Can you actually get married plastic-free and do without any kind of waste at your own wedding? Invitations, food, gifts, flowers... there is a lot to consider. Felix and I have done our best. And to make it easier for you at your own wedding, we're sharing our experiences with you today.
In this article, you're about to learn how to organize a true Zero Waste wedding so that you and your guests produce as little plastic waste as possible on your special day. Let's go!
10 tips for the plastic free wedding without waste
It's not like you have enough to do on your wedding day anyway. After all, one usually prepares for it for an eternity. Now you should also on the day in the sense of the Zero Waste Lifestyle Avoid garbage? Phew, that's pretty tough. You might think. But now I'm going to show you how easy it basically was to put the "plastic-free and trash-free wedding as possible" plan into action.
1. reduce plastic and paper waste
Whether it's a church wedding, a civil ceremony or a free wedding - it starts with the invitations. Therefore I have a Newsletter mailing program used to announce our wedding plans. Not only was it free (pretty cards plus mail is usually expensive), but it was super easy. We were also able to announce updates unproblematically with it because there were still some Changes in our plans had resulted. So we could also put out more info about the wedding than would otherwise have had space on a card. That was then, for example, the info that we do not want material gifts. (we live in a Tiny House).
If you prefer to send "normal" invitations by mail after all, you can either choose a Supplier with recycled paper or, for example, dry tree leaves and write the invitation on them by hand. Admittedly a little laborious, but a very original idea without resource-intensive waste.
2. put on refurbished jewelry
We decided against wedding rings. Anyone who doesn't see that we love each other is just out of luck 😉 No, joking aside.
Wedding rings are of course also available in sustainable. There are goldsmiths, for example, who melt down gold from old jewelry and forge new rings from it. This can breathe new life into a family heirloom. And there are fairtrade certified goldsmiths. So if you don't want people to slave away in tunnels under undignified conditions for your own rings, which you hope will last a lifetime, you'd better pay a little more. Or you can choose second hand rings and only have them engraved. There is then in any case more about the history of the ring to tell.
Ideally you make new from old and do not produce additional packaging and paper waste for your rings.
3. create ring shells from nature
If you decide to get rings, of course you can't miss a "ring pillow". But instead of buying one that you'll probably never need again afterwards and is usually neither plastic-free nor easily recyclable, you could just get a Bowl with some moss and flowers lining. For example, small singing bowls, a small porcelain bowl, an espresso cup for coffee lovers or a tiny wicker basket are suitable as a bowl. Even a large shell would be a real eye-catcher? You could also decorate it with fabric scraps, sand, leaves or found feathers. You see, there are no limits to your imagination and you can design the ring bowl to fit the wedding couple.
For sure the homemade ring bowl is a real eye-catcher at your Zero Waste wedding!
4. make a DIY bouquet without plastic knickknacks
I actually don't like cut flowers at all. I always feel sorry for them because I prefer to see them growing in the meadow. But I still have a few wild flowers and grasses from the meadow picked and put in old wine bottles. I also made my own wreath of flowers. On the morning of the wedding I actually cycled into the woods and took a little walk and collected everything that just looked pretty and tied myself a wreath.
If you are not so into wild flower meadow, you could also get fresh flowers from local flower fields. Or hire a florist on the condition that only local and unsprayed flowers are used. Ah yes, and preferably no wires, plastic and other decorative material use, unless you feel like taking the whole decoration apart again afterwards to be able to compost the flowers.
5. decorate with reusable instead of disposable
From the upcycled wine bottles I have already written above. But you could also write place cards on old corks, for example. Garlands made from old fabrics, signs made from wood scraps, and a few strings of solar lights decorated our wedding simply and naturally. At the food table there are Cloth napkins and of course no disposable waste. On Pinterest you'll really find thousands of other great ideas.
6. look for durability and a long service life in clothing
Second Hand Wedding Dresses are no longer a new invention. And a white summer dress can also be a great alternative for the not so delicate bride. When buying new, there are also here already providers that fair clothes produce. Also for the men there are second hand suits or fairly produced.
After that, they can either be worn (in the case of the suit), sold or even dyed. By dyeing your Wedding dress for example you sellyou make sure that someone else doesn't have any more, natural resources must waste for his wedding dress. This is also an important basic idea in the Zero Waste wedding.
Tip: Be sure to also check out the article with Christoph's Slow Fashion Tips an. There you'll learn everything you need to know about how to deal with fashion in the most sustainable way possible.
7. find a "thinking" location
Finding a suitable location is not so easy. Especially if you want a zero waste and vegan wedding. We are finally at a Forest hut landed. That was very cheap, but just nothing for the spicy wedding party. The most important thing is certainly to talk to the landlords and ask if they can offer decorations, tablecloths, dishes and other things as plastic-free as possible.
As a rule, people are open to conscious waste avoidance. So chances are good that this is also the case at the location of your choice, so you are already one step closer to a plastic-free wedding.
8. make food and beverages as sustainable and waste-free as possible
We can also talk to caterers or restaurants. We have our vegan buffet delivered in organic quality in glass and stainless steel containers. I also know a couple who did a potluck wedding: Instead of gifts, guests just brought food, which was then shared at a buffet. The very-low-cost variant thus 😉
We had water from the tap and everything else from returnable bottles: Beer, apple juice, white wine. Only the red wine was in the disposable bottle.
The vegan food was praised and eaten "well-behaved". We and some of our guests saved the leftovers with containers and enjoyed them the next day. What we still had left over drinks, we were allowed to return at our trusted organic store.
9. make sure that the dishes are reusable!
Disposable tableware is out of the question for a zero waste wedding. So we have simply ordered tableware from the caterer. That was honestly quite expensive. But we didn't have to wash anything and could simply return the dishes. Another great idea for the "hippies" among us is that each guest brings his own dishes. This works for many plastic free parties also super.
Cloth napkins I bought second hand. I now lend them to all my friends who want to throw a Zero Waste party. A chalk pencil for the glasses was also very helpful, so that the guests do not lose their glasses, because we did not have spare glasses ready.
10. try to avoid gift wrapping and formulate clear gift wishes
What else I would like to give you from my own experience: People want to give so much, especially on occasions like a wedding. But if you tell them you don't want anything, you hurt them and they still can't let it go.
What has worked much better for me is to tell people what you want. Time, money (for a trip, a house, a child...). Or just some stainless steel bread tins. Or whatever else is missing from your household. Ah yes, in our invitation we also immediately vermekrt that we do not like gift wrapping - people have become really creative!
Get married as plastic-free as possible? No problem at all!
At our wedding we came of course not completely without garbage out. A few crown caps, wine corks, some toilet paper, a few cigarette butts, and a few balloons that guests brought along. All in all, the trash fit into a small cardboard box - and that's with forty people. The Zero Waste wedding also made the overall planning no more stressful than usual. So all in all, a very nice and nearly plastic-free wedding. Second hand, reusable and the courage to try new things are definitely the key to happiness 🙂 .
Many of our guests themselves were amazed at how easy it was to make the celebration almost waste-free - and could accordingly still take inspiration for their own zero waste wedding. I hope that I could inspire you a little too. If you want to read a more detailed report about our wedding, just have a look at my blog. kuntergruen.com over.
Have fun planning your wedding that is as plastic free as possible!
PS.: Feel free to look further in the Zero Waste Blog from CareElite. There you can find out, for example, how you can plastic free living you can. There you will also find more inspiration for your upcoming wedding. Have fun!