sustainable wedding

You just got engaged. You and your soon-to-be spouse are looking to plan the wedding of your dreams. You both have a passion for the environment, and you’d like to merge that passion with the theme of your wedding. But where do you begin?

You’re trying to picture it, but all you can imagine is the bare minimum. A group of your loved ones stands in the grass in the middle of nowhere. You and your spouse say your “I do’s” in your dress and suit made of soy silk and recycled polyester. The only décor is the scenery. And once the ceremony is over your guests will be served homemade wine in biodegradable cups.

There is no bathroom in sight. Reality check. That’s not what your eco-friendly wedding has to be like.

Sustainable nuptials are gaining popularity, and it’s becoming easier and easier to find an eco-friendly equivalent for every aspect of a wedding. Now you can make your dream come true while including your love for the environment.

Here are 10 planning tips to get you closer to your dream sustainable wedding.

  1. Indoor vs. Outdoor Venue If you choose an outdoor venue, that’s great — take advantage of what the earth has to offer. If you opt for indoor, have your ceremony before the sun goes down and choose a place where you can use as much natural lighting as possible. Or have your wedding at a place that will benefit from the proceeds, such as a local museum.
  2. Attire

The ways of finding an eco-friendly dress have increased. Several options now exist, including buying a vintage or used dress. Many designers have gone eco-friendly. Tuxedos made from recycled materials exist now, too. But it’s probably easier, and actually quite green, to rent. If you choose to have a wedding party, your bridesmaids and groomsmen can use these same tips.

  1. Flowers

When it comes to your floral arrangements, it’s best to source locally. Find a local florist who buys from organic farmers. Choose flowers that are in season. Reuse the same bouquets in your ceremony as centerpieces at your reception. And keep the flowers in vases and containers made from recycled materials.

  1. Invitations

Sustainable stationary options are becoming easier and easier to find. You can locate several just by doing a quick online search. Choose recycled paper for your invitations, and opt to not have programs.

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  1. Guests

Deciding how many people you will invite to your wedding is always tough. If you invite this person, you have to invite this other person — and it becomes a whole thing. But when you’re having a green wedding, it’s best to keep the guest list to a minimum. Also, choosing a location near most of your guests will help reduce the carbon footprint that they will leave traveling to your wedding.

  1. Food and Drink

This is another aspect of your wedding that you will want to source locally. Go as organic as possible here, and think about the type of dinnerware you will use. If your local caterer doesn’t provide eco-friendly table linens and dishes, consider renting these locally as well. Also, think about purchasing alcohol from a local brewery and winery for your reception.

  1. Décor

Here is where you can get super DIY with your Pinterest-inspired ideas. Of course you will want to use sustainable materials for your décor, but also consider reusing things you already have. You could even shop vintage, thrift and antique stores for some great finds.

  1. Rings

Yes, eco-friendly jewelers exist, and there are lots of wedding ring options for the eco-conscious. Going this route is also much more affordable than buying from a large jewelry chain. Your wedding ring is something you will wear every day for the rest of your life. You can feel good about your investment every time you look at your hand.

  1. Photographer

Find a green photographer who uses minimal paper, rechargeable batteries for their equipment and always turns off their cameras when not in use. Utilizing vendors whose love of the environment aligns with yours will give you that much more peace of mind for a great wedding.

Spread the Word

Let your guests know that yours is a sustainable wedding. Put it on your invitations and post it in various locations at your wedding. This will make your guests aware of part of your wedding’s theme and hopefully make them more conscious about their own carbon footprint.