Your wedding day is meant to be one of the most memorable days of your life – celebrating the love you and your partner have for one another and are committing to. However, wedding days can also accumulate some of the most waste / one-time-use waste. In fact, the Chicago Tribune reported that “The Green Bride Guide,” by Kate Harrison, found that an average wedding producers nearly 400 pounds of garbage and 63 tons of carbon dioxide. That’s a lot! However, there are very simple ways you can reduce your carbon footprint on your wedding day. Our eco-friendly wedding tips include:
Choose Recycled Materials: As many wedding service companies are becoming more and more eco-friendly or eco-conscious, it’s making it easier for couples to have the option to choose eco-friendly or recycled materials on their big day; and one of the simplest ways to be more ‘green’ leading up to your wedding day includes creating eco-friendly invitations. If you don’t want to forgo sending invitations by mail, consider using seed paper for your invites. Seed paper is a biodegradable material that sprouts flowers or plants when planted in a pot of soil. If seed paper is appealing to you for invitations, consider using seed paper for your wedding day menus, place settings, and more. Of course, if you want to be even more eco-friendly when it comes to wedding invites, many couples are tossing the snail-mail option out the window all together, and choosing to send their invites electronically, using platforms like Paperless Post.
Donations vs. Gifts: Maybe material gifts aren’t your thing, or perhaps, you and your partner already have many of the things that are traditionally added to a wedding registry; and that’s OK! We’re seeing more and more couples opt for a charity registry, where couples choose a charity or multiple charities they are passionate about, and have guests make a donation on their behalf. You can also get creative with this “give-back” registry, and choose a handful of charities you like, place the charity name and a little bit about the charity on an envelope box, and have guests choose which charity they’d like to donate to on the day of your wedding, by dropping their monetary donation into the charity box of their choosing. Then following the wedding, you can take photos of you and your partner dropping off the monetary donations and send these images along with your thank you notes (either via traditional mail or via email), so your guests can enjoy the giveback experience with you. We’ve also seen couples who are passionate about animals have guests donate toys, blankets, and food at the wedding, and then couples drop-off donation items at the shelter a couple of days after the ceremony. All of this to say, you can also have a hybrid give-back registry, meaning that you can have a traditional wedding registry with a few items you need for your home or honeymoon, as well as a giveback donation option, so you’re getting whatever items you need, while also giving back to your favorite charity. The giveback options are endless and can be customized to your personal preferences – everyone wins!
Upcycling dresses, décor and more: Upcycling is one the easiest ways to make your wedding more eco-friendly. For example, there are multiple websites like UnboxTheDress and UpcycleMyStuff that allow you to “rent” your wedding dress to other brides. Traditionally, men rent tuxedos, so why not rent or allow others to rent your wedding dress once you’ve worn it? This is also a great budget friendly option for women who want to wear a special dress, but not invest in one. This upcycling approach is also ideal for special wedding shoes! Another great way to save some green and be more green on your big day, is to source some décor items from thrift stores, Facebook Marketplace and more. So many wedding décor items are often tossed or are thrown in the back of a storage closet and are rarely if ever to be used again; so if you’re feeling particularly savvy and want to commit to upcycling, sourcing second hand or gently used décor items is a great place to start.
As we approach Earth Day, and start to think of how we plan our weddings and events in a more eco-friendly way, what are some ways you plan to make your wedding more green? We’d love to hear your ideas, as well as share some more of our eco-friendly tips with you in-person! Call to make an appointment with our wedding team to learn more about our wedding and event capabilities: 815.777.5000.
In the meantime, you can learn about all that Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa has to offer for your big day, including packages, spaces and more by visiting our wedding page, or by calling us to arrange a meeting with one of our bridal experts.
- Your Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa Wedding Team