Although weddings are known to be costly and lavish events in different ways, they don’t have to be. There are plenty of eco-friendly means of minimizing your wedding waste and expenses. You can host a greener “big day” without going over your budget or sacrificing style.

From wearing wedding jewelry made of custom lab-grown diamonds to choosing a green wedding venue, here are eight tips to make your special day fun, fabulous, cost-efficient, and eco-friendly.

1. Wear ethical wedding jewelry

For your wedding jewelry, you would want something sparkly – and diamonds are most probably your first choice. But the thing is, they are so expensive.

Luckily, there is a great alternative to traditionally mined diamonds – those that are grown in labs. And the best thing about lab-grown diamonds is that no one can tell the difference from mined diamonds (not even the professional gemologists, unless inspected under the microscope). They have the same carat, color, clarity and cut like their mined counterparts.

Mined diamonds pose both humanitarian and environmental consequences. First, some of the biggest holes that are dug up are caused by diamond mining, meaning digging for them will consume plenty of fossil fuels to power up machines. Second, natural habitats for animals and trees are sacrificed to mine diamonds.

On the contrary, lab-created diamonds do not burden the ecosystem. They are grown in a laboratory that mimics the natural process of mining diamonds. As a result, they are also vegan and made using renewable energy. You and your partner will enjoy guilt-free lab-grown diamond wedding bands, rings, pendants, and earrings, knowing that no animals, plants or human beings were hurt in the process.

Moreover, lab-grown diamonds are way cheaper than mined ones – about 10-40% less. This means that you can get a higher quality or large diamond for your wedding jewelry. You may also choose to get a custom design, which you might not be able to afford by opting for mined diamonds. This allows you to purchase an overall better ring that you will cherish for the rest of your life.

2. Find a sustainable wedding venue

Your preferred location will have its fair share of environment-friendly event venues. Still, it is up to you to discover them. Generally, look for spaces that use eco-friendly practices and sustainable resources to run their business. Things like green roofing, solar panels, energy-efficient appliances, and water-conserving plumbing fixtures will guarantee that you are doing some good for the environment on your special day.

Although most wedding venues often publicize their commitment to the environment, you should always ask the owner or coordinator for details if you can’t find any information about it.

Choosing an outdoor setting is also an excellent way of enjoying the natural beauty of Mother Earth. It is even an easy tip for planning a greener wedding because you can take advantage of the sun’s natural light instead of electricity. As a result, you can significantly reduce energy usage, which is great for the ecosystem.

Apart from hosting your wedding in your backyard, reserving a preserve or park is also a great idea. This wedding venue or reception will not just provide you with a gorgeous spot but also contribute financially and allow the exposure of the place dedicated to environmental stewardship.

3. Be thoughtful with your stationery

Wedding stationery uses up a lot of paper, so you must be thoughtful about it. As much as possible, limit the use of paper at your wedding and go for recyclables. If not, you can always go digital. From your wedding invitation to the menu to your program, you can create a digital copy and send them to your guests instead of handling paper counterparts.

4. Be careful when hiring vendors

Hire wedding planners specializing in environment-friendly events. Find bakers and caterers that use sustainable and locally sourced farmed ingredients and little-to-no waste production. Also, opt for a form of transportation that doesn’t use too much fuel.

Working with a wedding vendor or a commercial food supplier that values the wellbeing of the environment as much as you do will help ensure that all aspects of your wedding are green.

5. Go for intimate weddings

Micro weddings are considered eco-friendly because there are fewer favors to buy, less waste to produce, and fewer people to transport and feed.

Sustainability comes by size. Because of the fact that intimate weddings reduce the guest list by half or third as that of traditional weddings, waste will dramatically be lessened as well. This will also lead to a reduced carbon footprint.

Smaller weddings also allow you to be proactive in choosing the details of your wedding, including the meal-planning aspect of your venue. Apart from choosing plant-based meals, you should also look for in-season dishes made with locally sourced ingredients for your guests.

6. Embrace minimalism

Though extravagant and big events with all the whistles and bells are awesome, you don’t have to go overboard to make your big day extraordinary. Instead, go for a minimalist celebration.

Start by getting rid of all the things you don’t need and keeping only simple and sweet ones. This will make your wedding greener, cut costs, make arranging and cleaning up easy, and ensure that you are the center of attention throughout the event.

7. Minimize packaging

When it comes to your gifts, decorations, and confetti, avoid buying plastic and unnecessary packaging. All those wrappers and plastic bags can add up if you buy in bulk. Instead, go for eco-friendly wedding favors for your visitors like natural soaps, jars of honey, tree seedlings, or seed packets.

8. Give back during or after the wedding

Make your wedding more charitable. For instance, let your guests know that you made contributions to charitable entities in lieu of favors. You may also put signage up regarding this to inform them which charity you chose and why. Choosing an eco-friendly charity will make your event more environment-friendly.

Moreover, you can also donate leftover ensembles, decorations, and other items used during your wedding to charity shops. This is a good way of persuading other couples to carry on with such tradition and do good deeds for the earth when planning their big day.

It is crucial to be kind to the environment in everything you do, including your wedding. But this does not necessarily mean making compromises because there are ways to host your big day without sacrificing luxury, fun, and elegance. So consider some or all these tips when planning your big day – even a small effort can have a massive effect on saving Mother Earth.

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