When it comes to planning a big wedding, it takes a lot of added logistics and consideration to
create an eco-conscious plan. From unwrapping and transporting all the decor to throwing out
flowers and food scraps, wedding waste is pretty hard to avoid. Elopements, on the other hand,
are intrinsically eco-conscious, and being intentional about reducing waste can even enhance
your elopement experience!
Reduce, Reuse, and Repurpose Decor
By reducing your guest count, you immediately reduce plastic and cardboard waste. You may
still have a few Etsy boxes in the corner, but it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the online
purchases for a large wedding. And after your elopement, if you have any items that you don’t
want to keep, you can sell or donate them to other couples and vendors.
Incorporating items you own can be a great way to add a personal touch and cut down on costs.
Using simple items like your own dinner plates can be a strong base for other awesome details.
You may have mementos from your relationship and decor around the house that’d make a
great centerpiece, and reusing these items gives them new life and memories!
When you include decor in your elopement ceremony, those beautiful details can follow you
through your day. Reuse them around your elopement reception, on your dinner table or around
the house, and anywhere else that you want to look great.
If you’re purchasing items for your elopement, go for details that resonate with your relationship
and could become mementos after your day. You might even get some things for your day that’d
traditionally go on a registry, like a great vase or china.
Keeping it Clean and Creative
Having a waste management plan can make any wedding or elopement more eco-conscious
and intentional. The location you choose plays a big role in how you have to plan, and some are
simpler than others. A drive-up venue creates an easy opportunity to keep the area clean, a
home gives you the opportunity to use your green processes and items, but outdoor and
adventure elopements take some extra planning.
Here are 5 quick tips to start your brainstorming:
1. Travel light; consider decor that is collapsible or can be repurposed within the
2. Pack items within larger items when able to avoid packaging waste.
3. Use lighter decor options such as acrylic rather than disposable or breakable items.
4. Be prepared to remove food waste and trash, and consider how items will be
5. Leave spaces cleaner than when you found them.
ElopeNC is a platform for wedding vendors across North Carolina to collaborate, reach their ideal clients, and provide awesome elopement resources and inspiration. We believe elopements are “an intimate exchange of vows,” and every couple should have the opportunity to throw tradition to the wind and create their authentic dream day. Our blog and vendors are here to help couples imagine the possibilities and feel empowered to get married their way. Founded by Stephanie & Matt Milosh in 2020 and launched in early 2021, the growing Vendor Directory features over 50 ElopeNC members who want to make eloping a stress-free experience that beautifully reflects each couple’s unique love story.