Kristen Gosselin is an award-winning event planner and designer who planned her own wedding to be glamorous yet sustainable. Gosselin told People that her group of vendors worked with her to cut back on the wasteful elements that are all too common in weddings.

“It is hard to imagine that these beautiful and luxurious weddings could also be harmful,” she says, “but that is exactly the case.”

Gosselin shared with People her top tips for how she made her wedding eco-friendly.

Location

One of the easiest ways to make your wedding more sustainable is all in where you choose to have it. Starting from the “ground up” can be difficult because you will have to bring in many of your own elements, like flooring and panels, to make it how you want it. Choosing a venue that is already used for weddings can often save you a lot of money as well as help out the planet.

Choose Decorations You Can Reuse

For her flowers, Gosselin chose a florist that reuses or donates leftover pieces to hospice and other local organizations. Gosselin told People that the florist “grows and harvests some items” for events but “mainly sources flowers from local farms” to keep it as eco-friendly as possible. For other decors, she used potted plants and ferns that can be repurposed or replanted.

Limit Transportation

Traveling to and from the wedding venue is one of the ways to quickly rack up carbon emissions on your wedding. To help this, Gosselin said,

“We set up a room block on site, so our guests were able to walk to all events and resort activities,” Gosselin said. “Those who did not book within the block were mostly all within walking distance.”

For those who were further, Gosselin said,

“I made sure to recommend hotels with free shuttles for those who did not want to walk,” she says. “We also used Freebee, who provides door-to-door transportation service free to the public with environmentally friendly electric vehicles.”

Make What You Can

Handmade and DIY items at your wedding not only give it a personal touch but are a great way to keep it eco-conscious and unique. Gosselin’s husband designed and built rattan centerpieces so that they had to source fewer items. They also made centerpieces that can be used again for her clients in the future.

When in Doubt, Rent It Out

Renting instead of buying is a way to make sure that nothing is wasted. They rented wedding linens, tabletops, and glassware.

“Within the luxury event market, many couples opt for new and trendy items that may not be available within the rental companies’ inventories that we have access to,” she says. “With that being the case, we often collaborate with rental companies to acquire those new items into their inventory after the event to reduce waste.”

Shop Your Closet

One of the most expensive things in a wedding is often the attire worn by the wedding party. To avoid her party having to purchase new clothes, they had their groomsmen wear navy suits they already owned.

Fill Your Welcome Bags with Items Your Guests Can Reuse and Recycle

Gosselin made sure that her welcome bags were sustainable and chose companies that are making a positive impact on the planet. In the reusable tote, she put “reusable plastic cups and Boxed water from Everybody Water, whose mission through their sales is to support clean water projects for women and girls,” Gosselin says.

Save the Date

Instead of sending out their Save the Date on paper, the couple chose to send digital RSVPs and postcards “Save The Dates,” so fewer envelopes were needed.

“We all share a responsibility to consider the impact we make to our environment,” Gosselin told People. “It’s going to take all of us starting to do the little things that snowball into bigger, more substantial climate change. I can’t stress enough the importance of having the conversation with your vendor team,” she continues.

“You may be the push they need to put new initiatives in place,” she says. “Leading by example can go a long way.”

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