When I first imagined my wedding I had dreams of buying vintage china and using recyclable paper for my eco-friendly wedding. In reality, there are some things that are just not always feasible. I definitely had the environment in mind when planning my wedding but I also had my budget in mind. But being frugal and eco-friendly aren’t mutually exclusive – they can work together. And it can be easy! You just can’t be afraid to break the mold a little bit. Once you get past the traditional or more commonplace wedding “essentials” you can move into the creative and eco-friendly zone.
Here are some easy way to make a wedding eco-friendly:
Skip the Sparklers
Sparklers are popular for a send-off but they’re super wasteful. Other equally wasteful choices are bubbles and confetti. Instead, try dried flowers, leaves, or biodegradable confetti. Don’t forget to use a recyclable paper or biodegradable container as well.
Skip the Plastic
Sometimes, depending on the venue and/or catering company, they opt for plastic wear instead of china. If you can skip it do it. Think of all the plastic plates, cups, and utensils that get thrown away.
Related: Nerdy Rustic Barn Wedding
Use Real Flowers
Using real flowers is usually the standard for a wedding but sometimes not the cheapest. However, you can be eco-friendly and stick to the budget by buying from local florists and choosing flowers in season.
Keep it at One Place
By having the ceremony, photos, and reception all in one place guests don’t have to drive to separate locations, which cuts back on carbon emissions.
Skip all the Extra Paper
Eliminate extra paper waste by skipping ceremony programs, menus, and paper seating assignments. The only time these are actually helpful is when they can double as a fan.
Make items Multifunctional
If you are using a program give it another purpose as a fan or even give it an activity on the back. Adults and children alike will appreciate it. You can also give your favors an extra purpose. Instead of opting for something that will immediately get thrown away, make the favor something reusable, multi-functional, or edible! At my wedding, the favors served triple functions as the favor, seating assignment, and drinking glass for the evening.
Reuse Decorations & Flowers
If you’re decorating the ceremony site, be sure to incorporate those decorations into your reception decor so you don’t have to buy more than necessary.
Certain aspects of weddings can be timeless, like wearing your mother’s dress or vintage/used bridesmaids dresses. You can even find beautiful vintage wedding rings! It’s perfectly eco-friendly to reuse something and give it more purpose instead of leaving it destined for the dump, never to be seen again.
When people hear or read the words eco-friendly they might immediately think expensive or too difficult but these are easy ways to incorporate eco-friendly practices into your wedding. Sure, there are countless other ways to make your wedding eco-friendly, and I would never discourage those, but these are some easy way that won’t break the bank.
Related: I Got Married
Let me know in the comments below what you think of these ways to make your wedding eco-friendly. Would you ever use any of them?
Christina is a twenty-something living with her beagle, Mash, and husband, Nate in their van. She loves traveling, shopping, art, and photography. She’s also a vegetarian, pop-culture enthusiast, book-lover, and Dave Matthews Band fanatic. Catch her somewhere around the country in a converted camper van or at home in Florida for a visit.