10 Simple Ways to Go Green for your Wedding

by - Saturday, May 05, 2018

Congratulations! You are getting married!

Wedding planning is an amazing time- we had so much fun planning ours- but it can be easy to get so focused on that day we forget we are headed toward a big new future! How exciting that you have a whole life with this wonderful person you love.

This is actually the perfect time to protect that future by taking care of the environment.

Imagining trips to the beach some day as a family? Let's keep that water clean.
Dreaming of big family dinners? Then we have to pay attention to how our waste is effecting our food sources
You want to sit on the front porch fifty years from now, breathing in sweet summer air? Then we have to take care of that air!

A wedding can feel like the perfect time to focus on yourself, but simple switches can make your wedding greener and to take care of your beautiful future together as well. You may have a particular image in your mind when you hear "green wedding" but ANY wedding in ANY style can have a positive environmental impact.

With a few simple switches you can do good, SAVE money, and save the Earth! Let's do this!

from AlisonKateDesign

1. Send Your Invites, Save the Trees

Weddings tend to use a lot of paper. Choose invitations that are made of recycled paper, and you can save a tree! They cost about the same, and do so much more good. Check out options in this post. If you are having a less formal event, you could go completely paperless and do digital invites instead.

2. Only Register for What You Actually Want

Our homes are way too full, and it is adding to our stress, our marital strife, and our negative impact on the planet. Consumerism is one of the key sources of climate change. What does this have to do with your wedding registry? Stores create these epic lists of things you "need" but their real goal is to sell as much as possible.

You know what you need! Go through that list and cross most of it off. By simply registering for less, you can focus on what you actually need and start a family culture where clutter and waste are unacceptable. Here are more ways I wish I could do again for my registry, but the most important point is that you know what you need, and then stop.

Register for only what you need, and then start a honeyfund and have an adventure together! Stuff doesn't make a marriage. Memories do.

3. And Find the Greener Version

Once you know what you want to register for, check out the Eco-Friendly Wedding Registry. You may think everything is Made in China out of plastic, but it isn't true! We will prove it to you.

When else in life can you control where so much money goes? Put it to positive use by supporting local and ethical companies.  You can quickly go through the lists and switch out what you were thinking for the greener option.

There are also a few object you may not have thought of that can help you kick off a greener lifestyle in your marriage. Check out this list of reusables you haven't thought of.

4. Choose Ethical Rings

Diamonds and other jewelry can come at a huge ethical and environmental price, but lucky for all of us, better options are out there. Think about alternative gemstones, all secondhand and vintage stones and settings, or ethical, fair-trade companies like Bright Earth.

If you want to see just how many options are out there, check out this list of Ethical and Eco-Friendly Rings.

5. Dress the Part

Don't go to David's Bridal! Those dresses are mostly made in Elsewhere using synthetic fibers (that's right, your dress is made of plastic- luxurious, right?)

There are so many options out there- consider shopping for yourself and your wedding party in places that make their dresses locally (you can even find Etsy wedding dresses), use real materials, OR go really bold and rent things from places like Rent the Runway! Great way to save money, and your bridemaid is never going to wear that dress again anyway.

Reuse is key here, so check out our ideas for bridesmaid dresses that can actually be used again.

And if you are feeling really bold, consider donating your dress once you are hitched, so it can continue to get use. Check out this list of pretty amazing ways your dress can keep getting use when you are done with it.

6. Think Reusable

This is supposed to be the most special day of your life, right?

Ack! Let's hope not, because you have a lot of days left. Instead of splurging for tons of one time use objects like card boxes and cake toppers, choose what you use based on what you (or someone else) can use again. Yes, it feels expensive, but rent your linens, silverware, ANYTHING that you have as an option.

The goal is to create as little waste as possible, so if you can't imagine keeping it or gifting it, don't spend money on it.

There are so many ways to do this and still save money. You can also think about buying as much secondhand as possible and selling it back after you are done. Check out this list of options on how to save money on wedding decorations while still being eco-friendly!

I also love the idea of making it yourself. Especially if you use things that you can take apart and use again. What DIY ideas are you using?

7. Serve a Delicious Meal with Less Meat

Not often you get to decide what 100+ people are going to have for dinner. We know that meat is one of the key sources of waste and CO2 emissions, so cutting down on the meat everyone eats can do a ton of good!

If you want to go big and bold, do a meatless wedding (just give them pasta- no one complains about pasta). If that feels too out there, consider having fewer meat options and more vegetarian ones. Make all of your appetizers meat-free. Cut out meat where you can for HUGE impact.

8. Give Eco-Friendly Gifts and Favors

This one can be so fun and easy! Skip out on the plastic box full of mints and give your guests an Eco-Friendly Favor instead. Check out your options- you will be surprised how much there is out there!

In the same way, you want to get your wedding party gifts to show them how thankful you are for their time and help in this big day. There are tons of Green Wedding Party Gifts you could give, including experiences instead of yet another physical thing (and seriously, skip the stuff that says bridesmaid on it. Who needs that?)

Basically, if you are giving a gift, focus on thoughtfulness and you can come up with something amazing that is still good for the Earth!

9. Be Plastic-Free, Find Compostable Options Instead

Even if you aren't doing a fancy event, you can still do tons of good by choosing recycled napkins and compostable forks and knives. An easy way to think about it is to avoid plastic. When in doubt, you don't want plastic to have any part in your day- it never looks good and it is terrible for the Earth.

Be sure to read this list of greener options for any of the party supplies you are going to buy in the course of celebrating.

10. Just Think Smaller

Every message we receive about our wedding (and honestly, our life) is that it needs to be bigger, grander, and more sparkly to be good. But feel confident that your life and your day will be amazing. Instead of trying to go bigger, think smaller. Keep that guest list as small as you can (I know, impossible). Have a few bridesmaids, not a gaggle. You will save money and minimize drama.

It can be near impossible to not get caught up in the beautiful images we see of weddings to not want something epic, but if you don't have hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend, attempts to create the look of luxury can come off as cheap (and is incredibly frustrating). Instead, think about what is actually true to you as a couple. What do you think a good party is? What do you think is a fun time? Do your best version of that, and go way less crazy.

You can skip anything that doesn't mean a damn thing to you. Don't waste money on a garter if you think it would be annoying to wear. Don't throw the bouquet if you don't want to shill out money for yet another bunch of flowers just to throw. Use your cake as centerpieces. Just do what you think is great, and skip the rest.

On the other side of my 20's, I have been to a hell of a lot of weddings, and they start to blend. What we remember is the ways this wedding did something different. Or we remember the amazing and hilarious thing that happened. I love this stuff, and I still couldn't tell you much about a lot of the details at the weddings we have been to. Leading up to it, it can feel like every decision is more expensive than expected, or is a huge compromise. When you don't care, just don't do it.

Good luck planning! You can have an amazing wedding in a style that fits you as a couple while still taking care of your future and the Earth!

Want an environmentally responsible registry? Be sure to read The Eco- Friendly Wedding Registry. Want more Green Wedding goodness? We have SO MANY ideas here of how to make your special day kinder to the environment and that much more original. Check out the Green Wedding Page for more ideas.

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  1. These are all wonderful and environmentally conscious tips for any bride to be to consider. It is wonderful to see so many people making such an effort to do this... DaisyGirl

  2. It may take more time and conscious effort to all of these things, but well worth it in the end. Go Green!

  3. I love these ideas. A wedding can create so much waste. What awesome ways to help the environment.

  4. I love finding new ways to go green! This is a great way to help our environment, most weddings create so much waste.

  5. These are some really great ideas. There are so many things that we can all do in many aspects of our lives to be green!



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