As a consumer in the wedding market, you may have already identified yourselves as an eco-friendly, sustainable or conscious couple. But if you haven’t given too much thought as to how your wedding can help increase awareness about sustainability, this article (and a few more to follow) is here to help! There are many aspects of your wedding that will give you an opportunity to consider your buying choices and their life cycle. You can go about this in small, medium, or large-scale ways, and no one way is better than another.
Let’s start with paper.
You may be dreaming of the perfect, most exquisitely designed invitation suite to match your wedding colours—and rightfully so, because who doesn’t love stationery? Perhaps, instead of including multiple pieces and an RSVP card, ask your guests to RSVP via your wedding website. Having an online space also allows plenty of room and flexibility to display additional information guests might find useful, such as the menu and maps.
If you decide you want to do a paper invitation but aren’t fixed on the look, consider purchasing a beautiful, handmade recycled paper set to send to guests. You can even go the extra mile by hand-delivering as many invitations to your guests as possible, to help further reduce your carbon footprint. Alternatively, you could go paperless with an online invitation. Canva and Paperless Post are among many design sites with a vast array of gorgeous templates at your fingertips that promise to look chic and sleek, while perfectly complementing your wedding theme.
The approach you choose for your invitations can also be applied to other traditionally printed day-of pieces—like programs, menus and signage. Between printing fewer pieces, printing on recycled paper and refraining from printing altogether, there are an abundance of options that will minimize waste on your big day. If you are contemplating recycled paper, seed paper is a spectacular biodegradable product that is also approved for planting. The paper itself contains seeds that can grow wildflowers, vegetables and herbs, while doubling as a thoughtful wedding favour for your guests. Should you choose not to print at all, brainstorm creative electronic ways to share important information, and ask your venue what they have done in the past to support this choice.
Regardless of which avenue you take, communicate with your guests the reasons for limiting your paper usage. Often, it takes an idea to spark another idea—so give your guests the gift of showing your effort and allowing them to consider their own future choices.
Natalie Ho has worked in the hospitality industry for 15 years and is currently is the director of event sales for Oliver & Bonacini Hospitality. She has personally planned 350+ weddings and momentous events. Both creative and business-minded, Natalie is dedicated to growing her events business in out-of-the-box ways.