When you picture your dream wedding, the environment may not be one of the first things you think of, and that’s okay. Go ahead and get excited about the dress, cake, and flowers, and start writing the guest list. But when you’re ready to get into the details, you may be surprised how easy it is to plan an eco-friendly wedding. With the right resources, you can have the wedding you’ve always wanted without leaving a large carbon footprint.
One of the first items you need to cross off your wedding to-do list is choosing a venue. An eco-friendly wedding can consist of many types of locations, including botanical gardens, barns, and even the beach. If you have your eye on a particular venue, contact them to find out whether they meet your sustainability standards.
The easiest way to put the environment first when planning your wedding is to choose an outdoor location, simply because no air conditioning or intensive artificial lighting is needed. This is one of the main reasons why a beach destination wedding is in essence more eco-friendly than choosing an indoor venue. You can also have the ceremony and reception in the same location to cut down on guest transportation between events.
Adventure Weddings has three locations in Mexico where you can get married right on the beach, taking advantage of the natural breeze during the day and romantic lighting with candles and torches at night. Plus, these venues are surrounded by a combined total of 480 acres of protected tropical forest, where our staff has planted over 5,000 endemic trees and palm trees grown in our own nursery project, in which couples and guests can also participate.
When it comes to sending hundreds of invites and announcements to your friends and relatives, you may think there isn’t much you can do to reduce paper use. Fortunately, many printing companies provide options using recycled paper. If you want to take your eco-friendly efforts a step further, you can even include seeds and small pots with the invites.
The most eco-friendly wedding invites are completely paperless, which also saves you from spending hours licking envelopes. Thanks to digital technology, you can spread the word using e-vites, private social media groups, or a personal website with all the details your guests will need. A web page or group is also beneficial for providing ongoing updates or additional information, such as itineraries and details of the rehearsal dinner or hotel.
Flowers & Decor
Don’t be afraid to ask your florist about their process for growing and maintaining flowers. Look for a company that uses natural products rather than pesticides. Adventure Weddings uses all-natural products for all of their floral arrangements and is familiar with the types of flowers that will hold up in sunny beach weather, no refrigeration needed!
You can also choose an alternative type of bouquet. Centerpieces, boutonnieres, and bouquets can all be made using decorative non-traditional items. For example, with a beach wedding, you could use seaweed, shells, and starfish to create stunning arrangements.
When talking about table dressing, tablecloths and runners used to be the norm for weddings; however, couples who want a more eco-friendly wedding prefer not to use them, in an effort to save water used for laundry. In those cases, Adventure Weddings’ planners recommend decorating tables with natural elements such as tropical leaves or wood designs.
An eco-friendly wedding menu can consist of locally-sourced organic ingredients to support farms in the area. If you choose fruits and vegetables that are in season, it can even cut down on the cost of food. It can be as simple as choosing a catering company that collaborates with local vendors or hires local employees. You can also make eco-friendly choices for how the food is served.
When you choose Adventure Weddings, you’ll have a wedding coordinator to help you with these details. We know which local vendors are great to work with and we have lots of experience creating delicious and eco-friendly dining. In fact, we have eliminated 90% of our disposable plastic use in all our operations, including straws. We also give you the option of providing purified water dispensers instead of plastic bottles.
The quest for the perfect dress can start close to home if you have a parent or relative with a gown they don’t mind handing down. Family heirlooms not only add a sentimental element to the ceremony, but they are also eco-friendly. Vintage clothing stores are another great place to look for dresses, especially if you love to be unique. Dresses can always be altered to fit your size or style if needed.
Another item to consider while dress shopping is the type of material the dress is made from. Natural fibers like cotton, silk, or hemp are excellent environmentally-friendly choices. These lightweight fabrics are also great options for outdoor weddings, particularly in warm climates.
Wedding attire for groomsmen and bridesmaids, as well as wedding dresses, can also be rented from local shops. This can cut down on costs for the entire wedding party and help ensure that everyone looks uniform.
For wedding favors, choose something that can be planted or that comes from a local artisan. If your guests will be traveling, they will most likely prefer something they can use right away or easily pack in a bag. If you are planning a destination wedding in Mexico, try one of these eco-friendly wedding favor ideas:
- Coconut maracas
- Palm fans
- Hand-painted tiles
- Local hand-made art pieces
- Bottles of a local spirit
- Traditional candy
- Coffee beans
You can also opt to donate to an eco-friendly charity instead of handing out wedding favors. Display a sign at the reception letting guests know this is what you are doing and which charity you are donating to.
Your wedding registry can also be created with the environment in mind. Register for items that are handmade or come from local shops and vendors. Look for bath and kitchen products that are made from natural ingredients, bedding from organic materials, bamboo plates and coasters, reusable bags and jars, and other sustainable items. This is another area you may choose to forego and simply ask guests to donate to a charity that contributes to conservation efforts.
Adventure Weddings Sustainability Efforts
At Adventure Weddings, we help couples plan their dream weddings in some of the most naturally beautiful places in the world. We are committed to keeping these areas beautiful and have made sustainability and conservation an integral part of our operations. Thanks to our Inspiring Change initiative, we have become one of the top companies in Mexico when it comes to sustainability and environmental responsibility.
In addition to planting new vegetation and protecting local flora and fauna, the majority of our staff working behind the scenes at our weddings are members of the local Chacala indigenous community. This action enables us to support the economy of local communities.
Learn more about our efforts and how you can inspire change when you plan an eco-friendly wedding at one of our Mexico resorts.
Get started by contacting Adventure Weddings today and speaking with one of our experienced wedding planners. We’ll take care of all the details from planning to cleaning up after the event, so you’ll have more time to enjoy the romantic setting and spend time with the ones you love.