Our Sustainable Wedding: Part III

I have been taking a little break from the blog; life has been moving so fast, and the weeks are flying by. I can’t believe yesterday marks eight months since our dreamy, ethereal, snow filled wedding day. I am relieved the planning process is over, but I love reminiscing about our day.

My first post was all about the planning process. The timeline and budget can seem like boring topics, but they are essential for any wedding. I also did a follow up post detailing which vendors we used, and how they were centered around our local, sustainable theme. This final post will focus on how we created a zero waste wedding with over 100 guests. We all know dinner parties and holiday gatherings produce so much waste. But have you ever thought about how much waste a wedding produces? We’re talking 400-600lbs of trash in just one evening! 

This guide is for the earth conscious, badass brides and grooms that want to save the planet, while having their dream wedding.

Use Real Dishes + Glasses

Imagine how many sets of cutlery, plates, and napkins are sent to the landfill at a wedding. It gives me chills just thinking about it. If you are using  a caterer, your dishes will most likely be provided. But since we used a mix of food vendors, we ended up purchasing our dishes. Visit your local thrift stores and start collecting dishes as early as you can. If you want them all to match, head to somewhere that sells heavy duty dishes in bulk (I dislike both of these stores, but check Sam’s or Costco).

We also used mason jars for all of our drinks. Not only are they affordable, but now I am loaded up for making jams and pickles!

Cloth Linens:

We rented all of these from our venue, but check out local linens services or used websites to purchase your own.

A Straw Free Environment: 

Create a straw free zone, and just simply don’t offer any at your wedding. You can even make a sign at the bar that says “straw free wedding” or something that will help your guests think about their own footprint.

Kegs +Returnable Bottles:

We wanted as minimal recycling as possible, so we opted for kegs instead of bottled beer. All of our wine bottled were recycled, and my brother returned all of the pop cans we used.

Shop Second Hand: 

The best way to prevent items going to the landfill is shopping secondhand. We went to so many garage sales and thrift stores, but we found some amazing items, and saved money.

Recycling + Compost:

At the end of the night, the only recycling we had were the wine bottles and boxes from set up. All of the left over food and flowers were either taken home with guests, or composted. The day after the wedding, we took everything to the recycling center and dropped off the compost at our co op.


Some family members that were helping behind the scenes didn’t grasp the zero waste concept. Sorry y’all, but that was the only issue we had with the zero waste part of our zero waste wedding! Luckily, Jeremiah caught a couple snafus before the wedding started, so it was easily fixed. Communicate with anyone helping what zero waste means to you; it’s not an easy concept for everyone!

Using Compostable Options: 

Some venues (especially outdoor ones) may have rules about using glasses and other breakables. If that is the case, check out some compostable dishes. They are not expensive, and can still be added to your compost pile at the end of the event. My cousin used this collection for her wedding, and they were beautiful!

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