How to plan a low waste wedding

Photo by Samantha Gades on Unsplash

There is still a lot of uncertainty around planning events such as weddings this year, but the situation is looking more promising by the day.

From dresses and dances to readings and rings, there is so much involved in planning your dream wedding. With so many products and services to choose from, it can be overwhelming when brides and grooms start to plan their special event, but even more so when you want it to be as environmentally friendly as possible.

Thankfully, there are a number of ways you can plan a low waste wedding and still have the wedding of your dreams.

Food for thought

Catering is a major part of any event, and especially for a wedding with so many guests to feed. One of the best ways to reduce waste is to serve plated dinners, but if you do opt for a buffet, you can ask your caterer about saving leftovers or donating the surplus to a food bank or homeless shelter.

Try to avoid using plastic or disposable materials wherever you can – plastic cutlery and paper plates may seem like a good idea for an outdoors buffet, for example, but it’s far better for the planet to use reusable items instead.

It might surprise you to learn, as one guide to sustainable weddings points out, that one wedding can produce as much as 20kg of plastic waste!

Recycle, reuse and reinvent

Reusing existing materials for your wedding can be kind both to the environment and to your wallet.

Getting a vintage or second-hand dress can be a great eco option, as well as hiring decorations instead of buying them outright.

If you want to use balloons or confetti, choose biodegradable ones to reduce the need for one-use plastic goods.

You may even be able to find things in your home to use as decoration, or ask your friends and family if they can donate anything – especially if they have recently tied the knot themselves!

Ditch the paper

Invitations and save the dates are key components of any wedding, but going paperless can significantly reduce waste.

Sending emails or using a wedding website for your invitations means guests can RSVP straight away, plus it is a lot more convenient for you to have them all in one place online.

Alternatively, there are many companies that now use biodegradable materials or recycled paper, and some even plant a tree for every order they receive.

Instead of using paper place cards that inevitably get thrown away, you could also use wedding favours that double as placeholders.

Small details like these can add up to a lot of waste, so this can be an easy way to reduce your wastage.

Gift registry

Photo by Yomex Owo on Unsplash

One simple way of reducing waste at your wedding is to ask your guests to send presents online. There are so many websites to choose from that will allow your loved ones to send you a virtual gift, reducing the need for wrapping paper, tags and cards.

Better yet, if you really don’t need any more stuff, ask your guests for gift vouchers or a contribution to your honeymoon fund. You could even request that they make a donation to a charity instead, especially foundations which focus on environmental welfare.

There’s nothing worse than getting a present you don’t need – it’s a waste of money from the point of view of the buyer, and for the planet it’s yet another bit of unwanted waste. By asking your guests to contribute to something specific instead, they’ll be glad to know their present is making a difference!

While it may seem daunting when you first start planning a wedding, there are actually so many ways you can reduce your wastage without sacrificing the important things. Small changes add up, and while you may not even notice the difference, the planet certainly will.

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