vintage ring is another way to make a positive impact on the world, as you are consciously taking a stand against the inhumane practices that accompany mining the majority of diamonds. For new rings, reflect on lovely alternatives to diamonds like gemstones, pearls, sapphires, polished stone, for synthetically created diamonds. When purchasing the ring, always inquire about the origins of the materials and research specific companies and their stances. Additionally, ask about options that involved recycled gold, as mining metals is very harmful to the environment.

While decorating with locally grown flowers does lessen your carbon footprint, let’s not forget that you are still detracting from nature and creating waste as these buds will soon wither and be tossed. Therefore, why not have live, potted plants as your centerpiece? Don’t be fooled into thinking that this is a more expensive alternative, as a single plant is often cheaper than the copious amounts of cut flowers that are necessary to fill up the same amount of space. Another alternative is to decorate with non-floral materials, a strategy that is conducive to almost all wedding themes.

For a rustic affair, perhaps an arrangement of pinecones or dried corn will be winning; for glamour, a gold candelabra or arrangement of peals and lace will do the trick; for retro, opt for transparent cylinders of candy or an arrangement of lollipops; and for modern, incorporate artistically bent wire or bowls of fruit.  

As any industry professional can vouch, the majority of items that are soon after trashed are . . . wedding favors! Believe it or not, not everyone will be squealing with excitement over cheap picture frames or coasters with your wedding date on it, and these frivolous trinkets are the ones that are all-too-easily forgotten.  Instead of wasting packaging and materials on this outdated tradition, you can guests that a charitable donation has been made in their honor or that a tree has been planted on their collective behalf.

However, if you’re looking to save money as well as the environment, rest assured that, after a magical night of being wined and dined, fairly few guests will depart wondering about their favor. However, don’t skimp on appreciative gifts for your bridesmaids and groomsmen, as these were the friends who devoted time and dollars to making your big day truly special.

It is common knowledge that cars greatly increase your event’s carbon footprint. Therefore, consider public transportation options near your chosen venue (a smart way to prevent intoxicated driving). If your wedding’s locale is somewhat isolated, arranging a carpool or bus service to pick up patrons that live close to one another is a wonderful way to limit carbon emissions and make getting to-and-from simpler for your guests.

Another way to reduce the amount of gas used due to your nuptials is to hold the ceremony and reception in the same space so attendees don’t have to shuffle from one to the next.  For an extra-eco friendly touch with vintage style that is sure to lower carbon emissions, ride off with your sweetheart on a tandem bicycle.

Nowadays, it is generally easy to have a wedding that is both gorgeous and green. An increasing amount of vendors are hearing the public’s demand for eco-friendly options and are clamoring to meet this demand. Tell me in the comment section below about the other ways couples can limit the carbon footprint of their big day!


Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.