10 Ideas for an Eco-Friendly Wedding

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Accept it, weddings are expensive. And we’re not just talking about the financial front – the environment also pays a cost for every wedding. Green Bride Guide reports that every wedding produces nearly 2 to 300 kg of waste. That’s… well, a lot! And this is regardless of whether your wedding is outdoors underneath a wedding marquee, or indoors at a banquet.

Weddings are beautiful without a doubt, but think about the leftovers. Not just food, that can be managed, but the flowers, decorations, invitations, and even the wedding dress. Most of these things end up in bins or take up space at the back of your closet, until they’re completely forgotten about. This is just so sad: cramped up storage closets are just as wasteful as the custom-made decoration for the bride and the groom.

Did I dampen your spirits? Don’t feel bad. You can still have a rocking wedding party without the wastage and mess. Just follow these tips to gift yourself a green wedding:

1. Let’s begin with the invites

How do you feel about saving a tree?

Go digital for sending invitations for Engagement, Save the Date, Wedding, and RSVP announcements. Sites like Greenvelope allow you to send digital invitations to your guests that can be viewed over mobile, tablets, and laptops, bypassing paper altogether.

Or, switch to eco-conscious stationary brands if you don’t want to ditch paper goods outright. Etsy has tons of recycled paper wedding invitations that you can buy. You can also go for printing invitations over paper that can be planted later. Companies like Paper Source and Botanical Paperworks offer seeded paper that you can buy and print at home, and then later plant.

2. Are you going for fresh jewellery?

Mining of precious metals has an extremely negative impact on our planet (not to mention the inhumane conditions of labourers), which is why, you should choose ethical and eco-friendly wedding jewellery for a green wedding.

Redirect your approach by going vintage. Consider proposing with a family heirloom or shop at an estate jewellery for distinctive pieces. Jewellers like Clean Origin are the front-runners with lab-grown, conflict-free diamonds that are equal to mined diamonds in every way, without tainting the society and environment. Plus, they are less expensive too. You can even melt-down gold and get it re-designed or get an existing diamond set to a new band.

3. Decorating your wedding marquee the right way

Flowers are beautiful, no doubt, and they bring a certain grace to event marquees. But consider greenery that you can source for free.

Potted plants such as succulents can be placed inside your marquee. These can double up as a favour too. There are two benefits to this – the first is of course, the planet, and second is that your guests will have a keepsake from your wedding several years down the line!

4. Prevent heaps of packaging

You can avoid a lot of wrapping papers, polystyrene, boxes, and bubble wrap by signing up for honeymoon registry.

A great example is the New Zealand based Honeypot Registry; you can add any item that you like to your wedding registry for your honeymoon, home, or married life afterwards. Your guests will have the option to gift the full value or an amount of their choice. The money will then be transferred to your account, and your guests will laud themselves for doing their bit to saving the environment!

5. Donate leftover food and compost flowers

Food and flowers make up for the largest chuck of waste post weddings, and believe it or not, but most of it ends up in a landfill when it could have been easily donated or composted.

  • Talk to your caterer about what will happen to the leftover food or donate it yourself to organisations like KiwiHarvest or Food Rescue.
  • The same goes for the floral decorations used during your wedding. You can either compost them or donate them to health-care facilities and old age homes where they cheer up invalids and senior citizens.
  • Another way to do your bit for the environment is to opt for locally sourced food, because shipping food from across the globe results in massive carbon footprint. Work with caterers who support local farmers and be mindful of the produce that is actually in season around the time of your wedding.
  • Instead of buying individual beer cans and bottles for serving alcohol at your party, opt for kegs. This will greatly reduce the use of glass and metal cans, creating lesser waste in turn.

6. Avoid single-use cutlery and utensils

Plastic utensils are actually pretty common, especially with budget or DIY weddings. The couple needs something easy and simple, and they feel that single-use papers, dishes, and cutlery are the best and most cost-effective options. Too bad, because all these items eventually end up in a landfill.

Ask your caterer to provide you with sustainable dishware that can be composted. Replacing something as simple as spoons with eco-friendly cutlery goes a long way in protecting the environment.

7. Choose a ‘green’ location

Many national parks including the Tongariro National Park allow you to wed inside. Not only do you get stunning vistas that serve as the backdrop for beautiful wedding pictures, you contribute financially to a place that’s conserving the environment in New Zealand.

8. Cut down on transportation

Most people don’t factor in transportation while planning their wedding. Having a wedding at a place where most guests have to fly or keeping two separate venues for reception and ceremony with car or bus commute adds to your wedding’s overall carbon footprint. Solve this problem by keeping all ceremonies at the same venue and requesting your guests to carpool all the way!

9. Ditch balloons and glitter

The oh-so-beautiful balloons are extremely detrimental on the environment, and the same goes for glitter and confetti. Animals can swallow the balloon plastic or sparklers. Opt in for birdseed or biodegradable confetti instead, for your exit ceremony.

10. Gift practical and eco-friendly favours

Wedding favours are popular gestures, but unfortunately, most gifts are practically useless for your guests. Instead of that monogrammed show-piece you will force upon your guests, invest in edible favours such as homemade cookies, small plants, or seed packets that can be happily taken home by your guests.

Say ‘I Do’ to the environment too!

Remember that you want to look back on your wedding day as the best day of your life, knowing in your heart that you celebrated it sensibly and sustainably. Just a little mindful planning from the beginning will make your wedding ‘green’. Congratulations, by the way! Let us know how we at Extreme Marquees can oomph up your wedding day with our event marquees.

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