The season for weddings in Canada can vary from white wintery affairs to balmy summery celebrations. But they can all use these eco-friendly wedding ideas to enjoy the day with a reduced environmental footprint.
If you’re looking to plan more sustainable nuptials, try some of the following eco-friendly wedding ideas to make caring for the environment a central part of your big day.
1. Eco-Friendly Wedding Dress and Clothing
If you want to go eco-friendly for your wedding dress and attire, try the following suggestions. Plus, most of these will also cut down on your budget, so going with sustainable nuptials is not necessarily more expensive.
- Shop Etsy for vintage, upcycled, and homemade wedding dresses and clothing.
- Shop the secondhand stores in your local area. Many wedding dresses are worn once and then dry cleaned.
- Go with a wedding attire rental company and save yourself a bundle.
- Source your wedding clothes from a company that uses sustainable practices. Do your research to avoid “greenwashing” or overhyped promises.
- Repurpose a family wedding dress that gives special meaning to the day.
- Let your bridesmaids choose their own dresses that they can wear again. You can stick to your color or theme to create unity.
These ideas can help you find something in wedding clothes that is sustainable and will help preserve the planet’s resources, instead of going with all new items that create more waste.
2. Wedding Bouquet and Flowers
The way you source the flowers and greenery for your wedding bouquet, centerpieces, and decorations is a significant factor in how sustainable your wedding celebration will be.
Use the following tips to make your flowers and wedding décor as eco-friendly as possible:
- As always, shop local where you can. It really matters for blooms that are often shipped from faraway destinations using far too much fossil fuel.
- If you go with cut flowers, add plenty of dried branches, greenery, and feathers to cut down on the number of fresh blooms needed.
- Source florists that don’t use excessive or plastic packaging. You could also ask them to change what they do in your case.
- Take care with fake flowers and arrangements because they’re often made with materials that are not eco-friendly and add to future waste.
- Real potted plants make excellent centerpieces and you can give them away after the wedding.
- Another popular idea is to source seedlings from a tree farm and encourage guests to take them home to plant as a keepsake.
Your flowers and decorations don’t have to be a drain on the planet’s resources. Use these ideas to go eco-conscious with your big day.
3. Low-Waste Wedding Invitations
You can set the tone for sustainability from the very start of your wedding adventure by making sure you have eco-friendly wedding invitations:
- If you go with paper, choose invitation companies that use sustainable practices.
- Go paperless with e-mail invitations.
- Choose biodegradable invitations with seeds in them that can be planted afterward.
- Check out Etsy for recycled and eco-friendly wedding invitations.
Invites to your big day don’t have to mean more trees getting cut down. There are plenty of ways to get the word out and still be eco-friendly.
4. Eco-Friendly Wedding Table Favors
One other significant item on the wedding planning agenda that can have a big impact on the environment is the guests’ table favors. Use these tips to make them eco-friendly:
- Shop Etsy for eco-friendly and handmade items like seed bombs to gift your guests.
- If you go with edibles like chocolate and candy, source them at Fairtrade companies that use sustainable practices.
- Go with local businesses to source your wedding favors and gifts. Keep it local.
- Tiny potted plants or seedlings make an excellent eco-friendly favor to take home.
- Give the guests reusable bags to encourage eco-friendly shopping and packaging.
Table favors and gifts don’t have to be made of cheap plastic shipped from away, ending up in the landfill after a short time. Get creative and give favors that don’t contribute to the environmental footprint.
5. Sustainable Wedding Catering
People tend to focus more on the decorations when it comes to pulling off an eco-friendly wedding, but the meal is an important aspect for consideration, too. Use these ideas to keep the food favoring the environment, too:
- Start with choosing a caterer who uses eco-friendly practices.
- Serve an in-season menu that sources local food options.
- Keep the meal heavily plant-based to cut down on resources used to produce food.
- Don’t use single-use cutlery or dishes for the settings.
- Try to avoid food waste by ordering only what you need or making sure the leftovers are frozen for later.
The meal is just as important as the rest of the wedding when it comes to protecting the environment and keeping trash out of landfills.
6. Eco-Friendly Wedding Confetti
When it comes to planning an eco-friendly wedding, a much-discussed topic is how to do the confetti toss at the ceremony’s exit procession.
Many traditional methods are either not environmentally friendly, or venues ban them because the cleanup is too difficult. Throwing glitter is particularly frowned on by both venues and environmentalists.
Some ideas that you could check out include shredded biodegradable seed paper and sourcing the confetti from suppliers who use sustainable and eco-friendly methods to produce it. However, you’ll need to do your homework to make sure it truly is not harmful to the environment.
In light of the need for being eco-conscious, you could consider not including a confetti toss at all. It’s your wedding, so you can create your own tradition and do it according to your values.
A wedding doesn’t have to mean mounds of waste and added strain on our landfills. There are many ways to stick to your budget and be eco-friendly at the same time.
Use the ideas above and add your own tweaks to create a wedding plan that symbolizes your love for each other and a love for the planet at the same time.