10 Ways You Can Minimize Wedding Waste

Hey friends! Today I want to talk about something that’s been bothering me for a while. I want to talk about how the wedding industry promotes and encourages you to plan a wedding that often leads to a whole lotta waste. From wedding magazines to pretty pinterest pages to wedding blogs that will only accept weddings that are heavy on the details. The industry has a way of making you feel like you HAVE to have all these pretty THINGS on your wedding day or it won’t live up to the hype. And I’m here to put a stop to that.

It’s no secret that the photographs I create on a wedding day emphasize relationships and the people you’ve invited to share your day with. Sure, I’ll photograph the table details and all the flowers, but I can guarantee those aren’t the photos that you remember in 10 or 20 years, hell you often won’t even choose them for your album! So if that’s the case, then why do we spend so much time stressing over shit that’s just going to be thrown in the garbage the next day?

Want to know how you can help reduce the insane amount of waste that the wedding industry creates? Here’s a few easy changes you can make AND reasons why I think you should!

10 Ways to Minimize Wedding Waste :

1. Send e-invites instead of paper invites! Why? To save paper, duh. But also, save stamps ($$), the headache of trying to organize an RSVP spreadsheet (wedding websites will do the organizing for you and will send out automatic reminders to the people who haven’t RSVPed on time), and it’s a fun way to show off your engagement photos instead of just one or two on paper!

2. Rent cloth napkins instead of ordering custom monogrammed paper ones. This one should be obvious. If you’re wanting things to stay personalized, you can rent napkins in your wedding colours instead of plain white! (Also, rent all your place settings instead of using plastic, please.)

3. Donate your Florals! Organizations such as ReBloom will re-purpose your flowers + help give back to your community. Bonus, when the flowers have wilted they will collect them from the charity for compost! From their website : ” ReBLOOM will deliver your newly redesigned flowers to a charity of your choice: senior homes, patients in hospices, cancer treatment centers, mental health facilities, domestic abuse and homeless shelters.”

4. Hire + Buy Local. Save on shipping costs + waste by choosing local businesses. This goes for pretty much anything you need to buy for your wedding.

5. Skip the Favours. Seriously, people aren’t going to come to your wedding for the favour. They aren’t going to remember if you gave them a custom cookie or a candle with your faces on it. Most of them won’t even remember to take them home at the end of the night and then you’re stuck with 50 extra bottle openers. Instead, gift them an awesome meal, cold drinks, and a party they won’t forget.

6. Say no to Confetti. Unlesssssss it’s natural, then go wild. Natural options include : Flower petals or lavender buds, leaves, seed bombs in compostable paper, dried coconut. Bonus is these options are going to smell way better than plastic anyways. Follow the other Leave-No-Trace principles, too!

7. Forgo paper menus + programs. Instead, rent chalkboards or mirrors and use them to write all the info your guests need. Place them strategically at your venue to help guide your guests.

8. Place recycling bins beside the garbage. It shouldn’t be a surprise that there’s going to be waste from beer cans, alcohol bottles, pop and other mix. Even drunk guests know the difference between a blue bin and the garbage.

9. Go one step further and offer beer on tap instead of in cans. Have drink dispensers of ice water and punch to keep your guests cool instead of bottles. Make it fancy and infuse the water with fruit + veggies!

10. Talk to your vendors about ways they can minimize waste. Can leftover food be boxed up for family to take home? Can your florist use local flowers that don’t have to be shipped in plastic + covered in chemicals? Can food left on plates be composted? Can you sign contracts online instead of printing + photocopying?

I hope if anything that this post has made you stop and think. I hope while planning your wedding you make one or two choices that are the environmentally friendly option instead of the cheapest. I hope you start to question why the industry puts so much pressure on you to buy things for your wedding just because everyone else has them. I hope you start chatting with your vendors about ways they can help minimize wedding waste.

Have more suggestions? Please leave them in a comment below!

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