Updated: Apr 22
Weddings are fun, but they can be wasteful. According to Zola, a single wedding can produce up to 400 pounds of waste and 63 tons of CO2. From save the dates to wedding favors and everything in between, a lot of waste is created. Your wedding is a reflection of who you are as a couple, from your love story to your values. And if sustainability is important to you, there are ways to show that through your details! To celebrate Earth Day, we've gathered some ideas of ways that you can help make your Bear Brook Valley wedding more eco-friendly.
1. Use Sustainable Stationery & Invitations
There are a few different routes you can take to make your stationery & invitations more Earth-friendly:
Go paperless by creating a wedding website that has all of the information that your guests will need for your wedding day.
If going fully digital isn't practical for you, you can go partially digital by either sending out just save the dates or just invitations, and then having guests RSVP online.
If you choose to send physical save the dates and/or invites, be sure to go with recycled paper!
Stationery pro and owner of Amaryllis Paperie, Haleigh says that she's been using recycled paper more often than not. She also says, "There's been a huge shift away from sending back RSVPs in favor of online response..." Some guests might not be keen on this non-traditional form of wedding invitations, but it is becoming the new norm.
2. Choose an Eco-Friendly Venue
When you tour venues, look for ways/ask how the venue is environmentally-friendly!
At Bear Brook Valley, we continue to make efforts every year to make changes that help the environment such as:
Using/providing hay straws vs. plastic
Using bio friendly cleaning products
Digital planning tools & checklists that eliminates paper
Using digital catering software to manage our events, leads, etc.
Having ceremony & reception all in one location limits emissions from cars on the road
3. Choose Eco-Friendly Vendors
If having a sustainable wedding is important to you, you may want to consider looking into vendors who share those same values! Since sustainability is so popular these days, it shouldn't be hard to find environmentally conscious companies like this!
Owner of Thistle Bee the Florist, Katherine says that her business promotes sustainability in her couples' weddings by:
Going "floral foam-free" as often as possible. Floral foam is a synthetic plastic that is not biodegradable, meaning it will be in our oceans or on our lands for years and years to come creating issues for our ecosystem.
Renting candles, lanterns, and other décor.
Using locally grown flowers to support the local community of growers and also to reduce the amount of transport and emissions.
5. Seating Charts and Escort Cards
When choosing how you will organize and display your seating assignments for your wedding, you can either use a seating chart or escort cards. If you choose to go with a seating chart, we suggest renting one from a company such as Adorn Market (pictured above) or buying one that you will repurpose in your home. If you decide to go with escort cards, make them useful. Avoid using paper and consider using escort cards that can double as a wedding favor and/or table décor, such as the succulents in the photo above.
6. Rent, don't Buy
Consider renting décor such as signage, tables and chairs, lounge furniture, place settings, candles, etc instead of buying new. Local company, Cedar + Sage Rentals promotes sustainability in the wedding industry by providing furniture and décor rentals for weddings. To take it a step further, almost their entire collection consists of secondhand items purchased at antique shops and from locals on Facebook Marketplace. By renting instead of buying, not only are you making an Earth-conscious decision, but you also won't be left with a bunch of stuff (think a hundred candle holders creating clutter in your house) post-wedding.
7. Wedding Favors
Wedding favors are often thrown in the garbage or left sitting on the table at the venue. If you want to provide wedding favors your guests will actually use, go with something that is edible, such as donuts or a late night snack!
Provide shuttle buses for your guests to and from the venue. Many hotels provide shuttle transportation for guests, helping to reduce auto emissions.
You can choose ethical fashion for your wedding by renting, donating, or repurposing. Many couples at Bear Brook Valley rent tuxes and suits from Tuxedo by Sarno. After your wedding, you can donate your dress to a charity such as, Brides Across America. Why have your wedding dress sitting in your closet for years when it can be put to good use?!
Creating a more sustainable wedding industry has to start somewhere. Even if you only do one of the things above, you are helping to make the Earth a happier place while still having your dream wedding! Have more eco-friendly wedding ideas? Share them with us in the comments!