Making Your Destination Wedding Eco-Friendly
If you live your life as environmentally conscious as possible, you’ll want to plan an eco-friendly wedding. It may not seem practical to bring your celebration to a lush and exotic destination and stay green. However, you can plan an eco-friendly destination wedding with a little planning and know-how. Celebrate this beautiful milestone surrounded by friends and family with the peace of mind that you’re doing your part for the environment.
A destination wedding is a scenic bonding experience for you and your guests that takes you all on an adventure. Plan the perfect wedding without compromising on the location or your eco-conscious values. Follow these tips for making your destination wedding eco-friendly to get the green wedding of your dreams.
1. Choose an Ecotourism Destination
Ecotourism’s goal is to reduce the impact of travel in the area and on the environment. The breathtaking natural environments of ecotourist areas make the perfect setting for a destination wedding. You should hold the destination wedding of your dreams where you like, but finding an environmentally friendly wedding location requires a bit of research.
If you’re looking for a destination that is among the leaders in ecotourism, consider beautiful Costa Rica. Costa Rica has no shortage of green spaces to discover, and the National System of Conservation Areas protects a quarter of the country. Plan your wedding in Costa Rica, and you’ll meet your eco-conscious desires as you explore and support the country’s natural wonders.
A wedding in an ecotourism location helps give financial support to the region to continue conservation efforts. You and your guests also get the opportunity to explore and learn about environmental conservation. Costa Rica, in particular, offers national parks, volcanoes, wildlife reserves, archaeological monuments and other natural preserves to its visitors. You and your wedding guests can explore without the guilt or environmental impact that comes from other forms of mass tourism.
2. Do Your Research and Reach Out
Many wedding venues, resorts, catering companies and other wedding services have some sort of focus on green practices. Working with these eco-conscious vendors will make your destination wedding green down to the small details. You’ll also provide support to these green businesses, so they can continue offering their environmentally aware services to others.
Green wedding vendors often provide information to potential clients about their environmental practices. As you plan your eco-friendly destination wedding, do research into vendors or speak with them to learn more about:
- Initiatives for limiting water use.
- Recycling or composting services.
- Participation in carbon offset programs.
- Green architectural considerations for venues and buildings.
- Use of green energy alternatives and similar practices.
Even if vendors don’t provide these details outright, they may have green initiatives in place or be willing to work with you for your eco-aware destination wedding. Reach out to businesses or services with questions you have about their environmental practices. You can also see if they would be able to accommodate your green wedding ideas.
3. Consider Environmentally Friendly Accommodations and Venues
The setting of your celebration is one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make during the wedding planning process. For the eco-conscious bride and groom, that decision will have even more weight. You want the perfect setting for your celebration and for you and your guests. But you also want to impact on the local environment to be as little as possible. Luckily, you can get the luxury of a lush, exotic location while hosting your event and your guests in environmentally friendly resorts.
Finding the perfect venue will require research. If you’re looking for an idyllic, green venue and accommodations in Costa Rica, consider Villa Punto de Vista Estate. We pride ourselves in being a sustainable destination wedding venue. For example, our structures feature several eco-conscious details, such as:
- Local construction materials
- Exterior reclaimed glass
- Roof tiles made of reprocessed plastic bags
The design of Villa Punto de Vista Estate combines function and gorgeous style with environmental awareness. Those subtle green details create a stunning venue that comes with other environmental benefits. For instance, because the glass walls span the facade, you can cut down on your lighting needs for your event’s ceremony during the day.
4. Plan Eco-Friendly Transportation
With a location in mind, you need to arrange how you and your guests will arrive and get around once you do. You may fear that a destination wedding requires too much travel to be green, but a bit of careful planning will help manage your impact. When you plan transportation for your green wedding, consider these tips:
- Choose a venue where all guests can stay under one roof or at locations that are mere moments away for less driving at your destination.
- Focus on venues that are in proximity to the airport to avoid extensive transportation.
- Travel with an airline that has a high environmental rating.
- Balance flight miles with carbon footprint offset programs.
- Organize shared rides for you and your guests to and from the airport.
You can also use fun methods of transportation around your destination, like horseback rides or biking, to cut down on your carbon impact even more and help support local businesses.
Many venues will help you plan transportation between the airport or around the area. This service gives you convenience and peace of mind as you travel. Villa Punto de Vista Estate is no exception, offering to arrange anything from private vans to taxis and buggy service to take the stress out of your planning. Moreover, it’s incredibly fast to get to Costa Rica from popular U.S. cities like Miami, Dallas, and Atlanta. And Costa Rica’s travel ease removes barriers that would prevent your nearest and dearest from being in attendance on your special day.
5. Work With a Green Wedding Planner
A wedding planner helps take the stress out of planning your own wedding. So why not choose one that can help you create a beautiful eco-aware celebration? A certified green wedding planner helps you create the wedding of your dreams and reduce its environmental impact with:
- More advice on green destination wedding ideas.
- Insight into eco-conscious vendors.
- Help with research on local and in-season options.
Villa Punto de Vista Estate can connect you with a wedding planner who can secure an array of vendors for your one-of-a-kind wedding, including catering, photographers, music and more, so you can choose someone who will plan the perfect green celebration.
6. Choose Sustainable Details for Your Wedding
Whether you work with an eco-certified wedding planner or on your own, you can create a green destination wedding right down to the smallest details. Many choices you make throughout your planning process have eco-aware alternatives. As you plan your special day, consider the small details and their sustainable counterparts, like:
- Send recycled paper invitations.
- Communicate with digital notes or a wedding website instead of mailing paper details.
- Have guests throw fresh petals or leaves as biodegradable confetti.
- Switch to natural fiber, compostable or biodegradable plates and cutlery if you can’t use reusable options.
- Use minimal décor and let the venue stand out.
- Use local and in-season flowers and greenery.
- Decorate with potted plants instead of cut flowers and greens.
- Opt for vintage rings and outfits as opposed to new ones.
- Rent as many supplies as you can instead of buying new, so other couples can reuse them.
- Light your event space with candles and less electricity if the venue allows.
Whether you can incorporate these green details will depend on your venue. Villa Punto de Vista Estate lets couples choose wedding services for the greatest flexibility. You’ll be able to create these green wedding ideas in an idyllic setting, which requires few decorative additions to become a luxurious venue.
7. Have a Sustainable Wedding Menu
Work with caterers to craft a menu that’s local and in-season. You’ll be able to limit the ingredients that need to come from other destinations. You also get the added satisfaction of supporting local businesses and farmers, who may also have a dedication to sustainability. To help your venue be even more eco-conscious, you can:
- Have an accurate count of your guests.
- Know beforehand what each of your guests wants to eat.
- Celebrate with a farm-to-table meal.
- Donate leftovers if possible.
- Have smaller desserts for everyone instead of one large cake.
Local cuisine will help emphasize your destination wedding. Costa Rica, in particular, offers delicious and affordable food. Popular dishes include casado, Gallo Pinto and tres leches cakes, which can all feature local ingredients.
8. Shorten the Guest List
It can be challenging to cut down the number of friends and family members you invite to your wedding. But at the end of the day, it is better for your budget and possibly for the environment, as well. Only include your closest family members and friends on your list to enhance your eco-aware destination wedding.
Even though you’re traveling, you may have a greener celebration with fewer people than you would with something larger near you. A closer location still requires that guests drive to the venue, and if anyone is from out of town, they’d have to fly or drive long distances anyway. If you’re able to have a shorter guest list, you may as well have the wedding of your dreams and take eco-aware considerations into your destination planning.
Some of your friends and family members may not be able to have the time or expenses to travel to a destination wedding. Discuss the idea before sending save the dates to help narrow your guest list. This consideration will also reduce the environmental impact of your invitations. You’ll send out fewer invites if you know who can and can’t go beforehand.
A shorter guest list will make other aspects of your planning more convenient, as well. You won’t have to put as much effort into menus, seating or arranging accommodations. While Villa Punto de Vista Estate partners with nearby venues for accommodation overflow, it can host 30 guests on-site for stays. Everyone will be under one roof for your celebration. Even if your list is a bit longer, some of those partnering venues are a mere walk away.
9. Encourage Your Guests to Be Conservation Conscious
You can do everything you can to make the perfect green destination wedding, but your guests can help further your cause. Encourage your guests to take part in your destination wedding’s green initiatives with these ideas:
- Eco-conscious favors: Reusable straws and water bottles are thoughtful gifts to give your guests. They’ll even continue conservation efforts after your big day. Gift the items at the start of your trip, so your guests can cut down use on plastics during their visit.
- Leave only footprints: If you’ve visited gorgeous locations in the past, you may have come across initiatives to leave only footprints. This idea encourages visitors to experience an area then leave it as they found it. Reiterate this concept to your guests as they explore your wedding’s destination. Emphasize that they pick up anything they bring with them on their adventures instead of littering.
- Pack light: Offer this advice to your guests and take it yourself if you’ll all be flying to your destination. As the couple getting married, you and your partner may have more to pack for your flight. But your guests can pack minimal essentials to contribute to lightening the load of their flights.
For a wedding gift, you may wish to request that your wedding guests make a donation to an environmental charity. Suggest organizations such as the Sierra Club Foundation or the Environmental Defense Fund. Research other environmental organizations within your wedding’s destination for localized support. You and your guests will feel good with a thoughtful donation gift, and it helps contribute to your wedding’s eco-aware theme.
Escape to Costa Rica for Your Green Destination Wedding
Villa Punto de Vista Estate would be honored to host your green destination wedding among the gorgeous Costa Rican landscape. Pair your celebration with views of the lush rainforest canopy and the shimmering expanse of the Pacific Ocean. With premier amenities, including a private beach and full-service staff, Villa Punto de Vista Estate will provide a luxurious experience for you on your big day.
Plan your wedding with Villa Punto de Vista Estate to experience all we have to offer. From on-site accommodations to suggestions from our on-site travel expert, our services enhance your stay in Costa Rica. Contact us today for more information about our destination weddings.