Wedding venues and wedding planning services are all the rage and for good reason. Today’s busy professionals often have too much on their plates to plan the wedding of their dreams. Although some may believe that consultants and one-stop venues are out of their price range, it actually makes sense financially when you consider how many hours of research and negotiation are saved. Brides and grooms have many options when it comes to choosing a planning service or venue, so it’s in the best interest of those in this service industry to offer something extra, for example, a company that offers exceptional service and promotes environmentally sound practices.
The first way to showcase your environmentally friendly business is to equip your office or venue with as many products as possible that save natural resources. For example, research solar panel cost and consider having them installed to generate your own electricity. Equip each guest area with water coolers rather than individual bottles. Add easy to find recycling bins all over your property, so no one must search to do the right thing. Use electronic paperwork whenever possible and print material on recycled paper when paper must be used. Soy ink can also be used. It’s important to label everything that you do so that clients know how responsible you’re being and perhaps can choose to emulate these practices themselves with regards to invitations and reception refreshments.
A venue that really cares about reducing waste should create a storehouse of decorations that each couple can choose from. It is incredibly wasteful to throw out garland, vases, twinkling lights, fabric swag, corner plants, etc. after each event. The bride and groom have little need for those things after the wedding and few people have room or reason to store that many items. A more environmentally friendly approach would be to offer basic decorations in several styles and colors that get washed or sanitized and reused for different events. This could be a key selling point for your business that you save the happy couple time and money while keeping these items out of the landfill.
Fresh flowers are gorgeous and add an air of elegance to any affair, but they are very wasteful too. After the happy couple rides away, the clean-up crew takes armloads of blooms to the dumpsters. Suggesting that your clients mix fresh and silk flowers (that you keep meticulously maintained in your storeroom) alleviates the waste but does not eliminate it. Another option is to have a donation site previously arranged for the plants such as to a local church or nursing home. Ensuring that the plants will be enjoyed for several more days and by many more people makes them less wasteful. It might also be possible to work with a local garden club and donate the arrangements for composting which is a great way for cut flowers to serve the environment.
Another great way to encourage environmentally sustainable behavior during wedding season is to partner with other businesses and organizations that feel the same way you do. Encourage the brides and grooms to work with printers who offer invitations printed on renewable sources like bamboo. Suggest caterers that make it a practice of shopping locally and organically. Many caterers will also prearrange to donate leftover food to food pantries or soup kitchens. Wedding dresses are a huge expense and only worn once. Consider sending your brides to second-hand stores such as Goodwill or higher end thrift stores to find their perfect dress. Partner with an excellent tailor who can recut and remake any gown to look like couture. By purchasing a used wedding dress, your brides create local jobs and save money that can be used on other expenses like a honeymoon or house purchase.
Caring about the environment on a daily basis is normal for most young people, so business habits should follow suit. Just because someone is getting married does not mean they should throw all environmental sense out the window. Showing that you care about what they care about makes good business practice.