The Sweet Christian Bride

3R’s for Your Wedding: Reduce

To be a good steward of the resources you are given, you will inevitably evaluate your priorities of time, money, resource, and service.  It may mean more to you to lavish each guest with a personalized favor that is wrapped in plastic gift bags than it does to keep down the use of non-natural products you are using.  Or if you are hosting your wedding on a very low budget, you might need to use paper plates and plastic cups because the cost of buying or renting enough washable dishware is simply too much.

Prayer and intentionality will help you to sift through the different priorities of your wedding planning.  Even if just a couple aspects of your wedding are intentionally socially and environmentally responsible, you are still taking part in moving weddings towards good stewardship of God’s provision and people.  Do what you can do cheerfully, for God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7).

Here is a simple list of ways to reduce waste at weddings in order to get you thinking what you can do given your situation:

1)  Switch out paper products to washable products.

2) Encourage your guests to use only one glass and one plate for the evening.  Click on Ruffled Blog and scroll down for a super cute way that a bride and groom used to encourage their guests to keep up with their beer glasses.

3) Avoid using styrofoam.

4) Rather than printing out programs for your ceremony, menus for your reception, or place-cards for seating, download a free QR code.  You can print one per reception table, or even more reduced, have one printed by the entrance to your ceremony location and one by the guest book or the bar.  Your guests can scan the code with their phones and read all your printed material on a website that you create for the occasion.

5) Use electronic RSVP’s.  If you have a wedding website, this will already be built in for you.  If not, you can print your email address (or phone number) on the invitations in order to reduce the paper used and the expense for postage.

6) Serve plated meals to reduce the quantity of unused food.  Even if you desire to package and give away left over food, most food institutions have policies that encourage or require them to discard the left overs in order to avoid liability for contaminated food.

7) Simplify your centerpieces.

8 ) Use a digital camera instead of film.

9) Request “No gift wrapping” for shipped items on your registry.  No need to double the packaging on mailed items.

10) Choose a location with intrinsic beauty in order to minimize the decorations needed to create your wedding ambiance.

By Lindsay

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