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Small, Doable Swaps for a More Sustainable Wedding

When you think about a large event it can be hard to ignore the waste and amount of trash that can be created. It is very possible to have a beautiful, elegant wedding while making small changes that can lead to a more sustainable event. Check out a few ideas I’ve seen or done myself!

  • reusable utensils and dishware | Opt for real plates and utensils rather than disposables. This may seem like a daunting task and added expense, but I have seen it done for just a bit more than disposables. Scouring thrift stores and estate sales can be a great way to gather unique plates for your guests while also creating a set you can take to your home after you’re married. Making this switch through a rental company is just as doable and often more convenient, but it can be quite a bit more expensive. Find the method that works best for you!

  • real napkins | Consider purchasing (first or secondhand) or renting linen napkins. By providing reusable napkins, you’ll avoid quite a large amount of paper waste on your big day. Just make sure to provide more than one per guest as they might get messy. You also want to feel confident in the absorbency of the linen napkins so guests don’t get frustrated if they cannot truly clean anything up.

  • used decor | Not only can this swap save you money, but you’ll know that you’re not adding anything new to the world. Instead, you get to use something that has already see a lot of love and excitement.

  • intimate guest list | Pare down your guest list to 50 or less for a more intimate experience. The upside of a smaller number of guests is that you’ll save money while reducing your waste level. Many couples have extolled how much easier it is to truly interact with their guests when they have fewer attending.

  • send home goodies | To avoid wasting perishable items that you’ve spent good money on, consider sending them home with your guests. This can include leftover food from whatever catering provided and the floral arrangements from your centerpieces. If these items can get a bit more enjoyment and life out of them, why not!

  • natural confetti | Instead of rice, glittery confetti or sparklers for your grand exit, which can generate more waste or harm the nature around the venue, consider creating natural confetti using leaves and a hole punch. Go for leaves that have already fallen off the trees that would otherwise not be used in any way. You can find quite a range of colors for a creative and sustainable grand exit option.

  • recycle | Make sure recycle bins are available at your venue for the vendors and the guests. Double check with your caterers and/or bartenders about their recycling policy to make sure bottles and cans are making it into the right bin.

Whether you make these changes to your big day or not, do what feels right to you. These are certainly not your only options, so take some time to think about what would make your day feel more sustainable and environmentally-friendly. I know it will make you feel better about your big day in the long run!


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