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How to Plan a Green Wedding (And Save Some Green While You’re At It)

How to Plan a Green Wedding (And Save Some Green While You’re At It)

How to be more eco friendly is a question that’s increasingly making its way to the forefront of our lives. Sustainable practices are showing up in our homes, our workplaces, and now, in our weddings and elopements. If you’re working on reducing your carbon footprint this wedding season, we have some green wedding tips on how you can reduce, re-use and recycle at your ceremony. Because what’s better than true love and being eco friendly to help save the environment? 

How to plan a green wedding

  1. Reduce your waste
  2. Re-use decor and other wedding elements
  3. Recycle whatever you can

Reduce your waste

There are some pretty easy ways to cut down on waste for a more eco friendly wedding. You can send out e-vites rather than paper invitations or announcements, and keep all your wedding planning documents as digital as possible. Not only will this help reduce your carbon footprint, it will also save you a nice chunk of change! Having an outdoor wedding ceremony is also a great green wedding option. Nature has some stunning backdrops just waiting to be used, allowing for a more minimalist approach with your decor and set up – which is yet another way to save some cash. Not to mention, there’s some pretty exquisite natural lighting that comes with outdoor ceremonies – especially at sunset. You can even incorporate a little green into your ensemble to subtly show off your green wedding theme: flower crowns, green wedding shoes, or even a green bowtie will all complement Mother Nature’s scenery.

Re-use decor and other wedding elements

Reach out to your family and friends about items they may be willing to lend you for your wedding. This could be dishes (mismatching glassware is super trendy right now), accessories, even tables, chairs, and decor elements (re-purpose those Christmas lights!). You can find some unique and personal decor pieces by looking through you and your family’s storage. You can also re-use your ceremony venue for your reception to cut down on travel emissions – with so many gorgeous places to elope or have a traditional ceremony,  you won’t feel as though you’ve missed out by simply staying in one location. And, by adding some tables and moving around seating, you can easily transform one space for both occasions. 

Recycle whatever you can

Using living decor is an excellent way to add some green to your wedding. If your wedding is outdoors, look around your venue for any safe-to-pick foliage that can be re-purposed for table pieces, or even worked into bouquets and other florals. There is nothing more beautiful than a wildflower bouquet, but the pride you’ll feel knowing that your eco friendly initiatives are helping out the environment will likely make things even more special. If you don’t feel comfortable picking out your own florals, there is still plenty of good you can do with a bouquet created by a florist. After your big day, consider repurposing or up-cycling your florals to a greater cause. Random Acts of Flowers and Forget Me Knot both deliver recycled flowers to health care facilities in a handful of locations to help improve the emotional and physical well-being of those in need, so you can feel good knowing that your wedding bouquet gets to provide yet another dose of happiness to someone who will truly appreciate it.

If you’re going to be indoors while you say your I-do’s, recycle any paper invitations or programs to use for confetti after you tie the knot! These small wedding details can be used as decorations for your tables, or have guests toss it for your send-off. A big recycling initiative that can be worked into any ceremony or reception is composting. Bouquets and other greenery can be composted, as well as any food that isn’t being saved. Renting or reselling your ceremony or reception decor is also an eco friendly wedding option – and budget friendly

This wedding season, it is easy being green. If you keep these tips in mind and stay open and creative, you can share the green wedding love not just with your partner and your family, but with the earth, too. If you’re wondering how you can have an eco friendly wedding, simply following even one of these tips will help to reduce your carbon footprint and will bring the world one step closer to being completely green.

Article written by Tori Ward
Victoria Ward is a writer at Simply Eloped as well as a Keats Marginalia scholar and Storyfort finalist for her fiction and creative nonfiction. When she is not writing about elopements, she writes grants for her research and non-profit work.
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