ADVICE - Easy Ways to Reduce Wedding Waste, by Guest Writer, Amber Eve

21st August 2019

Guest writer Amber Eve share her thoughts on ways to reduce waste on your eco wedding dayYour wedding is meant to be one of the happiest days of your life. It’s understandable why people go all out to share the joyous occasion with their guests. But with all the festivities taking place, it’s easy to forget that a wedding is also an event that produces a lot of waste. Many of the elements that make a wedding amazing — flowers, decor, catering, etc. — are quickly forgotten and turned into rubbish.

We’ve already gotten a few tips from Jane of South Farm on how to plan a green wedding, but we have a few more ideas in mind. Read on for some suggestions on how couples can creatively minimise waste at their wedding:

1. Go Paperless

The simplest way to reduce waste in weddings is to avoid using paper. You can do this by eliminating traditional invites and choosing to send out electronic invitations instead. Brides' planning expert Kristi Kellogg points out that aside from saving trees, digital wedding save-the-dates and invitations are also simple cost-cutting solutions. Moreover, you'll save up on time and effort spent physically putting them together and sending them out, and will also have an easier time receiving RSVPs of your guests. 

Other than that, you can also encourage your guests to donate to your chosen charities instead of bringing gifts to your wedding. This can help reduce paper waste from wrapping paper that guests would have used on their gifts. 

2. Say 'No' to Disposables

Almost everything you need to make a wedding possible can be rented out, so stay away from disposable products. Flatware, glassware, dish sets, linens, napkins, and even decor don’t have to be single-use items. Opt for elements that can be borrowed, rented, or used again in the future to eliminate waste. 

3. Upcycle Your Wedding Dress

Many brides don’t realise that one of the most wasteful items in a wedding is the very gown that they wear. If you’re serious about reducing waste, opt for something borrowed or something vintage for your dress. If you really need to have it tailor-made, consider finding a second use for it rather than letting it sit in your closet. With a little creativity, you can probably turn it into a lovely evening dress, a clutch, or a quilt — the ideas are endless. You can also consider donating it. With something so formal, Pretty Me's leading fashion writer Sheena Dizon notes that emergency response centres or youth centres might not find a good use for it. It’s better to donate it to thrift stores or to family members who might be able to use it in the future. 

4. Donate Food 

Afraid of underfeeding their guests, many couples tend to 'over-cater'. This can pose a waste problem, however, as The Guardian reports that £500 worth of food eventually ends up chucked in the bin. Of course, couples want to make sure that their guests don’t leave with empty bellies, but food waste is one of our biggest drivers of climate change. One way to help is by donating leftovers to food banks or charities who are more than happy to accept them to feed the less fortunate. 

5. Repurpose Floral Arrangements

There are many things you can do with flowers from a wedding, like pressing them in a diary — but you can only fill so many books with petals. Bustle suggests visiting a nursing home and bringing the floral arrangements over. You can brighten someone's day with something as simple as flowers. Instead of giving away wrapped gifts, consider letting your guests take some flowers home, as well as a token of appreciation for sharing this wonderful day with you!

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