It’s no doubt that weddings have a big reputation for being very wasteful. Whether you have 200 guests or just an intimate gathering of 10 people, waste is inevitable. While your wedding should still be your dream day with everything you imagined it to have, there are some easy swaps that will help the planet, and oftentimes, your wallet!
Why is this so important? Well, here in Hawai’i, the land, or ʻĀina, is very sacred. The saying, Aloha ʻĀina, means “love of the land” and is an ancient Hawaiian belief that everything on earth is living and connected. This mutuality shows that we should treat the earth with the same respect we treat ourselves and others. That’s why you will see a lot of signs around Oahu saying “Mālama ʻāina” which means, “to take care of the land” so visitors won’t leave trash on the beach or pollute the oceans. The same concept applies to weddings, and as planners on the island of Oahu, we have learned some easy and practical ways to have a more sustainable wedding, which in turn, helps to protect these sacred islands! So whether you are planning a wedding on Hawai’i or anywhere else in the world, try out these tips!
10 Easy Ways to Go Wedding Green:
The easy option here is to rent glassware, plates, and cutlery, but sometimes couples prefer some disposable cups and plates for dessert. Go ahead and ask if they have any eco-friendly options like straws, cups, and plates! And if they don’t, offer to purchase your own for them to use! Lots of Hawai’i companies have made the switch to Eco-Products such as compostable cups and bamboo plates, and paper straws.
While having as many florals as possible is an amazing way to make your wedding come to life, there’s a good chance you can’t keep all of the flowers, so try to re-purpose your florals! You can easily ask to have your ceremony arch and other florals used somewhere in the reception. This is also an easy way to save money! Here’s a bonus tip: ask for in-season flowers! These should be cheaper which also means there is most likely less shipping involved.
When searching for decor, renting is an amazing option, but so is thrifting! This is a very budget-friendly option, it just requires a little work. You can go to stores, search online, ask people you know, or look into companies like WedCycle Hawaii!
Following the thrifting theme, you can do the same with your wedding dress, bridesmaid’s dresses, and suits! Thrifting is great, but there are amazing sustainable companies out there who use eco-friendly materials and low-waste packaging, and still offer a brand new product! Also try looking into renting your look! Companies like The Black Tux and Rent the Runway
This goes for every category: rentals, catering, florists, photographers, entertainment, you name it! Booking local is actually very sustainable, since the carbon footprint is reduced! Also, they live on the island and know how to respect the land by doing their part. By booking local companies, you are instantly contributing to the local economy.
Invitation suites are one of our favorite things because they are the first impression guests have of your theme/vibe! You canlook for an eco-friendly paper to be used, opt for half paper half digital, or go fully digital and have it all online!
While sparklers and confetti may seem like a good idea, it not only creates a lot of waste but a lot of work to clean up. You can opt for sustainable confetti, go with flower petals, or just skip it! Entertainment companies offer cold sparks which still make a WOW impression, without the waste. Also, favors! Pick favors that won’t be thrown out instantly, but rather choose a local food item or something reusable like a keychain, cup, ornament, etc!
Food in Hawai’i is oftentimes shipped from far away, but if you look for a caterer who wants to use food directly from Hawai’i, with a farm-to-table approach, then you are really practicing Aloha ʻĀina! Some caterers work with an adopt a farm program, where the chefs work directly with local farms. So by booking these caterers, you are also giving back to the local farmers.
One way to eliminate waste is for the couple to take home all the leftover food, but many couples getting married in Hawai’i are leaving after their wedding. So, another option is to donate the food to Aloha Harvest, which is a company that helps feed Hawaii’s hungry. Also, the florals can be donated to retirement houses or children hospitals to help put smiles on their faces!
While it may require a little more work, it doesn’t hurt to ask if your caterer or bar vendor can recycle! Coordinators can also mostly likely take extra decor to upcycle for future couples or donate! Contact us at Tropical Moon Events, we are always happy to help our couples reduce their wedding waste and go green!