In honor of earth day here are some eco friendly wedding tips for having a sustainable, earth conscious wedding.

Rent don’t buy. There are a surprising number of things you can rent for your wedding; glasses, plates, furniture, chairs, decor, clothes, entertainment etc. for your wedding. This will help you from over spending and purchasing items that you’ll only use once. 

Guest list. Micro weddings and elopements have become very popular over the last couple of years. While this trend might not be for you what we can take away from it is to invite guests with intention. Looking up at your wedding and seeing the people who are the most important to you rather than a sea of causal friends (or your parent’s friends) will make a difference in how you feel at your wedding. Events like weddings create a lot of food and material waste so fewer guests mean less waste.

Wedding websites in lieu of paper invites. Wedding websites are a great way to keep your guests informed of events, changes and collect info such as meal choices etc. I’ve seen many couples use a wedding website and print a few invitations for guests who want to keep them as a memento (ie. your grandma). If you’re printing your invites choose recycled paper or plant based paper.

Charity donation. Chances are you are a couple who’s been together a while and might not need any help getting set up. Consider asking guests to donate to a charity of your choice instead of a gift. Alternatively, you can donate to a charity in lieu of wedding favours as well.

Consider wearing a second hand wedding dress or suit. The Brides Project is a charity that sells preloved wedding dresses with all proceeds going to cancer foundations in Canada. Consider donating your wedding dress to this great charity. Alternatively, you can also rent a stylish wedding dress or suit from clothing rental companies such as, Studio Fitzroy. Both options are a great way to find an outfit quickly without breaking the bank.

Vintage wedding rings. Whether your ring is passed down or purchased, vintage wedding rings are a trend that will never go out of style. Having a vintage wedding ring is unique and it tells a story. Antique jewelry is so sentimental I love boutiques like, St.Eloi Fine Vintage Jewelry

Use dried flowers and leaves. Dried flowers make for beautiful arrangements that you can keep long after your wedding day. Instead of using confetti or bubbles at the ceremony use dried flower petals and leaves. Using dried flowers is much more ideal than using fake flowers as they can be used as compost.

Avoid using plastic disposable plates, cups and cutlery. Disposable dinnerware creates a lot of waste quickly. There are a lot of options now for earth friendly disposable dinnerware that’s made from bamboo, corn syrup, paper etc. so they can be recycled afterwards. Ask your venue or caterer what they use and if they have eco friendly options.

Experiences over gifts. Over the past few years I’ve noticed couples forgoing wedding favours and choose fun things like a donut wall or photo booth in lieu of gifts. This will create a fun experience for guests and less waste. If you prefer to have wedding favours choose something consumable like cookies, chocolates or soap since they’re more likely to get used instead of wasted.

Vegetarian or vegan meals. This tip might be a little controversial, but vegetarian or vegan meals are one of the best ways to lower your carbon footprint. Choosing to have a vegetarian wedding shares your values and gives some guests a chance to experience something new and change their minds about what vegetarianism is like.

Ask your vendors. When hiring your vendors ask them if they have green, earth friendly options or what they can do to help you have a sustainable wedding. Having your values align with your vendors is a great way to ensure that they have the same vision you do for your wedding. As a Toronto wedding photographer I’ve seen weddings evolve over the years and I am so happy couples are making environmentally friendly choices. Having a sustainable, eco friendly wedding is more than a trend it’s a way to leave a positive footprint long after your wedding day is done.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed these eco friendly wedding tips!