In addition to being an exciting and memorable process, wedding planning can also be a difficult balance between planning the boundless event of your dreams and also being responsible not just for your finances but also for the planet. Fortunately, it is possible to be ecologically friendly without sacrificing your vision and without breaking the bank.
As a wedding and events planner for the last nine years, I have often seen how much is tossed aside after a wedding as waste and how unnecessary this can be. To help you with this, I have come up with an organized list of tips and tricks that I will be sharing here. I have separated my suggestions into categories and I will be sharing them with you all over the next few weeks in multiple posts. Stay tuned!
Choosing your Venue:
- Consider the Location: Look at your guest list and try to find a location that will lessen the travel time for most of your guests. If you can avoid most of your guests having to fly or take an extended road trip to get to your event you can greatly reduce your wedding’s carbon footprint.
- Do Your Research: When looking at venues read up on their history and philosophy to get a better idea of their values. Look for venues with LEED certifications (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) and Energy Star ratings. You can use the Green Building Information Gateway to help search for buildings with the above criteria. Don’t be afraid to ask your venue coordinator questions and speak directly to the facilities manager or allow them time to find the answers and get back to you.
- Get a two-for-one deal: Prioritize venues that allow for ceremonies and receptions at their location. This will reduce carbon emissions from transporting your guests and vendors to multiple locations.
- Provide Carpool Suggestions/Options: Renting a shuttle to take your guests to and from your venue will lower the number of cars driving and give the bonus of not having to worry about your guests having to choose between drinking or driving.
- Natural Lighting: Note when you are looking at a venue that natural lighting (outdoor spaces, summer wedding dates, and large windows for indoor spaces) can reduce the amount of electricity your event will use.
Choosing your Vendors:
- Check with your venue to see if they have any preferred vendors with similar values.
- When talking with your potential vendors ask them about their environmental commitments and practices.
- If a vendor you are speaking with doesn’t have any eco-friendly policies in place, ask them if they would mind changing some things around for you. Can they do all of your contracts and payments online? For photographers and videographers, can they send you their products virtually?
As you embark on this process, you will most likely find a combination of venues and vendors who are passionate about minimizing their carbon footprint and others who have not considered the topic at all. You will find comfort in knowing that just by asking about the topic you will plant the seeds for vendors and let them know what is important to their customers going forward. I hope these tips will help you find a starting place, continue this important conversation, and find the perfect venue and vendors for you.
Feel free to comment below on ways you have seen people go eco-friendly with their weddings!
Photos in this post are by Studio XIII Photography