Updated: Jan 30
Tips and tricks to make your wedding as sustainable as possible.
What is sustainability? Many people think that being sustainable means to buy or consume products that don't damage the environment we live in. While that is true, sustainability goes much further than that. We often forget that sustainability also means to make sure that the whole supply chain works in a fair way, not only towards the environment, but also towards its people. For example, when planning a wedding you want to make sure that your photographer respects everyone and all communities, that your caterer pays their staff a fair salary, and that your florist doesn't get product from a country that has little children cutting the flowers.
Of course, being sustainable also means to respect natural resources such as animals, insects, water, plants, etc.
Here's a list with different possibilities you can take into account to have a sustainable wedding! You don't need to tick off every point, it's a step by step process. If you work on just a couple of these tips, that is already great!
Venue ✓ Your wedding location is accessible for all kind of guests (think of the elderly, people in wheelchairs or with visual impairments). ✓ There is the possibility to separate waste (plastic bin, green bin, glass, etc). ✓ The venue is a good employer to their staff and pays a fair salary. ✓ There are limits to loud music so that neighbors or animals are not bothered by your event.
Catering ✓ The caterer serves regional and seasonal products. ✓ There is the possibility to increase the amount of vegan products. ✓ The caterer works together with a sustainable wine producer. ✓ The caterer has a no-waste policy and gives leftovers to a homeless shelter or another organization. ✓ If you're renting a food truck, make sure their cutlery is made from recyclable materials.
Decoration ✓ Try to use as little plastic as possible but mainly natural materials. ✓ Rent decorations instead of buying them. ✓ Use dry flowers instead of fresh flowers or rent plants instead of buying your greens. ✓ Use seasonal flowers. ✓ Don't print the name tags on paper, rather write them with white ink on a green leaf.
Entertainment ✓ Hire a local artist. ✓ Use as much acoustic instruments as possible so that it doesn't get too loud. ✓ Try not to use an excessive amount of light.
Outfits ✓ Rent instead of buying. Or if you buy, consider buying second hand. ✓ Only buy durable materials. ✓ If you buy a new outfit, get a style and color which you can re-use later.
Guests ✓ Send your invites digitally instead of printing on paper. ✓ Have the menus and programs printed on recycled paper or on seed paper. ✓ The wedding signs can be written on recyclable material. ✓ The guest favors are locally produced and support local entrepreneurs. ✓ Encourage your guests to travel by train or bus instead of plane or car. ✓ Organize a shuttle to and from your location to avoid guests taking individual taxis to go to their home/hotel.
Compensating / giving back ✓ Plant a tree to compensate for the event. ✓ Donate to a local and sustainable organization.
The most important point, is that you are aware of the amount of CO2 the average wedding emits (14.5 tons for 100 people with little travel , around 30 tons for 100 people who all have to travel!) and that you try to minimize this amount by following just a couple of tips and tricks that fit your wedding, your wishes, and your budget!
If you need help with this, contact me by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org!