Planning a climate-friendly wedding goes beyond having one day of sustainable events. Getting married can involve so many more mini-celebrations and rituals than just your official ceremony and reception, and it’s easy to lose sight of how these can add to the over environmental impact of your wedding.
Making your wedding truly greener may come naturally to you if you’re already trying to live a low-waste, sustainable lifestyle, but if you’re just starting out, keeping just a few things in mind can have a big impact.
1. Be conscious about gift-giving
While it’s totally understandable to want to show your appreciation for your bridal party, family or spouse-to-be with gifts, it’s also worth taking a step back and reminding yourself to think about these gifts consciously. A heartfelt card is often likely to be even more valued than a store-bought product, but if you are keen on adding another component to your gift, consider products that are either:
- Consumable and unlikely to be wasted, like desserts, a bottle of wine, or maybe even some coffee beans from a local roaster.
- All-natural, like potted plants.
- Long-lasting and sustainably produced, a criteria that can be applied to virtually any category of product, but may require some extra research on your part.
Eco-Tip: If you are giving any wearable gifts, avoid over-customizing these with details of your wedding, since this can make them less likely to be worn again once your celebrations are over. Instead, for example, if you want to give your bridal party matching t-shirts, robes, or other outfits, stick to a more neutral design and limit the customization to sashes or signs made with biodegradable materials.
2. Create a sustainable gift registry
On a related note, think carefully about the gifts you’d like to receive from friends and family, and create a registry thoughtfully that includes only those products you know you’ll use.
Don’t feel compelled to include a range of lower-priced products you don’t really need if what you’d actually like is fewer, higher-priced products. If you’re hesitant about including these more expensive products, think about adding gift cards or cash funds that many registries now offer, and which allow your guests to give whatever amount they feel comfortable with.
If you prefer having a more traditional registry with a range of products in varying price ranges, consider using a platform that does some of the research for you, offering a range of sustainably produced products. Everlastly, for example, allows you to see the environmental impact of the products you choose and make decisions based on a rating that takes multiple factors into account, including carbon footprint, durability and circularity.
3. Celebrate locally
If you are having an engagement party, bachelor or bachelorette celebration, or any other pre-wedding gathering, consider hosting these in your hometown, eliminating the need for air travel or long car journeys.
4. Plan your honeymoon thoughtfully
Whether you’re planning a domestic getaway or an international vacation, take some time to research your options and make the most sustainable choices wherever possible. This can take the form of finding out more about how to identify eco-conscious hotels, equipping yourself with basic knowledge about the public transport system in your chosen destination, and planning to shop and eat local while you’re there.
In conclusion, while choosing a sustainable wedding venue and team of vendors goes a long way, taking small, sustainable steps in other avenues of your celebrations can not only help keep the overall environmental impact of your wedding journey as low as possible, but can help you think about all the everyday celebrations to follow in a more sustainable way.