And the bride wore green…

Want to minimize your wedding’s carbon footprint? Follow these tips and tricks for an eco-friendly wedding.
Apr. 16, 2012 | By:

A wedding is traditionally an extravagant celebration where little expense is spared, but some environmentally conscious couples are now looking to tone down the event to respect the planet.

There are many ways you can have an eco-friendly wedding, starting with the reception. Here are some tips to stay green at a white wedding reception:

Rent or reuse

You can rent, borrow or buy many items for your reception. Ask your caterer if they have centrepieces for rent. If not, check your local party rental store for display ideas that can be brought back. If you’re buying the centrepieces, consider lending them to a friend afterward for their wedding or donating them to a local nursing home.


Consider having your wedding and the reception in the same location to save fuel. Advise your wedding guests to carpool or find eco-friendly ways to arrive, such as walking or taking public transportation (this may be easier if your reception is in a larger city). Also, try not to use a limo for one or two people (such as the bride’s arrival), but rather use the limo to transport the entire bridal party – it’s a great green way to get around.

Food and flowers

Ask your florist to provide flowers and your caterer to provide food from local farms and providers. Having tulips transported from Holland or king crab from Alaska will add to emissions.

Birdseed and bubbles

Traditionally, guests throw rice at the bride and groom as they leave the reception as a symbol of fertility. This has been frowned upon in recent years because it is supposedly bad for birds’ digestive systems. (According to the myth-busting site, there is absolutely no truth to this rumor; however, rice on a hard or slick surface is not very safe to walk on). Rice and birdseed are great ways to shower the happy couple with biodegradable celebration. Blowing bubbles are also an option, and the bubble containers can be recycled.

An eco-friendly reception is a great way to show your support for the environment. You’ll also notice a difference in the pocket, as most green ideas are also inexpensive alternatives.

Is your wedding going green? Find environmentally-friendly wedding decorations on, Canada’s local marriage services directory.