Wildlife-friendly Wedding Guide

Photographed by Sarah Baillie

Ditch the decor. Botanical gardens, parks, museums and even historical buildings provide a beautiful backdrop and decorations without any additional work or materials from you.

Rent or buy used. If you still need some extra pizazz, rent decorations or buy them used. This cuts down on costs and packaging from new items.

"We got a lot of our decorations, including vases and lace tablecloths, from secondhand and vintage stores. When the celebrations were over, we donated items we decided not to keep."


Photographed by Liz Warnek.
“We chose a beautiful tree to have the ceremony underneath and made that the focus of the decorations. The only other decorations that we used were made from materials we or friends and family already had, including mason jars, rebar and twine. We purchased and organized the flowers ourselves and then reused the same bouquets from the ceremony for the dinner table at the reception.”


“We saved empty glass jars for months, and put tea lights inside them. [They] looked great, and the only new resources used were a bag of 100 tea lights. The jars were recycled afterwards.”


“All of my decor was borrowed, thrifted, salvaged or from antique shops. Signage was made from old fence boards. I think it’s really easy to minimize the impact by being thrifty and looking for things you already have or can borrow instead of buying tons of mass produced decor.”


Multi-task. Find ways to have your decorations do double duty for you: Make place cards that function as favors, use glasses guests can reuse throughout the evening and then take home, or stick to décor you will use in your home after your wedding.

“I'm very conscious of my landfill contribution, and seeing how many other brides are selling their decorations afterward makes the idea of buying anything new (with more packaging) feel so excessive. If we do have to buy anything new, we are investing in pieces we can use after the wedding.”


Photographer unknown.
“My father-in-law built the corn hole game for our reception from spare wood he had in his shed. He even sewed the beanbags full of dried corn himself. We still have it, six years later, and bring it out all the time.”


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Photo Credits (top to bottom): Sarah Baillie, Liz Warnek, photographer unknown.