New Zealand stands out as an exceptional travel destination with its dramatic landscapes and world-class wine production, inspiring adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike.
Wedding expenses can add up quickly, so it is crucial that couples establish and stick to a budget when planning their celebration. Opting for an off-peak season date may help keep expenses to a minimum.
1. Choose Local Vendors
One key way you can reduce your wedding’s environmental footprint is to select vendors who prioritize sustainability and reside locally, thus creating a more authentic, memorable experience for you and your guests.
Local vendors will be more accessible during your planning process and are less likely to require transporting or shipping their work from another state, saving both money and easing your stress in terms of packing bulky dresses, decor items and flowers for transport.
Selecting vendors who prioritize local ingredients can significantly lower your wedding’s carbon footprint. If you plan to serve meat-heavy meals, select caterers who source their beef and pork from nearby farms to reduce environmental impacts associated with long-distance shipping. Alternatively, serve plants instead of meat as an alternative or opt for biodegradable blooms or seeds so your guests can take them home and plant them themselves!
2. Ask Your Guests to Donate to an Environmental Charity
An event such as your wedding can produce considerable waste in terms of food and paper products, so to lower its carbon footprint ask guests to donate to an environmental charity close to their hearts as part of your special day celebrations. Doing this will both involve guests more fully and help make an impactful statement about environmental matters.
Search for an eco-conscious venue that prioritizes sustainability. Look for establishments with LEED certification or Energy Star ratings; those sourcing their food from local farmers. Consider eliminating straws from cocktails by serving drinks with reusable glassware instead. Furthermore, rent linens, napkins and runners instead of buying them.
Darjon Vineyard in Christchurch stands out as an environmentally-friendly wedding venue that supports the environment with their outdoor garden ceremonies (with heaters for colder weather), barn reception space, free loan items like wishing wells and fairy lights, shuttle or car pool services to reduce transportation costs as well as compostable bins and separate recycling containers that guests can use during their ceremony and reception.
3. Look for Ethical Wedding Rings
Planning a sustainable destination wedding involves more than considering just environmental aspects – it also involves carefully selecting an ethical engagement ring. Ethical wedding rings such as The Black Tux and Generation Tux offer ethical options.
New Zealand boasts an amazing selection of breathtaking wedding venues that provide the ideal setting for an open-air ceremony, including beaches, mountainous lookouts, serene lakes and charming vineyards. If you prefer an elopement ceremony instead, there are also plenty of romantic and intimate spots perfect for this.
Make your ceremony stand out with breathtaking mountain views at Lookout Hill in Wanaka or Milford Sound with just your loved one and close friends, or go more unconventional by visiting Ohaupo’s Tree Church – an iconic living, breathing church that can seat 100 guests! Or try Camp Glenorchy which provides eco-friendly wedding packages complete with New Zealand’s only Net Positive Energy accommodation option for an eco-friendly ceremony experience.
4. Ask Your Vendors to Recycle
Planning a destination wedding can be stressful and time-consuming, yet still beautiful and unforgettable. By asking vendors to reduce waste at your event, you can ensure all materials used during it are disposed of responsibly.
Request that your florist use biodegradable moss or paper pads instead of single-use items like floral foam and oasis for holding bouquets at the gift table, which do not decompose quickly. Also encourage guests to bring reusable bags/containers with them so they can transport gifts easily from this table.
Mudbrick offers an eco-conscious wedding in Auckland’s heart, featuring beautiful photo opps and a light-filled reception space, while Craveiral provides traditional ceremonies while celebrating rural life with sustainable glass bottles – they even provide packages including stays at their hotel!
5. Ask Your Vendors to Reduce Waste
Weddings can generate significant waste. Reducing your waste by asking guests for donations instead of gifts may help, while giving guests an opportunity to feel good about making an impactful gesture.
Find a caterer that uses fresh, local ingredients or works directly with farmers to craft an organic menu. Ditch single-use plastics in favor of recyclable paper products for wedding invitations, favors, and menus; opt for reusable cutlery and glassware or plantable wedding favors with seed paper made into favors for plantable wedding favors!
Encourage your wedding guests to stay a few extra days or weeks post-wedding for them to fully experience New Zealand’s special vibe and save on air fare and hotel costs – it will allow them to truly take in all its splendor!
To assist with eco-friendly wedding planning, we created an attractive free printable checklist! Click here to access it, as well as find helpful tips and green alternatives for all of the essentials on your list in our blog post, A Guide to Eco-Friendly Destination Weddings in New Zealand.