Low-Impact Eco-Weddings: What, How & Where

A wedding is one of the most important events in your life and unfortunately one of the most wasteful. Think about how much food is wasted, paper products discarded and flowers tossed in the dumpster.

If you are worried about the carbon footprint of the earth and how your wedding will impact it, you have come to the right place. We’re going to explain how you can have a low-impact eco-wedding by choosing the right location and details.



What Exactly Is An Eco-Wedding?

The average wedding with 100 – 120 guests generates roughly 400 lbs of waste and 63 tons of CO2. With an estimated 2.5 million weddings each year in the U.S. alone, you can imagine that this waste is having a huge impact on our earth and environment. Source: Botantical Paperworks

Today we are now seeing couples “going green” when it comes to planning their wedding. Going green simply means choosing more sustainable products such as biodegradable paper products, reusable items, wearing a pre-owned wedding dress and more.

Have A Low-Impact, Eco-Friendly Wedding Without Sacrificing Details

The good news is, planning an eco-friendly wedding isn’t any harder than planning a less environmentally-friendly event. Going green for your wedding can begin as early as you say ‘yes’ to that ring! Here are a few ways to make a positive impact on the planet.

Eco-Friendly Engagement Ring

There are many choices for sustainable engagement and wedding rings. Moissanite, for example, is a budget-friendly substitute for a diamond. It is a naturally occurring mineral that is lab-grown, so there is no mining involved in the manufacturing process, making it a wonderful sustainable engagement ring choice. The process of making these gemstones is not harmful to the earth and is conflict-free.

Paper Products

Some things you may not consider that would affect the carbon footprint of our planet are the paper products you choose to use at your wedding. Consider using recycled or sustainably produced paper products. Take it a step further by creating your own rustic wedding invitations and thank you cards.

Another great option is to use electronic delivery methods. Email your save-the-dates, invitations, and even seating arrangements to save on printing costs and waste. A win, win!

Considering the number of paper products that can end up being used, eco-friendly wedding invitations, save-the-dates, and table cards are some of the best options to find ways to minimize waste.

Foam-Free Flowers

A new development in eco-friendly wedding decor is the use of foam-free flowers. Sounds weird, right? The floral arrangements you see at weddings are typically structured in foam to keep their shape and design. Foam is not the material of the flowers themselves.

Because it is mass-produced as the go-to foundation for centerpieces, floral foam is basically the plastic bag of the flower industry and not good for our environment. To get a closer look into this current trend and what foam-free options are available to us, read about why this eco-friendly florist gave up floral foam and how she went foam-free.

Check with your local wedding vendor for foam-free floral options for your special day.

Wear a Sustainable Wedding Dress

There are a few wedding dress designers across the globe that are doing their part to help save our planet. By using sustainable practices to minimize waste, energy, and water they are reducing the carbon footprint one dress at a time. Designers such as Reformation use vintage fabrics and rescue deadstock to create amazing sustainable wedding dresses.

Wear a Recycled Wedding Dress

What is a recycled wedding dress? Simply put, it is a wedding gown that has already had a trip down the aisle. Purchased and worn by another bride that has chosen to “recycle” or sell their wedding dress for another bride to love.

This is a great alternative to the old tradition of keeping your wedding dress as a keepsake. Fashion is the second largest polluter in the world and it takes 9,000 liters of water to make one wedding dress. If you can buy a used wedding dress it will help significantly.


Eco-Friendly Wedding Gifts

Instead of registering for a bunch of household stuff you really don’t need, register for your honeymoon. Ask your wedding guests to contribute to a honeymoon fund instead of physical gifts. Not only will you begin your marriage making memories while on your honeymoon, but you will also save the waste that is associated with gifts (wrapping paper, cards, boxes etc).

Rent Your Wedding Flowers

Sounds crazy, right? Rent your wedding flowers? If you are dreading the idea of spending a ton of money on wedding flowers that will simply end up in the trash, check this out! Something Borrowed Blooms was founded to provide a sustainable option for couples getting married and needing flowers. It’s simply a genius idea. They offer a rent-and-return option which guarantees you will have beautiful, silk wedding flowers with an incredibly expensive price tag.

DIY Decor

It’s no secret that weddings are expensive so why not save money and our planet by crafting some DIY wedding decor. There are many household items that can be turned into gorgeous centerpieces. One of our favorite ideas is turning empty wine bottles (or mason jars) into rose gold masterpieces that are perfect for any wedding table.  See more DIY decor ideas now.


Eco-Friendly Wedding Venue

Finding an eco-friendly wedding venue may sound like an impossible task but with the internet anything is possible. Your wedding doesn’t have to take place in a field or on a farm to be eco-friendly. Here are a few things to consider when searching for a wedding venue that has sustainable options and help you plan a wonderful wedding day.

Choose A Wedding Venue That Is Close To You

One of the biggest impacts on the carbon footprint of your wedding is transportation. Selecting a wedding venue that is close to the majority of your wedding guests means that the emissions from their travel will be minimized.

Inquire About Their Recycling Practices

This is an easy question to ask and is a great way to ensure that the trash from your wedding will be properly disposed of. Also, ask about their flexibility regarding recycling in the event that arrangements need to be made to ensure nothing goes to waste.

Say “No!” To Plastic

You would be surprised to see how much plasticware can be used for a wedding. An easy way to eliminate this waste is to request the use of real dishes, glassware and silverware.

Local & Organic Food

Work with your caterer to source local and organic food.

Don’t Let Food Go To Waste

With so many hungry people in the world, instead of throwing away any leftover or unused food at your wedding, ask your caterer or wedding venue to donate to a local food bank or have it used for compost.

For more information, check out this post on sustainable or eco-friendly wedding ideas which features top sustainability tips and photo inspiration.