Las Vegas Weddings Expert, McKenzi Taylor produces intimate destination weddings and elopements in some of Las Vegas’ most scenic outdoor locations, from picturesque nature preserves and beaches to breathtaking canyons.
Beyond giving couples romantic memories and stunning photos to last a lifetime, she provides couples with weddings that are kind to the environment, something she says is not common enough in the events industry, but should be. “Our industry is the second largest producer of environmental waste, second only to the construction industry. Seeing my clients get married in natural outdoor settings, I feel a responsibility to leave as light a footprint as possible,” states Taylor.
So much so, that from photography to party favors and beyond, her company, Cactus Collective Weddings, is blazing a progressive path with sustainable, earth-friendly weddings that don’t compromise the glamour, romance or festivities.
“Holding the ceremony and reception in an outdoor location greatly cuts down on energy use. From lighting to air conditioning, your energy waste is reduced to almost nothing, says Taylor. “Another huge help you get from using a natural setting is that you no longer need to rent or purchase a lot of decor. Nature becomes your décor! All you need to do at that point is add a few detailed accessories to finish the look. This saves couples time and money, as well, so it’s really a win-win-win.”
Below are some of McKenzi’s additional tips for planning a sustainable, earth-friendly wedding:
- Look for a venue that is equipped with furnishings and other accoutrements to cut. This cuts down on costs as well as pollution to the environment hauling rented goods back and forth.
- When considering a wedding venue, ask how they handle waste after the ceremony. Do they recycle? Do they give leftover food to local food banks? Do they compost left-over greenery?
- Consider a gently used wedding gown or dress, which saves the environment from yet another bundle of fabric winding up in a landfill. After the wedding, brides can go one step further and re-purpose their dress as a christening gown, re-sell to a second-hand shop or donate the dress to a military family in need. Grooms can rent their tuxedo or suit or donate their tuxedo after the big day.
- If a new wedding dress is non-negotiable, opt for sustainable fabrics like organic cotton, silk or hemp. You can also ask your dress shop about labor practices and the origins of your dress before you decide to purchase.
- Every wedding deserves beautiful flowers but be sure to source them locally whenever possible. Cut flowers are usually not grown organically, so ask your florist about in-season locally grown flowers.
- When it comes to hair and makeup, be sure your glam team uses cruelty-free, non-toxic cosmetics and hair styling tools and potions.
- Opt for farm to table, in-season, locally grown produce for your wedding day eats, to ensure the ingredients are fair-trade and ethically produced. Also, keep in mind that meat-free catering is gentler on our environment. Even making your wedding menu 50% vegetarian helps immensely.
- When it comes to wedding favors, some sustainable choices are charitable donations in your guest’ names, gifting plants, edible gifts or memory builders like downloadable slideshows from the wedding with personalized letters telling each guest what they mean to you.
- There are hundreds of companies out there that rent everything from linens to glassware so take advantage of them.
“Don’t have an all or nothing mindset,” says Taylor. “Even doing one or two things on this list lightens your impact on the environment and creates a great energy around your wedding.”