What is a sustainable wedding?

Written by Jervise Penton

We all know how stressful preparing for a wedding can be. Planning a sustainable wedding can be even more challenging, especially if you don’t know where to start. 

A sustainable wedding is one where the couple ensures that everything from the decor to the venue is as eco-friendly as possible.

It is no secret that the average wedding is seriously bad for the environment. According to reports, an average wedding produces 400 lbs of garbage and 63 tons of CO2.

Your efforts to have a sustainable wedding are commendable. We know how important your big day is and want to help you do it right! Here are some handy tips to help you plan the best sustainable wedding. 

Tackle the worst offenders – balloons, confetti, exotic flowers and decorations

Balloons, confetti, exotic flowers, and decorations are usually the worst sustainability offenders at weddings, so let’s start there.   

Here are some of the ways to use eco-friendly decorations on your big day: 

  • Avoid using balloons altogether, because even the so-called biodegradable ones still do the same damage as ordinary balloons. Instead, opt for bunting banners or paper chains; they are just as pretty.  
  • Instead of plastics and unrecyclable decorations, opt for paper materials and paper banners that are also beautiful.  
  • Instead of confetti, you can use dried-out petals. Dried-out petals are biodegradable and will decompose naturally – and they also look pretty!
  • Use local and seasonal florists that are also sustainable. Check that they don’t use floral foam or plastic. 
dried petal confetti

Photo by Sarah D’Ambra. Dried flower petal confetti at NC wedding.

sustainable clothing

Photo by f8 Photo Studios. Rental tuxedo from The BLK TUX and consignment gown from Emerald City Gowns.

Wear eco-friendly wedding wear 

Yes, you should look good on your wedding day and what you wear is a massive part of that.  You can also make sure your efforts are eco-friendly by doing the following things. 

  • Rent your tux or dress – you don’t need to get a whole brand new one you will only wear for one day. You can also wear a branded one. 
  • Ensure that your wedding dress uses eco-friendly material such as organic cotton and hemp-based silks. 

Use an eco-friendly wedding venue 

Your wedding venue is a massive part of your quest to be sustainable. 

Here are some of the ways you can ensure that the space you use is as eco-friendly as possible.  

  • When you choose a venue that has a lovely outdoor space, you save energy on lighting and electricity.    
  • If your wedding is in a hotel, then ensure that you pick a green one. 
  • If possible, choose a centralized location; so your guests can reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by not traveling so far to attend your wedding. 

Reduce the chances of food going to waste on your wedding day

Food wastage is a big part of what makes weddings unsustainable. Because you need to consider everyone’s dietary needs, some food wastage may be hard to avoid. 

But here are some of the ways you can make sure food does not go to waste. 

  • Pack up the leftovers – let your guests take food home in paper or cardboard-based containers that can be recycled. 
  • Ask your catering company about their food waste policy. Do they throw away uncooked food? Or do they donate them to food banks and charities instead? If they do the latter, then you know you’ve picked an eco-friendly caterer.

We hope our handy guide gets you off to a good start in your efforts to make your wedding a sustainable one. For more information about sustainable weddings, check out this in depth guide from 77 Diamonds.

Jervise Penton is a content producer and researcher from Plymouth. Apart from his projects, he also attends different conferences and events on business marketing, SMEs, sustainability, and ethical standards.