Offer a plant-based menu for your reception. Vegan and vegetarian options are becoming increasingly common on catering menus, so your caterer may already have some delicious ideas. Almost everything has a plant-based alternative these days. Your dream of a burger slider bar for dinner can be a meat-free reality, and your perfect buttercream-iced cake can be made without dairy or eggs.
A plant-based menu won’t just be lighter on the planet — using far fewer resources than animal-based foods — but the lighter fare will help get your guests out on the dance floor rather than sitting at their tables with the meat sweats.
If a totally vegan or vegetarian menu isn’t possible, offer meat in smaller amounts via appetizers or side dishes instead of in larger portions for a main dish.
Check out our Wedding Footprint Calculator so you can see the environmental impacts of your various options.
To learn more about how you can create a more Earth-friendly menu at your event, read our Catering to the Climate report.
Ask your caterer to look into ingredients that can be locally sourced to lessen the transportation impact. The same applies for beer, wine and liquor for a bar (if you’re having one).
Buying locally sourced food can help support farmers in your area. This helps support more sustainable farming practices and keep family farms in business.
Organically raised food doesn’t use synthetic chemicals for pesticides and fertilizers, so there’s less soil and water contamination. Organic farms also help support local pollinator populations since they avoid pesticides that kill indiscriminately.
Consider cake alternatives that don’t require guests to return to their table, since they’re usually up and about dancing and socializing by the time cake’s getting cut — and who hasn’t been at a party and looked at piles of uneaten cake pieces that end up getting thrown out? Cupcakes and donuts are a great grab-and-go option for this. S’mores can be fun, too, especially if you have a fire pit people can congregate around.
If having a traditional wedding cake on your big day is a must, order from a vegan bakery or get one baked with organic and local ingredients. Changes like this will not only make your wedding unique but help you do your part in helping save wildlife — and that’s the sweetest part.
Did you know that 10% of all wedding food is wasted? In an event of 100 people, that’s 10 full plates of paid-for food being thrown out.
Going with plated dinners will give you more control over portion sizes and often results in less food waste than buffet-style dinners. If you want to really minimize waste, you can even opt out of a full dinner and go with heavy appetizers or hire a food truck that will make food fresh as people order.
“All of my wedding vendors (including the band), the food, the flowers, and the decorations are local from Oregon sources and organic farms in the Hood River Valley and Columbia Gorge.”
“Our wedding will be a vegetarian event, mostly vegan. The food, beer and flowers will all be organic.”