If you are a conscious bride like me, you are all for helping the environment. On average, a wedding produces over 500 pounds of garbage and emits about 63 tons of greenhouse gases such as CO2 into the environment a year. That was a statistic I definitely did not want to contribute to on my wedding day.
There are several alternatives to some of the basic wedding necessaries without sacrificing your vision, your sanity and your budget. Your wedding can still be the most beautiful experience of your lifetime without harming the environment. Here are some of My Tips for Planning a Green Eco-friendly wedding.
Finding a Sustainable Venue/Location
Choosing a green venue is completely doable. One of best ways to cut down on energy is to use outdoor venues where the sun can provide most of the sunlight. Also, hold both your wedding ceremony and reception in the same location. It will minimize your carbon footprint and will be very convenient for your guest. There are tons of state parks and tropical gardens or estates that provide outdoor venues. We tied the knot at Bill Baggs state park in Key Biscayne Florida (On National Forest Day). It was a perfect place for a green wedding as we were able to use the natural surroundings for decor which allowed for a no waste ceremony. The location also was perfect for a sunset wedding and had a beautiful view of the ocean.
Ethical Wedding Bands
If you’ve watched the movie “Blood Diamond” you may be worried about the poor mining practices that yield great profits at the expense of the environment and against human rights. Buying a conflict-free wedding band is not only a great way to commit to your marriage but also to the environment. Don’t be afraid to ask your jeweler for details. Where was the stone found? Is it fair-trade? Try recycled metal such as gold, antique and vintage or artisanal jewelers. These choices will help to provide a fair wage and safe working conditions for the workers.
Local Florist and vendors
When it comes to flowers and decorations, choose in-season flowers from a local florist. Use locally grown organic flowers and recycled leaves. They are usually pesticide free and with less travel, they are safe for the environment. We used 3 simple elements for decor at our wedding: Flowers, Leaves, and Candles. Use soy-based candles if possible as they are healthier for the environment. Using leaves was a great way to reduce waste and reuse an element. Most florists have scraps of leaves available for free. Check out second-hand shops or flea markets. They are a gold mind for decorative pieces. You might even be surprised by the quality.
Eco-friendly wedding dress
Finding the perfect wedding dress for an eco-friendly wedding does not mean walking down the aisle in a biodegradable dress. It means, paying attention to the fabric used, renting or reusing a dress, supporting an ethical wedding dress designer or buying a sample dress like I did. I wrote a whole blog about my wedding dress shopping experience. I bought a sample dress but you can also use upcycled dresses or go to trade shows for green wedding events.
Green Registry and Invitations
Millions of tree are cut down every year for single use paper products. This is such an unnecessary deforestation when we know, we will throw away the invites once they are registered on our calendars. I recommend sending E-VITES (save the dates) or seeded paper which will regrow once in the grown within weeks. We used the paperless option with Zola for our registry and The Knot for our wedding website. These websites allow you to create free websites and invitations to send to your guest via email. For our registry, we created a fund where our guest can deposit money instead of buying a gift and a percentage of the money will be donated to a charity of your choice (Great way to plant trees).
I hope you find these tips helpful and I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below and Happy Planning!!