A wedding is when many girls’ fairy tale comes to life. It is a most special occasion that happens, but once, hopefully, that is. Most importantly, it’s a reflection of the couple being wed. Indeed, to declare that planning a wedding, especially a big one as tricky is an understatement. All the details can certainly freak you out, and one has to make sure everything goes as planned.

But to have Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenager sensation who made the world think long and hard about the environment, your wedding’s major sponsor is another story altogether. You’d have to make doubly sure your wedding is as eco-friendly as possible — from the food served down to the resulting garbage. And yet, there may not be a better statement. It could be the timely reminder everyone needs: to be Earth-conscious even in our happiest of times.

Truth be told, making preparations for your big day while thinking about the environment is a noble thing to do, like reducing the carbon footprint by choosing the right options for your marriage. You can then say the biggest “I do” and fully enjoy your day without one strand of environmental worry.

However, if you find such an eco-friendly wedding a tall order, fret not. We have a slew of tested-and-proven tweaks to get you there. So you can give Mother Earth some love while tying the knot for good. And make Greta proud in the process.

Choose an Eco-Friendly Place as Your Venue

The best way to go about this is to grab a notebook and pen. List down all the things that most weddings have that could set the environment back: garbage, disposable cameras, balloons, plastic cups, straws. Remember you have no less than Ms. Thunberg to impress (or she wouldn’t come to your wedding).

That means you need to choose a good location. Where the wedding will be held and where you will celebrate later should have a sustainable environment.

Know that a wedding venue can be a deal maker. It can hold power to nip an unhealthy amount of waste on your wedding in the bud. The good news is there are many sustainable and eco-friendly wedding venues available in the U.S. You have to book early.

In older venues, insulation is less effective compared to a modern facility. For an environmentalist, that can be good news. But, modern venues are usually constructed with more complexity and greater potential to cause harm to the environment.

So keep track of the energy costs and heating and give limitations. A good start is to lower the thermostat. Or better yet, free yourself of the AC and hold the wedding celebration in the open air. That’s true. Air conditioning is heating the world with its carbon footprint. So if you don’t want Greta to call your attention to the matter, doing away with the AC may be a wise move.

An Eco-Friendly Wedding Dress is a Way to Do It

A bride’s wedding dress is probably one of the most anticipated garments that all the guests and the groom want to see. And yes, you can have a nice gown while being sustainable. You can choose to wear vintage wedding dresses, for instance. ; Vintage or heirloom is a pre-loved dress that has been worn by someone else before you. You can ask mom or an aunt if you don’t want to rent.

Know that synthetic fibers used in wedding dresses are plastic-derivatives. Buying or using one means you’re promoting the practice. The same holds true for silk, a fabric made from the labor of worms.

A vintage wedding dress means you’re not adding to the world’s eco-problem on your big day. Additionally, you can use handmade or locally-made dresses. Just pay attention to the fabric.

Sustainable Wedding Rings and Accessories

As much as wedding dresses are important, although small, accessories should be pretty and sustainable. Many wedding rings are pricey, and it can also harm the environment because of how it’s made. Rather, choose rings that are recycled. This way, you won’t get blood on your hands.

Of course, a good set of bracelets can drive the message home. All the ladies know that bracelets are a must for any celebration; they accentuate the event like no other. There are many fashionable yet sustainable brands in the market. One of the many highly sustainable materials is silicone. Because of its high quality, it reduces the risk of scratching and fading. Meaning it can maintain its shape for a long, long time.

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Minimize Waste in Your Wedding Venue

This is big and could be your biggest chance to impress Greta with your noble cause. Of course, if you want to have a wedding that lessens damage to the environment, you should put unwanted waste to the utmost minimum.

The average wedding costs $28,000. That’s money down the drain for a 6-hour event. Worse, studies show walking down the aisle can contribute to roughly 400 to 600 pounds of waste.

So before you even say, “I do,” make an accounting. As aforementioned, you should list all the possible sources of unwanted waste, the decorations including. Usual weddings have decorations that are mostly waste afterward.

To do that, you need to finetune your wedding decorations to ban unnecessary waste. And to do this is to forbid single-use plastics. Use alternatives. Natural materials like wood and clay for decorations can make up for plastics, for instance. A welcome design locally made out of wood instead of getting acrylic is another good example.

Choose Sustainably Sourced Flowers and Donate Them

Getting sustainably-sourced flowers and plant decoration on your big day is also one way to help the environment. When you do this, you support and help small businesses at the same time. It’s a win-win scenario.

At most weddings, they would throw away the flowers. But you can always choose to donate them. There are many places where you can donate your used wedding bouquet and flower decorations. Just look it up on delivery services near the wedding venue.

Also, you can ask your florist whether they offer any recycling services. This way, you can have a more eco-friendly wedding while putting a smile on everyone’s face, Greta Thunberg’s including.

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