Budget Weddings

Eco friendly wedding

Just trying to keep the wedding as eco friendly as possible. Having a venue that's on board with this helps. So far we're only doing email invites. Leftover food is donated to charity, flowers are wrapped up for guests to take home at the end, not doing any favours etc. What else is there that we could do that maybe I haven't thought of?
knottiee2fa1076b0e89b5b

Re: Eco friendly wedding

  • Are you certain you can donate the food? Many places have laws that prohibit prepared food from being given away because of health risks.

    My cousin used thrift/antique store vases for her flowers, which I would think is quite eco-friendly.
    image
    charlotte989875InLoveInQueensCMGragainshort+sassy
  • LondonLisaLondonLisa London, UK
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
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    Also think of doing potted plant centrepieces and decorations rather than cut flowers. That way people can plant them in their gardens. 
    OurWildKingdomknottiee2fa1076b0e89b5b
  • You've probably thought of this already, but make sure your food is in season and local, as well as your flowers. 
    OurWildKingdomGlasshalfempty
  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
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    Have you thought of using recycled paper invitations?  I really think you need paper invitations for something as important as a wedding.  Email invitations are not really etiquette approved.
    Here are some companies that do this:

    http://www.foreverfiances.com/Recycled-Paper-Wedding-Invitations-s/99.htm

    http://www.vistaprint.com/gallery/IEEAsgkBAAAAAAA=/invitations-announcements/wedding-invitations.aspx?category_id=2483

    Vistaprint is a super budget friendly company, and they have the option for you to use 100% recycled paper.


    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    OurWildKingdomMesmrEwe
  • Thanks for the suggestions! We are doing most of those i.e I'm making a dress from fabric I already own, having a vegetarian meal, ceremony and reception at the same place, not having a cake or a registry. Most of the meal things are owned by the venue and is reusable. Great suggestions on cutting down on alcohol packaging though! 




  • Are you certain you can donate the food? Many places have laws that prohibit prepared food from being given away because of health risks.

    My cousin used thrift/antique store vases for her flowers, which I would think is quite eco-friendly.




    Good question! We have checked with the venue. They work with a charity that's quite well known in the area for picking up leftover food from restaurants and making it into meals for the homeless. It's definitely allowed here and also very much needed. 

    The venue comes with a florist and they will be using their own glassware which is used for pretty much every wedding there. 
    artbyallieshort+sassyknottiee2fa1076b0e89b5b




  • These aren't necessarily recommended for you OP, just some eco ideas. :)
    Daytime wedding to use less lights, cold food only, vegetarian food, reusable utensils and dishes, skipping a registry to cut back on wrapping paper, ceremony and reception within walking distance of each other.


    Our wedding is summer and in the afternoon but goes into the evening. About 2/3 of the food will be cold. I hadn't thought of that but that's actually a great idea! 


  • Also think of doing potted plant centrepieces and decorations rather than cut flowers. That way people can plant them in their gardens. 


    Thanks! I will ask our florist if we can do this instead. 


  • CMGragain said:


    Have you thought of using recycled paper invitations?  I really think you need paper invitations for something as important as a wedding.  Email invitations are not really etiquette approved.
    Here are some companies that do this:

    http://www.foreverfiances.com/Recycled-Paper-Wedding-Invitations-s/99.htm

    http://www.vistaprint.com/gallery/IEEAsgkBAAAAAAA=/invitations-announcements/wedding-invitations.aspx?category_id=2483

    Vistaprint is a super budget friendly company, and they have the option for you to use 100% recycled paper.






    Thanks for the suggestion! We're pretty set on email invites only and not using paper. Everyone we know can be communicated with by email so shouldn't be an issue. 
  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
    member


    I don't have a lot to add, it seems like you have your bases covered, but just wanted to say this is such an awesome idea! We tried to lessen our environmental impact, but even after that I remember thinking how wasteful weddings are.

    One other thing might be a way to pass that on to your guests. Maybe when you send the email invite you could note that you're doing it to be environmentally friendly? One of the most wasteful things I noticed was the gifts! (shipping, wrapping, SO MUCH PLASTIC) If your guests know you're trying to be green, that may affect how they give a gift or what types of things they give you.


    I second this.  As I mentioned, email invitations aren't etiquette approved.  This would explain the thinking behind your decision.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs
    5000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
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    Thanks for the suggestions! We are doing most of those i.e I'm making a dress from fabric I already own, having a vegetarian meal, ceremony and reception at the same place, not having a cake or a registry. Most of the meal things are owned by the venue and is reusable. Great suggestions on cutting down on alcohol packaging though! 


    No cake?  Are you offering any type of sweet?  Pardon my sincere ignorance, but how is not serving cake eco friendly? 
    charlotte989875SP29InLoveInQueensholyguacamole79








  • I don't have a lot to add, it seems like you have your bases covered, but just wanted to say this is such an awesome idea! We tried to lessen our environmental impact, but even after that I remember thinking how wasteful weddings are.

    One other thing might be a way to pass that on to your guests. Maybe when you send the email invite you could note that you're doing it to be environmentally friendly? One of the most wasteful things I noticed was the gifts! (shipping, wrapping, SO MUCH PLASTIC) If your guests know you're trying to be green, that may affect how they give a gift or what types of things they give you.




    Thanks! We might do that for the invites
    Most of our crowd (90%-95%) will give us cash anyway as that's very common. We might get a few physical gifts but I'm not too worried about those. 





  • MobKaz said:





    Thanks for the suggestions! We are doing most of those i.e I'm making a dress from fabric I already own, having a vegetarian meal, ceremony and reception at the same place, not having a cake or a registry. Most of the meal things are owned by the venue and is reusable. Great suggestions on cutting down on alcohol packaging though! 




    No cake?  Are you offering any type of sweet?  Pardon my sincere ignorance, but how is not serving cake eco friendly? 


    Hi, they'll be two types of dessert served. I figure when you're already filling people up with cocktail hour, dinner and dessert, having an extra cake would just be food wastage. 
    (I'm not sure if the cake would be able to be packed up with leftovers for the charity as we'd need to supply the cake ourselves. It might just be food that the venue can guarantee.)

    ernursej
  • MesmrEweMesmrEwe
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
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    Focus on the basics...  Attire - don't make anyone purchase something new for your wedding including yourself, suggest - you know that knock-out outfit you have that you don't get to wear nearly often enough - wear that!  Thrift store or second hand your dress or clearance/closeout.  Guys suit/shirt/tie they already own.  Borrow/rent linens.  Not only use a keg, and lemonade coolers but rent plastic or glass cups.  Shorten your guest lists.  No aisle runner unless it's borrowed or just roll paper that is recyclable.  Beeswax Candles instead of battery operated lights.  Use locations that already have everything there so you avoid trucking items in.  Don't DIY! - sounds counterproductive but you're going to go through a lot more time, materials, and resources than it will a professional to do it once, correctly, the first time.  For flowers, your local farmer's market bunches tied and chopped down.  Don't get excess/decorative arrangements and focus on the natural beauty of the venue.  I've also heard in lieu of flowers, doing a candle-lit ceremony (beeswax).  

    I also highly suggest printed invites as well, HOWEVER, you can bi-fold print them yourself on recycled 20lb. paper (cuts down on weight/cost/resources) and have your RSVP options be a phone call or email.   As much as you want to do this all online, the reality is 1) People are lousy with checking/replying to invites/RSVP's online.  2) Not everyone owns a computer/has easy access.  3) It's A LOT easier to control your guest list because it's printed right on the envelope who is/isn't invited.

    Above all, focus on guest comfort, not using "Eco Friendly" as an excuse to cheap out on details.  I know a couple who had an eco-friendly wedding and gave out CFL's as favors (this is before LED's really came on the market).  For centerpieces they used branches in recycled pots.  Lots of candlelight instead of room lighting.   Linens.  It came together nice, and we had our cake and ate it too!
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
    SP29

  • MesmrEwe said:

    Focus on the basics...  Attire - don't make anyone purchase something new for your wedding including yourself, suggest - you know that knock-out outfit you have that you don't get to wear nearly often enough - wear that!  Thrift store or second hand your dress or clearance/closeout.  Guys suit/shirt/tie they already own.  Borrow/rent linens.  Not only use a keg, and lemonade coolers but rent plastic or glass cups.  Shorten your guest lists.  No aisle runner unless it's borrowed or just roll paper that is recyclable.  Beeswax Candles instead of battery operated lights.  Use locations that already have everything there so you avoid trucking items in.  Don't DIY! - sounds counterproductive but you're going to go through a lot more time, materials, and resources than it will a professional to do it once, correctly, the first time.  For flowers, your local farmer's market bunches tied and chopped down.  Don't get excess/decorative arrangements and focus on the natural beauty of the venue.  I've also heard in lieu of flowers, doing a candle-lit ceremony (beeswax).  

    I also highly suggest printed invites as well, HOWEVER, you can bi-fold print them yourself on recycled 20lb. paper (cuts down on weight/cost/resources) and have your RSVP options be a phone call or email.   As much as you want to do this all online, the reality is 1) People are lousy with checking/replying to invites/RSVP's online.  2) Not everyone owns a computer/has easy access.  3) It's A LOT easier to control your guest list because it's printed right on the envelope who is/isn't invited.

    Above all, focus on guest comfort, not using "Eco Friendly" as an excuse to cheap out on details.  I know a couple who had an eco-friendly wedding and gave out CFL's as favors (this is before LED's really came on the market).  For centerpieces they used branches in recycled pots.  Lots of candlelight instead of room lighting.   Linens.  It came together nice, and we had our cake and ate it too!


    Thanks. Some good tips in there, most of which we are doing great already but they are great reminders. There's definitely no aisle runner, no diy either. Everything is coming from the venue (besides alcohol) from items they already own (including signage). 

    They're also doing the flowers and the wrapping station afterwards. 

    Everyone we know has a computer and email access, in fact it's probably preferable for them. For example I've moved 7 times in the last 4 years but I've had the same email address since 2009. I know I'd much rather have an email invitation! 

    I don't think we're cheaping out at all on the wedding. Considering what it's costing there's actually not much expense spared (besides physical invites). 
  • If you're looking for decor you can rent it. even vases and glassware, if you want something a bit fancy but don't want to buy anything new.

    Also, bridal party attire - pick a colour and ask them to look and see what they already own.

    If you do end up 'needing' some disposable items you can get corn based ones that are biodegradable.

    I'd love to see how it all goes - let us know :smile:
    GlasshalfemptySTARMOON44
  • We're getting all our decor from the venue, who re-use it for all their weddings. Apart from place cards, we're not actually buying a single thing just for the day, which is good. 
    I'm telling bridesmaids to wear whatever they want, there's no color palette, so they can choose whether they want to re-wear something or buy a new outfit.
    Thanks for the suggestions about the corn-based products though! 
    OurWildKingdomAustralian_girl_in_Parisshort+sassy
  • knottiec49283d88aaeaed2knottiec49283d88aaeaed2 Houston, TX
    10 Comments
    member
    Try to have the food be mostly vegan/vegetarian if you want to really be eco-friendly! Meat (and animal products) are one of the biggest harms to our environment. And don't use any throw-away plates/forks/etc. as well. Hope this helps!
  • justsiejustsie
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
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    Try to have the food be mostly vegan/vegetarian if you want to really be eco-friendly! Meat (and animal products) are one of the biggest harms to our environment. And don't use any throw-away plates/forks/etc. as well. Hope this helps!


    The OP has mentioned they are already doing both of these things, make sure you read the entire post with updates if you are trying to be helpful.
    image
  • Great suggestions here! The only thing I can think to add is that some of your guests may not take flowers home due to travel. So, you can check with a local hospital or nursing home. I have heard of brides delivering flowers to those afterward so they aren't thrown away right after. 

    I know you have reusable dishes, but in case someone is looking for disposable ideas, there are palm leaf plates which are disposable, biodegradable, made from fallen leaves, and compostable. No chemicals or waxes are used in the process, they are just pressed/formed into plates. They are really affordable. I was thinking of using those for our backyard wedding, but went another route. I'm still keeping them in mind for future backyard parties. I have heard they are super durable too. And I think they look rustic and amazing. There are a lot of companies that make these so you can Google them, but here's one link: 

    https://www.buygreen.com/products/palm-leaf-square-flat-plates?utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=googlepla&gclid=CN_j1v3Oi9UCFRNMDQodJqkGdw
    knottiee2fa1076b0e89b5b
  • Great suggestions here! The only thing I can think to add is that some of your guests may not take flowers home due to travel. So, you can check with a local hospital or nursing home. I have heard of brides delivering flowers to those afterward so they aren't thrown away right after. 

    I know you have reusable dishes, but in case someone is looking for disposable ideas, there are palm leaf plates which are disposable, biodegradable, made from fallen leaves, and compostable. No chemicals or waxes are used in the process, they are just pressed/formed into plates. They are really affordable. I was thinking of using those for our backyard wedding, but went another route. I'm still keeping them in mind for future backyard parties. I have heard they are super durable too. And I think they look rustic and amazing. There are a lot of companies that make these so you can Google them, but here's one link: 

    https://www.buygreen.com/products/palm-leaf-square-flat-plates?utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=googlepla&gclid=CN_j1v3Oi9UCFRNMDQodJqkGdw
    Thanks for the suggestion. I'm hoping all the locals take the flowers home. I'm getting to the stage (4 months out) where I'm a bit over it. Don't want to have to think about flowers or alcohol or invites or anything! Hopefully the mojo returns :-)
  • Just thought I'd report back the email invites were a hit. I've already started getting RSVP's a day later. Had a lot of positive comments about how nice they look and how people are less likely to lose them. And I'm feeling good cause no trees were harmed and I've saved a bucketload on postage. 
    missJeanLouiseknottiee2fa1076b0e89b5b
  • If you don't mind me asking how much did your wedding cost overall? 
  • If you don't mind me asking how much did your wedding cost overall? 
    When it's all done it will be about $20K. The majority of that is food, drinks and venue (includes staff, seating, decorations, etc). The band and the photographer will be about $5K of that spend. That figure doesn't include my dress, hair and makeup, or the rings. 
    We aren't doing videographer, favours, physical invites, rehearsal dinners, etc. 
    It's a budget I think we're happy with. 
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