We might be biased, but we think Coastal North Carolina is one of the most beautiful places to get married. With miles of beautiful beaches, scenic shorelines, and pretty inland waterways, we try as much as possible to think about sustainability and “going green” in our wedding planning so that we leave as little of a footprint as possible. We’re lucky enough to have an ocean as our backdoor, and we want to preserve as much as we can for future generations!
The couples that hire us for wedding planning services feel the same way, but in past years having a green wedding meant spending more money to get there. Luckily, as the sustainable movement has grown, there are easier ways to accomplish having a fantastic wedding without breaking the bank. Here are our favorite ideas!
Reduce the Guest List
Let’s start out with the one that couples often find the most challenging, reducing the guest list. While this can be a hard conversation to have, consider this: the fewer people you have at your wedding, the more time you get to spend with people that matter. You don’t have to invite everyone in your office, your mother’s fourth cousins or even college friends you haven’t seen in years. One easy way to do this is the “Five Year Rule.” If they are not immediate family and you haven’t seen them in five years, you do not have to invite them to your wedding.
Rent vs. Buy
Whenever you can, rent instead of buying. You’d be amazed at the amount of money you will save by renting. A wedding is a one-day event, and you’re probably not going to need ten 52-inch round tablecloths again in your life! Some rental companies even offer delivery and pickup, saving you time, the most precious commodity in a busy wedding week. Our favorite here in Brunswick County North Carolina are the good folks at 3Cheers Party Rentals. Their service is phenomenal!! If you can’t find what you want to rent, check Facebook Marketplaces in your area. There are often people selling items at a fraction of what you would pay new.
Incorporate Nature in Your Décor
Using what’s available is eco-responsible and can be beautiful and original! Start by choosing venues that don’t need a lot of decorating. The beach, for example, can require as little as a few chairs. Choose seasonal flowers that don’t need to be flown in, or if you are ambitious you can arrange yourself. Natural, found elements can not only be decorative, but they can be charming as well. Some things we love: river stones with love quotes written on them, leaves used as place cards, and potted plants instead of cut flowers.
A good rule of thumb is to think about what you are going to do with the décor after the wedding. Can you use it in your own home? Re-sell it? Gift it to your guests or local charities? Look around your own home and see if there are things you could use at the wedding. Chalkboards for chores can turn into greeting boards. Miniature potted succulents can double as place settings. Be unique! One recent idea that we loved was a couple who used a mailbox as the card box. Not only did it tie in a favorite movie, but they get to use it for years to come. Need ideas? We can help you get creative with this!
Borrowed and Blue
With vintage being all the rage, what could be better than wearing a piece of jewelry that has meaning to you? Borrow wedding jewelry from grandparents, friends, and you’ll have your “something borrowed” covered. Cake knives and fancy pens from signature books are other things people tend to hold on to and can be a sweet and sentimental nod to those who were married before you.
It’s the southern way to feed people, and sometimes we get a little over-enthusiastic when ordering food! Providing guests with eco-friendly containers to take home leftover food and cake is something you may not have thought of, but guests love it! What could be better than cake for breakfast?!
Are you planning an eco-friendly wedding in the Southport area? We’d love to talk with you and help you brainstorm ways to help you plan your day. We’ve spent the last eight years helping couples plan weddings, and we have some great ideas for you! We offer services from initial planning all the way through full-day services at your wedding. Contact us to find out how we can customize your sustainable wedding!