We all want to go green in this day and age. Global warming and climate change, in general, have been named among the greatest threats to the coming generations. But sometimes, it can be difficult to know where to begin. If you’re in the midst of planning your wedding, you may not yet be aware that there are ways in which you can marry your eco-consciousness with your wedding plans. The fact is that a wedding is going to be a big event in your life, and it could easily be environmentally harmful. A lot of people struggle with the fact that wedding planning is overwhelming, and brides and grooms tend to forget that they’re creating an event meant to celebrate their love. In fact, it really shouldn’t come as a surprise that between 40 and 50% of American marriages end in divorce. How can a marriage get a good start if the planning process is so stressful?
With that being said, why not take some time to find a way to make your wedding a bit greener? A lot of the time, sustainable, green solutions for weddings are actually better for the bride, the groom, and the guests while at the same time being much easier to apply than their less environmentally friendly alternatives. Below are some of the best ways in which brides and grooms can make their weddings greener and more sustainable.
1. Go Small
In a post-pandemic world, there are several benefits to choosing a smaller wedding, at a smaller venue. Already, it’s considered much healthier for people to gather in smaller groups, in a space where they can easily socially distance. There has also been a lot of economic strain caused by the pandemic, and if you’re attempting to throw a more affordable wedding, a smaller guest list and smaller venue is a good move. You’ll be able to stretch your budget for food, decor, and favors much further if you have fewer guests, making it easier to maintain the level of quality you’ll want for your wedding. But most importantly, the smaller your guest list, the greener the wedding. More people consume more resources, including water, food, and energy. While you might think that it’s traditional to have a huge wedding, inviting hundreds of people to your wedding comes with a price, both literally and in terms of sustainability.
2. Skip The Cars Whenever Possible
When an entire guest list full of people takes individual cars to a wedding, pollution is a major consequence. It might be tempting to travel to your wedding in a limo, but keep in mind that with limo drivers averaging around 105 trips per week, it’s not always the most environmentally friendly option. You can’t control how your guests will travel, but you can control how you travel. So, what are the alternatives? If you’re close enough to your venue and favoring an earthier style, you could very well walk to your venue. Some wedding parties even make this something of a feature of the wedding, creating a kind of parade for the bride and groom. A similar, yet more dramatic choice is to travel by horseback or take a horse-drawn carriage. Rickshaws are also popular, particularly in the city, and boats for a beachside wedding make as a splash as well. You can also consider arriving by electric car, as opposed to the typical limo. Another thing for you to think about is advising that your guests rideshare, both saving energy and money in the long term. Again, you can’t control what they do, but you can make a gentle request.
3. Choose A Sustainable Caterer
Most people do have their weddings catered in this day and age. However, many brides and grooms don’t realize that some caterers are more sustainable than others. Sustainable caterers will, for one thing, take measures to prevent the waste of water, and source their water sustainably. With over 13 million households relying on private wells for drinking water, caterers can be sustainable in their water usage as well. They can also choose food that was grown close to home, ideally organically. But you may also want to think about having a vegan or vegetarian menu. While there’s no guarantee that all of your guests will eat meat, a vegan menu, in particular, accommodates everyone, while at the same time being more environmentally friendly than a menu with animal products. It might push some people out of their comfort zones, but you can also take the time to support independent producers. Try not to buy too much food, with that being said, so that you can prevent waste. If you do have excess food or unused paper or plastic cutlery, you should donate that to a nearby charity; or for that matter, ask your guests if they want leftovers.
4. Go Sustainable With Your Wedding Favors
Wedding favors are a popular key to the event today; guests can home with a goody bag or a special gift to remind them of your big day. But you don’t have to order those from a big retailer, and it’s not too difficult to make them yourself. Consider choosing edible favors, as they’re typically more sustainable than things that will just be thrown away. A preserve, cookies, or fair trade food products are great options. Other options include plants, or seeds that can be used to grow plants; or perhaps something like an eco-friendly bird feeder. If you don’t want something immediately usable, you could also choose something that can be used over time. Eco-friendly candles, natural beauty products or skincare, and similarly useful, eco-friendly products are fantastic options.
There are a lot of issues that can crop up during a wedding, and it’s easy to forget that it’s supposed to be a fun, even beautiful day. But by taking steps to be more sustainable, you can feel better about your green wedding while at the same time getting the day you’ve always dreamed of.