Are you planning to tie the knot in the beautiful city of Chicago? You might be feeling overwhelmed with all the wedding planning, but have you considered making your big day eco-friendly? An eco-friendly wedding is a great way to reduce your environmental impact and promote sustainable practices. As a Chicago wedding photographer, I have seen many couples incorporate eco-friendly elements into their wedding, and I can tell you that it’s not only good for the planet, but it also adds a unique and meaningful touch to your special day. At the beginning of the new season, Spring, I decided to write about this topic, besides planting a tree in my backyard.
In this ultimate guide, I’ll walk you through the steps to plan an eco-friendly wedding in Chicago, while still having a beautiful and memorable celebration.
The first step to an eco-friendly wedding is choosing an eco-friendly venue. Weddings in Chicago are abundant with beautiful venues that offer eco-friendly options. Look for venues that have green certifications, such as LEED or Energy Star, as these venues are built and operated with sustainable practices in mind. You can also consider outdoor venues, such as parks or gardens, which can provide a natural and sustainable setting for your wedding. Another great option is to choose a venue that offers to compost and recycling services to reduce waste.
One of the biggest environmental impacts of weddings is transportation. As a Chicago wedding photographer, I have seen couples reduce their carbon footprint by choosing a venue that is easily accessible by public transportation or by providing shuttle services for guests. You can also encourage carpooling by providing guests with a carpooling tool or by creating a ride-sharing group. Additionally, you can offset your wedding’s carbon footprint by purchasing carbon offsets, which fund renewable energy projects and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Another way to make your wedding eco-friendly is to choose eco-friendly decorations. Instead of using traditional floral arrangements, consider using potted plants or succulents, which can be reused or repurposed after the wedding. You can also use recycled materials for your decorations, such as paper lanterns or vintage bottles. For your wedding favors, consider giving guests seeds or small plants, which they can plant and grow as a reminder of your special day.
Catering is another area where you can make eco-friendly choices for your wedding. Look for catering companies that use local and organic ingredients, which not only support local businesses but also reduce the carbon footprint of transporting food. You can also choose vegetarian or vegan options, which have a lower carbon footprint than meat-based meals. Additionally, consider using reusable or compostable tableware and utensils to reduce waste.
Reducing waste is a crucial element of an eco-friendly wedding. As a Chicago wedding photographer, I have seen couples reduce waste by providing guests with reusable water bottles or glassware instead of disposable plastic cups. You can also provide guests with reusable or compostable dinnerware and utensils, and avoid single-use plastics, such as straws or stirrers. Additionally, consider donating leftover food or flowers to a local charity or shelter.
Your wedding attire can also be eco-friendly. Consider choosing sustainable and ethical materials, such as organic cotton or recycled polyester. You can also choose to rent or buy pre-owned wedding attire, which reduces waste and supports sustainable fashion. For your bridesmaids’ dresses, consider choosing a color and letting each bridesmaid choose their own dress in that color, which promotes sustainable fashion and reduces waste.
Planning an eco-friendly wedding in Chicago is a great way to reduce your environmental impact and promote sustainable practices. By choosing an eco-friendly venue, reducing your carbon footprint, choosing sustainable catering, reducing waste, and choosing eco-friendly attire, you can have a beautiful day, while not harming the nature.