A trend that continues to pick up traction in the industry is eco-friendly weddings. The modern bride not only wants to have her dream day but to do so with as little impact on mother Earth as is possible. And we think that’s admirable! But how do you go about hosting a sustainable celebration? Get inspired with these trendy ideas for an eco-friendly wedding for everything from the ceremony to the reception.

*Header image: @xoartanddesign

What is an Eco-Friendly Wedding?

Let’s start off by defining an eco-friendly wedding! For your event to be eco-friendly, you simply have to decrease the ecological impact. This can be achieved in a variety of ways by opting for eco-friendly and/or sustainable alternatives. We find it important to add that your event doesn’t have to be entirely eco-friendly in order to make an impact. Any choices you make to decrease harm to the environment are a step in the right direction. Perfection isn’t required to make a difference!

Seed Paper Wedding Invitations

There’s no arguing that wedding invitations, and any wedding stationery, create a lot of paper waste! The reality is that, aside from yourself and maybe your mom, no one else will keep your stationary. After your event is over it will go straight in the trash. Instead of stationary, we recommend signage. However, if you want to use stationary, opt for seed paper. This handmade paper contains any number of different plant seeds and can be planted directly into the ground. It’s a fun little detail that your guests will love!

seed paper wedding invitations

Via @Lumacapaper

Nature-Inspired Escort Cards

Escort cards are a luxe detail that many brides desire. Especially if you have a large guest count or intend to have a seating chart. Escort cards were traditionally made of paper, but in recent years they have been created using all kinds of objects. For an eco-friendly wedding, we love a nature-inspired card. Made of a seasonal leaf, a shell, sea glass, feathers, or rocks. Just add a little bit of calligraphy and you’re good to go!

Dried Lavender Toss

A long upheld wedding tradition, rice tossing is meant to symbolize prosperity, fertility, and good fortune. Unfortunately, rice tossing has become less common for a variety of reasons. Including the absolute pain that it is to clean up, and a few too many eyes and cornea injuries. Yikes! We recommend skipping a rice toss and opting for dried lavender or real flower petals. These items can be left on the ground and will infuse a beautiful scent into the air. 

wedding dried lavender toss

Via @wildheartsevents / Photo @kristianirey

Reusable Servingware

If you’re planning on saving some money and dishing out food on disposable serving ware, think again! Disposable serving ware like plates, cups, and flatware will stack up in a trashcan quickly. As will any single-use items. Instead, amp up the elegance of your event by renting reusable serving ware, usually made of china or glass. This will be less expensive if you book a venue that includes the use of serving ware, or who offers it as an add-on. 

Potted Centerpieces

Flowers are must-have wedding decorations, for everything from the bridal bouquet to reception centerpieces. And that’s all fine and dandy unless they end up in the trash. For bridal bouquets, you can encourage people to take them home. But for centerpieces, how do you reuse an arrangement? The answer is simple: Opt for potted flowers! Equally beautiful, potted arrangements will make for a unique piece of decor. Plus at the end of the day, they make for a great gift. Give one to grandma, to your mom, the maid of honor, or anyone else you think would enjoy the flowers long term.

wedding flower sign

Via @@romeewillowflorals

Edible Wedding Favors

Wedding favors are a major wedding investment, as well as one of the most wasted wedding investments. You read that right! Guests simply don’t keep wedding favors - especially if they come customized with your name. The only favor that is less likely to be wasted, are those that are edible. When choosing wedding favors choose an item that you yourself would use. This might be a small batch of local honey or jam, a cake pop, coffee beans, or even a mini liquor bottle. If it requires packaging, be sure to use a container that is reusable, like a glass jar.

Fresh, Local Fare

Food waste is often overlooked but can have a huge impact on the planet. When ordering food, do your best to order exactly what you need and nothing more. It will help if you opt for a plated dinner service versus a buffet. Once dinner is over, be sure to pack up (not toss) the leftovers. Most caterers are glad to put any leftover food into containers if you provide them. Take them home to reheat or offer doggy bags to guests. If no one wants it, consider donating it to a local homeless shelter or soup kitchen.

plated dinner service at wedding

Via @greensoulweddings

It is our hope that these ideas have made you realize just how easy it is to host an eco-friendly wedding! Let us know which of these ideas you plan to implement, or any other plans you have in store. 

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