Sustainability is increasingly important in all areas of our lives. While you plan for your special day, as brides and grooms, you can integrate sustainability into your wedding planning and your wedding day. These are seven ways you can do just that.
From bridesmaid dresses and wedding gowns to tuxedos for the groom and his men, you can buy second hand, or consider heirlooms for your wedding attire. Even if every item isn’t passed down, borrowed, or vintage, the more items that are, the better it is for the planet, and the more sustainable your wedding becomes. If you feel you must have something new for your wedding day (it is your big day after all), consider items that you can wear again.
Rather than using exotic floral arrangements, and fake greenery made with who knows what for your wedding décor, go with the goods Mother Nature provides. Even better, use native plants and flowers for your wedding that grow abundantly in your part of the country. You’ll find plenty of beauty, and you can even have potted plants left over for your home and garden, or offer them to your wedding guests as gifts.
You’ll have all kinds of invitations and announcements to send in the months and weeks leading up to your big day. From “save the date” announcements to shower invitations and the actual wedding invitations, printing them on plantable paper is as sustainable as it gets. When all is said and done, your friends and loved ones might have beautiful plants and flowers to commemorate your special day.
By selecting wedding locations that are natural or earth-friendly, you’re doing your part to promote sustainable businesses in your community. It also introduces your wedding guests, friends, and family to sustainable local options, and how beautiful and elegant sustainable living can be. Use these venues for showers and other pre-wedding events (including engagement photos and other announcements) as well as the main events of your wedding and reception. Another thing you can do, rather than having your guests travel to two separate locations, is to use a site that will serve as your wedding and reception site.
The amount of fossil fuels burned shipping things to your wedding can be staggering. The further away these items originate, the worse damage it does to the planet getting them to your current location. This includes things like your wedding dress, catering, wedding cake, and more. Reduce the miles these goods travel in order to make your wedding even more sustainable.
From live plants to photographs, and even candles used in your wedding, choosing things you can use long after your wedding allows them to pull double duty, and eliminates the waste that is so commonly associated with weddings. You can even reuse the ribbons from your wedding, for instance, as holiday decorations.
Tabletop decorations from the reception can become gifts from you to your guests. Buy these decorations with an eye on how you can use them in the future, and you will be going the extra mile to make the most of your wedding decorations. One of the best ways to do this is to consider using items you either have in your home, or want to have in your home as your wedding décor.
It’s not all about avoiding conflict diamonds, though that is certainly an important decision to make. It’s also about choosing wedding jewelry that is meaningful, and that doesn’t leave you feeling guilty about the purchase. Consider purchasing antique jewelry, passing down family jewelry as wedding rings, and always remember that wedding rings do not have to be made of gold. It’s the meaning that matters, not the materials.
Sustainable weddings are possible. Making it obvious that yours is a sustainable wedding is a great way to not only encourage others to do the same on their special days, but also throughout their lifetimes as well. And, after your wedding, you can plan an eco-friendly honeymoon, and purchase green items for your home, such as environmentally-friendly cleaners, reusable drink cups, organic bedding, and even a latex mattress.