Sustainable Weddings

Sometimes, having a wedding can seem unnecessarily eccentric and wasteful. The average American wedding produces 400-600 pounds of trash- that’s about a billion tons of waste each year. This waste includes food, flowers, & paper products. All this waste seems silly when you think about how much money is spent on these items!

If this seems crazy to you, know that it doesn’t need to be this way! You can have the wedding of your dreams, and be mindful of the waste you are creating. There are plenty of ways we can reduce the waste generated by your wedding, and plenty of vendors who want to help you with these goals! Whether you want to reduce the environmental impact of your big day, or just want to feel like your money isn’t being tossed in the trash, I would love to help you in planning your sustainable wedding! The desire to promote environmental education in the wedding industry is what led me to launch the Green Wedding Guild- check it out to find more wedding pros who are working to reduce the waste generated by our industry!

local florist

Locally sourced botanicals from Durham florist Rabbit Foot FloralsPhoto by Rose Trail Images.

A few ideas to inspire you…

  • Invitations- Go paperless! Or print on recycled or sustainably sourced paper.

  • Food- Work with your caterer to provide local or organic food. At the end of the night, have leftovers boxed up and table scraps composted.

  • Flowers- There are tons of options when it comes to your sustainable flowers! Go faux, to create something you can keep forever. Bonus points for creating bouquets out of recycled materials, like book pages or sheet music. If you want real flowers, try potted plants, or arrange to have your flowers do double duty and donate to a hospital at the end of the night. You can also source flowers from local/organic farms!

  • Favors- Choose something consumable that won’t end up in the trash. Or opt out of “favors” entirely by making a donation on your guests behalf to your favorite charity.

  • Decor- Rent your decor or purchase second hand. You can do this with your attire as well!


Emily Katherine Events is proud to work with CompostNow to reduce the amount of wedding waste ending up in landfills! We also work with lots of great local florists, caterers, and venues over at the Green Wedding Guild. Check out the growing directory of eco-conscious wedding vendors, focused on sustainability and environmental education!

Green Wedding Guild Vendors
Green Wedding Guild Vendors
How to Compost

Learn more about composting here!

“Emily was perfect for long distance planning. My son and I gave a rehearsal dinner for his daughter and my granddaughter in NC. We live in MO and TX. We met with her once at the site. She took care of everything, invitations, set up, decorations, meal planning, place cards, etc. She answered e-mails and phone calls immediately. She made us a guest at our own party.”

Tricia, Grandmother of Bride

“Emily took care of everything and everyone on the wedding day! Anything that needed to be set-up, moved, timed, directed, or gotten in an emergency was done by her! Our wedding day. without a doubt, would not have happened without Emily and her services! She helped make all of my months of planning come to life.”

Michele & Brian

“I am so happy I hired Emily to plan my elopement in Hillsborough, NC. I wanted to keep it as simple as possible and using her experience and recommendations the planning process and the wedding day were flawless. Before meeting Emily, I would’ve scoffed at someone hiring a wedding planner, especially for a “low-key” elopement. My new husband and I both agree that her services provided, professional and cheerful attitude, attention to detail, and kindness were invaluable to the perfect wedding day.”

Ingrid & Jason

“Emily was amazing to work with! She made our wedding day so easy and seamlessly ensured that everything we wanted and the flow of it all was perfect. She kept a smile on and I don’t know what we would have done without her advice leading up and on the big day. Her professionalism, knowledge and candor were all we could have asked for. A must pick for your event!”

Danielle & Dre

“Emily was amazing! She made the planning enjoyable. On the day of our event she handled everything with such grace. If there was anything that had gone wrong, Emily fixed it and I never even heard about it. Our wedding was a dream come true and all of the is because of Emily!”

Kasey & Luke

Durham, North Carolina, 336.254.6273