14 Ways to Give Back with an Eco-Friendly Wedding
We thankfully live in an age where caring for our planet and its resources has become a major way of life for individuals and companies alike. Your wedding day allows you many opportunities to give back to your local community, those in need and even Mother Earth, if you allow it.
Check out the list below for ways to give back and go green when planning your wedding day! 🌿
1. Use a Nonprofit Venue for your Wedding
Having your wedding and/or reception at a nonprofit venue such as a museum or historical site is a great way to give back right off the bat! You’ll be putting your money back into your community simply by booking your venue.
2. Keeping your Bling Ethical + Conflict-Free 💍
When shopping for your wedding band, or perhaps when talking to your future fiancé about what types of engagement rings you’d like, opt for lab grown, conflict free diamonds or a diamond alternative such as moissanite. Ask your local jeweler about their ethical stone options!
3. Give Back Every 👏 Time 👏 You 👏 Shop 👏
Are you a frequent Amazon shopper? Did you know that you can give back every time you shop with AmazonSmile?! Simply pick a charity you’d like to donate to and Amazon does the rest!
GoodShop is another online source doing something similar - they’re connected with over 114,000 nonprofits and schools and not only donate almost every time you shop, but they’re a great site for coupon codes out the wazoo 😉
Both of these sites allow you to choose your own charity and change it as often as you like!
4. Hire Vendors Who Give Back
Hiring vendors that give a portion of their proceeds to charity may be a little harder to coordinate, but it’s totally worth putting in the work when you know some of that wedding money is going to a good cause!
5. Earth-Friendly Invites
Ready to save sooo many trees? Go digital with your invitations! Greenvelope, the digital invitation wizards, not only are eliminating paper in their invite delivery, but they also donate a percentage of every sale to Mountains to Sound, a non-profit organization that maintains forests in the Pacific Northwest. 🌲
If you’d rather have paper invitations, sustainable printers such as Smock Paper or Bella Figura, make it a goal to minimize their carbon footprint by recycling, using cotton papers and soy ink and so much more.
Looking for something totally unique for your wedding? Have your invitations custom designed by the super talented Lindsay at Hoopla House Creative in Buffalo NY and choose their recycled paper option!
If opting for paper invitations, use e-vites for less formal wedding events, like showers and engagement parties. And RSVP postcards instead of cards that need envelopes are another great way to save a few trees.
6. Skip the Invitation Inserts
Common inserts such as a map or lodging information are no longer necessary thanks to GPS maps on our smart phones and personal wedding websites. Share your wedding day info on sites like the Knot and Zola to digitally deliver guests all of the information they need for your big day.
7. Eco-Friendly Favors
Green wedding favors are a great way to thank your guests for coming and show your love for Mother Nature. Consider gifting flower, veggie or tree seeds or potted succulents or other plants (and don’t forget to write something cutesy like “let love grow” on them 😘🌱)
Bonus: plants and succulents will add more pretty greenery to your wedding day decor!
8. Favors that Give Back
Truffles For A Cause lets you gift your guests delicious chocolates and then they give a portion of their proceeds to a charity of your choice - win win! 🙌
Does a bottle of wine sound more your speed? ONEHOPE wine donates a percentage of their sales to the nonprofits that they work closely with.
“House the homeless” wedding cake gum… sounds too good to be true, amiright?! For $16.75 you can get a 12 pack of wedding cake flavored gum favors.
9. Serve Locally-Grown, In-Season Food - YUM 😋
Many venues have their own kitchen or contracted caterers, but if locally grown food is high on your eco-friendly must-have wedding list, consider a venue that will allow you to bring in your own caterer that minimizes their carbon footprint by using locally grown food in their menus.
My fellow Buffalonians: check out Three Pillars Catering
10. Giving Back with your Leftovers
Weddings often have so. much. food! You’re bound to have lots left over - so why not share with those in need? Work with a caterer that will donate your extras to a local food kitchen, or grab some friends and bring the food yourself!
11. Local Buds 🌻
The flower shop you use for your wedding should be able to help you pick out local blooms instead of expensive, imported ones. If you’ve got a creative side, consider picking your own flowers and DIY those bouquets!
Western New Yorkers: check out MoonRise Florals - where owner Meggan grows many of her own flowers and uses sustainable practices when designing.
12. Reusing your Flowers
What to do with all of those florals when your day is over? Certainly don’t let them go to waste! Asks your guests to give your centerpieces a new home or gift them to a local hospital or nursing home and make the day of people in need of some love 💐. If you really want those centerpieces and other florals to have a nice, long life - choose potted plants to display!
You can choose to keep your bridal bouquet and turn it into a piece of art for your home as well. Etsy is a great place to find artists to do this for you!
Using roses in your bouquet? You can plant them to grow your own wedding rosebush 🌹
13. Ask for Donations in Lieu of Gifts
Have enough useless junk around your house? Don’t we all 🤦♀ Ask for donations to local charities instead of gifts! Choose some charities you love, or ask guests to choose their own and tell you why they love them so much!
14. Donate your Wedding Dress
Not everyone can afford a gorgeous wedding gown… and odds are you probably won’t be using yours again, so consider donating it. Here are some organizations to consider gifting that gown to:
Local Goodwill or Salvation Army
And that's a wrap! I hope these tips help you help others by planning an eco-friendly, green wedding that is able to give back to those in need 🥰
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