January 11, 2024 Green Weddings: Three Big Actions for a Small Footprint
When it comes to planning your wedding, it’s hard not to dream big and fantasize about everything you’ll need to pull off something special.
But amidst the dreaming, it’s hard to ignore the amount of waste produced by the big day. In fact, Green Bride Guide author Kate Harrison discovered that the average wedding produces 400 lbs of waste, and results in 63 tonnes of carbon emissions. This shocking amount of waste is made up by single-use items such as decor and flowers, throw-away items like invitations, programs and menus, and the carbon emissions of importing wedding materials.
This may seem like a discouraging statistic, but with millions of weddings happening each year, some small changes in your own approach can help cut back on waste and emissions on a greater scale than you may have imagined.
Once you’ve come up with a vision for your dream wedding, look for ways to approach it with sustainability in mind. We’ve got a few tips for how to ease up on the environmental impact without compromising the vision.
Start With the Dress
Good news— if you’ve picked a Truvelle wedding dress, you’re already making moves toward a more environmentally conscious wedding day! Sustainability is fundamental to our approach to bridal, from samples and fabrics to manufacturing.
When it comes to designing and creating new styles, we keep past collection fabrics in mind so we can make the most of what we have on hand. That means you may find the same lace and tulle from our previous collections incorporated into exciting new silhouettes. We also source high quality fabrics to ensure your gown will be an heirloom, passed down through future generations, and all our dress lining comes from high quality recycled fabric.
Minor Swaps with Major Impact
Sometimes the words “sustainable,” “eco-friendly” and “green” can feel like the opposite of a wedding aesthetic. But a sustainable approach doesn’t have to compromise the look you want to create, and can even save you some money.
It may seem obvious, but renting wedding décor can be a great way to minimize waste. Event rental companies can offer a range of products, from the simplest to the most creative, so you can customize every aspect right down to the cutlery. For more unique or symbolic touches, consider a prop rental house.
If you’re more sentimental, or perhaps more eclectic, you might want to swap out items like plates, glasses, cake stands and candle holders for vintage pieces. Incorporating vintage items throughout the venue can enhance the romantic feeling and bring in a touch of nostalgia. While sourcing these can feel like a treasure hunt, it can be a fun way to engage your wedding party before the big day.
Another way to reduce environmental impact is to work with local companies. Truvelle is incredibly proud of our commitment to local manufacturing, with each gown being handmade in our East Vancouver studio. By avoiding outsourcing and overseas manufacturing, we’re reducing carbon costs and ensuring proper disposal, reuse and recycling of fabrics. Not to mention, there’s less room for error— fewer mistakes are made when the whole team is in the same room communicating!
But it doesn’t have to stop at the dress. Our post about sustainable wedding bouquets gives some great advice on incorporating local, seasonal floral arrangements, and you can take the same approach to food— seek out catering companies that focus on fresh, seasonal and local products to minimize the carbon cost of shipping. Plus, this ensures that you and your guests are dining on the freshest products that match the seasonal vibe of the wedding day.
Make Sustainability Part of the Event
Rather than viewing sustainability as swaps and compromises, find ways to feature it as a part of the big day. One small way to do this is by handing out small paper bags filled with biodegradable materials for the wedding toss. Think about dried lavender, herbs, or leftover petals. Colourful, natural and scented, these can enhance the moment and make for a beautiful photo-op.
Send guests home with gifts that might otherwise get tossed aside or thrown away. For example, by choosing beautiful table arrangements or décor that aren’t disposable, such as handmade ceramic mini vases or dried flowers, guests can take them as they leave and treasure them as a reminder of your day. Or you can skip gifts altogether and make a donation to a cause on your guest’s behalf!
Rather than letting all the leftover food or uneaten cake go to waste, pick up some biodegradable to-go containers or vintage tins to send with your guests as they leave. You can request the caterers to pack food up or let your guests do it themselves. Besides, what’s better than leftovers the morning after a big night?
While a sustainable approach to a wedding may seem daunting, there are so many impactful ways to reduce your footprint while making your wedding one for the books. ✄