Your wedding should be a representation of you and your partner’s love story. So, if you and your partner care about the environment and live a green lifestyle, you should consider planning a sustainable wedding. Consider a zero-waste wedding if you want to take it a step further. While eco-friendly weddings try to reduce waste, zero-waste weddings aspire to remove it entirely. Don’t be alarmed if that concept seems intimidating. We’ve compiled a list of 14 doable steps to help you organize a zero-waste wedding.

Be Intentional With Your Guest List

We’ll never tell you that a vast guest list means you can’t have a sustainable or zero-waste wedding. It’s unquestionably doable! However, if you want to ensure that you don’t have too much waste, be selective about who you invite. By reducing the number of superfluous invitations, you may be able to reduce your wedding’s overall carbon footprint.

Opt for Paperless (or Plant-able) Wedding Invitations

More recycled wedding stationery options are available than ever before if you’re seeking eco-friendly wedding invites. However, if you want to go the additional mile with your invitations, go paperless. There are many gorgeous online invitations you can construct to keep the process feeling personal and official while avoiding the waste of paper.

If you’d rather send something in the mail to your guests, use stationery that won’t end up in the garbage or recycle bin. Invites that can be planted in the ground are a good option. They’re not only a zero-waste choice, but they’ll also provide your guests a memorable experience and a gift they’ll love long after you’ve exchanged vows.

 Choose a Sustainable Venue

Consider renting out a site that doesn’t require a lot of resources instead of a space that does. Eco-friendly settings such as parks, gardens, beaches, mountains, backyards, and farms all give beautiful scenery and enough of space for you and your friends and family to celebrate.

Invest in Sustainable Fashion

You might assume you’ll need different clothing for each occasion, such as the engagement party, bridal shower, bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner, and wedding day. According to the UN Environment Programme, the fashion industry contributes 10% of global carbon emissions (more than all international flights and maritime transport combined).

Consider purchasing pre-owned wedding gowns or investing in firms with a sustainable mission for your wedding day attire.

Use Eco-Friendly Beauty Products

Invest in cosmetics brands that offer clean formulas and eco-friendly packaging if you want to have a zero-waste wedding (or no packaging at all). Beautycounter, LUSH, Farmacy, True Botanicals, and NakedPoppy are among the companies working to make the beauty industry more environmentally friendly. Additionally, consult with your bridal makeup artist to determine if any single-use products may be avoided (think: disposable makeup wipes, false eyelashes, and any packaging).

Look For Sustainable Accommodations for Guests

Many hotels are attempting to be more sustainable in their practices, which is good news for sustainable couples. Look for venues that are committed to implementing green measures so that you can reduce the amount of waste generated by your wedding.

 Stay Local

Traveling by air, plane, or rail produces a lot of carbon emissions. Plan a local wedding instead of a destination wedding to lessen your wedding’s carbon footprint. That way, your guests will be able to attend readily, and you will be able to save even more waste on your wedding day.

Use Your Cash Fund

Even though wedding registries are now available online, there are always shipping and packaging issues to consider. Concentrate your efforts on The Knot Cash Fund as a more environmentally friendly option. It’s a simple way for your guests to contribute to a cause that’s important to you and your partner, from your honeymoon through your newlywed nest.

 Donate Leftover Food

Even if you prepare the most delectable wedding dinner meal imaginable, there will almost certainly be leftovers. Donate the food to a local homeless shelter or food bank if possible. While they will usually accept your freshly supplied meals, work with your caterer ahead of time to ensure that everything goes smoothly. Not only will it benefit the environment, but it will also benefit someone in need (a win-win if you ask us).

Compost Waste

Work with your venue to segregate your trash cans so that any garbage generated during the ceremony, cocktail hour, or reception can be composted. Food scraps that would otherwise be thrown away can be composted and used to nourish the soil. Isn’t that amazing?

Skip Extras

Because a zero-waste wedding aims to eliminate all waste, omitting any superfluous frills is a simple hack; rather than giving each guest a welcome bag, channel that energy into other areas of your wedding to achieve realistic zero-waste status.

zero waste wedding

Give Zero-Waste Wedding Favors

Consider zero-waste wedding favors if you’re worried about giving your guests a favor they’ll forget or throw away. There are various ways to decrease waste related to your wedding favors, whether you donate to a charity you support, offer your guests a seed packet in biodegradable packaging, or offer them a reusable container (tote, water bottle, or pouch).

Use Preserved or Dried Flowers

While flowers are lovely, they can generate a lot of waste after your wedding. Use preserved or dried flowers for your wedding day to avoid this problem. They can be utilized to favor your guests or as decor for your newlywed nest long after your wedding day.

Donate Local Flowers

If you’ve always wanted fresh flowers for your wedding, there’s a way to get them. You can get flowers from a local flower farm (which will save you money on transportation) and then give them after your wedding. Hospitals, women’s centers, elderly centers, homeless shelters, and other charitable organizations will accept your donation and use it toward any future events—or simply to brighten the day of their people.