4 Eco-Friendly Ways To Host a Green Wedding

Tradition has always maintained that for your wedding, you will need “something blue, something old, and something borrowed.” In 2023, it’s time to add “something sustainable” to that list. Because they are such special events, most people don’t consider the environmental impact when planning their wedding. From food waste after service and material waste from wedding invitations and party favors, our weddings can have long-term consequences on the environment!

But a wedding extravaganza doesn’t have to be a wasteful affair. It’s possible to have environmentally friendly nuptials that spell a happily ever after for the couple and the planet. We’ve compiled some ideas for sustainable, sensitive weddings that won’t leave a large footprint on your surroundings.

Commit To Sustainability on Your Wedding Day

The cost of weddings in the US seems to rise with each passing year. Knot’s annual Real Weddings Study found that the average cost of a wedding in 2023 was $30,000, up from $28,000 the year before. When you spend five figures on an event, it’s natural to want it to be perfect.

One way to ensure you’ll look back on your wedding fondly is to commit to hosting a sustainable event. In her book The Green Bridge Guide, published in 2008, author Kate Harrison claimed that the average wedding ceremony in the US produces around 400 pounds of garbage. With the knowledge we have in 2023 about the importance of reducing waste, that amount is unacceptable. Make it a point to discuss sustainability as an area of concern when meeting with your wedding planner.

How To Reduce Your Wedding’s Environmental Impact

Your big day doesn’t have to leave a big mess. Just try some newer approaches to hosting weddings that are less harmful to the environment.

1. Venue

A destination wedding seems lovely until you consider the amount of carbon emissions released by your entire party of guests driving or flying to a far-off destination. That alone should serve as an argument for hosting local weddings in your hometown. Also, destination weddings are always more expensive. In this case, the sustainable option is also the more pocket-friendly option.

Selecting a LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building for your venue is another way to ensure you won’t be wasting resources on your big day. Green buildings are more power-efficient which is important since you’ll probably need bright lights shining down on you on your special day.

2. Decor

Wedding decor is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to generating waste. Balloons, streamers, bunting, and floral arrangements are brought in for the ceremony en masse—and simply tossed aside once the party’s over. Finding decor vendors and suppliers who offer decorations made from organic and recyclable materials is one of the best solutions to this problem.

Renting decor items for your wedding is often more cost-effective than buying them outright. Rental furniture and decorations look just as good, and spare you the headache of having to dispose of them after the wedding.

3. Catering

Food waste is another problem at most weddings and it’s hard to control. Some guests might fill their plates at the buffet table, only to realize they can’t possibly finish the food. Others might get so stuffed on appetizers that they leave no room for mains. Whatever the case, it’s smart to make provisions in advance to deal with leftover food at your wedding.

You could make arrangements for guests to take back their leftovers in recyclable containers since food that has been served to a guest cannot be repurposed for anyone else. Untouched food is another matter, and you can serve the greater good by donating it to shelters or the needy.

4. Invitations

Before the digital age, printed wedding invitations were a must-have. First, an invitation would reach a guest in the mail. Then, the guest would send back an RSVP confirming their attendance. Now, repeat that process for every guest in the party and you will be appalled at the gross wastage of paper!

Digital invitations are much more environmentally friendly and are now almost as common as printed ones. Services like PosterMyWall are experts in designing digital invitations that can be shared with your entire guest list over email, doing away with the need for paper entirely. With a vast online library of wedding invitation templates, PosterMyWall helps couples create attractive and eco-friendly invites to their celebrations of love. 

Make Your White Wedding a Green Success

Hosting a sustainable wedding isn’t too difficult. It’s all about identifying opportunities where you can do things a little differently while leaving a positive impact. Let’s sum up the methods we’ve covered so far:

  • Venue: Choose green venues and skip destination weddings.
  • Decor: Use organic and recyclable decor items.
  • Catering: Offer to donate leftover food to charity.
  • Invitations: Use digital wedding invitation templates to cut down on paper use.

With a little thoughtfulness, your wedding can celebrate your love for your partner along with your love for the planet!