11 Simple and Easy Ways to Host an Eco-Friendly Wedding

A bride and groom standing in an orchard.

It’s so important to be kind to our planet in as many aspects of our lives as possible, and weddings are no exception to that rule. There are so many creative and simple ways to make your wedding eco-friendly, aiding in the effort to keep the earth a great place to live.

1. Shop for Ethical Rings

A bride hands holding a bouquet and wearing a wedding ring set.

Unfortunately, it’s so easy to unknowingly buy a wedding ring that is not ethically sourced. Do your research to buy rings with diamonds, gemstones, and metals that are ethically sourced. Even better, invest in a vintage ring or estate jewelry or pass down these special items instead of shopping for something new.

2. Be Thoughtful with Stationery

Wedding stationery can use quite a bit of paper, so be thoughtful about this. Try not to have a lot of paper goods at your wedding. This can include menus, programs, and escort cards. If you do use paper, ensure it’s recyclable and have recycling bins at the ready.

3. Host Your Wedding Outdoors to Save on Energy Usage

A wedding ceremony location set up with an arch of roses in front of palm trees.

Hosting your wedding, or even part of it, outdoors is a great way to enjoy this beautiful planet. Plus, it’s an easy way to make your wedding more green; for instance, taking advantage of natural light cuts down on the energy your event uses, which is great for the environment!

4. Go Farm-to-Table for Your Reception Menu

For the meal at your reception, choose a farm-to-table caterer and menu to do something not only earth-friendly, but delicious. While this may cost a little bit more than standard catering, it goes a long way in sustainability and is sure to help support local farmers in your community.

5. Utilize Rentals Instead of Disposables

A table setting at a wedding reception with candles and blue glassware.

Rental items that are used again and again are much more sustainable than opting for single-use items that will be thrown out after your event. This includes utensils, linens, plates, cups, and decor.

6. Choose Outfits and Accessories Your Bridal Party Will Be Able to Wear Again and Again

While this may seem like an odd tip, putting your bridesmaids, groomsmen, and other people from your bridal party in outfits they’re guaranteed to wear after your wedding is over is one way to be sustainable. Everything from their dresses to their accessories should be something that they’ll wear time and time again, making the purchases as economical and meaningful as possible.

7. Serve Alcohol in Bulk

A wedding guest being served a cocktail in a crystal glass.

Instead of having the bar serve guests beer in bottles, have kegs at your event to cut down on overall trash and recycling. Also, ask guests to use only one cup rather than getting a fresh one every time they finish a drink. Avoid using plastic cups and instead use glass or paper options.

8. Donate to a Charity in Lieu of Favors

Instead of giving your guests wedding favors that are likely to be forgotten on the tables, let guests know that you donated to a charity in lieu of favors. Put signage up about this to let them know which charity you chose, and why! You can even pick an environmental charity to make your wedding that much more eco-friendly!

9. Let Candles Light the Way Instead of Electricity

White candles in glass containers on stairs at a wedding.

Have an abundance of candles at your wedding not only for the romantic ambiance, but to cut down on the use of electricity and lights at your event.

10. Donate Leftover Food

If possible, work with your venue and/or caterer to donate leftover food to a local soup kitchen, shelter, firehouse, etc. This will cut down on waste and is a great way to support those in need. Another item to donate after your wedding is your flower arrangements—these can go to use in a senior care center or hospital rather than just being thrown away.

11. Use Alternatives to Rice or Confetti for Your Grand Reception Exit

A bride and groom exiting their wedding reception with guests holding sparklers.

Many couples opt for a special exit from their ceremony or reception that looks beautiful and makes for a great photo-op. However, throwing things like rice or confetti is bad for the environment and can be harmful to local wildlife. Instead, have guests throw dried flowers, flower petals, or herbs. This gives the same effect in an earth-friendly way.

There are so many ways to make your wedding eco-friendly from start to finish. Even the smallest of efforts can have large ramifications in helping to save the planet.

Find Amazing Vendors