Planning an eco-friendly wedding is easier than ever, thanks to easily accessible sustainable wedding ideas!  There are countless ways to go green with your wedding planning, and we’ve gathered some fantastic inspiration.

Eco-friendly Rings

Singler Photography

When picking out your engagement ring and wedding bands, try to track the origins of your diamond or gemstones. Another route is to use an antique diamond, heirloom, or choose a dealer who is committed to obtaining precious metals and gems in ways that are socially and environmentally responsible.

Though it may seem counter-intuitive, lab-created stones have less impact on the environment, explains Erica Jill Razze, owner of environmentally conscious wedding planning company Capiche Events. “Moissanite, a rare, naturally occurring mineral, is lab-grown, so there is no mining involved in the creation process,” she says. “It is not harmful to the earth, and it is not involved in any conflict trade.” She recommends checking out brands like Charles and Colvard that focus on socially responsible jewelry.

Eco-friendly Location

Jessica Di Bella Photography

Commonly, the first step in planning an event is finding that perfect venue to set the mood for your event. One of the easiest and most effective ways to cut down on energy is to get married outdoors. There are tons of beautiful botanical gardens, hilltops, parks, and even refurbished castles that offer modern conveniences, like sinks and toilets, so you don’t have to sacrifice on the hygiene.

We realize outdoor ceremonies and receptions aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but there are still several ways you can make your event green. Be sure to host the ceremony and reception in the same place. This way, it will reduce travel, which cuts down fuel emissions.

Eco-friendly Invites/Stationary

These Watercolor Roses Plantable Wedding Invitations are stylish and eco-friendly.
Botanical Paperworks

Yearly, a disastrous number of trees are sacrificed, polluting the environment while manufacturing paper products. As wedding vendors become increasingly environmentally conscious, it’s easier than ever to find invitation suites that are printed on recycled paper or use alternative materials like upcycled fabrics, leather, or even wood! Tia Albright, from The Knot, still recommends “old school snail mail” for the wedding invitations, but for save-the-dates, paperless is becoming the way of the future! Wedding websites are also swooping in to save the day by offering information online where added paper inserts used to be.

Stephanie Cain, from BRIDES, recommends looking for companies that give back to the environment while shopping for a stationer. “For example, Paper Culture plants a tree for every order they receive. For the most earth-friendly stationery, print invitations, programs, and menus on seed paper. Seed paper is a biodegradable material that sprouts into flowers when planted in a pot of soil.”

Eco-friendly Registry

Wedding Favor Charity Donation
Andrew Graham Todes Photography

There’s an eco-friendly match for nearly anything you can imagine on a traditional registry nowadays. Just be sure to inquire where items are sourced or made. Pieces like organic bedding, cloth shopping bags, reusable bamboo plates, and natural kitchen and bath products are great to consider. These fun ideas might even ignite a little sustainable spark in your friends and family while they shop!

Trends show we’re all reaching for that minimalist lifestyle –or trying at least. If the idea of traditional gifts doesn’t sit right with you, consider a charity registry. Foundations with environmental or animal welfare are most popular, but this option lets you and your guests donate to causes you care about most!

Eco-friendly Catering

Eco-friendly Catering
Bob Hoffman Photography and Video

At the heart of any celebration or gathering, there is food. The farm-to-table movement is gaining momentum, meaning it’s easier than ever for vendors to provide healthy, earth-friendly food without sacrificing taste! Keep in mind that organic foods may cost more when counting your pennies, but asking your caterer to use in-season, locally-grown products will help keep the cost down and guarantee the freshest finds. Want to wow your guests? Sneak some herb plants in terra cotta pots, like basil or cilantro, among your table decor for your guests to garnish their dishes!

Eco-friendly Decor

Sierra Solis Photography

Save all the leftover decor! There are countless ways to reuse, recycle, or donate goods after environmentally friendly weddings. Consider using items you already own for decorations, such as mirrors, signage, and lanterns. These could also be pieces to incorporate in your home after the wedding if you buy more.

If it’s something you’d rather not have sitting around the house for the next year, drop it off at a local thrift store. You’ll be happier knowing that someone can give it a second life, (plus donations are tax-deductible!)

Eco-friendly Flowers

Sierra Solis Photography

The floral industry has a dirty little secret: not all flowers are organic. Some farms use chemicals to battle insects, thus eventually affecting the soil. In some cases, these cause illnesses in the workers who handle them. Consider potted flowers, such as orchids or spray roses instead. Any plants from home are also a fantastic choice. Ask your florist about in-season and local flowers for the freshest, best quality items at the best price.

Flowers are usually the most significant waste factors at weddings. Thankfully, there are organizations out there (like Rebloom or Repeat Roses), willing to pick up your arrangements and donate them to local hospitals, senior centers, and homeless shelters! Some florists will even compost your greens after the wedding, for instance. So don’t forget to ask when shopping around for vendors who fit your needs.

Some couples aren’t all too keen on flowers in the first place. Fill table centerpieces with items you can reuse in your home after the wedding, like soy-based candles or stacks of books. We’ve seen brides glide down the aisle with a brooch bouquet, silk flowers, or even a beautiful arrangement of leafy greens! (Kale continues to surprise us with its usefulness.)

Eco-friendly Fashion

Chris Ellis Photography

Many “green” brides seek out re-wearing gowns on their big day, especially if it came from a friend or family member. Work with a sewist to make the proper alterations to fit your style better. Or, if mom’s dress is out of the running, start from square one and pick out a gown that’s more you.

Check out all of the websites you can buy or rent pre-worn gowns, including Nearly Newlywed, or raid your local vintage clothing shops and consignment boutiques.  Similarly, consider allowing your bridal party to wear items they already possess or search rental fashion sites like Rent the Runway.

Eco-friendly Favors

Succulent Wedding Favors
True Photography

Plantable favors like potted herbs or succulents are gaining popularity and are perfect for a sustainable wedding. Lots of guests coming in from out of town? If plants are part of your motif, biodegradable seed packets can be a fun way to spread your love!

You can also switch gears and go edible. Albright suggests checking out your favorite local businesses like coffee houses for “a bag of their signature beans, candy shops for chocolate bars (easy on the paper wrapping), or jams in reusable glass jars from an orchard.”

To further mix things up, set up a charity donation. We mentioned in an earlier post that you could display a sign letting guests know you’ve donated to a meaningful cause in place of favors. Create a poster with some information about the charity and why you chose it, and your guests will love it!

Eco-friendly Grand Exit

Photo by Jose Villa

Those tiny bits of glitter, paper, or even rice that we love associating with weddings are pretty terrible for the environment. Thankfully, there are loads of alternative options that won’t damage the local wildlife! Exchange the paper confetti for flowers. Use biodegradable flower petals, fresh and dried herbs, or a mix of micro flowers to add bursts of color to an exit.



Special thanks to Your Eco-friendly Wedding Guide, by Tai Albright, and How to Have a Green Wedding, by Stephanie Cain.

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