Marrying your soulmate is meant to be one of the most memorable days of your life. 

However, it can also be one of the most wasteful and ecologically damaging events. 

For instance, did you know the average wedding produces more than 60 metric tons of carbon dioxide and roughly 400 lbs of waste

In the United Kingdom, a typical wedding produces 18 kilograms of plastic waste—that’s the equivalent of 47 blue whales! 

While some weddings can be harmful to the environment, yours doesn’t have to be. We’ve compiled a list of simple ways you can reduce the environmental impact of your wedding day. 

Say “I do” to a sustainable wedding by checking out these ten helpful eco-friendly ideas: 


1. Go with something ‘borrowed’

Woman wearing a wedding dress and bridal garter

Instead of having new pieces made for you and your party, go for preloved clothing

Not only is it frugal, but choosing to wear preowned wedding dresses is also planet-friendly as it keeps unused clothing from ending up in landfills

For something truly vintage, you could even wear your mum’s or grandma’s heirloom wedding dress!

Visit your local thrift stores or vintage boutiques to look for wedding wearables that are not only stylish but also sustainable. 

You could also ask around for rental boutiques to not only save on money but on resources as well.

2. Consider biodegradable alternatives to confetti

couple married and everyone throwing wedding confetti on them on a beautiful sunny day

It’s always a fun sight to see newlywed couples showered with confetti in wedding ceremonies. 

However, plastic confetti is challenging to clean up and is harmful to the environment.

You can still experience the joy of throwing confetti on your green wedding by going for biodegradable alternatives that are equally as fun! 

You can use birdseed, dried flower petals, or leaves, like confetti on your special day. 

3. Make waste-free wedding invites 

Paper wedding invitations eco friendly no waste

Weddings can get wasteful, especially when it comes to the paper used in making wedding invites. 

If your special day is coming up and you’re inviting friends and family, you can reduce your paper waste by going for paperless invites. Plus, you can easily track who RSVP’d to your wedding in real-time!   

If online invites aren’t your thing, you may also use recycled paper to create your wedding invites. 

4. Opt for sustainable wedding favours

Plant pots, herbs pots, bottles of wine and vases of flowers for wedding celebrations

A wedding won’t be complete without guests going home with wedding favours. 

If you’re planning an eco-friendly wedding, it would be best to go for sustainable party favours. 

Express your gratitude to your guests by giving them custom-grown plantable party favours such as mini succulents, potted herbs, or even starter plants like tomatoes. 

Seed packets are also another cute wedding favour idea! 

5. Upcycle discarded items into wedding decors 

wedding decorations

Upcycled decorations are another great idea for an eco-friendly wedding ceremony. 

Instead of buying wedding decorations that you’ll probably use only once, a more sustainable alternative is to create repurposed decors instead. 

You could upcycle old fabrics as bunting banners for your wedding reception. If you have lots of old mason jars or tin cans lying around, you can paint them in gold and fashion them into beautiful centrepieces! 

6. Source locally-grown flowers 

woman walking down the woodland with fresh wedding bouquet

Wedding flowers, especially bouquets with imported blooms, produce carbon emissions ten times greater than locally sourced flowers.

To make your wedding truly eco-friendly, you can opt to reduce your flowers’ carbon footprint by sourcing locally grown flowers for your special day.

Look for a florist who offers ethically and sustainably grown blooms in your locality. 

Also, instead of cut flowers, consider renting potted plants as living and one-of-a-kind centrepieces and decors.

7. Choose an eco-friendly location

Castlewellan forest park

A church ceremony or a destination wedding? Location is everything when it comes to having a memorable wedding. 

If you’re going green on your wedding day, a sustainable venue is a non-negotiable. 

It could be a nature preserve committed to environmental stewardship or a location that practices recycling and runs on clean energy. 

Another great tip: Find a location that can host both the ceremony and reception to cut down on carbon emissions.

8. Go for second-hand wedding tableware 

decorative wedding tableware

Going with a DIY wedding to save on costs? If you’ve got a hundred guests or more attending, it can be tempting to use disposable tableware. 

Thankfully, there’s a sustainable way of resolving this issue. Make your reception free from single-use plastic by using second-hand tableware from thrift stores. 

Be sure to estimate the number of expected wedding guests to purchase enough dining ware. After the wedding, you could either keep or resell them! 

9. Cut back on energy consumption

wedding reception in the evening under the stars in the open

Another way of making your wedding more sustainable is by minimising the electricity used on your special day. 

Cut down on your energy use by getting married in naturally lit and well-ventilated spaces, such as in woodland venues. 

For your reception, you can also reduce energy use by delighting in the warm glow of candlelights that will surely give your ceremony a cosy, intimate feel. 

Wherever necessary, you can also make use of energy-efficient LED light bulbs! 

10. Repurpose your wedding flowers 

beautiful wedding flowers in a glass vase

No wedding will be complete without flowers. 

Sadly, those lovely blooms will likely get tossed in the trash once the ceremony is over.

Instead of discarding your wedding blooms, you can reuse them by pressing them into beautiful floral keepsakes! 

You can also donate your leftover blooms to charity through flower recycling platforms like Floral Angels that restyle discarded flowers into beautiful bouquets for nursing homes and hospices. 

With these ten helpful eco-friendly ideas, your wedding day will not just be memorable but also sustainable. Most of these ideas are relatively simple, such as sending digital wedding invites or going for eco-friendly giveaways instead of plastic ones!

If some of these ideas are challenging to accomplish, don’t hesitate to reach out to your wedding planner. Express your interest in having an eco-friendly wedding, and they might be able to help you with your goal. 

Got any more eco-friendly wedding tips to share? Let us know by leaving a comment!

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About The Author

May can usually be found reading an eco magazine absorbed in the latest gripping articles on all things eco! May is passionate about the environment. May believes in looking and feeling good whilst living an eco friendly lifestyle. In her spare time she loves cooking, playing her guitar and going for country walks. May lives in the UK and enjoys spending time with friends, family and her two adorable cats.

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