It’s no secret that weddings are not environmentally friendly. From the thousands of airline miles required to gather far-flung friends and family to single-use wedding attire to exotic floral décor and imported food and drink, the carbon footprint for even a modest event can be significant. But we submit that celebrating love is perhaps more important now than ever. As such, we’ve gathered a few ideas for planning a memorable nuptial celebration that minimizes the next-day carbon guilt.

Eco-friendly wedding
Photography by Elisha Braithwaite
  1. SERVE CREATIVE VEGETARIAN FARE

Instead of serving (carbon) heavy meat at your rehearsal dinner and reception, choose a creative plant-based menu sure to make no one miss the protein. If meat is a must, however, ask your caterer to use a local purveyor like Niman Ranch or Mary Free-Range Chicken. “Utah food producers have come a long way in the last several years,” says Emery Lortsher, owner of The Blended Table Catering. “It’s possible during most times of the year to serve your guests a fantastic meal that’s 100% locally sourced.” (The Blended Table composts all its food waste in its on-site digester—this includes removing food waste from the venues they serve.)

Eco-friendly wedding
Photography courtesy of The Write Image

2. SEND RECYCLED AND RESPONSIBLY PRINTED INVITES

While sending your invites electronically through a company like blissandbone.com or greenvelope.com is certainly the greenest option for an eco-friendly wedding, Miriam Footer from The Write Image believes digital invites aren’t taken as seriously as a paper invitation. “They tend to get lost in the bottomless pit of our email in-boxes and couples end up spending a lot of time chasing RSVPs,” she says. An eco-conscious paper alternative is Bella Figura, a stationery printer that both employs earth-friendly manufacturing practices and prints artistic invitation suites on paper made from cotton fibers reclaimed from the garment industry.

Eco-friendly wedding
Photography courtesy of Something Borrowed Bridal

3. RENT YOUR WEDDING DRESS OR PURCHASE A VINTAGE ONE

Several factors contribute to the unsustainability of wedding dresses, from how the fabric is produced to carbon expended to get them here from overseas. (Have dreams of your future daughter one day wearing your dress? In reality, only a small fraction of wedding dresses have multigenerational appeal.) Consider renting a dress—Provo’s Something Borrowed Bridal rents wedding dresses for $300 to $600 and has more than 800 gowns to choose from—or purchasing a gently loved vintage dress from Lovers Bridal in Salt Lake City, stockists of bridal designs from the 1920s to 2000s.


Read our tips for planning a family-friendly wedding weekend here!