Weddings are huge. Even when there’s not a lot of people attending, they can still rack up an impressive amount of trash bags. So, if you’re looking for a way to pull off not just the perfect wedding, but the perfect low-waste wedding, you’ve come to the right place. Here are a few tips and tricks to getting the night you’ve always dreamed of.
Use Organic Or Bio-Degradable Trash Bags
Start by making sure what waste you do accrue don’t end up in a plastic bag that’s just going to sit in a landfill. If the bag doesn’t degrade, then how is everything in it supposed to? Start by making sure your trash bags will take care of themselves.
Choose Recycled Or Paperless Invitations
This is step number one. Using recycled, or paperless invitations show your guests first thing that you’re working towards a low waste wedding. You’re invitations don’t need to arrive to your guests in the mail. Tradition says they do, but they don’t. They can arrive just as easily through their email, or through a phone call.
Don’t worry about looking cheap just because you choose not to send out expensive paper invites. Your family and friends are going to understand that you’re trying to achieve a low-waste wedding.
Find A Make-Up Artist Who Will Help Eliminate Waste
Find a makeup artist who will help you by using reusable makeup removing pads, removing plastic false eyelashes from your look, using brushes made from bamboo instead of plastic and being conscious of the waste from the packaging for each new product they’ll be using on you. Every bride deserves to look fabulous on her wedding day, and you can still do it low-waste.
Find A Venue That Needs Minimal Editing
The less you have to add to the venue, the better. The fewer lights you’re putting up, the less electricity you’re pulling from the grid. The fewer electrical items mean fewer power strips you need. The fewer paper items that you have to add, the few trees are cut down, etc. The less you add, the smaller the strain on the environment. Try to make sure that what you do need to add to your venue is something that you can reuse, or donate to another bride so the product doesn’t end up in the trash.
Ensure The Venue Has The Recycling Options You’re Looking For
Some venues already have bio-degradable, paper, food, and waste separated. If the venue you’re looking at doesn’t, you can always try to find somewhere that will bring in recycling for you. Some of those companies may even pick the recycling buckets back up for you. Make sure that your guests understand what you’re trying to do, so they can properly help you, by disposing of their items in the proper bin.
Keep Food Prep and Purchase Local
This allows you to provide local businesses with much-needed income. Your local chef may not have a New York rep, but I’ll be their food is just as good, if not better. Smaller businesses tend to put more effort into their meals because they feel they need to compare to larger corporations. Give them a chance.
They’ll also be more likely to be on hand for your event. Giving them the opportunity to fix any issues that arise.
If you have untouched meals, consider donating them. There are many reasons you will have uneaten food. Maybe you ordered too much by accident. Perhaps you had guests who couldn’t attend for one reason or another. Or, maybe, someone just didn’t want their food. There are plenty of charities that would gladly take your uneaten food.
Long ago I read an article about a woman who donated her entire reception after her wedding was called off. Instead of wasting the food, and trying to get her money back, she simply invited people from a local shelter to come and eat and dance and have a great night. Be like her.
Use Local Florists/Blooms
Not only does keeping your florist local provide income for a potentially small business owner, but it also keeps omissions out of the environment because you won’t have to have flowers flown in for your big day.
Another advantage is if something goes wrong, you can count on someone local being able to fix it immediately, rather than worrying about someone far away from the event trying to take care of an issue sight unseen.
Keep Your Names and Wedding Date OFF Party Favors
I know you want everything personalized. You want your guests to remember where they got that cute candy dish from. But chances are if they’re at your wedding, they’re pretty important to you. You don’t have to have your names and wedding dates on the dish for them to remember. Plus, they’re more likely to display or reuse something that is name and date free.
Consider Eco-Friendly Gifts
We all love a gift card. Who doesn’t? We simply tell somewhere where we shop and the gift card they give us opens the option to pick out our own products. If eco-friendly is really important to you, it also provides you the opportunity to make sure you’re getting the correct product.
You can take a gift card even one step further. Ask for an e-gift card. It can be emailed straight to you and you’re far less likely to lose an email than a physical card. (At least I know I would be!) We always have our phones with us and our email is always on it. You may not remember to grab that gift card from the table by the door.
Planning a low-waste wedding can be somewhat difficult, but really, taking your time to walk through each step will make it so much simpler! A low-waste wedding reduces the amount of garbage your event puts into a landfill that won’t eliminate itself. It also helps by using recycled products.
Do you have any more low-waste suggestions for brides to be? Let us know in the comments!
Featured Image Credit: https://www.1millionwomen.com.au/blog/waste-free-wedding-ideas/
Lucky mom of three beautiful children ages 9, 11 & 12. I graduated with a double bachelor's degree in 2015 from Ashford University. One in Journalism and Mass Communications and the second in Public Relations and Marketing.