397- Easy Ways To Plan a Sustainable Wedding

by Aleisha

Your wedding doesn’t have to leave a negative mark on the environment. There are some easy ways to plan a sustainable wedding, which is exactly what Aleisha shares on this podcast. Weddings can be incredibly wasteful. Disposable plates and cups, clothing worn only once and then discarded, and flowers that aren’t sustainably sourced are just a few of the ways weddings can take their toll on the environment. However, during this episode, you will hear several great and resourceful ideas for reducing your environmental impact without sacrificing your wedding dreams. 

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Ways to reduce food waste

We all bear the responsibility of taking care of the environment. With the wedding industry continuing to expand, planning a sustainable, eco-friendly wedding is increasingly important. If you don’t know where to start, this episode includes some great tips. One of the most common items wasted at a wedding is food. Knowing a firm guest-list count and working with your food vendor can keep from food being discarded after the wedding. Listen as Bridechilla Kathryn shares her ideas for reducing food waste and more.

You think about all the stuff you are doing already, there is just a slight pivot in the choices you are making there. And also, it’s not costing you any more money. And actually using recycled and repurposed clothing and decor and renting things will save you money

Clothe yourself in sustainability

Many couples buy brand new dresses and suits for themselves and their wedding party. Often, these items are worn once and either stored for eternity or discarded. There are options that reduce clothing waste, including renting, buying pre-owned, or buying items that can be re-worn in the future. Also, when considering clothing, it is important to think about where and how the clothes are made. Buying ethically made clothing is one easy way to plan a sustainable wedding.

If you can find your dream dress and rent it, why wouldn’t you?

Support charity and find your dream dress

The Brides Project is a bridal boutique…with a heart!  Wedding dresses are donated to The Brides Project from all across the country. Some are “pre-loved” – donated by brides who want to see them dance another day.  Many are donated directly from bridal salons, so they are brand new! The best part of all is that the money raised from the sale of gowns supports families touched by cancer through the Cancer Support Community of Greater Ann Arbor.

I think this sort of fast shopping is really irresponsible in some parts because it is so easy to get stuff that its not even a thought

Wedding Rentals- florals

Something Borrowed Blooms is a rent & return floral boutique who specializes in creating wedding flower collections using premium silk flowers. The flowers are rented to you for your wedding, for a fraction of the cost of a traditional florist. Check out their instagram for inspo.

Jane Bridal Bouquet by Something Borrowed Blooms

Accessories rental

Happily Ever Borrowed is the premiere, luxury, e-boutique that RENTS bridal veils & accessories to brides for their wedding day!  Try their Send Before You Spend Box!  Choose any 3 pieces on our site for just $50 and when you return them to us, you get $25 towards your wedding day rental!

Choose porcelain over plastic

While it might seem easier to use plastic tableware at your wedding, consider the environmental impact all that trash can have. Aleisha discusses the option of using washable plates and cups to serve your guests. She also shares a great way to reduce beer bottle and can waste. Taking a few small steps will not only reduce waste, but will look nicer and can actually save you money. A little creativity goes a long way in saving the environment and saving your wedding budget. Hear more tips during this episode of the Bridechilla podcast. 

There are some really good, modern, very well priced designers out there who make a point of saying ‘we don’t use factories that do bad things, we encourage supportive working environments that are paying a living wage and 4-year-olds aren’t making your wedding dress.

Photo by Freddy G

Planning a sustainable wedding is possible

One of the easiest ways to plan a sustainable wedding is to work with a wedding planner and vendors who are considerate of the environment. Many vendors will have alternative ideas that will help you avoid waste in your wedding.They can draw from their experience to help you come up with helpful ideas. During this episode, Aleisha discusses different partners and sponsors who provide great options that are also eco friendly. A sustainable wedding doesn’t have to be difficult. It just takes mindfulness and collaboration. Listen to this podcast to hear many ideas to help you plan your own sustainable wedding. 

More sustainable steps can make a big difference

  • Join local online wedding sale groups to buy repurposed décor, attire and other wedding items (we have a Bridechilla Buy and Sell Facebook group, you should totally join)
  • Consider going paper-free or at least reducing your paper usage by creating a wedding website and encouraging guests to RSVP and communicate online. Wedding pintables such as menus and programs are often glanced at for 2 seconds by guests and put aside, reduce these items by creating a one menu per table, or one big wedding program timeline that you can make into a sign.
  • Before buying a wedding related item, take a moment to Marie Kondo the shit out of it (google her) and ask yourself, ‘does this item bring me joy?’ and ‘does it add value to my guests (and your own) wedding experience?’
  • Although they had a real moment a couple of years ago balloons and lanterns are something that every sustainable wedding day can do without. Balloons, although colorful and pretty are an abomination to the environment and often end up in the ocean or being eaten by an unsuspecting birds or animals. Lanterns, that are often ceremoniously lit and float up into the atmosphere at the end of the night been have reported to have started wildfires and if they don’t burn out just become litter.
  • Ask your venue about recycling. Do they recycle cans and bottles used at their events? If not, why not?

Show Highlights

  • [0:33] Aleisha explains the inspiration behind this week’s podcast, which is about planning a sustainable wedding

  • [3:50] Bridechilla Kathyrn shared a post in the Bridechilla podcast detailing her ideas for reducing waste at her wedding

  • [5:41] Aleisha mentions the blog that Bridechilla Sarah shares with the community with other sustainable wedding planning ideas

  • [6:49] Alexis includes her plans for reducing waste which includes rewearable bridesmaid dresses, not using plastic for food service, and avoiding using water bottles

  • [8:00] One way to reduce waste is to use kegs instead of individual beer cans or bottles

  • [9:53] How to work with a spouse that might not be as open to making sustainable decisions during wedding planning

  • [13:15] There are increasingly more companies who rent high end, classy wedding apparel that help you avoid buying new dresses that you’ll never wear again

  • [15:53] Bridechilla Karen is using used wine bottles as their centerpieces, did everything electronically, and did edible favors

  • [22:46] Ask your venue what environmentally friendly measures they take

  • [23:57] Knowing where and how your clothes are made is another way to mindfully and ethically plan your wedding

  • [29:29] Picking a good florist can also help you reduce your wedding’s environmental footprint

  • [32:03] Communicating your desire for sustainability requires savvy communication skills

  • [35:36] Bridechilla Sarah, a wedding planner, tries to help her clients think of eco-friendly ideas for their wedding, including using one glass for the evening, potted plants as centerpieces, etc. 

  • [39:09] Aleisha discusses the jewelry industry and the importance of researching the company and how they source their diamonds and metals.

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Recommended further reading

Wildlife friendly wedding guide

With thanks to our Bridechilla Partners

Show image by James Owen

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