15 Epic Ways To Have A Sustainable Wedding Celebration

eco friendly wedding planners


Konstantina Antoniadou

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If you are a soon-to-be bride or groom on a mission to have the most sustainable wedding celebration, this one is for you! 

From choosing an ethical engagement ring that reflects your unique style and finding the perfect eco-friendly wedding venue to the search for that sustainable gown, the checklist is rather long. 

Unfortunately, the environmental impact of saying ‘I do’ is extreme. According to research in The Green Bride Guide, the average wedding produces 400 lbs (200kg) of garbage and 63 tons of CO2. 

To put this into perspective, it’s the same amount of CO2 emissions as 5 people would in an entire year! That’s A LOT of waste for a single day! 

But don’t you worry. The SKL team has created a full guide to help you have the most eco-friendly wedding that will check off all your boxes. Let’s begin!

Eco friendly wedding ideas

The Ultimate Guide to Having a Sustainable Wedding!

Ah, weddings – there’s something truly enchanting about witnessing the beginning of a new chapter, the vows exchanged, and the joy of the first dance.

I confess, I absolutely adore weddings. And I’m not just talking about the flowers, the dress, or the venue. I’m a sucker for witnessing the beauty of love itself at its peak.

That being said, traditional weddings have a not-so-rosy side that needs to be addressed.

The sheer volume of waste generated during weddings is hard to believe. Invitations, single-use decorations, disposable tableware, plastic-packed party favors, and elaborate floral arrangements.

Every single thing requires resource-intensive production processes and transportation, which plays a huge role in the environmental impact of weddings. 

Shockingly, 400 pounds of garbage are produced by a typical wedding ceremony.

Now, I know the words “sustainable” and “wedding” might sound like they belong to different planets, but bear with me. Turns out, it’s way easier than you’d think to make your big day a little friendlier to Mother Earth.

Read on to find eco-conscious ideas, including green wedding decorations for the reception, ethical engagement rings, and eco-wedding favours every eco bride will love.

Best Sustainable Wedding Ideas for Eco-Conscious Couples:

1. Ethical Engagement Rings from Conflict-Free Brands

sustainable wedding ideas

Brilliant Earth, the ethical jewelry trailblazer that has stolen the hearts of countless soon-to-be brides (including me!), does things a bit differently. 

Instead of settling for the limitations of “conflict-free” under the Kimberley Process, they offer Beyond Conflict Free™ diamond engagement rings

All diamonds are traceable with industry-leading Blockchain technology. This way, the brand securely tracks the gemstone’s origin to the source.

Currently, they offer a whopping 8 thousand natural diamond options and 3 thousand sustainably rated lab-grown diamond options.

But if you can’t find something you truly love, Brilliant Earth is also ready to design your own diamond ring from scratch! 

Our Favorites from Brilliant Earth:

2. Choose Earth-Friendly Invitations or Go Digital

how to plan a sustainable wedding

For sustainable wedding invitations, you’ve got two fantastic options: Recycled paper or going all digital. 

Many brands print amazing designs on 100% post-consumer recycled paper. You can even make a custom order with your own designs.

Now, if you’re more of a tech-savvy couple (hello, 21st century!), the most eco-friendly option is to choose digital invitations.

Think about it – no trees sacrificed, no ink spills, just a click away from spreading the joy.

You can get as creative as you want with designs and the best part? No postage, no waste, and your invites can be as dynamic as your love story.

Digital or Earth-Friendly Invite Options:

3. Discover Secondhand Wedding Dress Shops

how to have a sustainable wedding

Seriously, why not give a gorgeous wedding dress a second chance at love, extending its lifecycle and diverting it from the landfill? 

There are dozens of marketplaces, companies, and individuals that offer dazzling 1950s vintage wedding dresses. 

You can also find 30s as well as beautiful 1960s and 1970s bridal gowns.

If you lean towards minimalism, go with a simple, silk maxi dress or a pre-owned wedding jumpsuit. The choices are endless.

Our Favorite Brands For Secondhand Wedding Dresses:

4. Support Sustainable Wedding Dress Brands

sustainable wedding invitations

I totally get it, you’ve been daydreaming about that show-stopping dress, right?

Why go to a huge retailer when you can simply support one of the many amazing, sustainable wedding dress brands? 

These skilled designers create gowns by hand using responsibly sourced, eco materials that look and feel amazing. 

Whether you’re looking for something romantic, something minimalistic, or an extra special gown for free-spirited brides, the companies below will help you say “I do” to a dress that aligns with your values.

Our Top Picks For Sustainable Wedding Dresses:

5. Use Natural Organic Makeup

sustainable wedding venues

Sure, every eco bride dreams of that flawless, radiant look.

Take it from me and my chemical-sensitive skin, you can totally achieve that picture-perfect glow while being kind to the planet by opting for natural, organic makeup. 

Companies like RMS and Ilia Beauty choose cruelty-free, certified organic ingredients to create lipstick, foundations, concealers, bronzers and so much more. 

So, whether it’s the dewy glow, the subtle lip color, or the smoky eyes you’re dreaming of, there’s a world of sustainable beauty waiting for you.

Our Favorite Natural Organic Makeup Brands:

6. Host A Micro Wedding

green wedding decorations for reception

We don’t support trends, but the “micro wedding” craze is a trend we can get behind.

When we think of weddings, we often picture grand affairs with a gazillion guests, but a micro wedding is the cool, intimate alternative that’s as heartwarming as it is sustainable.

If you decide to plan a sustainable wedding like this one, you get to curate a list of your nearest and dearest – the ones who’ve been with you through thick and thin. 

You can actually have conversations with everyone, share laughter, and create memories that feel authentic and heartfelt.

Plus, you won’t spend a fortune on 300+ eco-friendly wedding favors, invitations, etc.

7. Choose Your Venue Wisely & Get Married Outside

Eco friendly wedding ideas

Luckily for us, there are dozens of sustainable wedding venues ready to host your special day.

But, for me, exchanging vows surrounded by the beauty of nature, with the sun kissing your cheeks is the dreamiest of all scenarios. 

Outdoor venues, whether it’s a garden, a beach, or a picturesque meadow, come with their own built-in charm. 

No need for excessive lighting, heating, or air conditioning – you’re tapping into the planet’s natural resources. 

8. Support Fairtrade Flower Florists

Sustainable wedding decor

Flowers are one of the most disposable items in a wedding. 

Sadly, most companies ship those beautiful blooms from overseas.

In addition to the huge environmental impact of flower deliveries, we can’t have a clear picture of the working conditions or the chemical usage. 

Ethically sourced flowers from fair trade flower florists guarantee that the farmers and workers involved in growing and harvesting the flowers are treated fairly.

Plus, they offer a variety of unique and seasonal flowers that you might not find in your standard bouquet.

9. DIY Ceremony & Reception Decor

sustainable wedding planner

Granted, not everyone is a DIY expert. But, if you are willing to get creative, why not create your own green wedding decorations for the reception? 

This can include DIY sustainable wedding favours and table decor.

Think of handmade centerpieces, personalized signage, and crafted details that reflect your love story. 

From handmade signs directing your guests to personalized table numbers that tell your story, the ideas are truly endless. 

DIY Ceremony & Reception Decor Tutorials:

10. Give Edible Wedding Favors

eco friendly wedding favors

If you want to make sure that your eco-friendly wedding favors are as sustainable as possible, take the edible route. 

Whether it’s artisanal chocolates, homemade cookies, or jars of local honey, there’s a good chance your guests will love them and, most importantly, consume them. 

Plus, edible favors often come with less packaging waste compared to other types of favors and also offer a world of possibilities for personalization. 

Just make sure to take into consideration any potential allergies.

11. Eco Wedding Menu

nature weddings

Did you know that most wedding waste is caused by the food we pick?

Opting for locally sourced, seasonal ingredients for your menu is the best way to support local farmers, reduce the carbon footprint associated with transportation, and make sure that your guests are served the freshest dishes.

P.S. To make sure that all guests are happy, consider offering plant-based food alongside traditional offerings. 

12. Ethical Wedding Bands From Ethical Jewelers

eco friendly wedding flowers

Much like engagement rings, ethical wedding bands come in a variety of styles, from classic to contemporary. 

From diamond-adorned silver bands to textured styles made of recycled gold, the options are dazzling, to say the list.

You already know how dirty the jewelry industry is. For example, extracting a kilogram of diamonds contributes approximately 800,000 kg of CO2e.

If that wasn’t enough the diamond industry is responsible for human rights abuses and suffering. 

That’s why we’ll fovered advocate for conflict-free diamonds, and lab-grown diamonds for certified ethical and transparent brands. 

Our Top Picks For Ethical Wedding Bands:

13. Charitable Donations Instead Of Gifts

eco friendly wedding decorations

If you want to host a sustainable wedding with a heartwarming cause, here’s an idea: Rather than a stack of traditional gifts, your guests can contribute to causes close to your hearts. 

Whether it’s environmental conservation, education, or healthcare, choose a charity that reflects your values as a couple. 

Imagine how inspiring this would be for everyone involved. 

14. Plan A Eco Honeymoon Getaway

eco bride

What I love most about hosting intimate, eco-friendly wedding celebrations is the amount of money couples can save for their honeymoon. 

Ok, picture this: Your first getaway as a married couple, surrounded by the beauty of nature in a luxurious eco-resort that prioritizes conservation, responsible tourism, and sustainable practices. 

From a secluded eco-lodge nestled in the rainforest to a charming sustainable resort by the beach, the options are endless. I’m already jealous!

15. Donate Unwanted Decor & Food

sustainable wedding favours

Even in the most eco-friendly celebrations, waste is inevitable. 

So, why not donate your sustainable wedding decor and food leftovers to local charities and organizations instead of tossing them into the bin? 

Your decor may brighten up another event, and your food can nourish those who may not have had a chance to indulge in such delights.

This was your full guide to a gorgeous eco-friendly wedding!

We hope this guide helped get all the inspiration you need to host a sustainable wedding that is memorable, intimate, and beautifully unique.

It’s no secret that the wedding industry leaves a significant environmental footprint that impacts ecosystems, communities, and resources. From the resources needed for the manufacturing of the wedding dress to the decor and food choices, the list goes on. 

With just a few simple choices like opting for eco-friendly wedding flowers, picking sustainable wedding venues, and managing food waste, we can easily reduce waste, and carbon emissions and have the big day we’ve always wanted.

This post was graciously sponsored by Brilliant Earth. As always, we only work with brands that we stand behind. Would you like to sponsor one of our sustainable round-ups? Contact us here.

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