These days, many couples are keeping sustainability in mind when planning their wedding. However, despite the popular belief that eco-friendliness requires a larger budget, there are countless ways to incorporate sustainable elements into your big day without having an extravagant budget. Here’s a quick guide to help you plan an eco-friendly wedding without blowing your budget.
It seems as though the vast majority of couples are opting for paperless invites and wedding registries. Many couples even create their own customized websites for guests to use as a point of reference to get all the wedding-related info they need. However, if you’re inviting older guests who may not be Internet savvy, it’s perfectly acceptable to invest in a few paper invitations. Just make sure they’re printed on recycled paper — today, more than one-third of new paper is made with recycled fiber, so it’ll be easier than ever to find invites that suit your stylistic preferences.
When choosing a venue and general atmosphere for your wedding, use nature to your advantage as much as you can. If you’re yearning for an outdoor wedding and have a friend with a beautiful backyard space, consider asking if they’d feel comfortable letting you have the wedding there. According to the Houzz’s 2016 Landscaping and Garden Trends Study, approximately 51% of homeowners report wanting pathways as a hardscaping element in their backyards, so any backyard with an abundance of both landscaping and hardscaping can create the perfect balance between beauty and sustainability. If you can handpick wildflowers for centerpieces and other wedding decor, even better! Don’t hesitate to be creative when it comes to incorporating the beauty of nature in both your ceremony and reception. In fact, OffbeatBride has an extremely unique idea for maximizing natural elements while minimizing waste: have your guests sit on hay bales instead of chairs, and afterward, leave them for goats to enjoy!
Over half (56%) of all brides are dedicated to providing excellent food at their wedding. Fortunately, it’s simple to make sure your wedding catering services are sustainably sourced. Opt for seasonal produce whenever possible, and try to source as much as you can from local vendors to cut down on the environmental costs of transportation. Many caterers pride themselves for exhibiting eco-friendly practices and use them as selling points, so it’s perfectly okay to take your time deciding on a catering service that has the same sustainable and eco-friendly values that you do.
Finally, wedding apparel is usually easy to repurpose or otherwise source sustainably. Many brides have been choosing to wear pre-owned gowns as opposed to buying them brand new. Some are even going the extra mile and using the fabric from a pre-owned dress to create an entirely new ensemble. Furthermore, an international study by Unilever revealed that one-third of consumers are now buying from brands based on their social and environmental impact, so if you do have your heart set on purchasing a brand new gown, make sure you do your homework on the company you’re giving your money to.
Ultimately, understanding the small yet significant changes you can make when planning your wedding is the best way to find the perfect balance between sustainability and affordability.