Eco-Friendly Alternatives for Wedding Send-Offs

eco-friendly wedding send off

If you’re planning a green wedding and are stumped by what to have your guests toss as you exit your wedding venue with your loved one, we’ve got you covered with lots of eco-conscious and photo-worthy ideas. Your wedding can still be opulent and planet-friendly without a balloon release or tiny plastic bottles of bubbles. Avoiding decorations wrapped in plastic may seem challenging, but you will have a more sustainable wedding by being creative and sourcing items locally. One of the easiest ways to avoid waste at your wedding is to use all-natural products that can be composted after the event. Here are some of our favorite eco-friendly alternatives for typical wedding send-offs. 

Go With Florals

Consider floral petals for a memorable moment as you exit the wedding aisle after committing to your loved one. As most brides are already working with florists to create beautiful floral arrangements and bouquets and collecting petals for the flower girls to toss, it’s simple to request additional petals to provide for your guests for a celebratory toss. It will be a gorgeous moment that’s very photogenic and provides a lovely scent in the air.

Ask your florist to provide options for local blooms that will be in season during your wedding. Try to avoid importing flowers. Stress that you prefer the flowers be wrapped in paper, not plastic, including the petals. You could place keepsake wooden boxes on each guest’s chair full of the flower petals for a reusable presentation or place them in bowls rented from your catering company.

Toss Bird Seed

Birdseed is a classic item used during the recessional portion of a wedding ceremony and is making a comeback as it’s eco-friendly and waste-free. Be sure to ask your venue for permission before using bird seed as they may not be keen on having an abundance of birds in the venue area. If they’ll allow you to use bird seed, ask what types of birds live within the vicinity so you can source the proper feed.

DIY Plant Confetti

A lot of confetti tend to be made from plastic, but even the paper goods will likely end up in a landfill, so turn to nature if you’d like to have confetti tossed at your wedding. At the eco-conscious Baker’s Cay Resort, part of the Curio Collection by Hilton, General Manager Joy Boyd has been getting creative to help brides have weddings that don’t damage the planet. The property has an abundance of elephant and banana leaves, so she had the brilliant idea to use a hole puncher to make plant confetti. This sweet concept can be recreated anywhere. “If you have foliage or a garden you have options at your fingertips. Otherwise, ask your florist what greens are cycling out or have already been trimmed,” Boyd says. Lay the leaves flat under the hole puncher with whatever greenery you have. At Baker’s Cay, the plant confetti is presented in tiny burlap bags.

You could also ask your wedding planner to use a hole punch to make confetti out of seedling paper. The paper is pressed with seedlings that grow into wildflowers when planted. Seedling paper is lovely at weddings as it showcases that with a little nurturing, beauty grows. Ask your venue for permission before using seed paper, as it will eventually sprout wildflowers and there may be areas of the venue where this wouldn’t be acceptable.

Herbs, dried flowers or oats also make for an excellent eco-friendly alternative to confetti. Be sure to check with guests about allergies. Lavender is a lovely choice with its soothing scent and gorgeous purple hue. Dried leaves can be painted with eco-friendly gold paint to bring some glitz and glamour into your send-off. Sustainable wedding planner Marina McCoy suggests using dried eucalyptus leaves. “Dried eucalyptus leaves make for a fresh look and smell for any wedding exit. Place them into upcycled paper cones to prepare for a fully compostable piece,” she says.