January 10, 2018 - 17 comments

5 ways to have a more eco-friendly wedding

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not always eco-friendly. As much as I try to be, I don't always bring my reusable cup everywhere (although I'm obsessed with it). I also did say yes to the cashier at Trader Joe's when he ask if I wanted to buy a bag. I'm not proud of it and I am working on being better this year!

But when it comes to the outdoor, adventurous weddings I plan, going green is a big focus. So let's jump right in, shall we?

moody tablescape for eco-friendly wedding with ferns and wooden plates

5 ways to make your wedding eco-friendly

Rent real glassware.

Yes, you'll have to pay a little extra. However, not only are you eliminating plastic cups entirely from your wedding but you're upping the classiness of your wedding too. I love the contrast of having a laid back outdoor wedding but throwing elements like nice glassware and beautiful plates at the dinner tables to add a touch of elegance.

Choose locally grown flowers.

Of course, succulents are ideal for outdoor weddings, especially desert weddings, but I also absolutely love a table full of colorful flowers. Ask your florist if there's a way to incorporate more native flowers in your bouquet and centerpieces. Not only are you reducing your carbon footprint, but locally grown flowers are also fresher and look more vibrant on your big day!

Skip the wedding favors.

I always tell my clients that if you're looking to save money, skip the wedding favors. Unless it's something meaningful, a lot of favors get left behind at the end of the night. If you absolutely must have favors, how about opting for a plantable one. This is perfect for local weddings (remember, your out-of-town guests might have to fly home with whatever you give them) and it's something that can be planted and become a part of your guests yards or homes.

Don't print programs.

I see wedding programs less and less these days. Instead, I'm noticing that my clients are getting creative with signage. Whether it's a weekend schedule on a chalkboard sign or a ceremony program on a mirror, there are so many ways to avoid the paper printouts!

Choose vendors who are eco-conscious.

Listen, it's impossible to have a 100% eco-friendly wedding but when you have wedding vendors who are on board with the idea of reducing the overall carbon footprint it makes planning your wedding this way a lot easier!

BONUS: Some venues like Rimrock Ranch in Joshua Tree will even give you a discount on the venue rental fee if you commit to their "Green Wedding" program! So going green can even save you money on your wedding day and who can say no to that!

Hope these tips were helpful. Make sure to follow us on Instagram where we share a lot of other wedding planning tips for adventurous and eco-conscious couples!


January 15, 2018 at 6:50 pm

Such great tips! I love that Rimrock Ranch incentivizes couples who go green on their wedding. That’s such an awesome idea. Thanks for sharing!

Lindsay Bishop
January 15, 2018 at 9:15 pm

Great tips, and such an important topic!

    Gabrielle Norton
    January 16, 2018 at 4:15 am

    Thanks Lindsay! I always hope, if anything, it can encourage people to at least make a few changes to make their wedding a little more ec-friendly. Every little bit helps!

Rachel Rice
January 16, 2018 at 12:53 pm

YES on the real glassware!!!! Not only is it BARELY any more expensive than those upscale disposables it is SO much better for the environment and so much less trash and clutter! I love using locally grown flowers, some of my favorite florists forage directly from the woods or their properties to get the greenery for events! And yes on skipping favors or programs, honestly unless you’re giving away some really good chocolate, no one wants a favor and no one except your mom is reading the program!! So many great tips here Gabby!

    Gabrielle Norton
    January 16, 2018 at 5:51 pm

    That’s true Rachel! It really isn’t a lot more expensive. Haha I guess I wouldn’t say no to some delicious chocolates as a favor! Also, I tell clients that if the favor is something meaningful or that represents them, then by all means do it!

January 17, 2018 at 7:45 pm

I love these tips! And honestly, I’ve priced out nice disposables for clients, and they are almost always more than just renting basic glassware! I also love the juxtaposition of an outdoor wedding with really nice table elements. And yes to everything else! No to programs, favors, and yes to local flowers!

    Gabrielle Norton
    January 17, 2018 at 9:55 pm

    Yes that’s so true! Sometimes the venues we work at are so far from civilization that we need to use disposables but in that case, I always encourage clients to use bamboo. It’ll decompose in the landfill and must better on the environment. But still, I think real rentals are the way to go!

January 21, 2018 at 11:38 pm

Skipping favors and programs are my favorite tips, I also frequently give this hint to my couples not only when they want to be eco-friendly but also to cut costs! I swear I pick more of these up at the end of the night than what actually went home with guests!

    Gabrielle Norton
    January 23, 2018 at 1:22 am

    Exactly! It’s always so sad to see all the favors (often times things that the couple or the family spent time making) left behind at the end of the night. It’s true that it’s a great way to save money on your wedding by cutting them out!

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