Lemme scream it louder for the people in the back – IT’S REAL. As an elopement photographer based in Denver, I spend pretty much all of my time out in nature and I wouldn’t have it any other way. But the direction our planet is heading is scary – just seven months ago Rocky Mountain National Park was burning and I could see the smoke from our apartment. I take so many of my couples there and it was heartbreaking to see it that way. It’s a privilege to have your wedding day in Colorado with the most breathtaking backdrops – but with this privilege comes great responsibility. Having an Eco Friendly Elopement is a non-negotiable.
Despite that doom and gloom I just dumped on you, the good news is there are a lot of different ways we can protect our earth – voting for government officials who believe in science, thrifting instead of buying new clothes, recycling, using reusable grocery bags – I could go on and on. There are also ways to make your elopement, intimate wedding, or huge-ass party eco-friendly too. The wedding industry has been a huge culprit of not going green, so try to do your part and keep some of these tips in mind as you’re planning. You’ll thank yourself later.
If you’re eloping or having an intimate wedding, check this one off this list! There’s been a lot of research that’s found the average amount of wedding guests has been dropping, even before the Panorama (plz get vaccinated). This is such good news for our environment! Basically, when there are fewer guests there is less waste – fewer invitations being sent out and thrown away, less food being prepared and leftovers tossed out, fewer people getting in cars or planes to come to the ceremony. Keyword here – less. While we are talking about it – no more party favors. Those almost ALWAYS get thrown out. No one needs more shot glasses or koozies.
If having an environmentally-friendly elopement is important to you, that’s something that should be important to your vendors too. When you have like-minded people on your side, it’s almost impossible not to create what you want. That could mean finding a florist who only uses sustainably-sourced flowers, a private chef who only cooks with locally-grown meat and produce, or an invitation website that provides different stationary options, like recycled paper.
When you’re eloping out in nature, whether it’s a mountain, beach, or field, the number one rule is to Leave No Trace. You can learn more about it here, but the biggies are disposing of waste properly, leaving what you find, and respecting wildlife. If you pack it in, pack it out. Simple Simple.
There are so many alternatives in the wedding industry that allow couples to make eco-friendly decisions. If you’re hosting a party after your elopement, choose online RSVPs to cut back on paper waste. When you’re trying to decide what to wear on your big day, explore local or online thrift shops – you can find some gorgeous AND affordable options while cutting back on the waste that comes with buying something brand new. Once you’ve said your “I do’s,” consider donating your wedding flowers to nearby hospitals, churches, or nursing homes. It’s a win-win – you’re making your elopement more eco-friendly while brightening someone else’s day.
These are such small, easy tweaks any couple can make when planning their elopement or intimate wedding. Progress is more important than perfection, so don’t get overwhelmed if every single part of your day doesn’t qualify as “going green.” Anything you do can make a real difference. It’s just about taking steps to be more thoughtful and intentional when it comes to our planet.