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 three ideas for planning a memorable nuptial celebration that minimizes the next-day carbon guilt.

Sustainable Wedding
Photo courtesy of Adobe Stock
  1. CHOOSE A REUSED, LAB-GROWN OR ETHICALLY RESOURCED DIAMOND

An inherited engagement or wedding ring diamond is, of course, the most environmentally friendly choice, not to mention the most meaningful. Those without access to legacy gems can buy new at a retailer that procures all its natural diamonds from ethical sources, like O.C. Tanner Jewelers. Another option is to choose lab-grown diamonds, which helps save the planet from high-impact mining practices required to unearth the precious gems. “Aside from where and how lab-grown diamonds are formed, they are optically and molecularly the same as natural ones,” says Joe Maughan with 9th and 9th Jewelers.

Sustainable Wedding
Photo courtesy of The Montage

2. CHOOSE A GREEN-CERTIFIED VENUE

Ask your planner about venues that adhere to earth-friendly energy efficiency, recycling and water conservation practices. A few of Utah’s more notable eco-friendly venues include the Montage Deer Valley in Park City, a LEED-certified building that was named a platinum GreenLeader business by TripAdvisor; Zion National Park’s Zion Lodge, which has received Green Seal’s prestigious Gold certification; and Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort, powered completely by a new in-house cogeneration power system that’s 50% cleaner than coal-based energy sources.

Photo by Andi Hatch Photography

3. GIVE REUSABLE CUPS AND SERVE SINGLE-SOURCE BEVERAGES

To avoid the water and waste presented by glassware and canned and bottled drinks, give each of your guests a personalized, pint-sized, stainless-steel cup at the rehearsal dinner with the request that they use it to catch the tap beer and wine, water and even homemade root beer served over the course of your wedding weekend.


Find more tips on eco-friendly wedding planning here!

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Melissa Fields is a wife, mother, freelance writer, editor and—since the moment she migrated to Utah from Michigan more than 25 years ago—a huge fan of the Wasatch Mountains. A few of the outlets Melissa writes and edits for include Salt Lake Magazine, Park City Magazine, Utah Bride & Groom Magazine, visitutah.com and downtownslc.org. When not wordsmithing at her laptop, Melissa spends her time volunteering, hiking, pedaling, skiing, rock climbing and playing her guitar.