Sustainability is a hot topic nowadays, but is it possible to have a sustainable wedding?
Think about all the elements of a wedding and what goes into planning one. You’ll need plenty of decorations, rings, dresses, and food – it all adds up to a pretty unsustainable day. Granted, we intend to only get married once, so should we feel bad about this?
Well, it’s predicted that around 6,200 weddings happen every day in the US. That’s 2,263,000 weddings a year – and only in one country! When you think about it like this, you realize that everyone needs to focus on making their weddings more sustainable. If we have over 6,000 eco-friendly weddings a day, surely that’ll help the planet in some way?!
Every little helps – and you can start by using these top tips for a more sustainable wedding:
Buy lab-grown rings
Often, the most unsustainable part of a wedding is the jewelry you buy. You’ll need an engagement ring and wedding bands, both of which can be created using methods that aren’t eco-friendly at all.
Thankfully, many of the best places to buy engagement rings online will offer ethical options. More often than not, this comes in the form of lab-grown diamonds. Here, diamonds are grown in laboratories, negating the need to mine for them. It massively reduces the carbon footprint of your wedding rings and gives you peace of mind. If everyone switched to lab-grown wedding rings, we’d see massive improvements in sustainability.
Get married locally
Everyone loves the idea of a destination wedding where you jet off to a tropical country and get married in the sun. It sounds like a dream, but it’s not good for the environment at all. Alongside the general issues with weddings, you add travel emissions. Consider how many guests are traveling by plane to get to your wedding. Then, think about the car or bus travel to get to the destination in your chosen country.
Don’t get me wrong, destination weddings are fabulous and they look fantastic. But if you care about the environment, this is an idea you should avoid. Instead, try to get married locally. Get hitched somewhere that’s easy for people to get to so nobody has to travel far. There might be the odd person who has to make a long trip, but that’s better than a hundred people all traveling on different flights to a wedding!
Keep your wedding small
It’s incredibly tempting to invite as many people as possible to your wedding. You’re about to experience pure joy, and you want all of your friends and family to witness this. Unfortunately, the bigger the wedding, the less sustainable it will be.
You’ll need more food, more materials, and a larger venue – these things all add up to more carbon emissions being created because of your wedding. Having a small and intimate wedding is a much better option. To be honest, it’s better in general, not just with sustainability in mind. You’ll save money, but you’ll also get to share this special moment with the people who mean the most to you in the world. Everyone there is a close friend or family member, which makes the whole event feel more personal.
Reduce waste wherever possible
Waste is a huge problem at weddings, especially on the food side of things. A study from a UK grocery store found that 10% of wedding food is wasted. People rarely eat all of the food on their plate and the wedding cake is often far bigger than it needs to be. It leads to so much food being thrown away, which is terrible for the planet – and also a waste of money.
Try to think of ways to reduce food waste at your wedding. Again, a smaller wedding helps as it’s easier to cater to your guests and avoid over-making food. Don’t forget about other forms of waste too. Try your best to use recyclable materials throughout your wedding celebration. This refers to decorations – or at least use decorations that you can use again at other events – as well as anything else you might buy specifically for this day. If you can reduce waste at the end of the wedding, you’ll know you’ve done a great job of being sustainable.
It’s impossible to put on a wedding that’s 100% sustainable, but that doesn’t mean you should let loose. As a society, we should do whatever we can to help the planet, especially in situations where it’s easy to go overboard. Use the tips in this post to put on the greenest wedding possible.