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You’ve been asking for zero-waste wedding ideas — and I’m here for it! An average wedding produces hundreds of pounds of waste and tons (literally!) of C02 emissions.  The easiest way to eliminate all waste is to head to the courthouse and elope with very minimal frills, but if you still want a traditional wedding, there are many ways you can plan to reduce your impact on the environment! Did you create a zero-waste wedding? I’d love to see it!

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1. CHOOSE RECYCLED OR PAPERLESS INVITATIONS

• Aim for eco-friendly paper options. There are many companies that use recyclable, bamboo, and even seeded paper that you can plant to grow into flowers! Pro tip: Make sure your guests know their invites are recyclable or re-useable.
• Eliminate all waste with e-invitations. Make things green while saving time! E-invitations are an awesome way to reduce waste and make managing your guest list easier than ever. Check out our post on The Best Places to Purchase Wedding Invitations Online for some awesome ideas!

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2. SUPPORT SUSTAINABLE BRANDS

• The wedding dress: The search for a wedding dress is never an easy feat, but searching for a sustainable design can be even more daunting! Luckily, brands like Reformation, Wear Your Love, and Indiebride London have all made huge efforts to create beautiful gowns without harm to our environment. Pro tip: You can purchase ethically-made wedding rings, too! Here is a list of the best Etsy shops for vintage engagement rings.
• The wedding suits: Again, searching for sustainable brands is a great way to support like-minded businesses and reduce your footprint. While renting a tux from a vendor such as The Black Tux does add some emissions during the shipping process, you can request your garments be sent in re-useable bags!
• As a guest: It may be time to thrift shop! If that’s not your thing, we’ve linked a few of our favorite eco-friendly wedding guest styles below.

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3. INVEST IN NEW BEAUTY PRODUCTS

• Your wedding might be the perfect excuse to invest in new beauty products. The Detox Market and Credo Beauty experts can help you identify which brands also value zero-waste initiatives.
• If you are hiring a professional to help with your makeup, let them know you’d like to eliminate as much waste as possible. Makeup wipes, plastic eyelashes, packaging, etc. can add up quickly and many of these items cannot be recycled.

4. MAKE YOUR VENUE SELECTION A PRIORITY

• Say “no” to a destination, unless it’s intimate. Flying dozens of people to another country is a quick way to rack up your C02 emissions. If you do want to host something afar, keep your guest count to a minimum and stay long enough to make a vacation out of it!
• Ask this: Do you have a recycling and composting option? If not, it’s ok! If your venue doesn’t have a recycling or composting option, you can research local companies who you can partner with for proper waste baskets. Some will even pick up the recycling or compost after the event.
• Look for a space that already has decor or needs minimal rentals. A space with re-useable decor will save tons of emissions from event rental trucks having to haul decor to your venue!

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5. GO FOR COMPOSTABLE OR REUSABLE GOODS

• Compostable goods are the way to go. Look for products that are made with compostable materials. Then, make sure you have clearly marked compost bins so guests can easy help with your efforts.
• Make drink glasses a party favor. We love the idea of gifting guests with their drinking glass — and your guests are sure to love it, too!

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6. KEEP FOOD LOCAL AND DONATE LEFTOVERS

• Local, local, local! Support local farmers by choosing locally-sourced food for your reception dinner.
• Keep your cake small. If there’s one thing that wedding vendors will tell you, it’s that there’s so much cake wasted at the end of a wedding night. Keep your cake minimal and small in size — we promise, guests won’t mind!
• Nix the plastic water bottles and opt for flavored filtered water. Staying hydrated on wedding day is important. Make sure you have a water station readily available for your guests to hydrate throughout the night. Pro tip: Re-useable water bottles make great (and useful) bridesmaid and groomsmen gifts!
• Donate the leftovers. There’s often a ton of food wasted at the end of a wedding night. In addition to ensuring you don’t over-order on catering, make sure your venue and vendor team knows you’d like to donate the food instead of throwing it away.

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7. ASK YOUR FLORIST ABOUT ZERO-WASTE INITIATIVES

• Ask your florist to use local and seasonal blooms. By opting for locally-sourced florals, you’re not only supporting a local farmer but also reducing emissions from shipping blooms overseas. You may even be able to meet the source of your beautiful wedding day blooms!
• Use live plants as centerpieces. This might be our favorite zero-waste wedding tip! Live, potted plants make for fun centerpieces. Bonus: Your guests can take them home as favors!
• Go for foam-free floral installations. Our professional florists are seeing a trend in foam-free installations, as it’s a huge way to reduce waste from unnecessary foam in floral designs.

 

8. KEEP DECOR MINIMAL

• Go shopping at home. You’d be surprised how many things you already own that can be re-used in your wedding decor design! Chat with your planner or event designer about this and make it a collaborative effort.
• Avoid fabrics that have to be washed (i.e. tablecloths, fabric napkins, etc.). Washing re-useable fabrics is a sure way to rack up your carbon footprint count. Skip the fabrics and look for tables that look great au nautrale.
• Choose beeswax candles. Many candles are made with harmful chemicals that are released into the air when we burn them. Beeswax, on the other hand, does not. As an added bonus, beeswax candles are said to last longer and drip less!

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9. MAKE YOUR FAVORS CONSUMABLE

• Get creative with consumable party favors. If you’ve already been doing your research on local farms, you may have come across a perfect idea to gift your guests with! Popular ideas are honey, salsa, and olive oil.
• Leave out your wedding date and names. We know, we know. You want everything to be personalized with your wedding date and last name. However, guests are more likely to re-use something they can show off in their home. If you want to personalize the gift, consider putting your info somewhere that’s less likely to be seen.

10. ASK FOR ECO-FRIENDLY GIFTS

• Ask for e-giftcards. Many retailers offer e-gift certificates now (think: Amazon, Airbnb, etc.), which makes it easy for your guests to send you one without the hassle of bringing it to the wedding. Plus, you’re less likely to misplace an e-card!
• Get creative with your registry. Instead of asking for things, ask for experiences! Maybe it’s a one-night staycation at a local hotel or Airbnb or an anniversary photoshoot to celebrate one-year together.
• Choose a charity to donate to. If you want to further your environmentally conscious efforts and inspire your guests to do the same, there are many organizations that make it easy for guests to make donations in your name!

I hope these zero-waste wedding tips have inspired you to help our environment while planning your day! For more planning inspiration, we think you’ll love:

SOME OF MY CLIENT’S

Kind Words

Can we give more than 5 stars?! Jessica is absolutely amazing and everything you deserve in a photographer on your big day. From start to finish, she was everything we dreamed and more. She has a magical personality and the ability to make every person feel comfortable in front of the camera. By the end of the night it felt like she had been in our friends group for years and captured every moment perfectly. Highly recommend!
- Tiffany + Brandon
Hands down, Jessica is the best photographer around!  I cannot tell you how happy I am that I chose her and how grateful I am that she was able to so beautifully capture the best day of my life. I was very particular when choosing a photographer and chose Jessica based on her talent and her creative ability to think outside the box. I completely trusted her vision so when she suggested we hike to a waterfall in freezing temperatures in January, I agreed and it paid off big time. I ended up with an indescribably gorgeous bridal portrait that looks like it belongs in a magazine. My wedding pictures turned out just as stunning. She made my husband and I feel at ease, which translated into pictures that are truly representative of the love and excitement we felt on our wedding day. A bonus is that Jessica has a great personality and offers a calming presence, which is priceless among the hustle and bustle of a hectic wedding day. I couldn’t be happier with my experience with Jessica and I will continue recommending her to my family and friends!
- Brittany + Michael
Where do I start?? Are you looking for someone who's fun, innovative, and creative? Look no further! Jessica is an absolute pleasure to work with! She shot our engagement, my bridal portraits, and wedding day. Working with her was a breeze! She makes you feel so comfortable during your photo sessions. I cannot stress enough how important a good photographer is. Thanks to Jessica we were able to capture the best memories from the BEST day ever!
- Elizabeth + Manny
If you want the heart of a memory or event remembered, Jessica is the right photographer for you. My wife and I were married 10/14/18, and the first person that popped into my head for a photographer was Jessica. I have worked with her numerous times for other photo shoots and she has the essence to capture beauty in every shot. Looking through her other photos that she posts to social media always sparks creativity and awe. I will continue to always recommend her and Jessica for any special moment to be captured.
- Whitney + Sarah
You should stop looking and book Jessica! Booking her for our wedding was the best decision we made. Her charismatic, fun, and down to earth personality made it easy for my husband and I to feel comfortable in front of the camera. On our wedding day, Jessica was extremely professional but also so personable I felt like she knew exactly what to do to capture the very best photos. Jessica is extremely talented and gets your photos back in a timely manner. I would recommend her to anyone. It was an amazing experience to have her a part of our day.
- Alyse + Spencer
Jessica was the second best thing to happen at my wedding... behind marrying my husband of course ;) I was so stressed because my venue flooded and it was raining all week but she not only agreed to switch locations, she made all the stress go away. I'm still obsessed with our photos! 1000000% worth it. I wish she lived in Texas because I want more photos!!
- Alicia + Jordan
Jessica is one of the best photographers I have ever met. Looking through our photos, there was not one single photo I'm not in love with. My husband and I can be pretty awkward but the way Jessica captured us was awe inspiring. Our wedding album brought tears to our eyes. There wasn't a single detail or emotion missed. Jessica has a talent like no other to capture a mood. While the photos are beautiful works of art, what I love most is that you can see the deep love shared is them. Choosing Jessica will be the best, easiest decision in your process.
- Courtney + Josh
My husband and I wanted a photographer who would help us feel comfortable in front of the camera, and we certainly found it with Jessica. Throughout our engagement shoot and post wedding shoot, she helped guide us so that all of our pictures look natural and match our personality. She has such an amazing ability to capture the beauty of the surroundings as well. Our photos are the talk of the town, and I can't even count how many people called her and used her after seeing our epic pictures. I can't say enough about her and her work. She is just absolutely incredible
- Alexis & Collin
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