7 ideas for a 100% green wedding

Ira T. Martin

From the meal to the wedding dress and the announcement, it is now possible to say yes while respecting the environment 100%. Here are 7 eco-responsible wedding ideas to organize a sustainable ceremony.

A symbol of alliance and commitment, marriage is a tradition where the planet is not always taken into account. And with good reason, nearly 14.5 tons of CO2 are produced during a classic ceremony, the equivalent of the production of one person in one year. Between the hundreds of guests and the honeymoon, celebrating a union and the environment don’t mix. So that weddings no longer rhyme with waste, the green wedding is on the rise. More than just a fashion phenomenon, a true eco-friendly ceremony that is sure to seduce you.

1. The reception venue

From a carbon footprint point of view, the ideal is to choose a wedding venue close to home. If it is impossible for you to minimise travel, you can opt to arrive by horse-drawn carriage or electric car if you prefer modernity. On the other hand, avoid the old-fashioned and polluting car procession. The town hall should be close to the reception area (or the religious ceremony) in order to organise a walking procession with the guests, a little walk will do you a lot of good!

If you cannot avoid car journeys, set up a carpooling system between guests, a simple alternative that will encourage meetings before the ceremony. To compensate for travel, choose a simple reception venue that is close to nature. Many brides and grooms choose farms, guest houses or organic hotels to celebrate their union in an environmentally friendly way. What are you waiting for to say “I do” in an eco-designed reception venue?

2. The meal

A typical household produces 1.5 tons of CO2 per year just for its food shopping. Green Wedding obliges, a meal and a 100% organic buffet are a must! It goes without saying that it is imperative to choose fresh, local, seasonal or fair trade products. Concerning meat and fish, it is also important to surround yourself with organic and seasonal products. 

As for wine and champagne, give preference to those bearing the mention “grapes from organic farming”. By selecting only organic wines, certain traders also offers advice to future brides and grooms so that the wines go perfectly with their wedding menu.

If you choose to delegate the preparation of your wedding meal to a caterer, you should of course give preference to local service providers. Ethical caterers are numerous. To reduce your carbon footprint, you can also opt for a 100% vegetarian wedding meal. Many caterers offer menus made exclusively with vegetarian food.

3. The wedding dress

Of course, just because she decides to get married in an environmentally friendly way, it doesn’t mean that the lucky one won’t look like a princess. You can opt for a wedding dress in natural fiber (silk, hemp, linen…) or in fair trade organic cotton. More and more designers aspire to sublimate environmentally friendly materials.

It is now possible to wear an ethical, fair-trade wedding dress … and made of paper! The eco-creators of these offer paper collections inlaid with poppy seeds and flax. Their particularity? You will be able to remove the seeds after the party to plant them in your garden. Linen and poppy flowers will bloom each season as a souvenir of the most beautiful day of your life!

You can also reuse an old wedding dress and readjust it at a dressmaker’s shop. Another eco-friendly alternative: rent your outfit. Items come from private individuals, workshops or end of stock from bridal shops. In addition to making a gesture for the planet, you’ll make significant savings!

As for the future husband, he can also choose a suit in organic linen or hemp.

4. The Announcement

Wedding preparations are very polluting. Starting with the invitations. Where does all the paper used and wasted on invitations go?

An invitation that respects the planet must be made of recycled paper. For this, you have to rely on green labels, especially the mention “100% recycled”.

It is preferable to choose paper made from bamboo, organic cotton or hemp.

Beware of the ink used for printing and prefer vegetable alternatives to really fight against pollution. Many shops also offer a wide choice of invitations, some of which can be planted to create pretty flowers. In addition, these eco-responsible invitation cards with an innovative concept are printed with aqua-soluble ink. Enough to get the guests (and their gardens) into the theme well before the ceremony.

Some companies support associations that fight for the respect of the environment. If the recycled paper invitations are a good option, the most ecological remains the electronic message. You can also create your wedding blog. A great alternative to reduce your carbon footprint and communicate easily with your guests.

5. The decoration

To avoid waste, you can opt for reusable, biodegradable or compostable dishes. Choose waterproof and 100% recyclable fibre pieces. You can choose sugar cane pulp plates and bamboo or wooden cutlery. It is also possible to rent crockery, especially from the caterer or service provider who will organize your wedding.

For the decoration of the reception area, put some green in the room! Arrange potted plants that you will be able to recover and replant. Tablecloths and curtains made of recycled textile fibres (organic cotton, hemp) can decorate your reception room with pallets and old barrels. Prefer products made from recycled materials or natural elements found in the forest for example. Some brides go for originality and add fruit, greenery or pine cones as centrepieces.

To complete the celebration of this happy event, what could be better than throwing flower petals, lavender seeds or biodegradable confetti.

6. The Bouquet

Often from abroad, sprayed with pesticides and harvested by a hard-working workforce, the flowers come from a polluting industry. Take care to make sure that the flowers you choose are in season, organic or even wild. You can also grow them yourself!

If you are addicted to roses, you will be able to find the most beautiful ones at ethical company markets offering roses from fair trade in respect of nature. Fresh and locally grown, the flowers will make an eco-responsible bouquet that the bride can proudly display.

7. The honeymoon

For the honeymoon, why not choose a destination known for its commitment to the environment.

Opt for ecotourism, even eco-volunteering or stays in green hotels. Eco-labels offer tourist accommodation to newlyweds who wish to reduce their environmental impact. The labelled establishments take into account specific criteria: waste management, anti-waste water and energy, customer awareness, etc.

After the party

Once the party is over, don’t forget your good habits, starting with selective sorting. Don’t hesitate to provide biodegradable bags and organic household products, which are more respectful of the environment and the health of the cleaning staff. The plants and flowers used for the bouquet and decoration can be replanted or donated to a hospital or nursing home for example.

To continue your anti-gaspy fight, you can offer doggy-bags, soon to be mandatory in restaurants, to your guests if they have not finished their meals.

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