Low waste wedding? No problem
A helpful how-to
Weddings produce large amounts of waste. From the decorations, to the food to the throwaway dinnerware, the trash cans will be filling up before you know it. If you are a bride who cares about the environment, this could be hard to watch. Here are a few tips to try to reduce your waste on the big day, while still having the wedding of your dreams.
Book a venue that does not need excess decor: Excess decorations often cause large amounts of waste and can be unnoticed by your guests. There are many venues that already have a breathtaking set up as it is. Historical buildings, gardens and restaurants usually have enough decoration to give you the elegant wedding of your dreams. If you do want a few unique decorations, think about making them yourself from recycled paper products or plants that can be used later or composted.
Buy a second hand or vintage dress: Wedding dresses are expensive and you will only wear it once. There are tons of used wedding dresses out there that you will look gorgeous in. You can always get a used dress altered if it does not fit exactly right. After your big day, you can donate it to a second hand store or sell it online for another bride to enjoy, instead of it taking up space in your closet.
Email the invitations: Everyone thinks you have to mail invitations to your guests for typical wedding etiquette. Instead, make an ecard for your guests and do electronic RSVPs. Give them about a month to respond and if your do not get a reply then send them an invitation on recycled paper. This will save you money on stationary and a lot of invitations that are going to get thrown out anyways.
Pick your own flowers: You can make yourself an elaborate bouquet, centerpieces and boutonnieres for way less money with flowers from your own garden. Look up some fun, sustainable DIYs and have your family and friends help make it happen! If you do not have your own garden, ask a friend or go to a you-pick farm!
Compost excess food: Food waste fills up trash cans in weddings fast. Instead, have large compost bins and label what is acceptable to put in them. Have an announcement before the meal that you are composting and not to throw food away in the trash. Also, have recycling bins and label what to put in them so there is no confusion. Tell caters before you hire them that you are going for a zero waste wedding and see how their services will align with your vision.
Rent dinnerware: Instead of using throw away plates, silverware and napkins, rent them! There are many party rental companies that can rent you dinnerware for the big day. It will make the food look more upscale being served on real plates, rather than paper ones. Try to rent napkins made of cloth or use compostable napkins.
Wedding gifts: Nowadays, many couples already live together before the big day and already have the household items people normally buy off of a registry. Instead, ask for donations to your honeymoon or a down payment on a house or another significant purchase. This will save you from throwing away piles of wrapping paper, ribbons and packaging.