A destination wedding is the ultimate dream. Imagine breathtaking scenery and unique sights as the backdrop for your big day. It will be etched forever in your and your loved ones’ memories. So check out these sustainable approaches to your dream destination wedding!
Though destination weddings are admittedly beautiful, they’re often challenging to pull off. Aside from the cost and logistics, you can also encounter sustainability issues. Travel, decor, food, supplies and more can increase your carbon footprint.
With that in mind, here are some ways to make your dream destination wedding more eco-friendly. All it takes is planning and foresight to have a memorable and environmentally conscious day.
1. Choose an Eco-conscious Destination
Your wedding venue is one of the first things you plan after getting engaged. As one part of the sustainable approaches to your dream destination wedding, consider choosing an eco-friendly venue.
A green location can mean many things. Some hotels are net zero and produce as much energy as they consume. They may be fully fueled by sustainable sources like solar. Other places are carbon-neutral, which means they fully offset their emissions. You can also find such hotels or venues in Greece!
Other ways for hotels to be eco-friendly include contributing to local wildlife preservation or engaging in tree-planting initiatives.
2. Support Local Suppliers
Consider looking into suppliers already located in your destination country. You won’t need to fly them out and you’ll also support the local economy.
Start with hiring a local wedding planner. They’ll have an established network of vendors like photographers, caterers, florists and more. They can help you coordinate everything on their end and take a lot of stress out of the planning process.
Check for Wedding planners who already planned eco-conscious weddings.
3. Select a Local Menu
Choose a caterer that uses locally produced ingredients. Doing so supports the community and avoids carbon emissions caused by transporting food from far away.
You can also ask potential caterers how they source their ingredients. Some go for pasture-raised meats, which use livestock and waste management techniques that produce lower carbon emissions. In Greece consider choosing Goat or Sheep meat as these are usually raised more sustainably.
You can also ask your caterer about local produce. Some food items are more sustainable than others. For instance, if you’re deciding on what carb to serve at your wedding, consider potatoes instead of rice or pasta. Growing potatoes requires less water and produces comparatively low greenhouse gas emissions.
And, for your wedding in Greece, you will have the option of locally fished seafood and locally grown seasonal fresh vegetables and fruits such as watermelons, lemons, oranges, grapes and more! Consider adding local flavors and dishes like Dakos, Greek salad, Fetta and olives to your menu!
Whatever menu you choose for your wedding, looking into sustainably sourced food can help you make your big day more environmentally friendly.
4. Go Paperless
Although invitations are beautiful and personal, they are single-use. Your guests will likely throw them out once the wedding is over, creating unnecessary waste.
Nowadays, digital invitations and save-the-dates are increasingly popular. You can find many free templates to use or commission an independent artist to make one for you.
If you really want to mail invites, at least to your immediate circle, opt for eco-friendly materials like recycled or seed paper.
5. Offset Your Carbon Footprint
Air travel has a huge carbon footprint. You will likely use air travel for a destination wedding. It probably can’t be avoided as flying is the most practical way to get to different countries. And even if you are planning your wedding at home, most of your guests will have to travel to your chosen location.
One thing you can do is to offset the carbon emissions from the flights needed for your wedding. Search for eco-conscious airlines that make efforts to offset their carbon footprint.
Another solution, which will require more logistics on your part, is to choose a flight that can accommodate all your guests. Getting everyone on just one or two flights instead of having them fly separately can make transportation to your wedding much more sustainable. Consider hiring a bespoke wedding travel agent. Someone who can offer charter flights, group booking deals and discounts as well as guest management during your wedding week.
6. Offer Eco-Friendly Transport Options
Guests will need transport to their accommodations after arriving at the airport. You can make this process more eco-friendly by arranging group transportation for guests. This could be another one of the sustainable approaches to your dream destination wedding, which will also contribute to your guest’s much nicer traveling experience!
Instead of having them take individual taxis, rent out a large vehicle to accommodate everyone. This will require logistics since people must take the same flight for this to work. And that is why hiring a logits and guest manager or a person like a travel agent will take this stress off you! Ask your wedding planner if they offer this service or if they can recommend someone for you.
7. Check for the Little Things
There are so many other aspects of your wedding that you can make more sustainable. Start with the little things.
For instance, choose eco glitter and biodegradable confetti or traditional rice for throwing. Find biodegradable balloons and avoid helium. Rent what you can, rather than buy. Opt for environmentally friendly fireworks and avoid wishing sky lanterns which can cause wildfires.
What do you plan on giving away as favors?
Opt for something useful or recyclable so your guests can use it when they get home or even at the location. Useful gifts could be sunhats, handheld fans, tourist gifts like magnets, or even sunglasses. Think of welcome care packages with sunscreen, water, mini ouzo and local snacks like pistachios for your wedding week in Greece! Secondly, you can donate to a local charity in the name of your guests to eliminate products altogether!
What about your lighting?
You probably didn’t know, but trendy Edison incandescent bulbs consume a lot of energy. Manufacturers produce LED bulbs that are much more eco-friendly and work just as well.
You can do a lot about the décor and flowers.
Ask your planner to offer some sustainable and natural choices. Lately, a lot of fake flowers are being used and reused at weddings. Ask your florist if they use less plastics and floral foam when creating your wedding arrangements. It’s more sustainable to choose real flowers in vases or simple local greenery or even dried local vegetation. At the end, ask what happens to your flowers and if there is an option to donate them to local charities and nursing homes after your wedding!
Elopement or Micro Wedding?
Think of your guest count. Destination Weddings are perfect for a smaller guest list or even if you’re planning to elope! Choosing to have a smaller more modest celebration can cut down on costs as well as transport and possible pollution.
Love, Travel and Sustainability
Your destination wedding will be one of the most beautiful days of your life. As you say your vows and bask in the love of your family and friends, extend that same love to the planet.
Some key sustainable approaches to your dream destination wedding, are to source locally, minimize carbon emissions, and always consider different ways of making your special day more eco-conscious.
This article was written for Ellwed blog.
About the author:
This article was written for Ellwed by Oscar Collins, the editor-in-chief at Modded. Follow him on Twitter @TModded for frequent updates on his work.