Three of my friends got engaged over the holidays, and by now, they are in full-fledged “wedding planning mode”. As someone that’s been down this road before, there is a lot to consider when planning a wedding, but one thing that often gets overlooked is how a wedding can impact the planet. If you are engaged or helping to plan a wedding, here are some simple ways to keep it “green”.
Picking the venue is usually the first thing you do after setting a budget. Choosing a location that is close to a majority of your guests will cut down on travel-related carbon emissions. I would also encourage you to consider holding the ceremony at the same place as the reception for the same reason. When researching venues and caterers, find out if the facility recycles and ask caterers if they compost food waste.
From décor to dinnerware, there are many opportunities to reduce and reuse. Check out local thrift stores for vases, candles, lights, jewelry, plates, glasses, and more. If vintage isn’t your style, plenty of companies are now producing sustainable wedding necessities like linens, decorations, and favors.
You can also cut down on the amount of paper produced by your wedding by not using an inner envelope and printing your invitations on recycled paper. You can also ask your guests to RSVP electronically.
Lastly, some couples are now giving their guests the option to donate to their favorite environmental charity instead of buying gifts from a registry. Alternatively, you can encourage your guests to skip the gift wrap! I know that’s less fun, but it will reduce what goes to the landfill at the end of the night.
Happy planning and remember, even making just 1 or 2 sustainable choices can make a difference!
– Contributed by Brooke Lehenbauer, Volunteer Coordinator