We love fun wedding traditions, and one of our favorites is the wedding send-off! Historically, newly minted couples are greeted with grains of rice after exchanging “I dos,” but modern-day couples are opting for confetti, bubbles, sparklers, and other eye-catching send-offs that make for a picture-perfect wedding moment!
Not all wedding exits are created equal when it comes to our environment. Balloons, plastics, glitter, single-use plastic packaging, and other materials all ultimately end up in the trash, turning a beautiful moment into one that isn’t so pretty for our planet.
Fortunately, when it comes to planning a sustainable wedding, there are so many eco-friendly wedding send off ideas that will allow you to have a memorable moment that is also sustainable! Keep reading to discover our favorites!
1. Eco-friendly packaging
Before we dive into all of the amazing eco-friendly wedding send-off ideas we have, we have to talk about packaging! No matter what confetti alternative you go for, try your best to avoid single-use plastics and small bags made of non-natural materials. Unfortunately, these just end up in a landfill. Instead, we recommend sourcing paper cones or envelopes to distribute your confetti to guests. Just be sure that after you’ve made your exit guests have easy access to a recycle or compost bin!
Bonus: If you can, try purchasing from a vendor that avoids plastic altogether when shipping.
Have you heard the rumor that tossing rice during a wedding exit harms birds? We had! Fortunately for birds throughout the ages, this claim is actually false. However, if you’d like to toss a tasty treat for your favorite feathered friends, birdseed is an excellent rice or confetti alternative. Just be sure that your send-off isn’t taking place anywhere near your reception, you wouldn’t want to attract too many birds and end up with some unexpected wedding guests!
If you’re looking for an eco-friendly wedding send-off idea that looks good and smells good, then lavender is the way to go! These fragrant buds are lightweight, natural, and compostable making them an excellent candidate for a special exit. This option is especially great if there is a local lavender farm nearby that you can support.
4. Dried flowers
Here at Petals for Hope, we’re more than a little obsessed with flowers, which is why dried flowers make on our list! We love dried flowers because they are natural and compostable, and can even be sourced from blooms that would have otherwise gone to waste. Dried flowers look good, smell good, and are an excellent confetti alternative.
You can shop our no waste dried flower confetti here-100% of the proceeds support our nonprofit, where we repurpose wedding and event flowers by delivering them to those in need! Curious? Learn more about donating your wedding flowers here!
Another great fragrant and natural eco-friendly wedding send-off idea to consider are herbs. Rosemary, olive leaves, and thyme are all excellent options for your exit toss. We especially love this look if you are going for a green-themed wedding, or choosing floral arrangements with white flowers or green foliage. This look is super on-trend, and confetti herbs are the perfect compliment!
We can’t be-leaf how simple this cute DIY is! (We couldn’t resist the pun.) If you’re looking for a budget-friendly, natural, DIY confetti alternative, all you’ll have to do is find some nearby trees and a hole punch! This creative idea makes it easy to create your own sustainable confetti with resources that are literally in your own backyard. If you don’t have the time (or the patience) to hand punch your own confetti leaves, you can find them for sale on Etsy. The perfect sendoff for a couple of tree-huggers!
7. Seed paper confetti
We talked all about seed paper in our post about eco-friendly wedding invitations, so why not keep the theme going here? Plantable seed papers are biodegradable and eventually grow into beautiful wildflowers. This is perfect if you’re having an outdoor ceremony in a location that already has wildflowers or where more flowers would be welcome. A golf course or manicured garden may not be thrilled to have unexpected blooms popping up!
8. Beware of “biodegradable” confetti
When searching for “eco-friendly wedding send-off ideas” on the internet, “biodegradable” confetti is sure to turn up. However, just because something is biodegradable does not mean it is natural or sustainable. Most biodegradable plastics are not compostable, so they end up in a landfill where they can’t biodegrade easily. Search for materials that are compostable such as paper, dried flowers, and herbs. Just make sure that the confetti is actually composted after use! Composting is also a great way to make your wedding catering more sustainable.
9. If you choose bubbles or sparklers…
Bubbles and sparklers are often used in wedding send-offs because they create amazing photos. Unfortunately, neither of these photogenic exit ideas are very sustainable. Bubbles come in plastic packaging, and sparklers are not recyclable. That being said, if you’ve been dreaming of a send-off framed by iridescent bubbles or glowing sparklers, you can try to reduce their impact by shopping for these items secondhand. Sourcing leftover items from another wedding or event could be the perfect solution! Check out this post for more information on the best places to shop for secondhand wedding decor. You can also use the bubbles as party favors or donate them to a school or charity after your special day so they serve an additional purpose.
10. Don’t stop at confetti!
We believe that even a small change can have a big impact, which is why we wrote this whole post about eco-friendly wedding send-off ideas-even though confetti is one of the smallest parts of a wedding! If you are looking to incorporate other sustainable options into your wedding day, there are so many great places to keep up the eco-friendly work. You can read some of our other ideas for sustainable decorations, catering, wedding dresses, jewelry, and more for inspiration!
Follow us on Instagram @petalsforhope for more eco-friendly wedding tips!
Here at Petals for Hope, we are passionate about reducing waste from weddings and events and helping our communities. To learn more about how our nonprofit can help you recycle your wedding flowers and distribute them to those in need, click here!
For more great tips on planning a sustainable wedding, check out these posts: