Eco-Friendly Wedding Planning for the Modern Couple

Posted On 15 May 2024
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By Katie Brenneman

A wedding is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate your love and begin the next part of your journey together. Yet, it’s important to understand that these events — particularly when they’re elaborate — can have a negative environmental impact.

As with so many ecological topics, this isn’t entirely outside of your control. More couples are planning their weddings in ways that ensure they minimize any potential damage and maximize the positive outcome of their celebrations.

With extra focus and consideration, you can start your married life together on a strong, eco-conscious footing.

Consider Your Venues

The venues you choose for different parts of your wedding lay the foundation for the experience. After all, you want people to feel welcome, comfortable, and able to celebrate together. At the same time, big venues cannot be quite sustainable due to energy usage and waste generation, among other issues.

Some of the considerations for your venues to keep them sustainable include the following.

Green hotels

Today, more hotels and large venues are committed to net-zero and other sustainability standards. Some utilize renewable energy sources for their power and water. Many also prioritize food from local suppliers rather than from big catering companies or supermarket chains that use fuel and produce emissions while transporting items long distances.

Many such venues will put details on their websites to advertise their sustainability. That said, you should also do some due diligence to ensure the venue is not simply “greenwashing” to get bookings from eco-conscious couples like you. Talk to representatives about what they do specifically to minimize their environmental impact, and even have them show you examples during your tours. 

Embracing nature  

Rather than utilize an indoor space, one option is to get a little closer to nature. This can give your wedding an additional sense of beauty and meaning. You could perform the ceremony outdoors on a beach or even in some of Canada’s National Parks. That said, it’s important to keep guests to a minimum, to mitigate damage to natural spaces. You’ll also need to be mindful of disturbing wildlife with noise. 

Getting closer to nature isn’t just good for the ceremony. For bachelorette parties, you could consider the potential of glamping to balance comfort and technology with the natural world. This approach is often less intimidating for guests who aren’t used to camping as there’s usually some access to electricity and familiar amenities.

That said, to be sustainable, it’s important to ensure guests respect the environment and avoid using single-use plastics and generating waste.


We live in an age of convenience. Couples preparing to get married have access to services — from print-on-demand invitations to bespoke catering — that take much of the pressure off. Yet, convenience isn’t always sustainable, as you don’t always have control over how businesses operate. Therefore, it’s worth considering what activities you can do yourself without adding undue stress.

Some DIY wedding ideas that can help reduce costs and boost sustainability include:

  • Digital invitations: Sending all of your guests a printed invitation can make good keepsakes, but they’re not especially eco-friendly. You’ll be using paper, electricity, and ink for printing, and fuel will also be used in deliveries. A good alternative is to produce digital invitations. There are user-friendly digital design platforms with templates that also enable you to add personal touches, making invitations memorable and environmentally mindful.
  • Wedding decor: Commercially produced wedding decorations are often made from non-biodegradable materials. By creating them yourself, you can ensure your decorations are sustainable and tailored to your theme. You can create handwritten reception place cards from visually-interesting recycled materials or make floral arrangements from responsibly foraged flowers. 

Remember that the DIY approach doesn’t mean you must do everything yourself. Consider inviting friends and family to help create some of the elements. You could even make crafting wedding decorations together a fun and festive event. By doing this, you’re boosting sustainability and helping everyone feel more meaningfully connected to your celebration.

Minimize Waste on the Day

Any large event tends to produce a lot of waste, and weddings are no different. Aiming for a zero-waste wedding is important, but if this isn’t achievable, you should at least take steps to minimize waste as much as possible.

Some of the areas you can focus on include the following.


One area of focus can be the clothing you will both be wearing. Second-hand dresses and suits tend to be more sustainable as you reuse fabrics. You can also make adjustments and add embellishments to give these used items personal touches. Decor

Rather than buying decor items for your ceremony, you could consider renting them. So much of this tends to be discarded after the event itself. Renting means that decor is made from longer-lasting materials and reused multiple times in other weddings.


Wrapped gifts have the inevitable outcome of paper and ribbons that need to be thrown out. Even frivolous gifts themselves may be wasteful choices. When planning your ceremony, it’s best to recommend to guests not to wrap their gifts. Indeed, only including essential items on your gift registry and recommending that any other gifts be charitable donations is a less wasteful approach.


Planning an eco-friendly wedding helps ensure your celebration is more holistically positive. This includes finding alternatives to the usual venues and even going DIY rather than hiring vendors, among other steps.

It is important to get your guests on board with your environmental commitment. Perhaps encouraging them to use public transport and reuse outfits themselves is important. The more people you have on board with your choices, the better the event will be for everyone.


Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in business management, tech innovations, education, and sustainability-related content.


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