TO the Feathered Arrow blog. I'M Kari! A WEDDING PLANNER, PODCAST HOST, BIZ EDUCATOR, AND A LOVER OF COFFEE, ALL THINGS OUTDOORS + A SUCKER FOR A GOOD LOVE STORY.
Let’s be honest, even though I love helping you throw an epic party, sometimes it can contribute to a lot of waste. I think it’s all about balance when planning your wedding, but if you’re looking for ways to lessen your impact on the environment, I have a few ideas on how to make your wedding more eco-friendly below.
A trend I’m seeing more of is moving away from traditional diamond engagement rings. Instead, couples are looking for ethically sourced options such as lab-grown diamonds, or rings with other natural stones. I absolutely love this and the rings are stunning! If you’re looking for more ideas on conflict-free rings, The Good Trade has some great resources.
When you’re hunting for the place to say “I Do”, ask them about their climate-friendly rules. (PS I have a FREE downloadable list of other important questions to ask your venue!)
Feel free to dig deeper than just their rules for weddings. For example, if it’s a vineyard, ask if they use pesticides that could lead to hazardous run off. Water-efficient spaces could lead you towards a desert venue with succulents instead of lush green lawns. It’s completely a personal choice but I think if we start holding more venue spaces accountable for their impact, we can make big changes within the industry. For some eco-love inspiration, check out this wedding we planned at a nature preservation center!
I’m not going to lie; this one is tough as a planner to admit. Because I LOVE a good stationery set! However, if you really want to avoid paper waste, using online invites and your wedding website to manage your RSVPs is a great way to do so. While you’re at it, you can also skip the paper programs. A nice alternative is a large wooden board outlining the evenings festivities. The board can later be re-used as décor, or in some cases, added to green waste for wood chips. If you do decide online is best, check out the options our friends at Basic Invite have. They have amazing designs and customer service! Just use the code FeatheredArrow20 to get a discount on your order!
A lot of vendors are also being cognizant of how their artistry affects the environment. For example, a lot of florists have ditched floral foam and instead use things like chicken wire or pin frogs to hold stems in place. Bartenders and catering companies have also come up with creative ways to cut back on their waste. Eliminating plastic straws for paper, or opting for bamboo plates are all compostable options. When you’re looking to hire your vendors, ask them what their protocols are + don’t hesitate to brainstorm some ideas together.
Here’s an eco-friendly idea you + your guests will love! When our lead planner, Jess Girard, married her love, they decided to combine cocktail hour with guest favors by having the name of every guest engraved into their own personalized copper Moscow Mule cup. This cut down on plastic cups being used at the bar and was a great gift for guests to take home at the end of the night! Win win!
Calling all couples who love a good flea market! You can find absolute one-of-a-kind treasures for your wedding when you shop secondhand. For example, this bride and her mom scoured secondhand stores to find plates for the reception. Not only was this a great bonding moment for them but additionally, the mixture of unique patterns created such a beautiful tablescape. It was easily the talk amongst guests when they sat down for dinner. You can check out stores, websites or even local Buy Nothing Groups online can help you find the perfect décor for your wedding.
We know the danger of tossing rice, but some couples are still using traditional confetti that is made of mylar and micro-plastics. These items will take hundreds of years to decompose, if ever. (Also, it’s a hassle to clean up.) Instead, there are a ton of options for biodegradable confetti available: Paper, flower petals, or even shapes punched out of leaves are great eco-friendly options! Especially if you’re planning an outdoor wedding, this is crucial. All these options will still create an epic photo and give you peace of mind of what you leave behind. Let’s leave the spaces better than we found them.
I talked about this previously on sites to use for your wedding registry, but if you’re a couple who doesn’t need a new toaster, ask your guests to redirect their gifting funds towards a good cause. Choose a charity that is near to your heart but you can also focus on eco-friendly charities. There are so many great organizations out there putting in the work to better our world. (If you’re curious where your money goes when you hire Feathered Arrow, here’s a list of places we donate to with every client we book.)
There are no shortage of beautiful wedding dresses, suits and wedding party attire available secondhand or for rental. You can also potentially score a great deal that way! And even though the traditional saying is, “something old, new, borrowed and blue”, the new doesn’t have to mean fresh out of the package. Buying something secondhand can still mean something “new” to you! And depending on how sentimental you feel, you can also re-sell your attire to another couple looking to get hitched + contribute to closing the clothing loop.
What are some other ways you are reducing waste + respecting Mother Earth for your wedding? Let me know by contacting me here and let’s start planning your dream eco-friendly wedding! Together, we can make a difference.
**Quick disclaimer friends, this post contains affiliate links. If you use these links, we do take a commission from each purchase and it helps support our small business! All thoughts and opinions on these services are my own!