Sustainable Weddings

Make your wedding environmentally sustainable

As the effects of climate change affect our daily lives, each of us can take steps to reduce our carbon footprint on the globe. Simply adjusting some of our choices during the wedding planning process can have a positive result. Following are different aspects of your ceremony to consider. Don’t feel pressure to use them all. Review the options and select what is a good fit for you.


A smaller guest list creates a smaller carbon footprint. It is as simple as that.


Go digital. Or, if you your heart is set on traditional stationary, look into recycled and biodegradable products that are ethically produced. Certifications provide confirmation that the materials used are natural and the process sustainable. In particular, FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and PEFC certified products come from sustainably managed forests. Both certifications offer assurance that the end user is helping stop deforestation.

Favors or Gifts

Forgo the wedding favors and make a donation to your favorite environmentally-focused non-profit. Let guests know about your decision and encourage them to support their own green organization, too. Messaging about this can also include other sustainable practices that your wedding is following.


When grown in temperature and humidity controlled greenhouses, and transported on refrigerated trucks or planes, cut flowers are likely to have a negative environmental impact. In addition, flowers require lots of water and fertilizers create chemical runoff, often harming local communities in Columbia, Ecuador and Kenya, where women make up the la. Therefore, to ensure that your floral decor has the least impact to the environment, consider renting reusable faux flowers. Or, if fresh flowers are on your must-have list, follow these guidelines

  • Use locally grown flowers or crafty decorative arrangements
  • Request minimal packaging and avoid florist foam
  • If the blossoms are not local, inquire about the supply chain and if they were ethically and sustainably produced. The flower industry’s certifications include Fairtrade, Organically Grown,  Rainforest Alliance, American Grown.


Be selective when choosing your wedding venue. Look for green certifications, and ask about business practices.

  • What steps do they take to reduce, reuse and recycle?
  • Do they use sustainable operations such as solar-powered energy and gravity rainwater system?
  • Are on-site rentals available?
  • Be in touch with nature, no matter the season. Get married outdoors.


Have a conversation with your vendors about what steps they take to be more green. For instance, photographers can make concerted efforts to avoid releasing toxins into the environment by using rechargeable batteries. Ask them! The officiants on findaJP are pros, available to perform your ceremony. And, they are a wealth of information to help connect you with other vendors in your community. Search for your perfect JP (or notary in Maine and Florida) at

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Loretta Jay is an expert in marriage ceremoniesLoretta Jay is the Managing Member of the Justice of the Peace Association. This is the membership organization for professional marriage officiants. All officiants’ profiles are searchable at, the place where Couples who Click can find their perfect JP. 

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