How to Reduce your Wedding's Impact on the Environment

July 26, 2016

Eco-Friendly Green Wedding

If you’re setting forth to say “I do” any time soon, you most likely have done a little bit of research about weddings.

There is tons of information out there, some of which relates to the environmental impact of weddings.  To give you a better idea of the size of the industry, here are a few statistics to start us off.

Did you know?

  • On average 2.4 million weddings take place in the United States per year – that means 4.8 million people get married on an annual basis;
  • Saturday and Sunday are the most popular days to tie the knot with an average of 44,230 weddings happening each weekend;
  • Not too big, not too small, the average guest list is about 165 people long;
  • Traditional American weddings add up to $29,858 on average;
  • Annually in the US, a total of $72 billion is spent on weddings;
  • $16 billion of annual spending is contributed to by the destination wedding market – which account for 24% of annual marriages;
  • Honeymoons sum up to a $12 billion-dollar-a-year industry;
  • Average amount spent on a bridal gown is $1,281.


While these numbers are interesting, and perhaps even a bit surprising, knowing them can play an important role when planning a green wedding.

Going green or eco-friendly and being economically conscious often fit together.  If you are watching your spending, you are naturally watching your consumption – and waste.

Here are a few ways to reduce your wedding’s impact on the environment, and perhaps save a few dollars by doing so:

  1. Send out e-invitations – saving paper means saving trees – going electronic for invites is a great way to help mitigate deforestation for pulp and paper.  Not to mention that you will save on printing and postage costs;
  2. Purchase a second hand wedding gown – given that most brides only wear their gown for one day, why not share the love, and buy a dress that’s been previously worn.  Reuse is one of the fundamental components of waste reduction, and this is directly related to your environmental impact;
  3. Consign or sell your wedding gown – the other side of the equation.  If you fell in love with the perfect dress – and it’s brand new – you can always sell the dress after you’ve said I do;
  4. Make your menu with locally sourced foods – if you work directly with farmers in your region, you are reducing the amount of transport distance and stimulating your local economy;
  5. Ensure you have recycle and compost bins on-site to divert waste – reducing your impact on the Earth goes hand in hand with recycling;
  6. Go on an eco-friendly honeymoon – there are a growing number of eco-resorts that are catering to newlyweds.  Eco-resorts are more environmentally mindful by nature, so staying at one will be gentler on the Earth. In addition, a big culprit of carbon emissions is travel, keeping this in mind when planning your get-a-way can go a long way. Staying closer to home & using public transport while traveling are just a couple of ways to lighten your environmental impact.

Another green idea is to plant trees to commemorate your big day.  Trees offer so many benefits to the environment and global community – planting is a wonderful gesture to give back to the Earth. 

At One Tree Planted, we work with couples to make tree planting part of their celebration.  Whether it be through planting a tree as a gift for every attendee, or calling on guests to plant trees in the couple's honor in lieu of a gift, we are happy to offer tree planting options to partner with you in our reforestation efforts.  You can even start a fundraising page with us!  

To keep it simple, we have also prepared this short quiz to determine the estimated numbers of trees you can plant to reduce the environmental impact of your wedding.  We have taken location, level of green or eco-friendly features, and number of guests into consideration. 

A tree, like a good marriage, gets better as time goes by and is enjoyed for years to come.  It’s a solid investment in the wedding industry, that helps the Earth too.

Be sure to share comments below or connect with us on social media about how you plan to reduce the environmental impact of your wedding.

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