Saying 'I Do' to Sustainability: A Step-by-Step Wedding Planning Guide for the Perfect Eco-Friendly Wedding

As you embark on this exciting journey towards marital bliss, it is only natural that you want your wedding day to be a reflection of your love for each other and your values. If sustainability is at the forefront of our minds, planning a green and eco-friendly wedding can be a beautiful and fulfilling choice. In this guide, we will walk you through the steps of Saying “I Do” to Sustainability and planning an eco friendly wedding that not only reduces your carbon footprint but also creates lasting memories for you and your guests.

Define Your Green Vision – Saying ‘I Do’ to Sustainability

Before delving into the details, take a moment with your partner to consider the type of sustainable wedding you desire. Consider what aspects of sustainability are most important to you, whether it’s minimising waste, supporting local businesses or choosing eco-friendly decor. 

Saying 'I Do' to Sustainability

A big consideration is to think about where sustainability fits into your life, budget, and those all important values.  For example, you may wish to seek out the most environmentally friendly suppliers, but simply don’t have much time to devote to it.  Or, it could be that while you have high aspirations for a carbon neutral event, your budget is tight and can’t stretch to the ideal scenario.  Have a frank discussion around your tolerances – defining your green vision will serve as the foundation for all your planning decisions.

Consider location:

Where are the majority of your guests travelling from?  The less miles travelled will go a huge way to that carbon neutral goal.  This is often tricky to decide when bringing two families together from different areas, or different countries. You may have your hearts set on a destination location, so there are still things you can do to make things greener. Give some thought to public transport links and accessibility to transport hubs.

Choose a Green Venue:

The venue you choose undoubtedly sets the tone for your entire wedding looking for venues with eco-friendly certifications, renewable energy sources, and waste reduction initiatives. When you are viewing potential venues ask to see their sustainability charter to better understand their approach, as an entire venue, and not just for your wedding event.

Saying 'I Do' to Sustainability

Waste Reduction Strategies:

Ask your venue to implement strategies to minimise waste throughout the event. Do they recycle and compost and ask if they can recommend vendors committed to reducing waste. Do they donate leftover food to local shelters or organisations that can put it to good use?

Eco-Friendly Invitations:

Reduce paper waste by sending digital invitations or opt for recycled paper with vegetable-based inks. You can consider creative alternatives like plantable invitations that guests can later sow to grow flowers or herbs. This not only minimises waste but also adds a touch of nature to your celebration.

Sustainable Attire:

Embrace eco-friendly fashion by choosing wedding attire made from sustainable materials. Look for eco friendly bride dresses and suits from designers who prioritise ethical and environmentally friendly practices. Consider buying second-hand or renting outfits for the wedding party. Vintage and thrifted attire not only adds a unique touch but also reduces the environmental impact of manufacturing new garments.

Saying 'I Do' to Sustainability

Local and Seasonal Cuisine:

Choosing a venue or caterer who prioritises local and seasonal ingredients is a delicious way to make your wedding more sustainable. Not only does this support your local farmers and businesses, but it also reduces the carbon footprint associated with transporting food over long distances. Incorporating plant-based options into your menu would be another good option to further minimise the environmental impact.

Zero-Waste Decor:

You can create a stunning atmosphere while minimising waste by choosing reusable or compostable decor. Opt for items like cloth napkins, biodegradable confetti, and potted plants that can be repurposed or returned to the earth. Include DIY projects or renting decor to reduce the need for single-use items that contribute to landfill waste.

Carbon-Neutral Transportation:

Another option for a more sustainable wedding would be to encourage guests to carpool or use public transport or eco-friendly transportation options. If feasible you can book shuttle services or arrange for electric or hybrid vehicles.

Gifts That Give Back:

Select gifts that align with your values and support companies committed to ethical and sustainable practices by creating a gift registry that focuses on experiences, charitable donations, or eco-friendly products.

Saying 'I Do' to Sustainability

Green Favours and Thank You Gifts:

Express your gratitude to guests with eco-friendly favours and thank-you gifts. Choose gifts like reusable tote bags, potted plants, or handmade goods from local artisans. Personalise each gift with a note explaining its sustainability and thanking guests for being a part of your green celebration.

Think about things you can do after your wedding – Can you reuse or donate your outfits? Are there props that you can sell on or donate?  If you used flower arrangements can you donate them to any religious or community centre in the area?

Planning a sustainable wedding is not only a meaningful way to celebrate your love but also an opportunity to make a positive impact on the planet. By incorporating eco-friendly practices into every aspect of your wedding, you are not just creating a beautiful event but you are contributing to a more sustainable future. As you embark on this journey, remember that small choices can make a big difference, and your commitment to sustainability will inspire others to make greener choices as well.

Medhavi Upadhyaya
WeddingDates Contributors
Win a Bridal Afternoon Tea for up to 10 people at your choice of any participating UK Marriott Hotel!

We have teamed up with Marriott Hotels to offer one lucky bride-to-be a chance to have a bridal afternoon tea with 9 of ..