Consider the location’s impact on the environment. There are many types of reception venues — from your own backyard to a destination wedding across the globe. Bear in mind that more travel equals higher environmental cost so if possible consider a location that is convenient for your guests and near (or at the same place as) your ceremony or other events.
Also if your ceremony and reception take place during the day you will cut down on the amount of electricity needed for lighting. If your event will be at night save energy by using candlelight (with care!) and bring a soft natural glow to your event.
When possible seek out local privately owned businesses to help support the local economy. If dealing with larger corporations consider their records of environmental responsibility within your community and beyond. If you are having a hotel reception make sure it is a member of the Green Hotels Association. Learn more about Green Hotels.
WHAT IS YOUR STYLE?
Formal informal indoors or out — these considerations all lend weight to your reception or party style. It will help you establish a theme and a to-do list. For example outdoor receptions are wonderful for greener weddings but usually require many more rental items — and the cleanup crew’s commitment to leaving the location sparkling (without the use of harsh chemicals).
In any setting avoid using disposable products. Rent all of your dishes linens cutlery and glassware. If you must use disposables make sure your paper products are made from recycled paper and not virgin wood fiber. Two brands to look for are Seventh Generation and Marcal. There is even corn-based disposable cutlery now to replace plastic cutlery which is usually non-recyclable.
Recyclable plastic cups are widely available if rental glassware is not accessible. Clearly mark trash receptacles so that any bottles cans or recyclable plastic used can be properly disposed of.
Outdoor weddings require more set up but you benefit from Mother Nature’s décor and can typically go very light on flower arrangements or other decorations. This is great earth-friendly solution. However when choosing an outdoor venue ensure the location is not too ecologically sensitive since foot and vehicle traffic from large groups can do considerable damage to fragile areas.
Getting married in a pristine site to showcase your appreciation of nature is not guaranteed to be an environmentally sound solution. If you must be married in such an area bring the smallest number of people possible and hold a larger reception somewhere more developed.