Wildlife-friendly Wedding Guide


Sustainable sendoff. Confetti makes for a cool photo op, but it needs to get cleaned up so it’s not consumed by wildlife. Releasing balloons and lanterns can also have disastrous consequences for wildlife because there’s no way to control where they land to retrieve them.

If you decide on a sendoff, go with a litter-free version, like having guests wave ribbon wands or blow bubbles. Birdseed is a much better alternative to rice, which isn’t safe for birds (but check with your venue first before throwing anything). Even better? Have guests toss something biodegradable like flower petals or fallen leaves.

“Instead of having some sort of confetti, we reused old ribbon we had laying around to make ribbon wands for each of the guests to wave at the end of the ceremony.”


Photographed by George Rosberg

Pets. It’s become more and more popular for couples to include their pets in their wedding day. If you do, be sure to keep your pet on a leash so they don’t run off and disturb local wildlife, and always pick up after them.

Educate. If you’re having your wedding at a nature center or some other venue that has education interpreters on staff, see if they are available for your event so your guests can learn more about wildlife.

Photographed by Deborah Huber
“The wildlife refuge we had our wedding at was incredible. They brought out their resident education owls and other birds for our guests while they waited, and they provided us with a beautiful, natural space.”


Share some fun facts. Let your guests know about the wildlife-friendly choices you’ve made and what their impact is. This could be a shout-out on your menu sign about where your food came from. Include a sign on the buffet line about how much water and forest was saved by selecting a vegetarian menu.

“We are planning to have little signs with information about the local farms placed on the buffet tables so people know that their food came from the area.”


Play tour guide. On your wedding website, include a map of places you recommend your out-of-town guests check out so that they can plan the most convenient place to stay. Then share information about the best ways to get around your city with public transit, bike shares, etc. This allows you to highlight your favorite natural sightseeing destinations while helping your guests reduce their travel footprint.

Volunteer. Instead of the traditional night out for bachelor(ette) parties, volunteer to do habitat restoration, a park clean up, or help out at a wildlife rehabilitation center with your friends. It may sound blah, but it can be surprisingly fun and refreshing.

Next: Endangered Species Condoms

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Photo Credits: George Rosberg,.