It's no secret that the quality of our beloved planet is deteriorating. Everyone wants to help, but not everyone knows how. There are a lot of small things we can do that add up to a big difference. Here, I am going to be talking specifically about what we can do in our wedding planning to practice sustainability.
Consider using potted plants instead of cut flowers for venue décor that can be repurposed at home or gifted to your wedding guests. Even utilizing paper or silk flowers for certain wedding arrangements is a great option to not only practice sustainability but also save money. I understand most brides will want fresh flowers for their bouquets and other personal arrangements but for decorative florals for the arch, welcome sign, guestbook table, etc. faux flowers are a great sustainable and money saving option! These faux flowers are both recyclable and reusable, so you can even donate or sell them to a secondhand store or website. For your fresh flowers, opt for local, seasonal florals and ask your florist to go plastic-free and wrap all bouquets in paper. I also recommend utilizing organizations like Petals for Hope. They collect your floral arrangements at the end of your wedding and repurpose them into smaller arrangements that are then donated to hospital patients or nursing homes. You can even request they be delivered to a specific location or cause. They then pick up the flowers afterwards once they have wilted and are then used as compost for farms and gardens.
When shopping for an engagement ring, ask the jeweler if they are conflict-free. This way you know you aren't unknowingly using a blood diamond as a symbol of love. Lab created stones like moissanite also have less impact on the environment and won't break the bank as much as a true diamond.
When printing or searching for your wedding invitations, use recycled paper or even seed paper and choose stationary companies that practice sustainability. Botanical PaperWorks, for example, uses seed paper for all their stationary. This type of paper is plantable and actually sprouts when put in soil! It's cool, sustainable, and could even double as your wedding favors!
Rent as much as possible as opposed to buying. Also be sure to donate or sell your purchased décor items, don't throw it away! I even recommend purchasing décor items that you would want to repurpose for your home décor to get even more long-term use out of it.
FOOD & DRINK
Opt for a local, seasonal dinner menu and research sustainable caterers in your area. Also, be sure to use reusable flatware, serving utensils, and drinkware. We all know how bad plastic is for the environment so definitely stay away from plastic utensils, cups, and straws for your reception. Your bar service vendor should provide glassware just as your caterer should provide standard reusable silverware and serving utensils. But, if you are going a more casual route with a food truck and portable bar to where you are having to provide those things yourselves, consider renting those items from a local event supply company. It really isn't that expensive and it's worth it for not only the environment but it will also elevate your wedding having actual silverware and glassware instead of disposable plastic. Also, ask your caterer if it would be possible to box up any leftover food at the end of the night to be delivered to a local food bank.
At the end of your ceremony or during your grand exit, instead of giving your guests rice or confetti to toss, give them rose petals or dried lavender to toss instead. It's sustainable and super cute!