Mindful Wedding Planning for Sustainable Nuptials

Any wedding requires a huge amount of planning and consideration. It’s important to think beyond the themes and guest lists, though. As our climate continues to change, ensuring that your event and the elements that surround it are sustainable is a responsible step.

The good news is that there are many resources available to you to make sustainable nuptials practical. Some elements will take a little extra research, while others can need creative thought. Nevertheless, your commitment helps to ensure the beauty of your wedding is enhanced by a respect for the world around you.

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Think Beyond the Traditional

A lot of the traditional elements of having a wedding are not especially sustainable. Fancy cars, outfits made from elaborate materials, and receptions that utilize a lot of electricity are just a few of them. Thankfully, Gen Z’s changing views on romance are influencing a less traditional take on wedding plans. This generation isn’t just embracing online dating and less rigid gender roles. Alongside postponing marriage until it’s financially responsible and buying tungsten instead of gold wedding bands, couples are creating their own traditions. These focus on creativity, uniqueness, and — most importantly — environmental sustainability. 

Some of the non-traditional and sustainable elements you can use include:

  • Alternative venues: Some traditional wedding and reception venues don’t maintain sustainable standards. For instance, large buildings — such as churches or hotels — may require a lot of heating or cooling during your ceremony. It can be wise to think beyond these traditions and opt for a non-traditional location. For instance, holding a wedding at a beach or poolside can minimize energy use.
  • Smaller ceremonies: Another longstanding wedding tradition is to have a lot of guests. However, this often means a lot of emissions produced during traveling, guests having a damaging impact on the natural spaces they enter, and a lot of waste production. Opting for a smaller ceremony, perhaps with some guests attending via live stream, can be a more environmentally considerate option.


The key is to take a little extra consideration when looking at the aspects of your wedding. Explore what it is about the traditional elements that make them less sustainable. From here, you can research alternatives that are not just responsible, but positive parts of your unique event.

Balancing Vendors with the Personal Touch

One of the great things about planning a wedding at the moment is you have access to a wide range of vendors to help you, from photographers to musicians. While vendors can take some of the stress out of the day, they can also add both expense and environmental pressure to your event. A better approach is to strike a balance between hiring vendors and applying a personal touch yourself.

This begins with being honest with yourself about what you can practically achieve and would even like to do yourself. Environmentally and budget-friendly DIY wedding ideas include using design software to create your own creative and meaningful wedding invitations, perhaps sending them digitally, rather than utilizing paper, ink, and couriers. Creating your own wedding décor and centrepieces from upcycled and recycled materials can boost sustainability while applying your artistic fingerprints throughout the event.

From here, you’ll have clarity of the tasks you feel would be best serviced by experienced professionals, either due to your lack of expertise or simple time constraints. You can still be sustainable in your choices, though. Have discussions with each of your vendors about your commitment to as low-impact an event as possible. This may include discussing with caterers what their approaches to both obtaining locally sourced foods and minimizing waste are. If you’re using printing services for thank-you cards, insist on vendors’ use of recycled paper and energy-efficiency practices.

Making a Positive Impact on the World

Having a sustainable wedding isn’t just about minimizing waste and using renewable sources of energy. You can also find ways that maximize the positive influence your ceremony has on the world around you. With a little extra consideration, you can add extra layers of beauty and meaning to the celebration of your union.

For instance, some couples choose to provide guests with seeds as wedding favours. You can take this a step further to make a planting ceremony a part of your celebration. This could involve arranging with your venue to allow you and your guests to plant flowers or shrubbery that are good for pollinators in your local area. You could also incorporate an activity for guests to get together to create bee and insect hotels that you hang around the property or at home.

Another option is to collaborate with community charities. For instance, some couples request that, instead of bringing gifts, guests should donate what they can to a specified charity. This could be to fund beach clean-ups and rewilding projects, among others. Where possible, work with your catering vendors to also donate unused foods to homeless and food-bank charities in your area, minimizing waste and helping those in need.


A sustainable wedding is achievable, but it needs a little extra planning and focus. Some of the steps include thinking beyond the traditional in your choice of venues alongside finding more ways your ceremony can positively impact your community.

You may find you need to make some compromises along the way. After all, a lot of conveniences in event planning can have negative environmental impacts. Nevertheless, you can rest assured that the first step in this new phase of your relationship will be one that is enriching for you both, your community, and the planet.