For brides who love the outdoors – and care about their carbon footprint – eco-friendly weddings are a no-brainer. Luckily, these weddings can be Insta-worthy as well as appropriately granola, so brides can show off their stunning style and feel good about giving back.
Weddings can be entirely too wasteful, with paper goods that are thrown away and dresses and decor that are only used once. Don’t be basic; consider a green wedding instead! Here are our tips:
(1) Have Your Wedding Outdoors
Did you know that many city parks and preserves allow weddings? All you have to do is ask! Choosing a location like this gives you a naturally beautiful backdrop. You’ll have instant decor for all those photos you’ll take on your big day. It also helps you contribute to the stewardship of these precious spaces.
(2) Buying Flowers? Think Local and Sustainably-Grown
Yes, botanical centerpieces are gorgeous and always on trend. However, freshly cut flowers aren’t all that great for the environment. It’s easy to spend a fortune on bouquets that will just be thrown away. It’s far better, in our opinion, to choose local, sustainably-grown flowers if you decide to include beautiful blooms in your ceremony. Urban Buds is just one example of a St. Louis-area florist that prizes sustainability. Plus, they offer seasonal blooms that will give your ceremony just the right feel. Another tip? Consider potted flowers or herbs that you can take home or give away as party favors.
(3) Limit Paper Products, Bottles & Cans
This one’s pretty self-explanatory. If you do offer an open or cash bar, we recommend choosing a keg over bottles or cans. That can reduce the amount of trash – and clean-up! – you face after the event.
Are you serving dinner to your guests? Look for caterers who grow local, sustainable, and seasonal cuisine. You may want to either serve a vegetarian meal or ask local caterers how they source proteins like seafood and beef. Your goal is to avoid long-distance shipping to lessen your carbon footprint and support local farmers.
As for dinnerware, you have a couple of options. You can choose to use recyclable or compostable dinnerware. However, for a slightly more elegant look, we recommend renting actual China rather than buying paper products. This will immediately upgrade your ceremony, and you won’t have to worry about whether or not guests are recycling properly. Consider rented linen tablecloths and napkins, too. You want to keep additional paper products from ending up in a landfill.
(4) Hire Local Vendors
This probably goes without saying, but for catering, flowers, music or any other service you require for your big day, be sure to go local. This will not only help support small businesses in your fine town, it will also limit your carbon footprint.
(5) Make Your Party Favors Plantable
Who says you have to spend hours putting together party favors that guests may end up throwing away? Make your party favors plantable – in a flower pot, bag, or ornament – to show off your love for the environment and encourage guests to reduce waste. We offer an entire line of seed paper party favors and ornaments that will suit your style and delight your guests.
As for your leftover decor, consider donating it rather than tossing it. Did you know that there are organizations that will pick up your leftover flowers and centerpieces and donate them to local hospitals and senior centers? Share the love and gift your decor so it doesn’t go to waste.
(6) Choose Biodegradable Invitations
Your invitation is an introduction to the entire theme of your wedding. Why not make it both beautiful and earth-friendly?
Handcrafted paper invitations aren’t just for hippies; they offer an attractive alternative to costly traditional wedding invitations. With unique texture, color, and presentation, they just might be your favorite part of planning your wedding. Did you know that we can custom-design invitations that match your color scheme and showcase your unique style?
(7) Skip the Rice, Bubbles & Confetti
In our opinion, rice, bubbles, or confetti showered over the bride and groom are way out of style. Plus, they’re not the best options for the environment. We suggest that you toss fragrant herbs, lavender, or flower petals instead. You can also opt to scoop and toss seeds that preserve the native plants and wildlife at the park or preserve. (Just check with the location first!)
(8) Give Your Bridesmaids Dresses They’ll Wear Again
We’re a big fan of choosing dresses that both you and your bridesmaids will wear again. Letting those in the wedding party choose their own style (in your selected color, of course) or wear a nice outfit they already own are both great ideas. Another option to save money and practice good stewardship is to consider restoring a vintage wedding dress or altering a dress you already love instead of buying a new dress you’ll likely only wear once.
(9) Register for Causes Instead of Gifts
While it’s tempting to go crazy at Macy’s and register for every little household item your heart desires, it’s far better to register for gifts that will help you give back. Consider asking for donations to charities in lieu of material gifts.
(10) Only Buy Responsibly-Sourced Diamonds
Before you pick out that diamond ring, do your research. The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme is a good resource to use, so you aren’t unknowingly purchasing a conflict or “blood” diamond. We also recommend also simply asking your jeweler if they sell conflict-free pieces.
Another option to consider is purchasing lab-created stones, which don’t involve mining and have less impact on the environment. You can always go vintage with your jewelry, too, and propose with a family heirloom. Hey, it worked for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. You can be just as classy and posh as those two!
Get Started on Wedding Planning with Beautiful Products by Cast Paper Art
Would you like to start planning with some eco-friendly ideas for invitations and party favors? Let us know! Our craftspeople can help you design a just-right theme that will give you the green wedding you’ve always dreamed of.