Good news lovers: it’s possible to have the wedding you want while still looking after this beautiful planet we call home! Planning a more sustainable wedding is as easy as doing a little more research, asking a few extra questions and making a difference with even the smallest changes. From your engagement ring to your wedding details, here are five simple ways we can all tread a little lighter down the aisle.
We love sharing free wedding tips with you and we’re so grateful to our sponsor MiaDonna for making this possible! This conflict-free bridal jewelry line specialises in stunning lab-grown diamond engagement rings, wedding bands and accessories.
1. The Rings
Your engagement and wedding rings are meant to symbolise love, not the environmental and humanitarian issues that plague the diamond mining industry! The only way to truly guarantee that your rings are conflict-free is to choose man-made diamonds.
Online bridal jewelry brands like MiaDonna are a great place to start your search for ethical alternatives. Using profits to help fund their charity foundation, The Greener Diamond, they work to free children from a lifetime of diamond mining and poverty. They also use recycled metals for their ring settings and plant one tree for every order to help offset emissions.
2. The Venue
Consider wedding venues that are as close to as many of your guests as possible to limit plane and car travel. Having your ceremony, photos and reception in the same location will also reduce your carbon footprint (and give you more time to party!). If you do need to shuttle your nearest and dearest from A to B, hire a vehicle that can move everyone together.
During the festivities, save power by killing the lights! Have a daytime or outdoor wedding to make the most of natural light and use soy candles to illuminate your soiree after sunset. The amazing atmosphere you’ll create is a bonus!
3. The Stationery
If it hurts to think about the amount of discarded paper your wedding could generate, here are some more eco-friendly ways to spread the word! You can go completely paperless for your save-the-dates and invitations, work with a stationer who uses recycled paper and vegetable based inks, or simply look at reducing the number of pieces in your suite.
As for signage, everything from your ceremony program to your reception seating chart can be shared on reusable and repurposed materials like chalkboards, window panes, mirrors and wooden pallets.
4. The Decor
There are many ways to go green with your decor without having to compromise on style. Giving thrift shop finds another life, renting from a hire company and borrowing instead of buying will not only have a positive impact on the environment but also on your wedding clutter.
When it comes to flowers, look to use locally grown blooms and potted plants. If out-of-season stems are your most far-flung guests, ask about similar options available closer to home. Once the day is done, donate to a community group or provide a wrapping station so guests can take arrangements home with them. Work with your florist to compost the rest!
5. The Catering
Planning your menu with Mother Nature in mind will go a long way to reducing wedding waste. Choose a farm-to-table caterer who works with fresh produce from the region and pair with wines from nearby vineyards. Skip single-use servingware or source biodegradable options and ditch the plastic straws. Finally, come up with a plan for leftovers. If that means chowing down on delicious food a second time, so be it!