Whether you’re a fan of travel, fashion, art, or interiors everywhere you look, the word on everyone’s lips is sustainability. The focus on shifting towards sustainability isn’t just a trend though, it is a thoughtful, important approach to living that will be with us for the long haul. As we all look for ways to make our daily lives more sustainable it seems only logical to include the biggest day of your life in your eco-conscious efforts.
It’s important to remember that you don’t have to sacrifice style and luxury for sustainability - there’s something sustainable for everyone! We’ve included five of our favorite tips for taking a sustainable approach to your big day, but the options are truly limitless; so much so, that we've included an comprehensive guide to fully sustainable weddings.
One of the easiest ways to limit your wedding day waste is through your favors. Single use packaging is often a huge component of favors, so try to find other unique ways to gift these items to your guests. Think about their purpose after the wedding day as well. Functionality is key!
Gone are the days of meaningless tchotchkes! Shop local and buy things people can use. If your wedding locale is known for something special, source local items like honey, coffee, or popcorn from nearby vendors. It’s easy to fall into the trap of bulk buying favors from huge, international companies, but small scale places often provide things that are more unique, and thus less likely to be left out of your guests’ bags as they pack up after the wedding. The added bonus is that you know your money was well spent rather than seeing loads of items left behind on the tables at the end of the night.
The Wedding Gown
Finding the perfect wedding gown is one of the most important decisions a bride has to make. Before saying yes to the dress, we encourage you to take a look at some of the incredible designers who have found a way to make gorgeous gowns that are less taxing on our planet than traditional gowns. While very few designers offer a fully sustainable model, each of the designers we’re including have a transparent, mission driven approach to being a little friendlier to mother earth. A few of our favorite brands are Catherine Deane, Leanne Marshall, and Grace Loves Lace.
Catherine Deane, serves up bohemian glamour and is a standout with their offering of bridal separates, making it easier than ever to create a perfect look. New York City based Leanne Marshall designs fabulous, flowing, full of movement pieces that will have you gliding through your wedding day like a fairy princess. Grace Loves Lace has a diverse offering of show stopping gowns from sleek, classic silhouettes to intricate lacy numbers and they are currently working on the creation of a new eco-lace!
In recent years we’ve seen a switch from mass produced, traditional bridesmaid attire to mix and match options allowing your maids to choose their own style within a theme. Taking this approach is a huge step towards ensuring that the dresses aren’t worn once and tossed, but instead can be worn for years to come. To take your bridesmaids into the realm of peak sustainability, we recommend having them source their gowns from Rent The Runway. If renting isn’t your style, we love Needle and Thread whose design team is using recycled polyester and wait for it … upcycled sequins! Your bridesmaids will be eco-queens in these gorgeous gowns!
While at first it can seem overwhelming to find sustainable options for your wedding day it’s important to remember that you have a group of experts on your side in your vendor team. Ask your vendors, who are experts in their fields, if they have any tips or tricks for upping their sustainability prior to the event. For example, florists may be able to order from producers they’re aware of who employ sustainable practices, and better yet, they may even have local connections. For your rental items, try to seek out rental companies in your area when possible to limit shipping and packaging, and request that your caterer limits single use plastics. There is even an eco-friendly alternative to gorgeous candles that will burn all night. Los Angeles based Vogue Candles provides plant-based, reusable candle rentals of all sizes that pack a big punch serving as both an additional lighting source and jaw dropping decor.
Our Indianapolis and destination brides also have access to the plant based reusable wax. Contact our team for more information.
Even with all of the incredible options for wedding day rentals, you’ll likely still find yourself purchasing loads of items. As you purchase items for the event try to envision the lifecycle of the items after the event. Mixing and matching decor with items you can reuse in your home after you tie the knot is one of the best ways to feel like you’re getting more bang for your buck and not shelling out money for things that will only be used once. If you’re buying decorative items in bulk, check out resale sites to get them straight into the hands of another couple getting ready to walk down the aisle, or better yet, donate them somewhere in your area. If you decide on either of the latter, arrange for a friend or family member to take on the wedding day duty of gathering those items at the end of the night and making sure they get to the right places.
For the ultimate feel good repurposing, look no further than the blooming beauties you’ll be surrounded with. Floral arrangements are easily one of the most beautiful elements of the wedding day and one of the saddest to say goodbye to when the day is over. The joy that a simple bouquet can bring is immeasurable, and the idea of giving them a second life is even better. One of our absolute favorite charities, Random Acts of Flowers, will pick up your florals following the event and repurpose them to be delivered to hospitals, nursing homes, and others in need of a pick me up. This is a perfect option for a couple who doesn’t want to skimp on lush, dramatic florals, but ensures that they’re enjoyed to the fullest extent.
While going a fully green route for a wedding may be a big commitment, identifying a few achievable places where you can take a sustainable approach will leave you and the planet feeling better after your wedding. So, whether you go for favors made up of local favorites or take the plunge with an eco-friendly gown, there's no shortage of ways you can add a little green to your wedding day!
A Comprehensive Guide
If you'd like to delve more into sustainable wedding practices, this guide is a great resource to get started!
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