Organizing a wedding is often the most exciting, and stressful part of a person’s life. From juggling vendors and venues to all the aspects out of your control, it’s important to take a step back and understand what you want your day to be like. In our ever-changing world, there’s been an increase in people opting for a more minimalist lifestyle, which comes with many benefits. For those who are interested in a more minimal and environmentally friendly wedding, here are a few tips to give you the perfect day while also being cognizant of the environment.

Start by Proposing With a Sustainable Gem

Everyone knows that “popping the question” starts with finding the perfect engagement ring. Regardless of if you’re opting for the more traditional diamond or a different variety of gem, make sure that you’re purchasing one that’s both ethical and sustainable. An ethical engagement ring is one made using fair labor practices and fairly sourced materials; a sustainable engagement ring takes into account its effect on the planet during production.

Many people are opting for lab-grown diamonds these days, as they’re conflict-free, provide the same level of beauty and shine, and are often considerably cheaper than traditional diamonds. Lab-grown diamonds are created “using advanced technological processes that duplicate the conditions under which diamonds naturally develop when they form in the mantle, beneath the Earth’s crust.” They offer a wide range of design options and are created ethically and safely.

Send Out Eco-Friendly Wedding Invitations

When it comes to letting your friends and family know about your big day, keep in mind the types of invitations that you’ll be using. There are a variety of ways that you can help make eco-friendly wedding invitations, thus being a little kinder to the planet. A great way to start is simply limiting the number of items in each invitation. Invites can often contain many different pieces of paper and materials, so trying to keep that number low can already make a positive environmental impact.

In addition, you can look for invitations that are 100% biodegradable and are able to be put in compost piles. Some of these can even contain seeds so you’re able to plant the invitations afterward! Using recycled materials is another great way to reduce the demand for new paper and plastic. If you’re more technologically friendly and willing to stray a little further from tradition, sending paperless invitations through email can help save some trees.

A Wedding Invitation.
When looking for wedding invitations, consider using recycled materials and eco-friendly ink.

Include Environmentally Friendly Registry Options

Creating a wedding registry for you and your partner is a great way to help people make sure they’re buying gifts that you truly want and will use. Often composed of household items or things to help start your life together, it’s also important to make sure that you’re being environmentally conscious when creating your registry. One of the easiest ways to do this is to prioritize reusable items such as stainless steel straws, dishwasher-safe Tupperware, objects made out of recycled materials, etc.

If you want help in ensuring that your registry is environmentally friendly, Everlastly is a great place to start. Everlastly can help eco-conscious couples make sure that gifts are sustainable and have a limited carbon footprint. If you’re focused less on material items, allowing people to donate directly to a fund can be an option. This is often used for larger future purchases such as a honeymoon or saving for a new home. Once you and your partner figure out how much house you can afford, this can help you gauge how you might set up your registry. In addition to personal donations, setting up a way people can donate to a charity in your honor is another environmentally friendly option. This way no items are being purchased or created, and you’re able to help give back to those who need it.

Plan for an Outdoor Wedding

Outdoor weddings are not only a great way to be a little closer to nature on your wedding day, but they offer an eco-friendly venue with great views! You won’t have to worry about plugging in a bunch of lights in order to get the perfect photo, the natural sunlight is not only better for the environment but also adds a more genuine glow to your photos. Booking a wedding at a national park gives you both a well-kept and serene backdrop as well as helping fund the conservation of the great outdoors. If you want to keep it smaller and more intimate, a backyard wedding saves you from spending thousands of dollars on a location, and you can control all of the small details to make it as environmentally friendly as you’d like! When opting for an outdoor wedding, it’s important to provide sustainably-powered transportation for your guests. This can help them get safely to and from the wedding while reducing any carbon emissions.

Man with bride
Hosting your wedding outdoors allows for a beautiful view while also keeping the environment in mind.

Choose Your Flowers Carefully and Then Donate Them

Flowers are often a focal point of weddings. From elaborate displays to table settings the unique colors and arrangements are always eye-catching. It’s important to find flowers that are grown chemical-free and in a natural environment, and a great way to do that is by working with locally-owned flower shops in your area. This way you’re supporting small businesses in addition to having more control over where your flowers come from, and often getting a longer lifespan out of them.

Some people may opt for fabric flowers in place of organic ones. These will not only look perfect at all times for your wedding but are reusable for future events. In a similar vein, if you do opt for organic flowers, you have the ability to donate them once your event is complete! Oftentimes places such as nursing homes and hospitals are very receptive to flower donations, and you can make sure the flowers that brightened your wedding day can share some of that light with others.

A line of Flowers.
Using artificial plants is good for both the environment and your budget.

Opt for Eco-Friendly Welcome Bags

While welcome bags are a great way to show some hospitality to your guests, they often include single-use water bottles and individually wrapped foods or gifts. There are a couple of easy adjustments you can make to a typical welcome bag to make them more environmentally friendly, the first being to swap them to a reusable water bottle. This way they can not only use it multiple times, but it also will be a constant reminder of the special day you shared.

Some other great wedding favors for your guests are eco-friendly candles, soaps, bath salts, and more! These can often be found by a local creator and are great and practical gifts that can be used and enjoyed, as opposed to collecting dust. This is simply one of the many ways to help reduce your carbon footprint! To top it all off, instead of using a typical gift bag, you can put all these wedding favors in a reusable and sustainable tote.

A wedding is supposed to be a celebration of a couple’s love. Unfortunately, this can sometimes get drowned out by the stress and drama of the planning process. Preparing for an environmentally friendly wedding can not only put some perspective back into the event, but also make sure that things are a little more down to earth and that the event is focused on what truly matters: a joint celebration of unity.