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Getting married sustainably: organizing an eco-friendly wedding

We increasingly get couples who want to organize their wedding in the most environmentally friendly way possible. A sustainable wedding doesn’t even have to be that much different from a traditional wedding. Read these tips for eco-friendly decorations, sustainable dining and sustainable wedding photography.

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What is a sustainable wedding?

Sustainable wedding, also called eco wedding or ecological wedding, is a celebration that takes into account the impact on the environment. Every aspect of the wedding day is considered from a sustainable perspective, whether it is the decorations or the wedding venue itself. But of course, the magic of the day remains the same!

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Eco-friendly wedding decorations and flowers

Decoration is a way to make your wedding just a little more individual. Check out several DIY options where you use sustainable materials. For example, one time we had a couple who had made garlands out of dry leaves, for their fall wedding.

Cheerful spring bouquet, sustainable wedding also in terms of floral arrangements.

You can also choose sustainable options in terms of flowers. Consider flowers from the season or flowers grown locally. For example, you have awesome picking gardens where you can order flower arrangements. Pick your own wedding bouquet or have a florist put it together for you. When we got married ourselves (in March, see above) we chose bulbous flowers such as tulips, hyacinths and lapwing flowers.

And below is a photo of sustainable leaf confetti. This is 100% biodegradable and super colorful.

Get married sustainably with leaf confetti at your wedding.

Meet digitally

Is it possible to meet with wedding vendors digitally? This can be difficult in some cases, but with many vendors it is possible to meet via Skype, Google Meets or FaceTime, for example. This also saves a lot of travel time.

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Sustainable wedding venues and transportation

In terms of location, preferably choose a place that is central in the Netherlands so that no one has to drive a long way. Possibly, guests can carpool with each other (also convenient due to being Bob) or see if it is possible to arrange, for example, a bus for travel.

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Getting married abroad

Getting married abroad is again, unfortunately, totally unsustainable, but did you know that there are wedding venues in the Netherlands that make it seem like you’re abroad? Consider De Hazelhof (Rijsbergen), Domaine d’Heerstaayen (Strijbeek) and Het Roode Koper (Leuvenum).

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One wedding venue where we ate delicious vegan food was De Kas in Amsterdam. As they say themselves, “harvested in the morning, on the plate in the afternoon.” And the food is delicious too! Other locations where we experienced organic cuisine include Rhederoord (Rheden), Kom Eten (Hoogmade), Landtgoed (Heino) and Het Rijk van de Keizer (Amsterdam). Each of them beautiful locations with their own unique atmosphere and (organic/sustainable) cuisine.

Eco-friendly wedding in Holland near Heino.

And, if possible, choose one location where you do everything. This ensures that guests do not have to travel from A to B. Not only sustainable, but also much more relaxing! We also once experienced guests moving around on bicycles!

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Sustainable dining

Dinner, and to a lesser extent the cake and any lunch, are an important part of a wedding. There are many ways you can make this part environmentally friendly(er). Consider an organic caterer that uses local and seasonal produce. We frequently experience the entire dinner being vegan, even for guests who normally eat meat.

Consider bringing leftovers, if you want to get married sustainably. I’m not necessarily talking about dinner, but the cake will do just fine stored in the refrigerator until tomorrow. In addition, a served dinner has less food waste than a buffet or barbecue.

Last-minute wedding planning with cake and goodies

Sustainable clothing and wedding rings

Did you know you can also rent wedding attire? The website Wedding Inspiration has written a helpful article on everything you need to know about renting a wedding dress. You could also have a wedding dress altered. For example, we once experienced the wedding dress of “mother” being altered for “daughter.”

In terms of wedding rings, you can choose durable materials. Gold is not hugely durable unfortunately, but again you could reuse gold from family. Sometimes couples get a ring that has been in the family for a long time or have a new ring made from leftover precious metal. For example, check out Nadine Kieft’s website. What she makes in her studio

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Sustainable wedding photography

Of course I wish I could say here that we were the most ecofriendly wedding photographers in the Netherlands, but unfortunately that is not true. However, we do try to do our part by working in the most environmentally friendly way possible. Our company (with the exception of the car) is completely Solar powered thanks to our solar panels.

Although our wedding albums are printed abroad, they are shipped in one large package to the Netherlands and from there sent directly to your home, so we can reduce our carbon emissions. Also, we have one car and if we need a second one, we borrow it.

In addition, we decided not to fly for weddings in the coming years. This helps to reduce our carbon footprint. Eventually, our goal is to go electric as well.

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10+ additional sustainable wedding tips

  1. Skip the thank yous at the end of the party. Or consider an insect hotel or seeds and potting soil.
  2. Food trucks? Arrange that compostable tableware
  3. If necessary, rent your decorations or buy them at the thrift store and donate them back after your day is over.
  4. Think about the gifts you will (or will not) receive. If necessary, ask for a sustainable gift or give a charity as an option.
  5. Did you know that there are also makeup and hair artists working with organic products like “Beautiful Morning by Li”?
  6. Donate your flowers, after the wedding day, to a retirement home or hospital, for example.
  7. Ask if the wedding venue can serve water from jugs and glass.
  8. Plant a tree during the ceremony.
  9. See what’s available for a wedding card in terms of sustainable options or send your invitation digitally.
  10. Ask for “time or an experience” instead of a gift. This will allow you to spend extra time with your friends and family, after the wedding.
  11. Opt for an eco-friendly honeymoon. I think this is where you can still make the most headway, although it can also feel like a sacrifice because a honeymoon is often a once-in-a-lifetime unique trip.
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Sustainable marriage: doable?

Organizing an eco-friendly wedding does not have to be difficult. With a little planning and awareness, you can put together a wonderful day. Whether it’s choosing sustainable decorations, serving organic (or vegan) meals, or choosing an eco-friendly wedding photographer, every choice counts.

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Would you like to organize an eco wedding yourself now? And do you want a photographer who largely matches this? If so, please be sure to contact us, fun!