Bride + Bridesmaids

Dream Trends: 10 Tips For A More Sustainable Wedding Day

With 2020 in full swing, we’re diving into one of this year’s biggest wedding trends and hopefully one that’s here to stay — sustainability. Planning a wedding, let alone a sustainable one seems like a daunting task, right? Think again! With so many different options, it’s never been easier. Perhaps the best part is that you don’t have to sacrifice your budget. Read on for our 10 tips for a more sustainable wedding day. We think you’ll be surprised at how simple some of these are.

Laura + Andy

The wedding venue is one of the most important decisions on your wedding day. A major way to reduce energy is by having an afternoon or early evening outdoor ceremony. There are plenty of venues like renovated farms or botanical gardens that have perfect outdoor spots brightened by sunlight. If an outdoor ceremony isn’t for you, hold your ceremony and reception at the same location, so guests don’t have to travel from one event to the other. 

Table Decor

Invitation suites quickly add up in paper. Consider mailing your wedding invitations, but going paperless for the save the dates. Instead of including inserts in your invitations, direct people to your website for more details. If you want all stationery printed, look for recycled options or even products that are plantable. Assigning seats for the reception? Get creative and use items like rocks or sea glass that can be calligraphed with each guest’s name in lieu of escort cards.

Escort Card Alternative
Bride's Place Setting

Partnering with vendors who also put sustainability first will make a big impact on your day. Before choosing a florist, ask them if they use foam blocks for their arrangements and what type of flowers will be in season for your wedding date. Not only are in-season flowers the freshest and best quality, but they’re also less expensive. And who doesn’t like saving a little money?! After the ceremony, consider reusing the bouquets as table centerpieces for your reception or donating them to a hospital or nursing home. 

Winter Wedding Floral Trends
Table Setting

For eco-friendly wedding decor, avoid plastics, paper products and other disposable items and swap them with reusable items like glassware, china, silverware, linens and more. Items that are already in your possession like mirrors can easily be incorporated to avoid the paper used in menus, welcome signs, and seating charts. Thrift stores can also be a fun option to hunt for treasures that will add a unique touch to the day. If disposables are a must, consider compostables over paper and plastic.

Reusable Sustainable Wedding Decor
Reusable Mirror Decor Signature Cocktail Sign

Food is important at any wedding and going green doesn’t mean you have to lose on flavor. Work with your caterer on sourcing local, in-season ingredients when possible. This will keep costs down and provide the freshest, tastiest bites. Work with your bakery on using locally-sourced eggs and dairy products for your cake. For the bar, source alcohol, beer and wine from local distilleries, breweries and wineries to reduce your carbon footprint. Guests will also enjoy drinking local beverages, especially if they’re from out of town! Want to take it even further? Have a completely vegan menu.

Balsamic Blueberry Bites
Charcuterie Display

There are many different routes you can go with favors, but our suggestion is to nix small individual gifts that are often left unused. If you want to make a direct impact on the environment, consider planting a tree in honor of each guest. Looking for an interactive option? Pick some of your favorite organizations, providing information on each and let guests place an item in a dish. After the wedding, you and your spouse will donate to the organization of their choosing on their behalf. 

Family heirlooms add sentiment to your wedding day and repurposing jewelry, dresses or brooches, will also cut costs. We’ve seen brides reimagine their mother’s or grandmother’s wedding dress in beautiful ways.

Family Heirloom Brooch

For an intimate evening, consider lighting reception tables with candles. This creates a more intimate evening and reduces electricity use. Consider choosing a church with large windows or another venue that gets plenty of sunlight. This way you can have a daytime or afternoon wedding that allows you to leave the lights off and let the natural light in.

Reception Centerpieces
Natural Light Wedding Ceremony

After a day full of celebrating, schedule transportation for guests via bus or trolley. Not only is this safer, but it also decreases the number of vehicles in use, therefore reducing fuel usage. 

When creating your registry, research companies and select products that are ethically made from sustainable materials. You can find plenty of eco-friendly items, so don’t feel intimidated! If gifts aren’t important to you and your spouse, set up a charitable donation toward a green organization or another charity that is special to you.

Bride + Groom

Photos by Jen & Chris Creed and Hannah Leigh Imagery.

If you have a vision for your wedding and want help getting there – we’d love to talk with you about our Nashville wedding catering and wedding planning services! Send us a message at