1. Offer Guests A Primarily Vegetarian Or Vegan Menu
There is no doubt that the environmental impact of vegetarian and vegan food is far less than meals with meat. One example is that a ‘vegan diet requires 300 gallons of water per day versus a meat-eating diet which requires 4,000 gallons per day.‘
You can make your wedding more eco-friendly by offering guests mostly vegetarian and vegan options. There are lots of great vegan food choices you can make that guests will love. An all vegan menu would be ideal for the greenest wedding, but it’s not always a practical choice if not everyone attending is vegan, so do what you can.
Not only does a plant-based menu create a smaller carbon footprint than animal products, it means you don’t need to make separate menus for meat eaters and vegans.
2. Send Eco Friendly Invitations Or Go Digital
Recycled, sustainably sourced choices are everywhere, if you look for them. Paper is one of the easiest sustainable choices to make with options that include: recycled & recyclable, as well as biodegradable paper with natural inks to reduce waste impact.
Considering invitations are such a small part of your big day, you could even forgo printed invitations by going digital. No transportation costs and minor energy costs, and you can still create a stylish invitation. Create a beautifully designed invite using an easy-to-use website such as Canva and send it via email or WhatsApp.
3. Consider Wildflower Seed Packets As Eco Wedding Favours
Wedding favours are a nice way to thank guests for coming to your wedding, but why not try offering something with a positive environmental impact? Wildflower seed packets create food for bees and other insects without taking food and resources from other wildlife. Give these out with notes (on sustainable paper or decomposing cards) to encourage your guest to sow wildflowers, helping to restore beautiful landscapes and pollinators!
4. Go Green With Your Confetti
A good green rule for life is to avoid microplastics. Your typical confetti is basically made up of microplastics, which are harmful to waterways and the organisms and animals that live in them. Luckily there are plenty of green confetti choices to choose from.
Biodegradable and natural confetti options include leaves, rose petals and flowers, or even biodegradable tissue. Throwing bird seeds at weddings is a tradition that predates confetti and is beneficial for the environment as it aids the growth of wildflowers. Just check what your venue allows before you get throwing!
5. Create An Eco-Friendly Wedding Registry
Instead of a traditional wedding registry, you could calculate the carbon emissions from your wedding and ask your guests to contribute to offsetting it. Alternatively, you could create a fund-me link or collect envelopes of cash at the wedding to go towards an environmentally friendly cause. If you prefer a more tangible gift, perhaps there is something in your life that would help you be more environmentally friendly, such as solar panels, a greener car or a bicycle? Ask your guests to donate towards one of these purchases.
6. Choose Wedding Rings That Use Recycled Material
Have you thought about a wedding band or a ring that uses recycled gold or platinum? Here’s a list of sustainable wedding ring providers to help you select your dream ring from a sustainable source.
7. Rent Your Wedding Attire
Why buy a wedding dress when you’re only going to wear it once? A lot of time, energy and resources are put into making a wedding dress, as well as making the suits and the wedding party’s outfits.
Renting clothes means you not only save the resources and energy from going to waste but you’ll also save money. Renting may also mean you’re able to wear a more luxurious wedding dress than you would otherwise. Some wedding dress makers offer a rental option or you can use recommended companies that specialise in wedding attire rental.
Alternatively, you could encourage your guests to be environmentally conscious by asking them only to wear something they have worn before or that has been bought second hand.
8. Reduce Waste & Avoid Single-Use Items
Recycling is less beneficial to the environment than renting because energy is required to break down the old thing and create the new. You could consider renting fabric napkins, a white board for the table plan, and use regular cups and plates rather than paper or plastic versions.
If you’re planning an outdoor wedding, such as a barn or festival themed wedding, and renting is not possible, consider using bamboo or biodegradable cups and plates. If you must use single-use items, ensure to clearly label the bins for recycling and separate out food waste wherever possible.
9. Go For A Low Carbon Footprint Honeymoon
Minimise your honeymoon’s carbon footprint by not travelling too far or using an environmentally conscious tour company, such as Intrepid Travel or Responsible Travel. You may even consider volunteer projects as part of your time away to contribute to a positive eco-system and to give yourself a positive mental boost at the same time!
10. Do What You Can and Get Your Guests Involved
Your wedding day is yours to decide how you can best benefit the environment. Whatever you decide to do, ensure to let your guests know why you are doing it so you can generate awareness and be an example of the possible ways to look after the earth, one rented plate at a time.