Eco-friendly weddings are taking over as this growing trend sees couples take an active role in reducing event waste and adding in natural elements. One wedding on average produces 400 pounds of garbage and 63 tons of CO2 – that means that the estimated 2.3 million weddings held in the U.S. each year produce more than 1 billion pounds of trash.
As couples become more mindful of their role in that statistical wasteland, expect to see long-time wedding traditions begin to transform. One part of the day that is already seeing an evolution is the wedding send-off.
Rather than throwing confetti or sending off sky lanterns, green wedding couples are adopting creative send-off ideas such as petal tosses. These inventive ideas are also more likely to be venue-approved since both impact and cleanup is short and sweet.
Below you’ll find some of our favorite natural wedding send-off ideas from Zola! You’ll also find some inspiration for how you can add these elements to your special day.
Lavender: Say bon voyage with the lovely scent of lavender. This exit is sophisticated and inspired by the Provence region of France, making it a perfect option for shabby chic or chateau-inspired affairs.
Birdseed: Send off your lovebirds with a sweet treat for the birds to eat! This natural send-off idea is a perfect alternative to throwing confetti or rice. There’s no need for you to clean up the birdseed your guests leave behind as the birds near your venue will happily and healthily do the work for you.
Fall foliage: Embrace the beautiful jewel tones of fall with a leaf toss during your exit. Perfect for fall weddings, you can collect the leaves yourself in the weeks and months leading up to your wedding day. Talk to your wedding photographer before the send-off to create a plan for capturing photographs of the beautiful fall foliage.
Rose petals: Beautiful rose petals are a universal symbol of love. The petals are delicate and timeless, so toss them into the air as you make your grand exit for a send-off that is classic and elegant.
Dried flowers: Using dried flowers is actually more eco-friendly than regular ones because your flowers don’t need water in the days leading up to the wedding. You can toss them from confetti cones made of vintage paper or recycled materials.
Olive leaves: This Mediterranean-inspired send-off adds greenery into your exit with beautiful olive leaves. The send-off is rich in tradition and believed to bring victory and peace into your married life.
You can check out 36 more wedding send-off ideas. Ending your wedding on a green note is a great way to embrace the green wedding trend and reduce your carbon footprint. Eco-friendly practices can begin at the beginning of the wedding planning process, with an ethical engagement ring, online cash registry, and digital details such as a wedding website and online RSVPs.