One of the many benefits to eloping is that it is a much more environmentally conscious way of getting married vs. a traditional wedding. Unfortunately traditional weddings that cater to 100+ guests, naturally lead to more environment impact and overall more waste. Celebrating on a smaller scale, in a less traditional sense, and in a more intentional way, allows you to rethink the way you are getting married.
It brings back the choice in how you would like to celebrate. As well as brings back the choice to be more intentional, sustainable and environmentally conscious on your day. We are by no means saying, not to have fun, and have the best day of your life. But rather, explore some ways you can make an easy eco friendly swap to be more sustainable on your wedding day. So within saying that, let’s discuss some of the many ways you can elope sustainably on your dream day!
Buy attire that is sustainably made, rent or shop second hand
A great first step to being more sustainable on your wedding day is to rethink the attire you are going to wear. Instead of buying a fast fashion dress, suit or jumpsuit, etc. you will only wear once that is made with poor quality, non recycled materials. Consider shopping from a slow fashion label that specializes in eco friendly/recycled materials, sustainable practices, and fair wage. In todays age, it’s easier now more than ever to shop from ethic sources that are sustainably made.
Alternatively, renting your attire is always an amazing option! This ensures the dress, suit, jumpsuit, etc. will be reused, creating less waste, and allow you to find your dream attire at an even more affordable cost. Perhaps you want to be eco friendly, but your top choice attire isn’t sustainably made, consider renting, so that you can enjoy your day knowing that your attire will be warn again and by no means ever go to waste.
While another great option, is to buy second hand or alter a friend or family members previously warn attire. The great thing about wearing a preloved piece, is that you can alter it to make it your own. By doing this you are also supporting a small business owner, such as a tailor or alterations business. Which is always the more sustainable way to buy, vs. supporting fast fashion.
Discover some sustainable fashion choices below
Things to consider when choosing decor
Decor is also a great place to make some easy eco friendly swaps, to ensure your being the most intentional on your day!
Here’s a list of some easy eco swaps to consider when choosing your decor:
- Use seasonal local flowers – OR if the flowers you are after are not in season opt for dried instead
- Remove single use items, look into renting decor from stylists to be reused for future weddings, or invest in quality items that you will use as decor in your home later on
- Reuse items from your ceremony in your reception such as floral arrangements, tables, chairs, decor, etc.
- Use biodegradable confetti – some amazing options are dried flowers or you could ask your florist to collect any petals that have fallen from creating your floral arrangement to use for confetti
Instead of sending out individual paper invites to all your guests, even if it’s just a handful. Instead opt for digital invites with an online RSPV system to avoid waste. You could create a wedding website, where you can not only have a seamless RSVP process. But also easily share any important information with your day to all guests. Such as the dress code, the timeline of the day, your intentions behind eloping/having an intimate wedding, what to bring, locations, etc.
Elope close to home
Eliminate your carbon footprint by choosing a nearby location. Instead of flying around the world, or to another state, opt for a scenic location close to home. Don’t get us wrong, we LOVE to travel, but if sustainability is important to you, and you’re after another way to reduce your footprint on your wedding day. Choosing to not travel, would make a world of a difference. There are so many amazing places in Australia to elope, you’ll be sure to find the perfect location in your backyard, or not too far off.
Keep it small in number
The best part of eloping, is the less people, the less impact on the environment. Whether your eloping with just the two of you, or up to 30 guests. You’ve already hit the jackpot and have already taken an intentional step to being a pro active environmentalists on your wedding day.
If you are eloping out in nature, please inform your guests on the environment. Make sure everyone sticks to the tracks and respects nature. What you take in with you, comes back out with you. And anything you find, such as natural elements, you leave behind. These are just some small steps, that make a world of a difference when eloping out in nature with guests.
Ask guests to not buy a new outfit for your day
While we’ve already discussed the benefits of you opting for preloved, sustainably made or rental attire. The same goes for your guests. A great way to elope sustainably is to ask your guests to not purchase anything new for your day. You could encourage thrifting, renting, borrowing from friends, or re-wearing something they already have. This cuts down on an enormous amount of waste.
Just imagine if even 20 guests all bought a brand new outfit for your day, and then never wore that outfit again. The perk of eloping compared to a big wedding, is you have less guests purchasing fast fashion attire they will most likely only wear once. But ultimately this can be avoided by quickly educating your guests on the effects, and simply asking them to be a little more intentional for your day. Most of the time, they will already have an outfit tucked away in their wardrobe perfect for an elopement, or they will be able to rent or find something amazing second hand!
We also suggest informing them on the location you are eloping, for what type of attire they should wear. If you’re eloping out in nature, and they are required to walk 1.5km to your ceremony spot. Ensure they are wearing comfortable shoes they can walk in, and not heels. If your partaking in an adventurous activity, or hanging out in the backyard for a BBQ. Maybe a more casual outfit would be a good suggestion.
Discover some dress rental company’s below to suggest to your guests:
Consider your menu
While we don’t expect anyone to go vegetarian for their elopement day. By eliminating meat from just one meal, or dinner course on your elopement day, will cut down your environment impact. While alternatively, if that’s just not something you can imagine yourself doing. Consider hiring a private chef who uses local ingredients. Or have your dinner at a restaurant with a strong ethos on local and sustainable ingredients. The food you eat, has a major impact on the world around you, and by choosing a menu, or a chef with strong ethos. This can make a great impact when trying to elope sustainably.
Plan ahead to avoid buying unnecessary items on the day
Packing your bag a few days in advance, or having a checklist on standby. Can help immensely when it comes to eloping sustainably. By simply being prepared, and planning ahead for any and all challenges that may arise on your elopement day. You will ultimately avoid having to repurchase items you may already own. Which in-return creates less waste.
For any nature lover, ourselves included, this is so important to consider on your elopement day. Being out in the bush, the mountains, or even at the beach, you’ll most likely come in contact with wildlife of some form. It’s important to not only be aware for yourselves, but to also inform your guests on ways they can protect the wildlife on your day. While nature is beautiful, and wildlife is mesmerizing to come across. Remember to just look, don’t touch and don’t get too close. Avoid touching plants as well as we can pass on sickness to wildlife in this manner.
Go with vendors who specialize in sustainable practices, and offer sustainable quality products
Every vendor has their own set of ethos. Whether they practice sustainability, ensure they are inclusive to all people, hold a high standard of service, or the quality of their offerings. It’s important to chose vendors who are align with your same ethos.
Some vendors who may be right for your sustainable elopement, could be…
- A florist who offers only seasonal local blooms, dried florals and doesn’t use floral form
- Photographers who offer quality products such as handmade wedding albums that support sustainably made small business. Rather than buying from a less quality corporate company
- Stylists who rent decor and hire items rather than purchasing new
Purchase ethically made jewellery
When it comes to your jewellery, it’s so important to be aware of where your jewels are sourced from. There are many unethical companies out there who take advantage of third world countries. Luckily for you, many small business jewellery makers practice strong ethics and source only sustainable jewellery. And will always clearly state so on their websites. So just be aware, and look out for this when sourcing your rings.
For items such as earrings, watches, bracelets, etc. Try sources pieces you’ll wear again. And try only purchases pieces you absolutely love and know you will wear. As tempting as it is, to buy 5 pairs of earrings and try them on with your dress to see which you like best. Try finding one you absolutely adore, and you know you will wear again. This cuts down on waste, and will also save you some money along the way!
Find a nearby locations for timeline rather than driving far
While we touched on eloping locally above. Another option to cut down on your carbon footprint, is to avoid driving too far in between locations. If you are having guests join you on your day, try opting for public transport or a way to car pool with all guests. This could be a shuttle, or a hire van.
There are so many amazing ways, we can limit our impact, our carbon footprint, and reduce the waste we create on our days. We hope these tips gave you some insight into the little things you can do to make your elopement day more sustainable and that much more amazing! We’d love to hear any other ideas you may have, so let us know in the comments. So we can add your tips to our list!