Sustainability is becoming a key consideration for more people. This is great news, as it is only through committed collaboration that we can avoid the worst consequences of climate change. It’s also important to recognize how caring for the environment isn’t just about adopting sporadic “green” activities. It’s important to find ways to incorporate sustainability into every area of life.
If you’re among those committed to making meaningful change, it may be the case you’re considering how to make your wedding more sustainable. The good news is that there are actually some relatively easy steps you can take to create an incredible wedding event that doesn’t harm the planet.
Let’s run down a few things you need to bear in mind when planning the ultimate sustainable wedding.
Outfits are a high priority in any wedding ceremony. The wedding dress has near-legendary status as part of the bride’s planning process. Indeed, the choices you make for your bridesmaids, groomsmen, and guests can affect the entire atmosphere of the event. It’s also important to make sure the outfit choices are sustainable.
This should begin with your consideration of the materials being used. There are an increasing number of companies specializing in bridal and groom outfits created from sustainable fabrics. Plant-based fibers such as bamboo, hemp, and linen can be good choices and are also biodegradable.
It’s not just the green status of the clothing you should consider. To be truly sustainable, you also need to think about the conditions under which clothes are manufactured. High street stores can be an accessible source for great outfits, but you should also do your due diligence. Look into the backgrounds of the companies to ensure they pay their suppliers and staff fairly and are not a party to abusive behavior.
Alongside your outfits, you can make the event more sustainable by involving your guests, too. Even if there is no dress code for your ceremony, it can be helpful to provide guests with some advice about what to wear to your wedding. Usually, this involves clarification on the definition of black tie or white tie, or even how formal they need to be at a beach or garden wedding. But it’s wise to explain your commitment to sustainability and offer some guidance about materials and even where to source them. Remember people are likely to be on a budget, so give a range of options, too.
Where you hold your wedding can impact the experience of the day for everyone. It’s certainly not necessary to choose the most expensive or lavish venue for it to be meaningful. Indeed, making the environment more personal to you as a couple can be more impactful. But it’s also vital to consider how your choice of surroundings can enhance the sustainability of your event.
If you’re hiring a room in a hotel, it’s important to talk to the managers about their sustainability practices. Ask about what methods of renewable energy they use. What are the recycling and waste disposal procedures for the space? It’s not rude or overstepping the mark to make inquiries about the choice of supply partners they use, either. This factors into their commitment to eco-friendly and ethical practices.
This can seem like a lot of up-front research, which can add a certain amount of stress. One way to mitigate this is by considering holding your wedding at your home or that of a close friend or family member. There are sustainable and budget-friendly ways you can transform a room to be a glamorous space. This could include sourcing and upcycling used furniture and adding a fresh coat of paint to the walls. Maximizing the natural light in the room by removing curtains and installing mirrors can also mean you reduce unnecessary energy consumption.
Guest and Vendor Behavior
Your actions in the run-up to your wedding will affect its ultimate sustainability. Nevertheless, it is not just you as the marrying couple who will make a difference. The behavior of your guests and vendors will play a role in how ethically and environmentally sound your wedding day is. Indeed, as they’re all coming together to celebrate you, you have a certain amount of responsibility for their actions. It’s important to do what you can to ensure they’re familiar with the high sustainability standards you hold for yourselves.
This is all about effective communication. Take the time to express to everyone involved why you are holding a sustainable wedding. You don’t need to be preachy about this. Rather, come from the perspective that you want to include them in having a better impact on the world around you. Even express how important it is to start your married life together on the most positive footing possible.
When sending out invitations, it can be wise to provide your guests with some suggested best practices for the day. Outline recommendations for carpooling with guests who live in the same areas. Offer lists of hotels and accommodation providers with good sustainability standards. If your ceremony takes place on a beach or in the woods, don’t be afraid to provide requests for responsible waste disposal and minimal disruption of wildlife.
Where vendors are concerned, you can be a little more prescriptive here. After all, you have hired them to provide a service. Talk to managers of the companies you’re working with about the standards of sustainable behavior you expect at your wedding. Make certain they and potentially your wedding planner reiterate guidance to service staff on the day. It can even be smart to have sustainability requirements built into the terms of service contracts.
Your wedding will be one of the most memorable days of your life, so it’s worth making sure it’s environmentally positive, too. This is more achievable than in previous years, with greater access to green outfit materials and venue choices. Often, the most important thing is to commit to communication on the matter. Make sure your guests, venue providers, and vendors know how vital these standards are to you. With some careful planning and collaboration, you can create an environmentally and ethically responsible wedding day.