Just in case you didn’t know, I recently got engaged to my high school sweetheart!!! I jumped straight into wedding planning and I’m on a mission to make our wedding as eco-friendly as possible. My main planning tip is less is more. I actually wrote a sustainable wedding post a few years back. I didn’t realize how detailed it was! I definitely recommend reading my original post in addition to this one. Click here to see my Sustainable Wedding Planning (Part 1) post.
Go paperless! Wedding stationary uses a lot of paper and it’s actually quite costly. You won’t have to worry about addressing envelops, buying stamps, and keeping track of who you sent invites to if you do it all digitally! If digital invites are not accessible to some of your guests, then you can print a few copies of your invite to mail out. Just make that you have everyone’s correct email address and check-in with those who haven’t responded as the RSVP date is approaches.
Make a wedding website. There are now free platforms that you can use to make a wedding website, such as The Knot and Zola. They are easy to use, have tons of template designs, and can display all of your wedding information. Sometimes paper invites accidentally get tossed into the recycling, but if you have a wedding website, guests can easily refer back to it for logistical information. You can also connect your registries to these websites!
Use natural materials. If you do choose to send out physical invites, use natural materials that are less resource intensive. For example, use vegetable-based ink and print on flower seed paper. Your guests can plant your invite after the wedding is over! To help save paper, have guests RSVP online instead of mailing another postcard back.
Ditch individual name cards and have a “find your seat” sign instead. If you want to have a more eco-friendly wedding, you’ll have to minimize that amount of paper you use. It takes about 6 gallons of water to make a pound of paper (and that doesn’t include all the water needed to produce printing ink). Having one seating table sign also makes it easier for you because it means that there is less to set-up. If you really want name cards, consider using leaves instead of paper since they are biodegradable and less resource intensive.
Make a wedding timeline sign instead of handing out paper programs. My friends transformed an old wood pallet into a beautiful wedding sign and I truly loved this idea! Paper wedding programs often blow away (turning into litter) or get thrown away. It’s the same concept as above. Less stuff means less work!
Buy from Facebook Marketplace! Since I love using Facebook Marketplace to find furniture, I decided to see if there were any wedding decor items available. I quickly learned that a lot of brides sell their wedding decorations after their wedding is over. I would recommend checking out Facebook Marketplace if you’re looking for glassware, cupcake stands, table numbers, mirrors, chalkboards, and table signs (ex. “guest book”). You can also sell your leftover decor/wedding supplies after your big day is over that way they don’t just take up space in your closet forever.
Turn your wedding favors into centerpieces. This is a great concept for many reason! You’ll have less to set-up since you won’t need a table for wedding favors and you’ll have less to clean-up/take home at the end of the day. Some ideas include potted plants, succulents, and flowers in small vases. Depending on the vision that you have for your wedding, this task can be a bit more challenging, but I’m sure that if you are passion about making this concept come to life, that you and your wedding party will come up with some creative ideas.
Use bridesmaids bouquets to decorate accent ables. Have a few vases set up around the venue so that your bridesmaids can re-use their bouquets as table decorations, such as a the bar or cake table. They can also be used to help decorate the wedding court’s table.