A perfect wedding consists of a handsome broom, beautiful bride, happy families, excited friends, gifts, foods, beverages, wines, and A BIG PILE OF GARBAGE. A reality check for all 400 pounds of waste and 63 tons of CO2!

Weddings are a reflection of your relationship and personality. A zero-waste wedding may not be at the top of your priorities list when arranging your big day.

While wedding planning takes time and effort, it does not have to be wasteful. It’s a terrific way to start your zero-waste journey together for any sustainability-minded couples thinking about getting married.

Recycled or paperless invitation 

An example of recyclable paper invitation
An example of recyclable paper invitation | Image Credit – Flickr

Many companies use recycled bamboo and even seeded paper that grows into flowers on planting, making it the perfect eco-friendly invitation. 

A friendly alternative is to use invites that can be planted in the ground. They’re not only environmentally friendly, but they’ll also give your guests a memorable experience and a gift they’ll treasure long after you’ve said your vows.

Suppose you consider going paperless with your invitations. In that case, there are plenty of gorgeous online invitations you can construct to keep the process feeling personal and official while avoiding the waste of paper.

Invest in Long-Term Fashion

People go overboard and assume they need different clothing for each occasion, such as the engagement party, bridal shower, bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner, and wedding day. 

However, according to the UN Environment Programme, the fashion industry contributes 2-8 percent of world carbon emissions. Consider buying pre-owned gowns or investing in companies with a sustainable goal for your wedding day apparel.

Sustainable Venue

Sustainable Venue
Sustainable Venue | Image Credit – Coco Wedding Venues

If a destination isn’t intimate, say “no.” Flying a large group of people to another country is an easy method to increase your carbon footprint. 

If you decide to host an event from afar, keep the number of guests to a bare minimum and stay long enough to turn it into a vacation!

If your location does not have a recycling or composting option, look for local companies that can provide adequate trash baskets. After the event, some will even take up recycling or compost.

If you’re renting a facility that requires a lot of resources, think about a location that doesn’t. Eco-friendly sites such as parks, gardens, beaches, mountains, backyards, and farms offer beautiful scenery and plenty of room for your guests.

Donating Leftovers
Donating Leftovers | Image Credit – Wikimedia Commons

There will always be leftovers, even if you cook the most fantastic wedding night menu. All around the country, food pantries, food banks, and food rescue programs gather food and redistribute it to those in need. 

While they will typically accept your freshly prepared meals, work ahead of time with your caterer to ensure that everything runs properly. It will have the advantage not only for the environment but also for someone in need.

Preserved Flowers

Before dismissing dried blossoms as a fad, consider how lovely and environmentally friendly preserved blooms may be. The most common selections are dried pampas grass, lavender, palm leaves, eucalyptus, and hydrangeas, but the possibilities are truly unlimited.

In addition to dried and bleached blooms, zero-waste wedding floral design is all about thinking locally. Inquire with your florist about using in-season, locally obtained flowers or foraging natural components when possible. 

Couples can also collaborate with their floral designer to coordinate a contribution to a local nursing home, hospital, or church instead of throwing unused flower arrangements. To achieve a zero-waste event, you’ll need to choose a floral designer who shares your sustainability aim.

Compost Waste

Compost Waste
Compost Waste | Image Credit – Flickr

Compost Garbage Work with your venue to segregate your trash bins so that any waste generated during the ceremony, cocktail hour, or reception may be composted. Food wastes can be composted and used to feed the soil instead of thrown away.

Makeup 

If you’re hiring someone to help you with your cosmetics, tell them you’d like to reduce waste as much as possible. Makeup wipes, plastic eyelashes, packaging, and other materials can quickly accumulate, and many of these products are not recyclable.

Gifts! Do not bother

Gift Ecological Zero Waste
Gift Ecological Zero Waste | Image Credit – Pixabay

On the wedding day, guests will want to shower you with gifts, but you’ll almost certainly receive more than a few that you don’t want or need. 

To avoid wasteful gift-giving, tell your guests about your goal for a zero-waste wedding and ask for donations to a charity, a honeymoon fund, or e-gift cards instead. 

Fill your online retail registry with ethically created gift alternatives that support the issues you care about if you have one. Not only will you receive goods you enjoy, but you’ll also be introducing your guests to brands they’ll be proud to support.

Skip Extras

Because a zero-waste wedding aims to eliminate all waste, omitting any extra frills is a simple hack; rather than giving each guest a welcome bag, favor, trinket, or swag, channel that energy into other areas of your wedding to achieve actual zero-waste status.

Guests List 

Preparing Guests List 
Preparing Guests List | Image Credit – Freepik

We’ll never tell you that an extensive guest list means you can’t have a sustainable or zero-waste wedding. It’s unquestionably doable! However, if you want to ensure that you don’t have too much waste, be selective about who you invite. By reducing the number of excessive invitations, you may reduce your wedding’s overall carbon footprint.

Jewelry

A diamond is seen to be the perfect symbol of love. However, diamond mining harms the environment. Mining is terrible for our land and oceans, and it has also been tainted by human rights violations and discriminatory labor practices. 

Glassware and reusable utensils

Glassware and reusable utensils
Glassware and reusable utensils | Image Credit – Stock Snap

Your cutlery and glassware will be guided by your wedding theme, venue, and decoration. It’s preferable if you already own it or can upcycle or DIY it. 

The best alternative is to use linen napkins, actual plates, and silverware (remember, there are rental options!). Avoid using disposable or single-use cutlery. If that’s the best alternative for you, get bamboo cutlery and banana leaf plates.

Conclusion 

Organizing a zero-waste wedding that is environmentally friendly and sustainable should not be difficult. It may be less expensive and less of a hassle. I hope that these zero-waste wedding ideas have inspired you to think about how you can help the environment while organizing your big day.

(Last Updated on April 21, 2022 by Sadrish Dabadi)

Rishu Shakya, a bachelor’s degree graduate in Business Information Management, holds an extraordinary empathy towards mother nature and her ecosystem. She has always been captivated by green Earth and its charm. She regards spreading awareness about clean energy and sustainable development as her passion as well as responsibility. She believes her compassion about the Earth and human relationships will undoubtedly assist our planet to be a better place.