How to Plan A Sustainable Wedding

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Getting married this summer? Try these tips for a more eco-friendly and sustainable wedding day…

Wedding season is upon us, and if you’re tying this knot this year, you may be wondering how to avoid some of the excess waste that comes with a traditional American wedding. Obviously you could just elope, but if that’s not your preference, there are still things you can do to make your wedding more sustainable – and save a pretty penny in the process!

From the food, to the dress, to the flowers, and more, there are lots of ways to have a greener and more sustainable wedding that respects the environment and adheres to eco-friendly principles.

Here are a few areas where you can really make a difference – and make your special day more special for the planet as well as yourself and your friends and family:

The dress

…The average wedding dress undergoes an extensive chemical dyeing process, often being made overseas with questionable labor practices, before it arrives in your local bridal boutique. And then you wear it for a day.

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Buying a dress secondhand is the most sustainable option…

The food

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…If you live in a major metropolitan area, then the chances are good that there’s an organic caterer in your midst. With the rise in awareness around ethics and environmental impact, there are more and more events companies popping up that specialize in “conscious” catering.

If that’s not an option, then removing meat from your menu alone will significantly reduce the footprint of your big day. If you try to source as much as you can locally, then you’ll be putting money back into your community and local economy.

The flowers

…Here is the secret solution to sustainable florals: Use succulents and cactuses.

Unlike cut flowers, which are usually grown with pesticides and imported from South America or Africa, succulent plant arrangements can be taken home and planted after your wedding. In lieu of wedding favors, you can tell your guests to take home the centerpieces. For the vases and glassware, try to rent them used so that they can be reused again. Or, go into your local charity shop like Goodwill and mix and match the glassware from their shelves for a dollar a piece.

If you can’t bear the idea of not having traditional flowers, then try to find blooms that were grown as close to where you live as possible, and make sure they’re pesticide and insecticide free.

The rings

Similar to wearing a secondhand dress, the most ethical and sustainable option for your rings are vintage or heirloom… The next time you’re in an antiques shop, peruse their rings. Even if the styles don’t look like anything you’d wear, a jeweler can extract the stone(s) and remold the metal to create a new ring out of reused materials. It should save you a significant amount of money, too.

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Read more about one woman’s experience planning her own sustainable wedding at MindBodyGreen.com

 

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