How to Have an
Eco-Friendly Wedding

Diana Chaplin | July 26, 2016 | 3 min read

If you're getting prepared to say "I do" any time soon, you might have started to do some research on how to have an eco-friendly weddingTo give you a better idea of the size of the industry, let's start with some wedding stats.

Wedding Fun Facts

  • 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.

Source: Brides

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 and being economically conscious often fit together. If you're carefully planning your spending, you are naturally watching your consumption and thinking about ways to reduce your waste too.

sustainable wedding

how to have an Eco-friendly Wedding

1. Send out e-invitations

By choosing to send electronic invites you'll not only be saving money on printing and postage costs, but saving paper means saving trees!

Going electronic for invites is a great way to help mitigate deforestation for pulp and paper. 

2.  get married outside

Another way to have a green wedding is by choosing an outdoor space. 

Having a wedding ceremony in the great outdoors is not only a great way to connect with nature, but, thanks to natural sunshine, marrying outside can also help to save energy by reducing the amount of lighting needed!

3. RENT, sell or consign your gown 

Given that most brides only wear their gown for once, why not share the love, and either rent a dress or buy a dress that’s been previously worn?

If you choose to buy a new dress,  you can opt to sell or cosign it after you've worn it.

4. choose local  and sustainable foods  

Plan your wedding menu to include locally sourced food.

You can also consider offering a fully or partially vegetarian meal, the fewer animal products you choose, the lower the environmental impact.

If possible, work directly with farmers in your region, which will help to reduce the amount of transportation distance and will also stimulate your local economy.

5. compost, recycle and reduce your waste

Ahead of your wedding, good planning goes a long way in helping to reduce waste. Ask guests to RSVP in advance so that you can plan accordingly, and if possible, opt for plated dinners as opposed to buffet dinners.

At the wedding venue, ensure you have recycle and compost bins on-site of your wedding ceremony to to reduce your waste going to landfills.

6. go on an eco-friendly honeymoon

Go on an eco-friendly honeymoon – there are a growing number of eco-resorts that are catering to newlyweds. 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. If you're a guest, you can also gift a tree in the couple's honour!

Alberta trees and mountains
Tree Certificate
Owl in a tree
Alberta landscape with dog playing
Tree sapling
Planting site
Alberta trees and mountains
Tree Certificate
Owl in a tree
Alberta landscape with dog playing
Tree sapling
Planting site

Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most

Reforestation is one of the best ways to restore lands that have been degraded by forest fires. Plant trees in Alberta to help restore what has been lost. Learn more

With your help, we will:

  • Reforest lands damaged by record-setting fires
  • Support habitat for iconic biodiversity
  • Create a positive impact for generations to come
  • Year after year, forest fires grow in intensity as climate change continues to provide the perfect conditions for these fires to flourish. The good news is, reforestation can help restore these lands. Planting trees in Alberta is an effective method to revitalize the land and eventually return the area to a spruce-dominated mixed wood forest. Soil stability is an immediate ecological benefit of reforestation and the area provides enough light for a new forest to grow efficiently. 🌲
  • As the forest regenerates, it will provide a critically important regional habitat (nesting, denning, foraging, and hunting) sensitive migratory songbirds, sensitive raptors and owls, sensitive amphibians, black bears, and ungulates. The trees are carefully planted to prevent invasive species from colonizing burn scars.
  • personalized tree certificate (see gallery) to say thanks for your donation. We'll also send you reports about our Alberta project, so you can track the impact your trees are having on the ground!
  • We always plant a mix of diverse, native species from local nurseries. This project is working to replenish local forests, so the native species grown in the nurseries include black spruce, white spruce, tamarack, jack pine, red osier dogwood, balsam poplar, and mixed native willow species.

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