October 9, 2021
There’s plenty of environmentally friendly choices you can make for your wedding day. Here are some of my favorite ways to care for mother earth with these zero waste wedding tips.
Skip the paper invites. E-save the dates instead! It’s quicker and more convenient for both you and your guests. This will save you so much money on stamps too!! A few companies that provide this service are Paperless Post and Greenvelope!
At the wedding, instead of a seating chart with little pieces of paper printed out, use a mirror, glass, or a chalkboard and write everyone’s names and their assigned seating. Someone you know has got to have good handwriting! You can even write the dinner menu on a chalkboard or wooden pallet!
Fewer people, less waste. Bada bing bada boom.
When it comes to dinner, thrift stores are a great place to find unique glassware and plates, cool mason jars, vintage wine glasses, and a bunch of cool stuff. Estate sales are another awesome way to get your hands on some really cool place-setting materials.
If you don’t want to have to sift through estate sales and thrift stores, renting dining ware is another great option!
Cloth napkins (as opposed to disposable napkins) are great and not as expensive as you might think! Check restaurant stores or the clearance racks at HomeGoods, T.J. Maxx, and Marshall’s!
You’ll feel so much better knowing your wedding dinner supplies will be used again and again rather than just being thrown away.
Designate specific trash cans for recycling. I’ve seen so many weddings where plates and napkins get all thrown in with cans and bottles. Make it clear to your guests that you wish to recycle all bottles and cans.
Ask your florist what can be done about making flower arrangements reusable. For example, your ceremony pieces can be repurposed for your reception. Bridesmaid’s bouquets can be used for the cake table, gift table, etc. Or you can just skip having bridesmaid’s bouquets all together. You might also want to ask which flowers are in season. If they are in season, that means that they will be easy to pick up at the flower mart. This means money won’t have to be spent shipping flowers from somewhere else. This will make mother earth happy, too! Also, be sure to ask your florist if they can go foam-free, or be minimal with their foam usage.
Use frames and decor or knickknacks from around your home that are unique to your relationship and home. We used a typewriter and my old cameras as part of our decor.
Make them usable or, even better, reusable. Great examples would be metal straws, homemade candles with instructions on how to make your own when the wax runs out! Jars of spices, jam, or jelly with a recipe on how to make more. Potted plants that won’t die, like a ZZ plant, Snake Plant, or Succulents.
And you know what, no favors is okay too! Some people are all about em’ but most guests will forget to take one home anyway.
Ask for cash, e-gift cards, or experiences. Amazon and Airbnb experiences are some great examples! Having people donate to an online honeymoon fund is great and will discourage people from spending money on cards/envelopes/items.
Talk to your caterer and see if any of the food can be donated after the wedding day. Or make it known to guests that they can take food home!
I hope your biggest takeaway from this is that you do what feels right for you. You don’t have to be a super bride and make everything zero waste, but I think it’s important to recognize that weddings create a lot of waste. I think all vendors and couples can do a better job at reducing this waste. It also doesn’t take a ton of extra effort, but it does take a creative mind and a different mindset. I know this blog post won’t resonate with everyone. Some people have not adopted a minimal waste lifestyle, some of us are doing our best, some of us are all about it in every single part of our life. So do what you can, do what feels right, ask questions, research vendors’ policies about waste, and ask questions of what they can do to reduce waste and reuse wherever possible!