Weddings - we love them! Family and friends coming together in a beautiful venue to celebrate the happy couple, indulging in great food and drink, sharing fond memories and lively conversation, and enjoying music, dancing and beautiful flower arrangements.
You and your fiance are likely putting a bounty of time and enthusiasm into making your wedding day especially memorable, and we know it takes a lot of planning. We also know that with a little extra thought, a sustainable wedding is a great opportunity to share your values with a celebration that gives back.
There are a ton of wonderful ways to do create a sustainable wedding, from quality products to amazing vendors who contribute to the greater good. Whether by donating a portion of proceeds to a cause, empowering workers with living wages and safe working conditions, or giving back to the environment - it's a great way to ensure everything about your wedding reflects your values.
Best of all, it's not hard... simply include vendors and products that are both high quality and do good in the world.
We know how many checklists you probably have. So we've put together this list of 8 eco friendly wedding ideas and ways to give back. And when it’s all over and your last guest has headed home, you and your newly wed spouse will feel amazing knowing your sustainable wedding had a positive social and environmental impact.
Feel free to share with anyone you know who’s getting married!
1. Choose Ethical Wedding Rings
For ethical and sustainable wedding rings, definitely take a look at these beautiful Conflict Free Diamond Rings from Brilliant Earth. Diamonds have a bad reputation for harming the environment and bolstering abusive working conditions. Luckily Brilliant Earth carries high quality rings and jewelry sourced without violence and strict labor and environmental standards to protect both workers and the environment. They also donate 5% of all profits to help transform the lives of people who have been harmed by the diamond industry. This is a ring you can proudly show off to your friends and share the story behind. P.S. Tell your bridesmaids to check out Fair trade Jewellery Co. for more unique eco and ethical finds to match their outfits with.
2. Create An Alternative Registry for What Matters To You
You and your fiance have probably starting thinking about what you need on your wedding registry. Consider creating an alternative registry with SoKind. We love this... SoKind lets you personalize gifts in any way that is meaningful to you. For example, you could ask your friends and loved ones to support your favorite charity with a small donation, share their favorite recipes, or help with any of the wedding preparations. If you and your fiance prefer a more traditional registry, consider giving back by choosing ethically-made home goods or asking for fair trade coffee.3. Rent a Stunning Nonprofit Venue
This is one of our favorite ideas... there are so many gorgeous nonprofit spaces that host weddings, including museums, nature preserves, botanical spaces, universities, and historical sites. If you know the location you want your wedding in, you can start by searching for a unique nonprofit venue there. Your money will not only help sustain the space itself, but will support any programs they offer to the community.
4. Send Eco Wedding Invitations:
Inspire your guests with beautiful sustainable wedding invitations. Etsy has many elegant recycled wedding invite options. Bella Figura goes the extra mile when it comes to printing green, earth-friendly wedding invitations. They’re a member of the Co-op America Green Business Network and support the environment through green printing techniques and business practices. Other fun eco friendly wedding ideas for are choosing plantable seed paper that transform into colorful flowers or plants when planted. (Hey, spring and summer are right around the corner!)
5. Fall in Love with a Fair Trade Wedding Dress
Your wedding dress is probably one of the most important items to choose for your wedding day. Check out Celia Grace for amazing fair trade, sustainable wedding dresses that empower workers and communities. With every dress sold, Celia Grace actually donates a school uniform to a child in need in Cambodia.
6. Elegant and Sustainable Floral Arrangements
With floral arrangements, there’s a few eco friendly wedding ideas to help you make an impact. Make your wedding decorations sustainable with living flora and plants that can be gifted or taken home by guests afterwards. Another great idea to make your arrangements eco-conscious is to choose local flowers that are in season or donate the flowers after the wedding to a local nursing home or senior center. You can also donate your flowers to bring joy to patients coping with life changing illnesses through the nonprofit service Full Bloom.
7. Vendors That Support Great Causes
Check out some of the incredible wedding vendors listed on Love Gives Way who can help arrange your live music, dinner, and cake and who donate their profits to fighting sex trafficking. Another great vendor who specializes in flower arrangements is Vaseful. They support people with disabilities through employment. For delicious wine that has an impact, One Hope Wine is a great choice. They partner with nonprofits around the world to support meaningful causes.
8. Meaningful Wedding Favors
Give your guests wedding favors that have a story behind them. Meaningful wedding guest gifts not only spread the feel good vibes at your wedding, but also give your guests plenty to talk about as they get to know each other. Our customizable candles make elegant wedding favors for your guests and support women refugees creating a brighter future in the U.S. with living wages. You can also show your guests how much you appreciate them with other wedding favors that do good, like Truffles for a Cause and Feed Your Soul.
Bonus! More Ways to Give Back After Your Wedding
Donate your dress: Several organizations are dedicated to repurposing gently used wedding dresses so that more women can celebrate their wedding with joy. Some of these include Brides for a Cause, Brides Against Breast Cancer, and The Brides Project. Your bridesmaids can also donate their dresses if they won’t be reusing them.
Donate leftover food: After the wedding feast, there is bound to be leftovers. If your wedding vendor allows, consider giving back by donating the extra food to a local shelter or food pantry.
Donate your honeymoon miles: If you plan on flying somewhere for your honeymoon, you can donate your miles to support a round-trip flight for an injured or ill service member and their families as they undergo treatment.
What ideas do you have for planning a sustainable wedding that gives back that we might have missed? Let us know in the comments below.