Does planning an eco-friendly wedding make you feel overwhelmed to the point where you’d rather give up? It shouldn’t.
There are still many misconceptions about sustainable weddings that make you believe you must sacrifice things you love to have an eco-friendly day, but that is just not true.
The critical thing to remember is that your entire wedding does not have to be green!
You don’t need every detail in your day to be eco-friendly (unless, of course, you want it that way!). Try to keep your plan in mind and make conscious choices to reduce unnecessary waste where you can.
My suggestion to you would be to research information available on sustainable weddings and see what options best speak to you.
The best comprehensive resource that I have found is a book titled The Green Bride Guide by Kate L. Harrison. This book is available on Amazon (the Kindle edition is only $9.99 CAN) and on her website.
Learn what you can about sustainable weddings and you and your partner should discuss what works best for you as a couple and your eco-friendly vision.
This doesn’t have to be an “all or nothing” process.
If you’re still looking for a tip to follow, then I suggest revisiting the 3 Rs—Reduce, reuse, and recycle. Remember those? If you try and find a way to apply the principle of the 3 Rs to each aspect of your wedding day, you’ll be well on your way to the sustainable wedding of your dreams.
Ten Tips for Planning an Eco-friendly Wedding
1. Educate yourself.
Read sustainable wedding blogs and books. Learn what it means to have a sustainable wedding and select elements that are meaningful to you and your partner.
2. Set a budget.
This ensures that you know how much money you have to spend on your sustainable vendors, decorations, attire, etc. This is a huge step, so try to set a realistic budget and stick to it!
3. Reduce the size of your guest list.
Keeping your eco-friendly wedding small is one of the easiest ways to help reduce the amount of waste. Fewer people means less food prepared and less people travelling—overall fewer resources used.
4. Hire a Green Wedding Planner.
This is the easiest way to have access to the best green vendors in your area. A green wedding planner is trained to help you create your vision, while keeping you within your chosen budget.
Check out the Green Bride Guide’s green wedding planner directory found here: http://www.greenbrideguide.com/green-wedding-directory
5. Let people know you’re planning a green wedding.
You might be surprised by how many people will help you with your sustainable wedding vision.
6. Reuse products.
Get thrifty! Check out all the great resources available for buying gently used wedding attire, jewelry, and decorations.
There are also some beyond beautiful vintage wedding gowns out there (some have never been used!). Check out the mother/daughter team who created www.belovedvintagebridal.com for stunning vintage gowns.
7. Get creative.
Do any of your friends or family have a crafty side? Is your friend a fabulous seamstress?
Consider swapping talents as wedding gifts (it doesn’t hurt to ask! However, don’t be offended if they say no. They are not obligated to help you out).
If your friend/family is local, then this reduces gas emissions from long-distance shipping too. This is also just a great way to bond with those you love!
8. Support local small business’ who match your values.
By shopping local, you’re supporting small businesses in your area (which can often mean less travel, too). Look for small businesses who talk about their own commitment to sustainability and who have the proof to backup their claims.
9. Recycled rings.
There are a lot of great options for rings that are made out of recycled materials. Many artisans are on board with the eco-friendly movement, so there are options out there for anyone interested. Check out www.brilliantearth.com as a great eco-friendly option.
10. Green honeymooning.
The most green option for your honeymoon is to cut the travelling. Try a “staycation” where you stay in your local area but take the opportunity to do tourist activities you wouldn’t normally do (you can even tell people you’re out of town, so they don’t interrupt your alone time).
If you would like to leave your city for your honeymoon, opt for a train or a boat as they emit much less CO2 than a plane. My husband and I took a train for our honeymoon, and it ended up being a very romantic and stress-free way to travel! Plus, when the porter found out that it was our honeymoon, we were given a few extra perks!
Bonus tip: Less is more
If you’re dedicated to planning an eco-friendly wedding, really take the time to consider if you need all the bells and whistles for your wedding. Do you need all the flowers? All the decor? Does your wedding party HAVE to buy new dresses? Shoes? Are the party favours things your guests will just throw in a drawer afterward? The best way to have a sustainable wedding is to reduce the amount of waste, so consider what’s absolutely necessary and do without the rest.
Want to learn some of the wedding traditions people are moving away from? Check out my blog!
There are so many more options and tips for planning a green wedding, but these are just a few to get you started!
All the best,
“Brilliant Earth.” Brilliant Earth. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 June 2015.
“Green Wedding Directory.” Green Wedding Directory. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 June 2015.
“The Green Bride Guide.” The Green Bride Guide. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 June 2015.
“Home.” Beloved Vintage Bridal. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 June 2015.