Our wedding this summer was everything we imagined and more. All of the planning and small details came together and we couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day surrounded by loved ones.
It will come as no surprise that planning a wedding is stressful. And while staying zero waste seems like an added challenge to an already chaotic planning process, it actually helps streamline and reduce stress. For us, anything that was plastic, disposable or wasteful was out, which helped narrow down our options and kept us focused on the details that were really important to us. Cutesy party favors? Out. Disposable love themed decor that would only be used once? Out. Instead, we supplemented our wedding with things that were handmade, reusable, recyclable or repurposed.
For tips on keeping your wedding zero waste, check out our experience below.
My advice for buying a dress and staying zero waste is to go secondhand or vintage, borrow accessories and shoes from friends or buy something non-traditional that you will wear again.
As mentioned in a previous post, I initially wanted to go with a vintage wedding dress. I was unable to find “the” dress secondhand, but I did find an amazing rehearsal dinner dress from a vintage store in Berkeley — a 1960’s gold and cream gown with a high neck and slits on both sides. I borrowed gold strappy shoes and jewelry from a friend.
For my wedding dress, I went with a white sparkly gown by Eileen Kirby. The dress is not a wedding gown and fit like a glove, no alterations necessary! My hope is to reuse the gown for another formal event in the future. I wore vintage costume jewelry from my grandmother and treated myself to a pair of new silver pumps that I'll wear again.
We kept local for our flowers and went with a blush pink, burgundy and green palette from a small flower shop called Sea of Bloom. I requested that we only use locally grown flowers and we were lucky that British Columbia has such a beautiful assortment of roses.
The food was definitely a highlight of our wedding. Our venue, Sooke Harbour House, is known for its amazing local cuisine and we absolutely loved how our meals turned out. The chef used in-season, local produce and created a menu that satisfied both my vegetarian/gluten free needs and Max’s omnivore needs. We had everything from an Island grown potato trio and Iron grilled polenta to locally caught Salmon with fennel, leeks and risotto. The chef also worked with local foragers to source ingredients for the meals and our cocktails, such as Max’s Whiskey Sour with foraged oxalis.
We were pretty minimal on decor. The Sooke Harbour House is such a beautiful setting in itself located right on the ocean. The reception was held in a tent with these amazing hanging star lanterns, so I decided to get decor to complement that theme. We bought a paper moon photo booth made of wood and I created paper table cards with vintage pictures of people posing on paper moons. I used a few blackboards to create signs, which a friend is reusing for her wedding, and we framed some childhood photos of Max and I to place around the cake. Overall it was simple, minimal and lovely.
We hope our wedding helps inspire you to keep your wedding zero waste! Let us know if you have any questions in the comment section below.