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  • Writer's pictureLydia Mattern

Zero-Waste Wedding Ideas for an Eco-Friendly Wedding

Do you want to have an eco-friendly wedding that is good for the environment? Zero waste weddings are possible, but they take detailed planning from the start. Here’s how to cut down the waste for the main elements of your wedding.

Zero Waste Wedding Invitations

Having a completely eco-friendly, zero waste wedding starts from the moment you invite your guests to your big day. Consider printing your wedding invitations on recycled paper for an eco-friendly route to a traditional wedding invite. Or, to be completely zero-waste, use paperless wedding invitations. There are a variety of options for beautiful, classy, and aesthetically pleasing digital wedding invitations.

Speaking of wedding guests, the smaller your guest list the less amount of waste your wedding will naturally produce. Consider having a micro-wedding that includes all the traditional elements of a wedding on a smaller scale.

Zero Waste Wedding Venue

Whether you choose an indoor or outdoor wedding venue, it can be eco-friendly. If outdoors, choose a naturally beautiful setting where nature is your backdrop and your decoration. Lake Tahoe is an ideal wedding location for zero waste weddings. However, if you aren’t local to the area, it is best to stay close to home rather than plan a destination wedding. Doing so reduces emissions from traveling via airplane or car, and having your guests travel as well.

Choosing an indoor venue that includes many of the rentals you need, such as tables and chairs, is also an eco-friendly option because these items are reused. Lastly, a non-conventional wedding venue, such as your parent’s home or a public park is a sustainable option.

Zero Waste Wedding Decor

A beautiful wedding doesn’t need a plethora of decor. Consider which pieces are necessary and which are not. For example, if you choose tables with a nice natural finish, you won’t need additional table coverings.

For an eco-friendly wedding, choose reusable decor. Your house is likely decorated in a style you like, so start by using what you already have to bring your wedding venue to life. To keep the romantic vibes alive in zero-waste fashion, consider these chic alternative decor options:

  • Cute mismatched napkins and linens from thrift stores

  • Matching napkins created from recycled material

  • Organic, confetti made from cut-up dried roses, lavender, and sunflower petals

  • Beeswax candles that don’t emit harmful chemicals

  • Thrift store photo frames for photo booth props

  • Edible flowers for food and drinks used as decor elements

Zero Waste Wedding Food

Zero waste wedding ideas

Choose local vendors for a farm-to-table fresh wedding. By doing so, you can ensure your food options are organic and eco-friendly while supporting small and local businesses at the same time.

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for there to be a lot of leftover food and cake at a wedding, which creates a lot of waste. The first way to combat this is to talk with your caterer to ensure only the needed amount of food is being prepared. If there is still leftover food, make a plan ahead of time to donate any leftovers to a nearby charity or food shelter.

To serve your food and drinks, use reusable dinnerware. Gathering a variety of thrift store mugs, for example, is not only zero-waste but depending on your wedding budget and guest count, you can gift these cups as wedding favors that guests can take home with them at the end of the night.

Another option is to choose compostable products that can be easily recycled into clearly marked compost bins. This goes for the plates, silverware, and napkins you choose as well. Go with compostable or reusable options to keep your wedding eco-friendly.

Zero Waste Wedding Attire

Most brides only wear their wedding dress once. The same is true for bridesmaid’s dresses. They are often only worn on the wedding day before spending the rest of their life in the back of a closet. Here are some zero waste wedding attire ideas:

  1. Choose your wedding attire from an eco-friendly brand

  2. Purchase a second-hand wedding dress. Because it’s likely only been worn once, it will be nearly brand new for you

  3. Opt for non-traditional wedding attire and choose an outfit you already have or purchase one you actually will wear again––let your wedding party do the same

You can also encourage your wedding guests to wear zero-waste wedding attire by encouraging them to wear their favorite outfit in their closest on your special day.

Zero Waste Wedding Florals

Compostable florals from a local farm are the way to go for a sustainable wedding. By partnering with a local florist to use seasonal blooms for your wedding design, you reduce emissions caused by shipping flowers overseas.

Another fabulous way to minimize floral waste is to use live, potted plants and herbs as your wedding centerpieces. This brings a unique, earthy vibe to your wedding, and the plants can be used as decor and party favors.

Lastly, consider donating your leftover florals to a local hospital or senior center to brighten someone else’s day.

Zero Waste Wedding Party Gifts

Zero waste wedding ideas

From reusable cups to house plants, you can gift your wedding party with practicable gifts. For more ideas, see if the local farm you are using for catering has consumable gift options such as local honey or olive oil. Or, choose practical items from eco-friendly brands, such as handmade soaps or lotions.

Zero Waste Wedding Registry Gifts

Speaking of gifts, you can encourage your guests to get in the spirit of zero waste with your wedding registry. Many stores and registries offer the option of an electronic gift card. Or, if you feel you already have enough things, consider using a charitable wedding registry like Justgiving where your wedding guests can donate to the non-profit of your choice. Many local charity organizations can also help you set up the option for your guests to donate in honor of your wedding.

Plan Your Zero Waste Wedding with Epic Thyme

Your wedding is already a special day, but you can make it even more meaningful by caring for the planet as you celebrate. If you are interested in planning an eco-friendly, sustainable wedding, contact us today!

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