How to Plan an Eco-Friendly Wedding on a Budget

Jori Hamilton is a writer from the pacific northwest who is passionate about environmentalism and social justice issues. You can follow her on Twitter @HamiltonJori

Posted on Tuesday 22nd October 2019

Wedding trends come and go, and it seems like couples are always trying to find new ways to make their ceremonies and receptions unique. From customized favors to fun games guests can play, the sky is truly the limit when it comes to making your wedding a day to remember. 

In recent years, though, a trend has come into the wedding world that we can definitely get behind; eco-friendly ceremonies. More people are conscious of their carbon footprint than ever, and that’s showing up in amazingly unique ways. 

There are a couple of problems people tend to face with eco-friendly weddings before they even get started. First, you might not know how to “greenify” your ceremony on your own. Second, you might think that an eco-friendly wedding will cost more than a traditional one. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to break the bank, and by using a few creative ideas, you can plan an eco-friendly wedding that will truly be a day to remember.

Let’s look at some tips you can use to help the planet and your wallet on your special day. 

Source Items Locally

One of the best ways to keep things green is to keep things local. When you have decorations, food, and favors shipped in, you could be doing more damage than you realize. Shipping costs money, uses excessive packaging/plastic, and typically has to travel via truck or plane, which burns fuel and releases more emissions into the air. 

When you use sustainable local products instead, you’re doing something much better for the environment. Choose to eat locally by working with a nearby restaurant you love, or even some local vendors at your favorite farmers’ market! Many caterers are also jumping on the eco-friendly movement, so don’t be afraid to talk to some area vendors about how you can choose the sustainable route for your celebratory meal. 

Flowers are a big part of any wedding, but you should be conscious of what you’re using. Some flowers are grown with pesticides or other chemicals that can damage the environment. Even if they’re grown organically, they don’t have any reuse value. If you want to have flowers involved in your wedding, try something unique like potted plants or even fruits and vegetables (red and yellow apples are great for fall weddings) as centerpieces that people can take home with them! Eco-friendly flower options are available, so shop locally with area florists or pick your own wildflowers for floral arrangements. Otherwise, try thinking outside the box. 

Think About Your Decorations

Weddings are known for having beautiful decorations. Things like plastic flower petals, streamers, confetti, and balloons all look nice, but they’re typically thrown away after the celebration. Unfortunately, most of these items can’t be recycled or reused. 

There are more sustainable options you can choose for your decor that will help you to stay within your budget. In fact, they may even be less expensive than traditional items! For example, why not save some money and help the planet by creating a banner on recycled paper or a piece of burlap? You can also find biodegradable confetti that will dissolve over time and isn’t harmful to animals. 

Another great option is to take advantage of the natural beauty of the season. A fall wedding practically decorates itself, as you can use things like leaves, pinecones, pumpkins, etc. Have a summer wedding at the beach or in a field with wildflowers surrounding you. Getting married in the winter? Keep everything clean and rustic by simply lighting a few candles. Your wedding can still be beautiful without having to spend a lot of money on items that will just be wasted later. 

Get Your Guests Involved

One of the best ways to promote your eco-friendly passion is to make sure your guests are aware of the differences in your wedding. Instead of sending out paper invitations, send out digital ones. Ask your guests to make a donation to a worthy environmental cause in lieu of gifts. Or, instead of having your guests use disposable cameras at the wedding, send them a DropBox link or specific hashtag to use on their phones whenever they take pictures

Don’t be afraid to boast about the environmental friendliness of your wedding to your guests. It can inspire others to do the same and take note of how easy it is to make simple changes for the better. 

Your eco-friendly wedding doesn’t have to break the bank. If you set a budget, you can even use a credit card to make your purchases easier. But, know your limits and don’t allow yourself to go into debt. Because the eco-friendly movement is so popular right now, you shouldn’t have a hard time finding “green” alternatives to traditional wedding items at a comparable cost. 

When you’re committed to having an eco-friendly wedding, the experience of planning things out and deciding what you can do to better protect the planet is half the fun!

test image for this block