Eco Friendly Wedding Alternatives

Because many of our weddings are held outdoors, they often require environmentally safe alternatives  to rice or bird seed.  We often suggest bubbles, but many brides want something outside the box.


One easy alternative is making ribbon wands.  These are perfect for garden or beach weddings.  They are very simple to DIY.  All one needs is wooden dowels, ribbon and a hot glue gun.  If you aren’t looking to DIY, there are quite a number of Etsy stores who sell them at reasonable prices.  Ribbon wands look amazing in pictures and your guests can take them home afterward.

Another alternative is eco confetti.  There are several different types of eco confetti.  One type is made of a water soluble paper that dissolves when washed away or rained on.     A second type is made of a biodegradable paper that contains flower seeds.  You would want to check with your venue to ok the use of these options.  I would only suggest them for weddings on your own property, especially the flower seeds.

I’ve seen grass seed mentioned on several forums as an alternative.  However, if you use this option, be sure you are using the same type of grass that is currently growing in that area.  You wouldn’t want to use a different seed and introduce a different species to what is already there.

For fall weddings, a very simple alternative would be fall leaves.  Simply gather leaves that have fallen in the area, put them in cute paper cones and have your guests toss them as you walk by.  Be sure to gather leaves of different colors and shapes.  This is such a fun alternative and looks great in pictures.

Sparklers have been used quite often as an alternative.  However, they have some cause for concern.  It’s fire.

eastbayinn-savannah-wedding  People can and have been burned by them.  I have witnessed a bride’s dress catch fire because of a careless guest.  Also, if there is very little breeze, the smoke from the sparklers has no where to go and sits.  This can cause issues with pictures and, most importantly, issues for guests who have asthma or other breathing problems.  They are gorgeous and make a statement, but,be careful if you choose to use sparklers.

In the past, I would not have recommended Chinese lanterns.  However, there are new varieties that completely burn while they are still airborne.  Nothing is left to come back to the earth.  There is no litter and no threat of causing a fire, if used properly.  Just remember to only use these in wide open spaces where they have no chance of being caught in trees or power lines.


My favorite alternative is flower petals.  Quite often, when your florist orders flowers for your bouquets, they must order extra.  Not all the flowers are used due to flaws or imperfections.  These are the petals they often use for flower girl baskets or petal aisles.  Talk to your florist about ordering more or using the day old flowers for your toss.  Place them in cute paper cones to hand them out to your guests.  This is another toss that looks great in pictures.


There are a number of other throws that should not be used.  Bird seed is not a great idea.  This attracts birds to the event.  Birds tend to poop on people.  Also, as someone who suffered bird seed in her eye at a wedding, it can be dangerous when thrown.  Balloons are terrible for the environment.  Those balloons look great when floating away.  However, they have to come down at some point.  It then becomes litter.  When it lands in the ocean, it looks a lot like a jellyfish.  Dolphins, sea turtles and other ocean animals love to eat jellyfish.  Those animals are not able to digest the balloons and often die from an obstructed bowel.


If you really want balloons, anchor them tightly. Be responsible and have a pretty and Eco friendly wedding or  event 🙂

When planning your wedding, there are so many ways to make it unique.  Just remember, when choosing your toss, remember what happens to the material when it’s all said and done.  What impact will it have?  Does someone have to clean it up?  Will it cause harm?  I hope I have been able to give you ideas for great alternatives.

– Carlin


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