• Elena Bespoke

10 Ways to Make Your Wedding More Sustainable

Hey fellow earth friends,


After an insane couple of weeks moving into my new place here in KCMO, I couldn't be more excited to step into my role as your favorite Kansas City wedding planner. If you have found your way here, I can only guess that you also value doing things a little differently. You're a little skeptical of everything the wedding industry has to say, and you believe there are ways to have your cake and eat it too. You are DEFINITELY in the right place.


Kansas City wedding with two brides

In case we haven't met yet, I'm Keilah (pronounced Kay-la), I like to think I'm the queen of saying "you don't have to do that" when it comes to traditional wedding things. If you want to have a beautiful (and incredibly thoughtful) wedding, here are a few ideas and tips to help make your wedding day a little more earth-friendly. If having a sustainable wedding is important to you, and you are looking for a Kansas City wedding planner to help make it a reality, you can learn more about working with me here, or contact me directly here and let's have a conversation!


1) Rent the things you'll never use again


Despite what you might hear in Facebook groups, buying and reselling is not as easy (or cost-effective) as couples who have never actually done it might make it look. When it comes to dishes, linens, and some decor, I usually will recommend renting the things you will never use again. There are so many items used on a wedding day that can be loved and appreciated by multiple celebrations.



wedding decor rentals in KCMO

2) Consider buying vintage or consignment


Not only does buying vintage or consignment give your wedding a truly unique and stunning vibe, you can purchase guilt-free knowing that nothing was produced specifically for your wedding day. For things like attire or jewelry, that you know you'll want to hold onto, I recommend starting with vintage shops or consignment stores first. Not only will your wedding be more sustainable, you'll likely save some money too!



vintage wedding decor

3) Be cognizant of food waste.


This is one of the largest wedding waste culprits, especially if you’re doing a buffet or food stations. Work with your caterer and make it clear that you value sustainability. Have a plan for the leftovers as well. Ask if you can bring leftovers home, donate them, or what options your caterer offers to make sure your wedding day food isn't going to waste.



Kansas wedding catering buffet


4) Avoid disposable products for your wedding


If you are planning a more casual backyard wedding, I know it can be tempting to opt for paper plates and plastic cutlery. I probably don't need to tell you that it's not the most earth-friendly option though! Trust me what I say, using linen napkins and real dishes is not only better for the environment, it can really elevate your wedding design. Even if you do want something casual! If you do need something disposable for whatever reason, look for biodegradable options.



micro wedding reception


5) Skip favors (or make them edible)


I love how many couples are searching for local or unique wedding favors but the reality is, almost 80% get left behind after each and every wedding. In order to make your wedding day a little more sustainable, opt for an edible wedding favor that guests can eat right away, or better yet, skip them all together. It's very seldom noticed they are missed.


6) Skip things with your wedding date or “bridesmaid” plastered all over it.


If you want to gift your party robes or water bottles, make sure its something they’ll want to actually use after the wedding day. Don't ruin a gorgeous floral robe or high quality water bottle by adding vinyl or embroidery which will forever date the gift. Your bridesmaids love you, but they don't want to carry around anything that says "bridesmaid" for years after your wedding day.



vintage glassware favors


7) Follow Leave No Trace guidelines for elopements


Leave no Trace is an incredible organization founded on 7 principles for enjoying the outdoors, with minimal impact to the environment around you. I love how passionate they are about conservation and sustainability, and the principles are incredibly reasonable and easy to follow (while making a big difference). Brides offers a pretty great summary here, if you are interested in reading more!



Leave no Trace Elopement in Kansas City

8) Instead of confetti or rice, throw biodegradable items like leaves or dried flowers


This is one of the easiest switches to make! After the ceremony, if you want something for your guests to throw to join in the celebration, leaves or dried flowers are a biodegradable and gorgeous option.


9) Stay local


Like many of you, I can appreciate the temptation to get married in a land far, far away. However, in a quest to make things more sustainable, staying local will be something that makes the biggest impact. Whether your venue is a car ride of plane ride away, traveling for you, guests, and/or vendors leaves a large carbon footprint.


local wedding in Kansas City

10) Cut your guest list!


As an intimate wedding planner - you probably knew this one was coming!! I will always advocate for cutting your guest list and only including your nearest and dearest on your wedding day. Not only does it make the atmosphere dreamier (in my humble opinion), it also means less waste on your wedding day. If you are getting married in Kansas City, you can find inspiration here at some of the top small wedding venues in KCMO.


micro wedding ceremony in KCMO

Planning a sustainable wedding in KCMO


Remember - it's YOUR wedding day and I want you to have everything you've been dreaming about. These 10 ideas for a more sustainable wedding are NOT more rules you need to follow. As always, you can take what you want and leave the rest. Planning an intimate and memorable wedding is a lot of work, and I would love to support you during your wedding planning journey. There will be a lot of opinions as you navigate toward planning something a little less traditional, and I would love to be there with you every step of the way. If you are looking for a Kansas City wedding planner and think I might be *the one*, I would love to connect with you here.

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