Are you and your partner part of the 33 percent of people actively committed to sustainability? Then an eco-friendly wedding is likely high on your list of priorities. The prospect may sound daunting at first, but there are a lot of ways you can reduce your carbon footprint while still having the perfect day you’ve always dreamed of. So, if you’re ready to tie the (sustainable) knot, check out these five ways to make sure you leave a lasting impression on your guests—not the planet
- Save the date—and the planet
Rather than wasting the abundance of paper required to deliver your save the dates to your entire guest list (including a reply card and return envelope), instead send them digitally. You can still have them professionally designed and as beautiful as you always dreamed, while also saving a few trees. Read some tips for online save the date etiquette and create a special site or page to direct RSVPs to. You may decide to send your actual invitations via snail mail to avoid potential email issues, but you can still make a positive difference if you opt for recycled paper.
Say “yes” to the (gently used) dress
You can have your dream dress and reuse, too! Whether it’s your mother’s or grandmother’s wedding gown, or one found in a second-hand store, it can be the dress you want with a simple trip to the tailor for some alterations. Instead of choosing a new bridesmaid’s dress for your entire wedding party, choose a color. This way, they can repurpose a dress they already own while still representing your theme.
Keep your caterer close, and their sustainability closer
When it comes time to decide on a caterer and menu, consider a farm to table approach. Not only will they reduce your wedding’s carbon footprint by not traveling far, they often use locally-sourced organic ingredients. When interviewing caterers, make sure they use real cutlery, plates, glasses, linen napkins, and serving platters and utensils so you have as little waste as possible.
Take it outside
Want to feel even closer to Mother Earth on the big day? Skip the venue and have an outdoor wedding instead! This will give you infinitely more options than a traditional indoor venue, allow you to truly connect with the environment—and probably save your bank account some green, too! Thanks to specialized portable restroom vendors like Mr. John, you can have all of the amenities you and your guests need, wherever you walk down the aisle. Mr. John’s Wedding Cottage trailer is a sophisticated and aesthetically pleasing option that boasts blue-gray cedar shingles, outdoor evening lighting, and plenty of chalkboard windows for your guests to share congratulations on. The inside features four private stalls, outfitted with flushing toilets, pedestal sinks, a mirror, a garment hook, and ceiling lights. The best part? Portable restrooms use considerably less water than traditional bathrooms—just another boon to your eco-friendly day!
Give favors that do the environment a favor
Couples put a lot of time and money into favors that largely go unused once they make it home with your guest. Stop the waste and instead consider favors that: benefit the environment, like potted plants; are immediately enjoyed, like treats from a local shop; or make the world a better place, like charitable donations in your guests’ names. Chances are, these will make a far greater impact on them than a monogrammed candle!
Now that you know how to make your wedding as environmentally-friendly as your day-to-day life, start practicing your “I do!”