If there's ever a time to be extravagant, it's your wedding day. Lavish decorations, an abundance of flowers, a gorgeous cake, and a grand reception make up a large part of the planning of traditional celebrations. As a person of faith, however, you may be concerned with how your choices affect the planet and all the life it sustains. Here are some tips for having a beautiful, sustainable wedding that honors both your commitment to your partner and the environment.
Say Yes to the Sustainable Dress
Many people wear the clothing they choose for their weddings only once. Then it is stored in a box or in the closet as a keepsake. While this practice is an accepted tradition, it's not very eco-conscious. If you are wearing a tuxedo, you may be able to rent one for the day, and there are places that also rent simple wedding dresses. Borrowing what you wear for your special day is a perfectly acceptable practice.
However, there are also ways to keep your dress and lessen its impact on the environment at the same time. There are many companies that make sustainable dresses that are open about their environmental responsibility. They typically use organic or recycled materials to make the garment, and they recycle scraps created during the process to reduce waste. They often also ensure that the workers who craft each gorgeous creation are paid a fair wage and have safe working conditions.
Choose Eco-Friendly Stationery and Decor
When you decide on the list of people with whom you want to share your wedding day, the next step is inviting them. Wedding invitations typically use a lot of paper, though. Instead of traditional options, choose invitations made from recycled materials. Better yet, send digital invitations, complete with a link or QR code that takes guests directly to your wedding website where they can RSVP and find all the information they need about your event.
You don't have to sacrifice beauty for sustainability. Instead of cut flowers, consider using potted plants as centerpieces. Alternatively, skip the flowers altogether. Not only will your guests with allergies be grateful, but you can make lovely decorations with items that you can later use to decorate your home:
- Mason jars
- Picture frames
Incorporate Guests Into Protecting the Planet
Any caterer can tell you that a big wedding often means a lot of food waste. While you may not be able to eliminate loss completely, all it takes is a little extra planning to minimize it as much as possible. Start by choosing menu items that can be easily stored and used later. Discuss options with your caterer for either donating leftover food or otherwise redistributing it to guests to avoid having to throw it away.
You may also consider serving a plant-based menu. Eating less meat is good for the environment, and guests will likely not even miss it when they see the delicious vegetarian options you offer.
Finally, you can lighten the impact consumer culture has on the earth by asking guests to donate to one of your favorite environmental charities in lieu of bringing gifts. Some traditionalists who were raised to always bring a gift when they come to a party may balk at the idea, but many will be grateful not only for the opportunity to use the money they set aside for your gift for a good cause but also for the chance to skip having to make a decision about what to get you.
Your wedding day will probably be one of the most important days of your life. It makes perfect sense for it to reflect your values and your concern for the world around you.