For your wedding... and for Tampa Bay.
We’re honored to offer a few suggestions of ways to make your wedding eco-friendly.
There are many ways to have your dream wedding in an eco-friendly way. By adopting a few of these ideas, or creating your own, every effort you make to reduce environmental impact goes a long way to making the planet a better place.
CONSIDER THE 3 R’S:
Reduce: Decrease the amount of waste from food, paper, flowers, and decorations.
Reuse: Opt for multiple-use items, or find previously-used wedding items. Remember, this will be the first time your guests will see any of your decorations!
Recycle: Choose items that can be recycled and provide a proper, well-marked location for recycling. (Be sure to find a venue that has a recycling program!)
• Choose a single location for both ceremony and reception. Reducing travel between venues cuts down on fossil fuel consumption and emissions.
• Choose a venue with a purpose and a naturally beautiful setting. A marine center, a botanical garden, or an art museum, for example.
• Choose a location central to most guests; this cuts down on travel and adds convenience to your big day.
• Use recycled or seeded paper printed with soy-based inks.
• Instead of inserts, consider an RSVP post card. (No envelope needed, and it saves on postage, as well!)
• List your map and directions on a website page or send via electronic media, rather than printing it.
FLOWERS & DECORATIONS
• Use in-season, native flowers for your geographic area.
• Reuse ceremony flowers in the reception hall.
• Have bouquets and centerpieces re-purposed into new arrangements, and donate them to an assisted living facility, hospital, or hospice center.
• Use your personal collections to decorate the reception hall. This makes it your special day, and very personal to you!
• Use tablecloths and napkins made from sustainable materials like silk, hemp, and cotton.
• Keep the lighting dim (or even off) and use candles as a light source for added ambience.
• Go digital. Ask your photographer to create a disk of your event.
• Some photographers have photos available on their website so all guests can see them and order their own prints.
• Check to see if your photographer prints on recycled paper.
FOOD AND BEVERAGE
• Use reuseable serviceware. If using disposable items, opt for biodegradable or items made from sustainable materials like bamboo.
• Serve small food items in edible vessels (e.g.; hollowed-out fruits, vegetables, or breads).
• Serve native, in-season foods.
• Check to see if leftovers can be donated to a homeless shelter or to your local fire/ police department.
• Go online to verify beverage quantites, or ask an experienced bartender.
• Find beverages local to your area. (Microbrews are increasing in popularity.)
• Encourage guests to carpool or take a beach shuttle.
• If it’s a destination wedding for several of your guests, provide a mass-transit “party bus.” This is also a good way to prevent drinking and driving.
• Give your guests edible favors instead of trinkets they might throw away (e.g.; honey or jam from a local farmer’s market). Buying local supports small businesses and promotes a strong local economy.
• Give guests potted plants or seed packets to plant in their yard. (More plants native to your area are a great boost to the environment.)
• Instead of giving party favors, make a donation on behalf of your guests to Tampa Bay Watch, a favorite charity, or another nonprofit organization.
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