UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

Wedding Sustainability

Sustainability is a core mission of the University Center.  The suggestions provided below are ideas to consider when planning a wedding.  Not only is adopting sustainable practices good for the environment, it also generally helps save you money.

Flowers and Decorations
  • Choose organic, locally grown flowers.  Many florists use flowers imported from other countries, which means a high fuel consumption.  Imported flowers are often full of pesticides.  Visit the local Farmers Market instead.
  • Use potted plants for centerpieces, then let your guests take them home.
  • Reuse the ceremony flowers as reception decor.
  • Consider using silk flowers that can be sold or reused.
  • Decorate with fruits and greenery.
Stationary
  • Use 100% recycled or post-consumer paper for save the dates, invitations, programs, menu cards, seating cards, and thank you notes.
  • Send out e-mail invitations.
  • Create a website and have guests RSVP online.
Transportation
  • Encourage guests to carpool or use public transportation.
  • Provide a bus for guests to take between the hotel, ceremony and reception venues.
  • Hold the ceremony and reception within close proximity to each other to minimize driving distance.  Better yet, hold them in the same location.
Food and Beverage
  • Buy local, in season food.
  • If you plan to provide alcohol, order beer in kegs rather than bottles or cans.
  • Plan food service needs carefully to avoid unnecessary waste.
  • Donate leftover food if your caterer will allow it.
  • Use real dishes and utensils rather than plastic ones.
Beauty and Attire
  • Wear a vintage or borrowed dress.  Borrow things like shoes, jewelry, and a veil in order to avoid buying something for a one time use.
  • Look into eco-couture gowns made from sustainable materials.
  • Donate or sell your dress after the wedding.
  • Use all-natural beauty and hair products.  Many conventional cosmetics contain toxic chemicals.
Rings
  • Find an eco-conscious jeweler and research where your diamond comes from.
  • Consider alternatives to diamonds, such as recycled stones and metals.
  • Wear a family heirloom, vintage or antique ring.
Miscellaneous
  • Choose a photographer that uses digital photography (most do these days).  Digital photography is a paperless and chemical free way to capture your event.
  • Register at sustainable businesses and don't register for things you don't need.
  • Consider foregoing favors for guests.  Or give out soy candles, small potted plants, or packets of seeds to guests.
  • Encourage guests not to use commercial gift wrap.
  • Consider "eco-tourism" for your honeymoon.
  • Educate others by communicating your sustainability efforts.

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