Having a wedding can feel daunting if you’re someone who really cares about sustainability. Weddings produce some of the most waste of different types of events. When you start crunching the numbers it’s estimated that over a 400 pounds of waste, and 63 tons of CO. That’s pretty terrifying when you think about it. There are some ways to have a more thoughtful and sustainable wedding and bring that waste down. Here are some of my favorite ways.
Wedding Flowers and Sustainability
Wedding flowers are one of the trickiest ones for sustainability. Sourcing wedding flowers from local florists and farmers is definitely key. Work with your wedding florist and understand their stance around sustainability. Many wedding florists use green foam for floral designs. Make sure to chat with a wedding florist before hiring about their use of foam in floral designs.
Common Guidelines when Donating Wedding Flowers
When your wedding is over instead of throwing out your wedding flowers, see if your wedding flowers can be donated. One way that I can definitely recommend is by bringing your wedding flowers to local ERs and hospitals and donating the flowers to staff working there. It’s such a joy and brightens up the mood for staff working at the hospital — especially when flowers are dropped off late at night or early in the morning.
If you’re thinking about having a more sustainable wedding I have a few more ways to reuse your wedding flowers and ensure they don’t go in the garbage. Donating wedding flowers can be a little tricky. Often some places that you might think about won’t take donations of fresh flowers (hospitals, nursing homes, etc.). Consider leaving jars out for your friends and family to break down your wedding flowers and take them home.
Eliminating Wasteful Wedding Favors
Incorporating Wedding Favors into Your Decor for a Zero Waste Wedding
- Use vintage glasses and plates for dinner and have guests bring home as a wedding favor
- Use fabric bunting front vintage fabric or sheets (tear through your grandparents closets!) and cut into 6-8 foot lengths to share with your wedding guests
- Use lanterns, disco balls, potted plants, books or similar for your center pieces and decor that your guests can take home or you can reuse in your home
- Take your wedding arbor home to put in your garden or a family members garden
- Break down the wedding bouquets, and any floral installations for wedding favors and pass out jars with 4-5 stems in them to your guests as they leave
- Instead of throwing out those menus and other stationary, on the back of your menu print a beautiful image, drawing or painting of your wedding venue as a keepsake
Looking to Vintage and Reusable Touches for Wedding Attire
Wedding Attire that’s Easily Reused
Mix Match and Cocktail Length Dresses
Using Khakis + White Button Downs instead of Full Suits
Repackaging Leftover Food as Road Trip Meals
Have an artist sketch your wedding guests the night of the event
The weekend wedding gift bags can get old really fast — incorporate some local foods, a coffee mug from the local coffee shop or even a small plant instead — something that can grow with them or will definitely be used while they’re onsite for the weekend
For your wedding party, don’t get them silky robes but instead PJs or sweatpants/shirts that they’ll be more motivated to wear every day with a simple embroidery on them or with the location of the wedding on them
Non-Physical Items for Wedding Favors
- Share your wedding day playlists
- Donate to your favorite cause
- Gift certificates for your guests to area activities or restaurants
- Have your photographer take micro-sessions of the couples, families and solo guests the weekend of your wedding day