The Eco-Friendly Wedding

Earth First Nuptials…

For the environmentally conscious couple, having the wedding of their dreams – one that showcases what is at the heart of their sense of individuality – couldn’t be achieved without considering the bigger picture. The eco-friendly couple is cognizant of the carbon footprint they could leave in their wake without careful planning, considering the huge potential for waste at the modern wedding. But they also know they don’t have to sacrifice their joy or uniqueness to be kind to Mother Earth. In fact, eco-friendly nuptials might be the greatest opportunity to show that outside-of-the-box thinking works wonders curating a unique and memorable wedding. Follow along for some ideas to make your big day beautifully earth conscious. The guests will admire your ingenuity and future generations will thank you. 

Go paperless with your save the dates and invites.

Sure, it’s lovely to admire an elegant paper invitation that comes in the mail, but for the eco-conscious couple, the more responsible option is to bypass the paper altogether. Consider sending a digital version instead. Should the need arise for a physical version of your save the date or invite, use eco-friendly paper or print the invitation on something that your friends and family can keep for a lifetime – a photo of the two of you. 

Skip the disposable plates, cups, napkins and cutlery.

 Let’s face it. Using disposable materials does make clean-up easier, but it doesn’t leave the world any better off. Styrofoam and plastic are particularly harsh on the environment. Consider renting glass dishes, napkins and silverware, in addition to linen napkins and tablecloths. Family members and friends may have pieces you can incorporate to create a whimsical aesthetic without adding to the landfill. Be sure to look for rental companies that are committed to eco-friendly cleaning processes, as well.

Hire a caterer who shares your passion for the environment.

It is possible to create an incredible spread with ethically sourced food and local and organic produce. Ask the caterer if it’s possible to package any unused food for guests to enjoy later in bio-degradable packaging, donate it to someone in need or compost any waste. 

Give a wedding favor of a different kind.

Instead of giving guests something that may end up collecting dust, consider a donation to your favorite charity in their honor. If you’d like to give a physical gift, give your guests something edible in a reusable container. Wildflower seed packs or tiny saplings that can be planted later make for a gift that helps to sustain life after you tie the knot.

Arrangements can be made of more than traditional flowers.

You don’t have to break the budget for flowers that will begin to wilt before you hop the flight to your honeymoon. Consider using succulents, other live plants, edible flowers (like hibiscus, honeysuckle, lavender, mums and roses) or fresh fruit in your arrangements. They’ll be beautiful and purposeful. If nothing other than classic blooms will do for your big day, consider composting them afterward.  

Consider a second-hand gown, suit or tuxedo.

Wearing something pre-loved on your wedding day doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style or uniqueness. With upcycling on the rise, you can take something old and make it new again. Vintage jewelry and accessories or those that incorporate repurposed elements can be a charming, one-of-a-kind addition to your ensemble. And just like that, your “something old” will be covered.     

Create décor with lighting instead of materials.

Lighting can work wonders for a space. It has the power to create an ambiance without leaving a single thing to dispose of later. Have a lighting specialist cast your initials onto a prominent wall in place of bunting or floral arrangements. You’ll get cool points for creativity. If you need a décor piece with dimension, a custom lighted sign with your names, initials or a phrase that you have a personal connection to as a couple is something that can be used at your wedding and in your home afterwards. •

About Kimberly N. Bonéy

Proud wife and mom, is a freelance writer, designer, up-cycler and owner of Herstory Vintage. When she’s not working, she is joyfully wielding jewelry-making tools and paintbrushes in her studio. Antique shops, vintage boutiques, craft stores and bead shops are her happy place.

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