Yes, Even Your Wedding Can be Sustainable

Written By Alla Levin
July 31, 2023

Shotgun, taking the plunge, tying the knot. Whatever you call it, getting married can be a significant chapter in your life. But it costs time, money and can even cause environmental harm. The good news is that your wedding can be sustainable with as little harm to the environment as you like. Of course, this means foregoing some things, making small changes, and ditching some traditional things that most weddings typically use and guests will expect.

It can be hard to plan for these but don’t fret. Here are some helpful sustainable wedding tips.

Source Your Jewelry Well

Everyone knows the harm traditional precious metals and stones cause, which you won’t read about here. However, wedding and engagement rings aren’t the most sustainable; unless you use a service such as Fuller’s Jewelry & Diamonds, which sources their materials sustainably and ethically because not all vendors do. For instance, you may or may not have heard of “blood diamonds,” but let’s say people suffer for them.

Think About the Invitations

Sending out your wedding invitations can be one of the most exciting parts of the system because it makes it official. Of course, there are many materials you can use when sending these, and paper is the most common. Yet you can consider invitations made from recycled materials and ethically sourced. For example, you can even use paper made from bamboo or seeds. Seed paper will even sprout into a flower or plant when discarded in the soil.

Your Wedding Can be Sustainable with Charitieswedding can be sustainable

Registering for gifts is highly traditional in some countries and less so in others. It is meant to ensure you have a good start to marriage with the things you need. But more often than not, you will have all you need. So why not register for gifts that others will need? There are charities that will accept gifts and money to be used for good causes, such as supporting single mothers. Or you can sign guests up for environmental charities that plant trees for sustainable usage.

Book a LEED Venue

Figures from the Climate Care organization claim that an average wedding produces around 14.5 metric tonnes of carbon and waste. This is a massive figure considering a typical home will produce less than 10 in one year. Fortunately, you can greatly reduce this if you pay attention to the venue. LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) venues, such as modern sustainable hotels, are designed to be as green and sustainable as they possibly can be.

Use an Eco-Conscious Florist

The whole flower industry is making moves to become more sustainable all over the world. Flowers are often a major wedding centerpiece, from the bride’s bouquet to the table decor. You can find many sustainable florists online who can accommodate your wishes. But you can also use alternatives such as locally picked sustainable flowers or even flowers and herbs that can be taken home and used. And then there’s the good old compost container.

How to Find Sustainable Food

After the ceremony, your guests, and of course yourself, will be hungry. And that’s what people look forward to, really, is the food. But foods such as traditional buffets often cause a large amount of waste, meaning your wedding falls below your overall sustainability targets. It isn’t easy to plan an eco-friendly menu, but the extra work can go a very long way when it comes to the environment. If you are stuck for ideas, consider trying some of these out:

  • Plan your wedding menu around seasonally available food.
  • Hire local caterers who use local produce to cut transportation emissions.
  • Consider a fully vegan meal that is eco-friendly and doesn’t harm animals.
  • Rent dishware and glassware to avoid single-use plastic and other tools.
  • Consider cooking outside with alternative fuels to reduce carbon.
  • Have the caterer plan an exact amount of food to reduce food waste.
  • Source your wine from organic wineries with biodynamic bottles.

Of course, there are major considerations you need to make when choosing your menu. However, it helps to keep sustainability in the back of your mind, and even trying one of the above suggestions will help reduce your carbon contributions for a more eco-friendly wedding.

Make It a More Intimate Affair

Why spend more money on a huge wedding just for the numbers? Would it not be a better day surrounded by only those close to you in a smaller, more intimate setting? A smaller wedding has the potential to greatly cut your carbon emissions. However, it can be hard to decide who to invite and who to cut. It helps to make a list before sending out invites. Begin with close family and friends. Then leave the wider family and coworkers later, and cut the “plus one.”

Sustainable Wedding Dresses are a Thing

The fashion industry is notoriously bad for the environment, with a lot of waste and unethical ways of doing things. And this includes wedding dressmakers. However, some services offer sustainable wedding dresses that look just as stunning as any other. Some of these sustainable designers tend to lean more towards ethical manufacturing methods using eco-friendly materials. But of course, you can reuse a family wedding dress or buy it preloved.

Think How Your Wedding Can Be Sustainable with Travel

With 39% of carbon coming from cars that use an internal combustion engine, most of us would do well to look to cut this. And, of course, guests will travel to your wedding, contributing to the overall carbon output. But today, there are many options you can use when looking to cut carbon from travel alone. You can have guests picked up using a transport service. Or use transportation services with electric vehicles. And maybe reconsider a destination wedding.

Don’t Use Balloons

What’s a party without balloons? Well, it’s an eco-friendly one. Balloons are fun and can look stunning when done right. But they are very bad for the environment, made unsustainably, and can be eaten by animals. And the risks are made even worse if you choose floating balloons with candles inside. Lanterns like these are highly unpredictable and can cause fires if they veer off in the wrong direction into a dry and wooded area such as a local forest or public park.

Donate Anything That Is Left Over

A typical wedding has a lot left over. This includes flowers, wedding favors, and of course, food and drink. In many cases, the leftovers are unused, and there really is no reason to throw these away. You can donate anything that is left over from your wedding, and local charities will be glad to have them. Soup kitchens and food banks can make use of the food. At the same time, anything fun can go to children’s homes. And unused favors can be donated to some local charity stores.


Your wedding can be sustainable, and it doesn’t even take much. You only need to rethink a few things and make minor changes. For example, you should use an ethical jeweler for your wedding rings. But it can also help to adjust your food menu to be more eco-friendly. And when it comes to waste, there will probably be a lot. So how about donating anything left to local food, homeless, and children’s charities, where they can all be used for good causes?

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