We’ve heard it since we were kids, and now we hear it more than ever: reduce, reuse, recycle. Many couples are dedicated to protecting and preserving the environment, and they want their wedding to reflect that. Luckily, any wedding can be eco-friendly and beautiful, without having to skimp on the details.
Our event specialists at Crystal Gardens Banquet Center made a list of eco-friendly wedding tips that you can implement quickly and easily in your wedding plans. From re-purposing with reusable décor, to natural and sustainable foods, and biodegradable utensils, we have a long list of ways you can have the green wedding of your dreams.
Keep Things Biodegradable
For a more casual reception, use biodegradable serveware, opt for organic cotton linen napkins, and use recycled glass candle-holders or mason jar cups. Our staff will work with you to set-up a disposal system to recycle containers, cans, and bottles, and a compost bin for the biodegradable items (think fruits, vegetables, and plants, too.) Hang cute reminder signs for guests to make sure they properly dispose of everything!
Remember to Rent
You can still be eco-friendly without having to purchase biodegradable items, or only use disposable ones – look for opportunities to rent instead! There are many vendors that rent elegant and non-disposable linens, plates, and utensils. Most of the time, cleaning and washing are included in the rental fee.
Use nature for your decorations
You can use things like reclaimed (or natural) wood, pine cones, and sea shells. You can even use fruit—apples and cranberries in vases are a bridal favorite. Incorporate some greenery, like ferns, wild flowers, moss, or succulents.
Visit some thrift stores, flea markets, and garage sales. You’d be surprised what you can find that can be reused as wedding treasures—for decorations, dresses, rings, picture frames, vases, mirrors and signs…really, anything!
Use local vendors
The easiest way to cut down on your carbon footprint is by using as many local resources as possible. Buy local and in-season flowers, and search for the best local food vendors by visiting food co-ops, farmers markets, and health stores. If you hire a caterer, you can research their practices to make sure they are eco-friendly. You can find a local vendor for just about anything—we have a whole list of local vendors we recommend to our clients.
Cut-back on the paper
When you think about it, there’s a lot of paper involved in wedding planning: save-the-dates, invitations and response cards, envelops, programs, menus, thank-you cards…that’s a lot of waste! Work with a designer and printer that uses natural and recycled paper. Use your wedding website to allow guests to RSVP online, see accommodations, and get directions—anything that doesn’t need to be printed.
Some people say that sending an e-invitation isn’t the most romantic and personal way to invite guests to a wedding, but it’s becoming more and more popular in the digital age. Consider it to support your environmentally-friendly wedding plans—it takes a lot of work out of things for you, too!
Even your lighting can be eco-friendly
Keep things intimate and romantic while reducing the use of electricity, by lighting up your reception space with candles. Put them in lanterns, vases, on candlesticks…get creative! You can even use stringed lights to avoid the use of overhead lighting.
Extend the life of your flowers
Your flowers aren’t going to die after one day, so let them live beyond the big celebration. You can give them to guests as a thank you, or donate them to a hospital, shelter, nursing home, or any other deserving organization. Or check out innovative companies like Rebloom, who resells your florals and gives a large portion of the proceeds to the charity of your choice. You can even skip the cut flowers and use beautiful planted blooms.
Don’t forget about the table details
Skip the table cloths to avoid laundering, which wastes more energy than you would think. Go classic and rustic by keeping things bare with polished wood, or strips of eco-friendly burlap or hemp as table runners. Make your escort cards, place cards, or centerpieces into something guests can take home as wedding favors—like little potted plants.
Crystal Gardens Banquet Center is dedicated to helping environmentally-conscious couples plan the green wedding of their dreams, without overlooking the most important and special details. If you want to hear more about how we can help you plan and host your eco-friendly wedding, contact us by email, or at 877.545.1002.