So you've decided that you want your wedding day to be sustainable and friendly to the planet. Heck yeah, that's what I'm all about! However, you might not be sure where to begin, even if you try to live in an eco friendly way on the daily. Let me be your guide to a beautiful and sustainable wedding — here are three sustainable wedding ideas and the reasons why sustainability for your wedding matters!
There are lots of reasons to consider making your wedding more green (and no, I'm not talking about color). The average US wedding with 100 people ends up creating 400-500 pounds of waste — that's INSANE. Luckily, all that food, floral, and plastic waste is so not necessary! The best part? You don't have to sacrifice a beautiful, authentic, true-to-you day to make your wedding more green.
Ready? Here we go!
1. Consider eloping - seriously!
The easiest way to cut down on waste is to only invite your closest friends and family, those folks who will be so excited to see you get married to the love of your life (and no one who just likes the excuse to dress up). Eloping means less food waste, no need for lots of party favors that might get thrown out, and most importantly, a day that as unique as you & your fiancé want it! There's a ton of reasons why eloping is so amazing, but cutting down waste is a HUGE reason some couples choose to have an intimate elopement instead of a big ol' party.
2. Purchase vintage wedding attire, or rent
So here are the facts. This year, the Bridal Gown Market is worth 41 BILLION DOLLARS (that's a lot of dollars). The national average cost of a wedding dress is currently $1,631.00 (ranging from around $500 to $4,000, generally). Let's do some really quick math — $41 billion divided by $1,631 equals 25,137,952.
That's right around 25 million dresses created each year, that are only meant to be worn once. Crazy, right? That's why I think it's so important to consider renting your gown from somewhere like Rent The Runway (https://www.renttherunway.com/) or someone local to you — in Utah, I have personally rented from & love Laurels & Lace Co. (www.instagram.com/laurelsandlaceco). You could also consider wearing a pre-loved dress — maybe someone in your family (your mom, an aunt, your grandma even!) has a dress you could tailor to suit you and your style. You could also consider purchasing a gorgeous, unique, incredibly cool vintage gown from somewhere like Lover's Bridal out of Salt Lake City (https://www.loversbridalco.com/). The options are ENDLESS, y'all.
3. Let your florist create an "in-season" bouquet
So many flowers are shipped in from overseas when they're not currently blooming here, and that is a LOT of fossil fuel waste. Instead, let your florist know what colors you'd like, talk with them about your wedding day, and let them create something beautiful & sustainable for you from locally sourced flower farms! Trust your florist to know what will look amazing and suit the vision you have for your elopement, and magic will ensue. PS — you could also rent a bouquet as well! While rental bouquets are often made of materials that won't biodegrade like natural flowers, they can be used over & over & over again, and faux bouquets are sturdier for elopements, which means you won't have to worry about keeping them nice if you choose to hike to your ceremony location!
What are other ways you've found to have a sustainable wedding day?
This list only begins to cover all of the ways to create an intentional, earth-friendly elopement or wedding day! There are so many creative ideas out there, and I'd love to hear yours! Let me know below what you're doing to have a sustainable wedding day.
Sources: The Green Bride Guide, by Kate L. Harrison
Kira McGrigg Photographer & Guide is based out of Utah and specializes in elopements that connect couples more deeply to the planet through sustainable practices and incredible experiences.