Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Here’s How to Plan a Zero-Waste Wedding on a Budget


You can make your dream wedding come to life without harming mother nature. A zero-waste wedding is one of the biggest and most helpful trends in modern nuptials. Here’s how to plan one.

Concerns about sustainability and the high risk of global warming have brought us this new type of union, and everyone loves it. If you’re part of the nearly wed wagon who wants to help mother nature without compromising the elegance of the big day, here are the best ways to plan a zero-waste wedding. A plus? It’s budget-friendly, too!

Wedding Planning

  • Choose an elopement that will reduce your waste to nearly nothing as well as save you money.
  • Hire local vendors to save on extra fees that include gas and mileage.
  • Consider hiring a zero-waste wedding planner and vendors with the same values as you.
  • Having a smaller, intimate wedding means a smaller carbon footprint with fewer decorations, flowers, and food waste.
  • Rent what you can rent instead of buying brand new items you can only use one time.

Wedding Invitations

  • Opt for e-cards instead of the traditional paper wedding invitation.
  • Create custom wedding invitations and send them through email where your guests can print them out if they choose.
  • Use soy-based inks and recycled paper so it’s less damaging to the environment.
  • You can use an invitation with seeds embedded in the paper so your receivers can plant their invitation and watch the flowers grow.
Wedding venue
Wedding venue, courtesy Carlo Buttinoni | Unsplash

Wedding Theme

  • You can have a minimalist wedding theme.
  • Have a greenery wedding theme like a eucalyptus wedding, so it’s in touch with mother nature.
  • Choose a colour motif that is easy to find and available in thrift shops.
  • Make sure to choose a theme that’s not too extravagant.

Wedding Venue

  • Book a venue where you don’t need to decorate too much.
  • Look for a venue that uses renewable energy to add to the sustainability badge.
  • You can book the ceremony and reception at the same venue.
  • Find a venue that promotes reduction, reuse, and recycling.
  • It’s better to have a wedding in a beautiful garden, so you don’t need to put too many decorations.
Wedding cake
Wedding cake, courtesy Photos by Lanty | Unsplash

Wedding Food

  • You can plan a locally-grown menu, like having farm-grown products served on the table, which reduces transport emissions.
  • Use real utensils, metalware, or wood to avoid using disposable plastics.
  • Use cloth napkins instead of tissue paper.
  • Go for buffet-style dining instead of plated meals as some people are picky eaters, which means more food wasted if they don’t finish off their plate.
  • Not everyone wants a piece of the wedding cake, so it’s best to keep it in a medium size and on a table where anyone can take a piece whenever they want.
  • You can skip the champagne toast altogether, but if you want one, have another option where everyone can drink the liquid-like juices of the guests’ choice.
  • Ask your caterer or food service provider to compost and recycle the event’s garbage. You can even help them find an organization where you can donate the compost.
  • Never serve single-serve packets. Instead, have a jar of condiments where the guests could do a self-service on how much they need.

Wedding Dresses and Suits

  • Look for a fabric that aligns with sustainability, like bamboo, recycled polyester, soy cashmere/silk, industrial hemp, and sustainable cotton.
  • If you really want to go the extra mile, you can challenge everyone to wear their favourite dress from their wardrobe.
  • You can also purchase a second-hand wedding dress or upcycle an old one. Go to thrift shops for this one.
  • Here’s another idea: have the bridesmaids and groomsmen wear whatever they want as long as it’s on the same colour motif.
Outdoor table setting
Outdoor table setting | Rachel Claire | Pexels

Wedding Favours

  • Give eco-friendly wedding favours to your guests, such as tote bags, soaps, soy candles and bath salts.
  • Since it’s about zero-waste, having succulent plants or flower seeds for the guests to grow in their garden is a great option.
  • You can also present edible favours like homemade jams, coffee blends, organic tea blends, and secret herbs and spices.
  • Want something that’s not physical yet everyone will love? How about a coupon for a relaxing day in a local spa studio or a free movie ticket with the movie they want to watch?
  • Or, you can skip wedding favours altogether. Your guests will understand as no favours mean zero waste too.

Zero-waste doesn’t mean shabby when you follow the helpful wedding tips above.

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