This post about eco freindly wedding tips is sponsored by Nakturnal however, all opinions are my own.
Looking for eco friendly wedding ideas? Planning a green wedding doesn’t have to be hard. Reduce wedding waste, find second hand wedding dresses, and look for other easy ways to have a sustainable wedding. The environmental impact of weddings is huge and we should all do our part to help. Here are a few ethical, eco friendly, zero waste ways to say ‘I do’.
The rising cost of weddings
Did you know that the average cost of a wedding has risen to almost $30,000 in the United States? Considering the pressure many couples are under to throw an elaborate wedding, many people are left wondering how they can afford to tie the knot. However, there are many ways you can save money and still have a beautiful, luxurious wedding.
Thanks to recent research and advancements in technology it is now easier than ever to live an eco friendly lifestyle and that includes your first day as a married couple! Green weddings can be beautiful, frugal, AND better for the planet! Don’t get sucked into the idea that ‘bigger is better’. The cost of your wedding does not do anything to make your marriage last longer. But it CAN destroy your budget and have a huge carbon footprint.
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Eco Friendly Wedding Tips
Planning an eco friendly wedding can be fun and leave you with a feeling of satisfaction for a your minimal impact living. It won’t be quite as easy as calling your local wedding planner, unfortunately. Here are a few tips to get you started on your road to your low carbon footprint married life!
Purchase Eco friendly Wedding Rings
The amount of money and human labor that goes into supporting the precious metals and diamond industries is immense. Many diamond-mining organizations have come under fire for the mistreatment of their workers. Natural resources are slowly becoming depleted as more people want to own precious stones.
Promote sustainability and the proper treatment of workers by purchasing wedding jewelry made from recycled materials. This jewelry is often more affordable than other diamonds and wedding bands. Check out the sustainable wedding bands from AU-Rate. They use only 100% recycled gold and all pearls and gems are purchased only from ethical sources. From family run pearl farms to strict working conditions in gem mines, they focus on producing beautiful jewelry with strong ethics.
Another sustainable jewelry idea is to upcycle an old family heirloom. Have an old piece of jewelry that has been passed down your family for generations? Reuse parts of old heirlooms, including gems, diamonds, and metals, to create a piece of jewelry with a unique family history.
Plan a Recycled Wedding
Thanks to many eco-conscious and economical brides, there has been a recent boom in websites that allow brides to “recycle” parts, or all of their wedding. Brides who have just recently said ‘I do’ often sell their gently used decorations, wedding invitations and even their wedding dresses. Second hand clothing is the cornerstone of eco friendly fashion!
Browse through the offerings on places like eBay and Craigslist and find huge savings on everything you need for your wedding. Thanks to the internet, you can incorporate beautiful secondhand pieces into your own wedding. This saves you money and prevents these good-as-new items from simply becoming trash. Check out Bride2Bride.com for second hand wedding dresses!
Select an Eco-friendly Wedding Venue
An eco friendly wedding venue saves you a great deal of money. It also drastically reduces the carbon footprint of your wedding. Many large venues, including hotels, banquet halls and reception areas, require a large amount of electricity. All the lighting, sound systems, heating and cooling are not a great choice for the environment. Host your reception outdoors to reduce the need for constant lighting and energy usage.
You can also host your ceremony and reception at the same venue. This way, guests don’t have to waste gas traveling from one location to another. This is not only on my list of green wedding tips but also on my list of ‘make everyone’s life easier’ tips!
If you must host the ceremony and reception in two different places, consider renting a shuttle or other form of eco friendly transportation to take people between the venues. This will mean less vehicles on the road and a decrease in harmful emissions.
Consider Registering for Donations
Simplest of all the eco friendly wedding tips I want to share is to ask for money for a green cause! Committed to making a difference to the environment? Have guests make donations in your name, instead of purchasing gifts for you through a registry. Many charities offer donation cards that you can fill out and send to wedding guests, which indicate that you would like them to make a donation in lieu of giving a gift.
There are plenty of great eco friendly charities that focus on protecting the environment and earth’s species. Some of my favorites are the World Wildlife Foundation, Rain Forest Action Network, Conservation Fund, American Forests and Greenpeace.
Donate Leftover Wedding Food
When it comes to weddings, the mentality is often that it is better to have too much food than too little. With hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, appetizers, entrees and deserts, there is often a large quantity of food left over after the reception. Choose local food and donate leftovers instead of simply wasting it.
As food decomposes it releases methane gas, a toxin that is 20 percent more harmful than carbon dioxide. Help cut down on methane release by donating food to organizations such as America’s Second Harvest Food Bank, City Harvest or other local food kitchens. Food waste is a huge problem in this country, however, there are many ways to reduce your garbage output and prevent your wedding from contributing to it.
5 Things You Need for a Green Wedding
Many green wedding supplies will be bought second hand or borrowed from friends and family. There are, however, a few items that you might want to buy new. Choosing eco friendly wedding items will seriously reduce your carbon footprint. Here are a few of my favorite suggestions:
- Biodegradable confetti. Don’t throw things on the ground that wont biodegrade, even if you ARE getting married!
- Paper straws are a great alternative to plastic for your beverages. No straw is great too, but, some people really do love those things!
- Eco friendly paper lanterns. You can find ones that are 100% biodegradable which I think is totally cool.
- Disposable Wedding Plates made from sustainable materials. Find compostable tableware free of dyes, bleaches, or other harsh additives. A great alternative to single use plastic.
See a real green wedding and find out if it is right for you! Watch the video below from My Green Closet. She has some great eco friendly wedding tips to share!
Is a Green Wedding Right for You?
Plan a green wedding to save money and the environment. You can promote sustainability by finding innovative ways to reduce the carbon footprint of your big event. It is easy to incorporate eco-friendly elements into your wedding. That way, you and your soulmate can start off on an eco-friendly life together. I hope these eco friendly wedding tips will help you in planning your own special day! Check out Bridal Guide for more wedding planning tips! Have any other green wedding tips to share?
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.