Not all of us can be Elizabeth May and use a Tesla as our “Getaway Car” but there are changes we can make when it comes to wedding day planning. There is a shift out there, a good shift, a shift towards planning eco-friendly weddings. Remember in grade six when we had to calculate our carbon foot-print? That knowledge can come in handy when planning a wedding day for the eco-minded. I’m neither a scientist nor an environmentalist, but as wedding photographer, these are the top 10 recommendations I have to keep your wedding eco-friendly.
Location, Location, Location
Consider celebrating your entire day – or days – from one single location. Keeping the location singular is not only going to cut down on that carbon footprint (think about all the vehicles moving around on a wedding day!) but it’s also going to cut down on stress and time spent commuting from place to place.
If you’re really looking for ways to be eco-friendly, consider keeping your locations close to home. Limiting travel – especially air travel – for yourself and guests will help do your part for the environment.
Try Naked Favours, OR Skip Them
When selecting favours, look for options with limited packaging. Edible wedding favours like cookies or pies can serve as both your desert and your favour. Perhaps your favour is a free beverage? There are so many guest focused favours you can explore to cut down on the amount of waste produced on your wedding day.
Better yet, no favours at all. My Mom and I often talk about weddings (she’s stuck with me so she has to!) and when we talk about her wedding from the 1980’s she regrets spending so so so much time stressing over wedding favours for her guests.
The ultimate way to reuse and reduce on your wedding day. There are beautiful gowns and suits all over town ready to be worn again. Consignment wardrobes are significantly reduced, often lightly worn and make your heart feel good about keeping a designer’s art out and about. Do a quick Google search to find your nearest boutique consignment shops, many are even wedding specific. If you want to pay it forward, post your attire for consignment OR donate after your wedding day.
Mallory’s wedding day gown was purchased at Ashbury Bridal Couture in Kelowna!
Reuse, Reduce OR Join a Facebook Group
There are decorations, furniture and stationary galore out there waiting for you to reuse it! If you haven’t heard of one of the Facebook Buy/Sell wedding groups yet search for the one in your local area. This is an amazing way to trade/purchase or rent out decorations and other wedding items. Be sure to check out the rules for your local group, most groups have certain posting conditions to limit spam and service advertising.
A Literal Tupperware Party
Encourage guests to bring their own takeaway containers. So much love, time and dollars go into food on a wedding day, keep that love going a little bit longer with the gift of leftovers. Not comfortable with asking guests to bring containers? That’s okay, family isn’t guests anyways. Tip off your closest and favourite cousins (university students, newly married, young families) that would love to stock their fridge with an extra meal.
The More The Merrier
A simple note with your invitation encouraging guests to carpool works in your favour for more than one reason. You’re thinking about Mother Earth and cutting down on parking spaces needed (have you ever tried to park downtown at a church for a Saturday wedding next to the farmer’s market???).
Experience Over Things
Your wedding party 1000% is in need of a thank you if they’re a part of your wedding day. It’s no easy ask when you’re picking out your crew. Wedding party members often have to take time off from work, find care for children, and possibly save your butt by being a total superhero on your wedding day. To say thanks, instead of purchasing gifts, consider other ways to say thank you. Taking them and their partner out for brunch a few weeks after the wedding to visit, laugh, and share your favourite moments from the wedding day. If time and distance are a factor, consider gifting your wedding party a part of their wedding look such as hair, makeup or their attire rental.
Love Your Local
Love your local blooms, your local baker, your local venues. Again, keeping things local is going to keep down travel time, costs and that big ol’ carbon footprint. If you’re really into the local vibe, look for florists that use native blooms, or caterers and bakers that source from local. You’ll give back to a local business which helps keep dreams alive in your community. AND chances are, your local vendors will know other kickass local vendors for you to connect with.
Hi, I’m Janelle a photographer hailing from Edmonton Alberta. I’m all about connection and celebration. Seriously, it’s my focus from our first client meeting till the chicken dance starts. I make an effort to get to know your closest friends and family on your wedding day. Why? First, they’re probably cool people, and second, when they know me as “Janelle” the gal who plays Dungeons and Dragons and has a pet Duck, they’re going to let me into their world. My favourite moment of every wedding is right after the ceremony. This is when your friends and family smother or possibly crush you with either love or cheerful embrace. Bring on all the candid moments.
I value connection and celebration of moments over a big production.
Bee keeper in training. Head on over to www.thebeekeepergal.com