For many guests, the highlight of any wedding is when they get to send the new couple off by tossing a send-off item over them. While confetti is typically used for this purpose, it is not the most eco-friendly option.
Confetti is non-biodegradable and hard to clean up. So, if you want an environmentally friendly wedding, or if the venue prohibits the use of environmental pollutants, you cannot use confetti.
Luckily, confetti is not the only wedding send-off idea you can try. There are other send-off items guests can use at weddings, and several of them are eco-friendly. So, in this article, we run through 18 eco-friendly wedding send-off ideas you can try.
1. Throw Artificial Snowflakes In the Air
If you intend to have a winter-themed wedding, you can use artificial snowflakes for the send-off.
When tossed in the air, artificial snowflakes look just like snow, and they are picturesque, too. So they make for a magical moment.
Artificial snowflakes are biodegradable and easy to dispose of. In fact, they typically dissolve when water touches them. So, if you use them, you don’t have to worry about hurting the environment.
2. Toss Birdseed or Flower Seeds
With birdseed or flower seeds, you never have to worry about cleaning. The birds flying around will do the cleaning for you. And if there are no birds around, the seeds will either decay and enrich the soil or sprout into new plants.
If you are getting married on your land or family land, giving your guests flower seeds for the send-off is perfect. As they toss the seeds over you two, some of them will drop on the ground. Of course, if you do not clean them up, they will grow into new flowers – a lasting way to always remember your wedding day.
3. Blow Bubbles
Bubbles are a fun wedding send-off idea. Both the kids and adults at the wedding can enjoy themselves while blowing bubbles over the couple. Bubbles are also picturesque, especially when they perfectly catch the light.
When using bubbles as send-off at weddings, you do not have to worry about cleaning up. The bubbles will burst on their own. However, ensure the bubbles are made from non-toxic, biodegradable bubble liquid if you want them to be eco-friendly.
4. Release Butterflies
Releasing butterflies as a send-off is pretty thoughtful. The couple gets honored, the plants around get pollinators, and the butterflies get to flutter freely. Of course, since butterflies are living things, they are eco-friendly.
With beautiful butterflies flying around, you get an atmosphere perfect for pictures. But you should take those pictures quickly because it won’t be long before the butterflies fly away.
If you intend to release butterflies at a wedding send-off, ensure the safety of the butterflies. You may want to get a butterfly release company to handle this for you.
5. Toss Dried Flowers
Using dried flowers for your wedding send-off will bring a burst of color to the setting. Flowers, as you know, are beautiful, romantic, and of course, colorful.
Dried flowers are natural and biodegradable, so they will not bring harm to the environment. Compared to fresh flowers, dried flowers will biodegrade quickly. So, even if you leave some behind after cleaning up, it won’t really matter.
One idea for using dried flowers is to have different flowers in separate containers. The guests can pick the petals they want from any of the containers and fill their paper cones.
6. Toss Dried or Fresh Herbs
You may use either dried or fresh herbs as the send-off at your wedding. Herbs may not be as colorful as flowers, but they still bring some brightness to the setting. But beyond that, they offer sweet fragrances.
Some herbs to consider for this purpose include mint, sage, and rosemary. Of course, since herbs are basically part of nature, they are eco-friendly. And while dried herbs may biodegrade faster than fresh herbs, either of them is a worthy option.
7. Release Doves
Like butterflies, the guests can release doves as a wedding send-off. Doves are a mark of prosperity and good fortune. So, releasing them conveys this message or wish to the couple. Besides, doves are beautiful, and they can be aesthetic in pictures.
As with butterflies, ensure the safety of the doves to be used for the send-off.
8. Ring Bells
For an auditory send-off, the guests can ring bells as the couple leaves the wedding venue. Tiny jingle bells, or even cowbells for a Western-themed wedding, should do. However, you can also choose alternative instruments like kazoos, whistles, or maracas.
9. Use Palm Fronds
Using palm fronds as a wedding send-off is a perfect idea for tropical weddings. The fronds will only further emphasize the theme of the wedding and the environment will not suffer in any way.
Each guest can raise a piece of palm frond over the couple, forming an aisle so the couple walks through the passage beneath as they bid farewell.
10. Wave Handkerchiefs
You can provide plain or branded handkerchiefs for the guests to wave as you leave with your new spouse.
Branding the handkerchiefs can provide a personalized flair. This way, the guests will take them home as keepsakes instead of dropping them, so the environment is not affected.
When branding send-off handkerchiefs, you can write a personal message or monogram them. You can also inscribe the date of the wedding on them. Any of these will add sentimental value to the handkerchiefs.
Besides being the send-off idea and keepsakes, emotional guests can comfort themselves with the handkerchiefs.
11. Wave Monogrammed Flags
In place of handkerchiefs, you can provide monogrammed flags for the guests to wave as you leave. The flags may be monogrammed with the initials of the couple. Alternatively, they may contain a sweet message from the couple.
Branding the flags adds some sentiment to them. So, the guests will take them home to remember your special day.
12. Toss Leaves
As with seeds and herbs, you can use leaves as your eco-friendly wedding send-off. Fresh leaves add a touch of nature to the atmosphere of your wedding. So, they can be perfect at boho weddings.
Dried leaves, on the other hand, offer a touch of fall. So, if you are having an autumn wedding, go for the dry ones instead.
When using leaves as send-offs, you are better off with smaller leaves. Larger leaves will not give that confetti-like feeling.
Of course, leaves are part of nature, so they are eco-friendly. Besides, they are free, so you have one more reason to use them.
13. Throw Eco-Friendly Paper Confetti In the Air
Instead of regular confetti, which litters everywhere and pollutes the environment, you can opt for eco-friendly confetti.
Eco-friendly paper confetti is biodegradable; it readily dissolves when water gets to it, so cleaning is easy. Besides this, it comes in up to 9 different colors, so it makes for a vivid scene.
Eco-friendly paper confetti (also called dissolvable confetti) can come in when flowers or leaves are not allowed. Sometimes, leaves and flowers remain on the ground unchanged for too long, affecting the grass. So, some venues do not allow them.
14. Toss Feathers
Feathers are the perfect send-off idea for outdoor boho weddings. Since the theme is nature-esque and sometimes mythical, having feathers drop like confetti will only accentuate the setting. Also, since the wedding will be outdoors, you may not have to worry too much about retrieving the feathers.
Since feathers are organic, they are biodegradable. So, they are eco-friendly for sure. Besides, feathers are lightweight, so the wind can blow them away easily. This makes it possible to clean them without fuss.
If you intend to get feathers for use as a wedding send-off, ensure you collect them naturally. Hurting birds to get feathers for a send-off will defeat your eco-friendliness goal.
15. Raise Glow Sticks
If glow sticks are your thing, then you can have your guests hold them up during the send-off. Since the sticks are not thrown in the air, you needn’t worry about cleaning up.
Glow sticks are perfect for wedding send-offs at night. They create a contrast with the darkness of the night that is just vivid.
As long as the venue allows glow sticks, they are a fantastic choice for night wedding send-offs.
16. Use Ribbon Wands
You can offer the guests wands covered in ribbons for your send-off. This option is perfect if you want a fairytale-themed wedding.
Now, ribbon wands are not biodegradable. But since they will not be thrown in the air, they shouldn’t litter the ground. Besides, your guests can take them home as a keepsake from the wedding.
17. Raise Sparklers
Like glow sticks, sparklers are a great idea for wedding send-offs at night. They are a fun way to send couples off, and they are easily disposed of in the trash.
Some venues may not accept sparklers or the use of open flames, so check before you opt for this choice. If sparklers are not allowed, you may try using glow sticks or ribbon wands instead.
18. Raise LED Balloons
LED Balloons are a decent send-off idea for night weddings, just like sparklers and glow sticks.
When using LED Balloons as a wedding send-off, ensure they come with a stick or string. This way, they will not be released into the air.
Remember, balloons are not eco-friendly. But if they are not released into the environment, no damage will be done.