Weddings are expensive no doubt. In fact the average amount spent on weddings in the United States is $26,645! Yikes. Sadly, an eco-friendly wedding can be even more expensive due to green goods and services costing more than their conventional peers.
That said, there’s no need to elope because you can cut costs and still have an amazing eco-wedding. Keep in mind that all the little budget cuts you make add up to big savings across the board, so try to incorporate many, not just one, money-saving tactic into your wedding.
Request favors instead of gifts
If your goal is eco-friendly and inexpensive consider skipping wedding gifts. One, most folks will not buy you eco-friendly goods anyhow unless you go through the trouble of registering for very specific items. Two, gifts, in general aren’t eco-friendly because stocking up on tons of goods simply isn’t sustainable.
If you have a friend with a camera and some skill, maybe they could take wedding pictures for you. A cook or baker friend might be able to pull off some organic food or sweets. A pal with graphic design skills can help you design invites. Think about what skills and talents your friends and family possess then ask for money-saving help instead of presents.
The average couple spends over $400 on wedding invitations, though some couples spend upwards of $1,000. You can cut costs considerably by going digital and sending save-the-dates and invitations via email. Some digital wedding invitations do cost money, but they’ll almost always cost less than recycled paper products. For example, email save-the-dates or invites at Greenvelope cost just $63 for up to 150 guests and invitation and RSVP tracking will run you around $124 – a significant saving over paper.
With digital you also cut out the cost of stamps. Furthermore, digital wedding items save you time, don’t produces as many emissions (no delivery) and there’s nothing to toss or recycle later on.
Plan ahead… or not
There are two major mindsets surrounding wedding planning and money saving with regards to your wedding planning time frame.
Some say that planning a wedding last minute will save you more cash because you’ll be less inclined to get sucked into planning some elaborate affair – there’s just no time. You’ll also be more likely to streamline your process, doing only what’s necessary.
Others argue that planning WAY ahead will save you more money because you can spread out purchases, watch for sales, and carefully consider each cost.
With the issue of planning ahead… or not, you kind of have to know yourself and how your mind works. For example, I do like to take my time planning for purchases. When I’m down to the wire I know I’m more likely to buy what’s easy vs. inexpensive.
Get married on less common days
Saturday is the number one most popular day to get married, meaning folks can and do put a premium on selling space for this popular day. Getting hitched on a Friday or Sunday can cut costs. Likewise, don’t aim for a perfect June wedding but instead choose a less popular month like November or January.
Choose a less expensive space
Renting out a church, reception hall or country club will cost a pretty penny. Getting married in some cooler, greener space like the beach, nearby forest, park, a city-run area like a local garden, or your friend’s yard is less expensive and also fun.
Reduce, reuse, recycle
Pre-owned, borrowed or vintage wedding clothing can be just as lovely as new, but you’ll reduce both new resources and costs over buying brand new. The same goes for your engagement and/or wedding ring, plus other wedding jewelry. Also consider reducing costs and resources by only having one ring vs. both an engagement ring and wedding ring.
Destination weddings perplex me. For one thing, it’s going to cost you as a couple a lot more cash to travel out of state to get married. Secondly, making people travel long distances is a huge cost to place on your guests. Plus, no matter how you slice it, staying put is much more eco-friendly than traveling to a far off place.
Use wedding decor that can double as favors
Anytime you can make a product do double duty it’s more eco-friendly and less expensive. Favors are a good example. Maybe you’re super set on handing out favors to each wedding guest, but that doesn’t mean you can’t also be clever.
For example, these lucky bamboo in white sake cups (shown above) look great on a wedding table, and can also be given to guests as a takeaway. Reusable chalkboard placeholders look cool on your wedding tables plus double as green wedding favor and the same goes for organic soy candles.
Lead image ©jackmac34 via Pixabay