Celebrate your love for each other and the planet

Your wedding is a meaningful event and you are probably choosing every little detail with intention. Here are some tips on how to make the choices that will also be gentle to the planet.

Choose a local venue: Considering a destination wedding where lots of friends and relatives travel with you to a distant locale? By far, the #1 way to bring down the environmental impact of your wedding is to minimize the number of flights people need to take. According to Terrapass, up to 73% of a destination’s carbon footprint comes from guests’ air travel. If you do nothing else, choose local. A few great venues to check out include the Kortright Centre, Pioneer Village, and Evergreen Brickworks.

Choose a honeymoon that doesn’t require flying (or is closer): Similar to the point above, air travel to your honeymoon is a huge source of carbon emissions. Eco-resorts close to home are becoming more and more common. Here is a list of resorts in Ontario.

Hire a green caterer: Eating local will reduce the amount of transportation needed to put your meals together. Get bonus points for serving vegetarian options. Here are some caterers to explore: 10Tation  and Vert Casse-Croute.

Opt for a second-hand wedding garments and sell or donate them afterwards: Many couples wear their wedding garments once or only a few times at most. Choosing second-hand offers new life to a garment that took a great deal of energy to create. Here are several Toronto-based projects where you can donate wedding dresses: The Bride’s Project, Angels for Cuba, and Precious Angel Gowns.

Choose sustainable rings: As with wedding garments, the greenest option for rings is to go second-hand. If you want a new ring, consider artificial diamonds and lab-grown gems and bands made from alternative metals, such as titanium and tungsten. Fair Trade Jewelry and second hand stores offer many options.

Recycle and compost at the venue to divert waste: ensure bins are well marked and ideally ask a volunteer to help people sort properly.

Send out e-invitations: Emailed invitations reduce deforestation for pulp and paper.  

Carpool or use public transit: Encourage guests to carpool or use a pooled ride service. Consider offering a shuttle, bus or other group transportation from the hotel to the venue.

Offer eco-party favours: Pick a cause like environmental conservation, or choose an organization like a local wildlife refuge and make a gift in in lieu of plastic favours that will be thrown away.

More ideas and tips on green weddings can be found here:

https://www.terrapass.com/16-simple-solutions-for-a-super-sustainable-wedding-day

https://www.motherearthnews.com/nature-and-environment/low-impact-options-for-sustainable-weddings-zbcz1802

https://www.lowimpact.org/reduce-environmental-impact-wedding/

We thank Sarah Bunnett-Gibson, wedding officiant, for contributing tips to this list. The Green Wedding Challenge is a partnership initiative between Dance Together Project and the School for Social Entrepreneurs Ontario