Throwing a sustainable, zero-waste, and ethical wedding does not have to feel impossible. I created this guide as a way to help put all the options in one place. In June of 2019, my husband and I pulled off our very own sustainable wedding and I am so excited to share the eco-friendly an zero-waste options you have at your disposal, hah, you see what I did there?
If you are here as a new bride, congrats! If your here because you want to get your research done before the ring is on your finger, awesome! Take a moment and give yourself a pat on the back for caring enough about the earth to learn how to go about a green wedding.
I want to preface this guide by saying I worked as a wedding photographer for a decade in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois. I’ve photographed over 100 couples and thus have seen a lot of different types of weddings, and in turn, have seen first-hand the amount of waste that is produced from the average wedding day. Even then, when I wasn’t the conscious consumer I am today, it raised a red flag in my mind.
A 130 person wedding on average produces 62 tons of carbon dioxide and 400-600 lbs of waste. These numbers include everything from the wedding invitations to the flowers to the wedding dress.
An opposition arises when you try to have an earth-friendly wedding within the confines of modern wedding culture. We are constantly bombarded by pictures and ideas on Pinterest of perfect personalized weddings with all the trimmings. Then you have the concept of zero waste, which can feel so minimal and bare, making a bride feel like there’s very little wiggle room to make it feel special for herself and her guests.
The good news is that there are so many options for making your day feel special while still achieving an earth-conscious wedding. Once you understand the basics of having a green wedding then you can choose your own adventure from there. I can tell you from personal experience with my wedding that we were able to achieve a beautiful aesthetic without having to compromise our earth-friendly values.
In this guide, we will go over the options you have from finding an ethical engagement ring to where you can buy an eco-friendly wedding dress. While we talk over these options, I’ll provide you with what I chose for my low to no-waste wedding so that you have some experience to fall back on and you know you are not alone as you plan your own big day.
The Green Wedding Guide covers:
Happy green wedding planning!
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2. Braiding Sweetgrass
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5. The Zero Waste Solution