I love a good low waste wedding situation. If you follow along on Instagram, you know we got married late last year and let me tell you – weddings are so wasteful. Low waste weddings? Not all that common, I’m learning. I’m not perfect in the low waste category, but I love making small, easy changes to do better where I can.
And wow are there so many places during the wedding planning process to easily cut down on waste.
Whether you’re newly engaged, deep in the wedding planning process, or maybe you’re a helpful bridesmaid researching for a friend – let’s dive into five super easy low waste wedding tips.
Confetti is fun to dust across various tables (looking at you, bachelorette penis confetti) and toss into the air for a fun wedding day photo – but sheesh is it wasteful.
I’ve got a couple tricks up my sleeve to still get that cute confetti look sans waste.
★ If you’re a DIY-er this one’s for you. Take a hole punch and leaves and make your own plant-based confetti! I’m kind of obsessed with this one because that means all your confetti is literally natural, biodegradable, and low waste.
★ Not interested in the hole punching situation? Just use flower petals instead!
★ Or just like – ditch this whole confetti and tossing items into the air situation in general. The reality no one tells you up front? Most venues will charge you a clean up fee if you toss things into the air as you exit your ceremony because they end up all over the floor and create a huge mess. I don’t know about you – but I was very down to save a couple hundred dollars (and a ton of unneeded waste) and just not toss any confetti or petals at all.
Spoiler alert: flowers are expensive AF. When we got engaged I thought this would be the area of our budget to save and wow was I wrong. The cost of flowers add up really quickly!
I was actually searching for ways to save money on florals, but found a really unique low waste wedding tip in the process:
Re-use your floral decor from your ceremony in your reception where possible!
We reused some flower arrangements from our aisle as centerpieces. We also reused some of our chuppah greenery in parts of our sweetheart table or as fireplace mantel decor (our venue had loads of fireplaces). You can even utilize your bridesmaids bouquets as centerpieces (if they’re willing to give them up!).
I was also really not into the idea that once the evening was over all my flowers would end up in the trash. Talk with your florist – it may be possible for your florist to donate all your flowers to local nursing homes. How awesome is that to brighten someone’s day??
There are so many truly wasteful paper products in the wedding planning process from save the dates, invitations, RSVP cards, menus, signs, custom napkins, programs – you get the gist. Paper is everywhere.
We used Minted for our save the dates and invites – I’m super thankful they offer recycled paper options! We did do save the dates and invites – but we actually had guests RSVP online on our website instead of including paper RSVP cards. Our wedding was formal/black tie optional – and yes we had people RSVP online.
I know there’s a weird stigma with online RSVPs as if they are too casual…who gives a shit honestly? It’s 2020. Do you and save yourself some cash (and sanity – online RSVPs are so easy to manage) by not going the paper RSVP route.
I knowwww this nugget is super controversial – but we didn’t do favors and I have zero regrets. We put all our cash into ensuring our guests had a lovely evening with loads of food, an open bar, and a damn good band.
No one needs your free magnet, shot glass, or any other item to be honest. Unless you have an item in mind that is super personal and useful, I really recommend saving the hundreds of dollars favors cost and the waste – and just don’t do them. Think of all the wedding favors you’ve taken home in the past…did you actually use them? Or did they maybe sit in a drawer until you finally decided it was okay to throw it out?
The bulk of the waste your wedding will generate the day of will come from yes decor – but also how items are disposed of. Partner with your venue and caterer to talk about composting options – or even the option of donating untouched leftover food! Ask your venue what recycling options they have for decor so less of it ends up in the landfill.
Your venue may even have other vendor recommendations for partners that specialize in low waste weddings – like crafty florists, thrifty coordinators and planners, etc!
Got low waste wedding tips to share? Drop ’em in the comments below.
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