Throwing a bridal shower is a traditional way to celebrate the upcoming wedding of a close friend or family member. It’s a fun day filled with love and activities, but due to the nature of the celebration, it can also generate a lot of waste.
Whether it’s plastic decorations or gimmicky gifts, they may seem like a great idea on the day, but will likely end up being thrown out after the occasion has passed.
Planning an eco-friendly bridal shower is a great way to enjoy the celebration without the negative effects on the environment, ensuring you can all feel better after having done your bit for our planet.
From sustainable decorations to food and drinks, there are plenty of small adjustments that can be made in order to make the bridal shower more eco-friendly. In this article, we explore some of our top tips for throwing a shower that will leave a lasting impression on the bride, but not on our planet.
1. Use Sustainable Decorations
Decorations can be some of the biggest sustainability offenders at weddings, and the same goes for your pre-ceremony party. Plastic flower wreaths and banners are commonplace for bridal shower decorations. While they may be pretty to look at, it’s rare for them to serve another purpose. Decorations like these contribute to the growing issue of plastic waste, so it’s a good idea to use decorations made from alternative materials where possible.
Materials such as bamboo, jute, or recycled paper can all be used in decorations. Whether you opt for recycled paper banners or bamboo-based tablecloths, you can still decorate to the max without harming our planet.
Are you looking for some flowers to brighten up the decor? Instead of purchasing expensive flowers or faux flowers, you can opt to use locally-grown wildflowers or even dried ones. Same visual impact, less environmental impact!
You can also consider shopping with local businesses for your supplies – supporting local vendors means that the decorations don’t need to travel as far, reducing the carbon emissions generated in transporting them. Plus, it means that your funds go right back into the local community, rather than to large corporations!
2. Send Eco-friendly Invitations and Stationery
In today’s digital age, sending out paper bridal shower invitations can often be unnecessary. After all, they will most likely be thrown out shortly after their arrival. Instead, consider opting for electronic invitations, which are not only eco-friendly but also extremely cost-effective. You won’t need to compromise on any of the elegance or style, as there are plenty of websites, such as Greenvelope and Etsy, that allow you to completely personalize your digital invitations.
If that’s not your style and you want to stick with a more traditional approach, consider the materials that your invitations are made from, and how they’re sent out. Some excellent eco-friendly options include recycled paper, or even seed paper. Minted offers a recycled paper printing option for most of their invitations.
Seed paper is recycled paper but with – well, you guessed it – seeds. This way, once your invitations are no longer needed, guests can simply plant them in the ground to create a lasting memory of your day in wildflower form. You can find some sellers on Etsy with some gorgeous seed paper offerings.
As for the shipping of your invitations, try to opt for zero-emission delivery if possible. Plenty of delivery businesses now operate using electric vehicles, meaning you’re not contributing to any harmful carbon emissions with your pretty gesture.
3. Serve Sustainable Food
A bridal shower wouldn’t be complete without delicious nibbles and bevvies, but it’s important to consider how sustainable your arrangements are. For your bridal shower food menu, try to purchase as many of your ingredients from local businesses as possible. Supporting local farmers not only reduces carbon emissions that usually result from food being transported, but it also means that your ingredients will be truly farm-fresh.
Depending on your preferences, it can also be a good idea to opt for plant-based ingredients. In today’s age, it’s becoming increasingly easy to find vegan options that are just as tasty as their traditional alternatives, so consider making some swaps where possible. Meat production can have a significant impact on our environment, so if you do choose to include it, again, try to source it locally from sustainable sources.
As for your drinks, the most obvious change to make is to avoid single-use plastic bottles or cups. Try to purchase drinks that come in glass bottles or other reusable containers, ensuring they can be easily recycled after the celebration. Or if you’re offering soda, purchase large bottles of it that can be served in glasses, minimizing the amount of plastic used.
4. Plan Environmentally Conscious Activities and Games
Bridal showers are known for their wild and wacky games, such as ring hunt or paper wedding dress making. While these can be great fun, they can also be wasteful. Fortunately, there are plenty of eco-friendly games and activities that can be just as fun, but without the extensive cleanup. Most of our favorite bridal shower games can be printed at home and recycled afterwards.
One suggestion is to host a DIY beauty or cleaning products station, making use of glass containers and natural ingredients to allow everyone to create their very own products. This not only adds a personal touch but also encourages guests to consider the ingredients in the products they typically use.
Alternatively, encourage the group to get out in nature and head on a scavenger hunt or a yoga session. This can be a welcome break from the traditional alcohol-heavy celebration, and give guests a chance to relax.
5. Give Green Party Favors and Gifts
A bridal shower is usually one big gift exchange. With the guests ‘showering’ the bride with gifts and party favors being handed out in return, it’s important to consider if these gifts are items that are made to last.
For party favors, consider creating personalized tote bags made from recycled materials. Guests can go on to use these for a variety of different things, and they’re sure to have a lasting eco-friendly impact. Or, small potted plants or flowers can serve as a beautiful reminder of the special day, without generating unnecessary waste.
As for the bride’s shower gifts, encourage guests to choose items that they know she wants. If they can choose directly from a registry list, this can help to minimize any unwanted gifts. For anyone who is unsure, consider items such as organic bedding, locally sourced beauty products, or handmade jewelry.
Host Your Own Eco-Friendly Bridal Shower
A bridal shower is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate your loved one’s new journey, and ensuring that it’s sustainable can make the day feel all the more unique and special. Every small change can make a big difference, so all of your hard work is bound to pay off, one eco-friendly bridal shower at a time.