100 Ideas For An Eco Friendly Wedding: Your Guide To A Green Wedding

by | Bride, Eco Friendly Weddings

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The Green Issue has taught us many things, but one of the biggest takeaways is the little actions, the little changes we can make, just like in our everyday lives, in our wedding – to make the day a little kinder on the planet.

And we also know that these ideas can seem so very overwhelming, Where do you even start? So today, we’ve rounded up 100 ideas – everything from choosing an eco-friendly location for your big day to ditching plastic.

We’ve scoped out 100 ideas because we want to offer you up all kinds of inspiration with all kinds of effort – from little to huge. Because let’s be clear – it’s a big task doing all of these, and frankly, impossible. There are ones that completely won’t suit or fit your vision for the day. And that’s okay, in fact, it’s encouraged. The best kind of change starts with just a couple of actions. Like everything involved in a wedding, choosing what is most important to you, and making them count is the biggest difference you can make.

Dates & Vendors

  • Choose a lunchtime wedding
  •  Choose a date where the weather isn’t likely to be too hot (requiring air conditioning) or too cold (requiring heating)
  • Look for vendors who proudly state their eco-friendly practices
  • Use vendors who are local to your wedding
  • Opt out of printing any paperwork or contracts (unless you need to!) and keep digital copies instead
  • Choose a photographer who shoots digitally

Gown by Love Me Twice Photo by Sean Tak via Six Australian Eco-Friendly Wedding Gown Brands You Need to Know

Gowns & Attire

  • Look for a second-hand gown
  • Upcycle a family heirloom gown
  • Rent a wedding gown
  • Choose designers who produce in ethical factories
  • Look for designers who are eco-minded, working to reduce fabric waste
  • Choose fabrics like organic cotton
  • Support the local economy and choose Australian made and designed gowns
  • Rent the suit
  • Choose a vintage suit
  • Choose a suit design that will not be worn just once, but again and again
  • Choose natural, eco-friendly fabrics
  • Donate your wedding outfits after the fact
  • Choose pieces you can wear again
  • Choose vegan shoes

Flowers

  • Choose in-season blooms, grown locally (not shipped in from overseas)
  • Ditch the floral foam
  • Donate any blooms at the end of the night to guests (posy station!) or nursing homes
  • Repurpose floral arrangements, like your ceremony arbour, at the reception.
  • Work with potted plants
  • Check with your florist to see if they can avoid single waste plastics and deliver blooms in reusable pieces or recycled paper
  • Compost any additional leftover blooms at the end of the day

Ring by Zoe Pook Jewellery via What Makes An Engagement Ring Ethical?

Jewellery

  • Choose fair trade jewellers
  • Ask and choose only fairtrade diamonds and gemstones
  • Look for ethically sourced metals
  • Wear vintage pieces and choose a vintage engagement ring
  • Repurpose existing jewellery into a new piece

Catering & Cake

  • Look for locally sourced produce and food
  • Serve up seasonal foods. For instance, berries in summer, apples in winter
  • Serve your meals on actual crockery and if using paper items, make them recycled
  • Consider partnering with an organisation to take any food waste
  • Box up leftovers for guests to take home
  • Devise a vegan wedding menu
  • Source your alcohol from local producers
  • Source alcohol in bulk – look for options like kegs instead of individual beer bottles.
  • Choose caterers that support local or social initiatives like the Asylum resource centre
  • Check if you can return any unused alcohol to the source
  • Compost any food waste
  • Choose organic produce
  • Serve organic wine and liqueurs
  • If using straws, make them paper or better yet reusable straws
  • Ditch bottled water and serve glass carafes or coolers
  • Choose a cake designer who sources their produce locally or organically
  • Opt for a vegan wedding cake
  • Ditch false tiers and instead opt for a smaller cake.

Photo by harustudio photography via Miyuki and Gareth’s Intimate Eco-Friendly Wedding At A Wildlife Sanctuary

Venue & Rentals

  • Choose a location close to the majority of your guests
  • Choose a venue that requires minimal decoration
  • Reduce the number of guests
  • Use an existing venue, instead of a blank canvas such as a field where you need to bring everything (including toilets!) in
  • Have your ceremony and reception at the one venue
  • Choose an outdoor venue
  • Ban single-use plastics and disposables from the wedding
  • Look for a venue who is energy star rated and environmentally conscious
  • Use actual glassware and plates that can be washed and used again
  • If you need to use disposable crockery, opt for something biodegradable like bamboo pieces
  • Use fabric napkins
  • Opt for wooden tables – no need for linens!
  • Provide recycling bins for guests next to normal bins

Stationery & Paper Treats

  • Opt for digital invitations
  • Use recycled papers
  • Opt for biodegradable paper such as seed papers
  • Limit the stationery pieces to one and offer a website for more information
  • Ask guests to RSVP via a website or email
  • Opt for a few menus per table instead of one per person
  • Use soy or vegetable-based inks for printing
  • Use something fun like leaves for place cards
  • Look for naturally based papers like organic cotton and linen
  • Opt for signage over individually printed pieces like the order of service booklets or menus
  • Opt for signage options that can be easily reused, such as mirrors or chalkboards

Seedling wedding favours by Nicola Goring – rubyandjoy via Seedling Wedding Favours Tutorial

Decor

  • Hire as much decor as you can
  • Borrow decor pieces from friends and family
  • Upcycle pieces you have around the house and incorporate them into your wedding decor
  • After the wedding, sell or pass on your decor pieces to another bride
  • Use organic fabrics for table linens like linen and cotton
  • Use candles as your primary light source
  • Use beeswax and naturally produced candles
  • Use LEDs if you do need lighting
  • Choose double-duty decor like place cards that double as favours, or favours that double as table decor.
  • Refuse to package wedding favours in plastic

Added extras

  • Work with a hair and makeup artist who use products that are organic, vegan and cruelty-free.
  • Choose eco-friendly confetti options
  • Gift your guests edible favours
  • Make a charitable donation in lieu of favours
  • Pot your own seedlings and herbs to gift your guests (see more eco-friendly wedding favours here)
  • Transport guests on buses together, or if your venues are close together consider walking together!
  • Arrange carpooling for guests
  • Carbon offset your guest flights
  • Instead of gifts ask for donations to your favourite charity
  • Instead of gifts, ask for contributions to something bigger like art or a trip
  • Request that gifts on registry arrive unwrapped

Honeymoon

  • Head to somewhere close by, without plane travel
  • Find a resort that proudly promotes its eco-friendly mission and sticks by it
  • Spend some of your once in a lifetime trip volunteering
  • Carbon offset your flights
  • Hire electric vehicles

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