A MAUI WEDDING DAY GREEN WEDDING GUIDE
A Maui Wedding Day collaborates with a growing community of environmental and socially responsible event vendors who commit to eco-friendly and sustainable weddings. The wedding industry can make planning your big celebration a high-pressured, costly experience. This is why we encourage value-based wedding planning to not only see your soon-to-be-married mind but to make a positive impact on the world and other people. Planning with sustainability in mind will help you set off on the right foot as you enter this exciting new chapter in life!
- Our goal is to work with Fair Trade vendors as much as we possibly can. No child labor. No greed. No discrimination. Fair wages. Sustainability. Respect. Transparency. Capacity building.
- We encourage work from home to save fuel and reduce traffic. Paperless office. Zoom calls whenever possible.
- We encourage vendors to work from home for health, safety, and sustainability.
- We encourage vendors to reduce the use of plastic and foam supplies.
- We provide compost and recycle bins at each event which reduces waste at the end of each event.
- We donate event flowers to local charities, senior citizen homes, and schools.
- Our rental companies (tables, chairs, arches, etc) re-use and re-cycle rentals event after event.
- We re-purpose event florals as much as possible to save costs and avoid waste.
- We work with vendors who share in sustainable business practices and donate proceeds to local charities.
- We follow the guidelines of Green Weddings. Compost. Reduce. Recycle. Re-use. Donate.
- On each island, feel the home of paradise. Hawaii is a work-hard lifestyle. We yearn to be outside and take advantage of the natural resources to support our “Happy Place”.
- Our venues avoid the use of chemical sprays. Outdoor venues benefit from the Island beauty of mother nature, including the mountains, ocean, tropical foliage, and a comfortable temperature.
- Our venues provide hand blowers, efficient toilets, environmentally friendly and low toxic paints and stains, safe cleaning supplies, and great environmental design.
- Natural lighting saves electricity and energy consumption. Book your wedding based on a full moon. Most of our weddings are outdoors and utilize the beauty of nature, sunlight, and beautiful weather standard for each wedding.
- SUSTAINABLE AND LOCAL – Select local, craft-brewed beer, sustainable/organic or biodynamic wines, and craft distilled spirits.
- MAUI BREWS – Local brews are authentic Hawaiian craft ales and lager beers brewed with aloha on Maui. Maui Brewing Company remains steadfast regarding local production and they are stewards of the community and the Aina (land), and curators of the craft-beer-way-of-life.
- MAUI WINE – Island style wines are passionately created while preserving the state of the art of traditional winemaking. We believe that wines are grown, not made. We remain true to the distinct combination of volcanic soil and climate conditions found on our island vineyard and the unparalleled taste of Maui Gold Pineapple. Each wine reflects the richness of the island’s landscape and culture.
- SKIP THE CHAMPAGNE TOAST- Champagne toasts often end up being wasted. Let your guests either choose champagne at the bar or toast with their preferred drink and you’ll save waste and energy in the process.
- SKIP PLASTICS – and do not offer bottled water! Filtered or infused water can be served out of pitchers or decorative urns. Plastic is the hardest material to recycle and generally can only be down-cycled, converted into lesser quality plastics for reuse.
- RECYCLE- Aluminum is light, uses less gas used to transport, and is easily recycled. Glass, while heavier, is a better alternative to plastic because it can be recycled endlessly. Many craft beers are in cans and Goose Island even offers sodas in glass bottles.
- LESS IS MORE- Avoid unnecessary packaging & choose keg beer, spirits, or wine.
- Replace paper cocktail napkins with cloth cocktail napkins.
- We recommend locally sourced wedding favors and gifts that will leave lasting memories for guests to remember Hawaii with.
- GO NATURAL- Choose organic and non-toxic and chemical-free beauty products and supplies.
- PETA-FRIENDLY- Request that your makeup artist use PETA-friendly products.
- ON-SITE IS BETTER- Our traveling stylists arrive at your accommodations to provide services for your wedding group. It’s much more convenient and fuel-efficient to have one or two stylists come to you than to take your whole wedding party to the salon.
- NATURAL INGREDIENTS- Be on the lookout for toxic, petroleum-derived ingredients in your beauty products.
- RE-USE- Use reusable or biodegradable tools and implements, such as bamboo makeup brushes with vegan or cruelty-free bristles.
- USE LESS WATER
- Hawaii offers an abundance of talented and home-grown local musicians. Live music is inherently green. It brings a human, soulful, and live atmosphere to each wedding whether large or small.
- Hula tells the story and is the language of the heart, therefore the heartbeat of the Hawaiian culture and its people.
CATERING- Food tells a story of our culture and evokes a memory
- EAT SEASONAL AND BUY LOCAL – A food mile is the distance food travels from producer to consumer. To reduce your food miles source foods from local producers and Farmer’s Markets. Use seasonal fruit cake fillings and bar garnishes. We work closely with Maui Grown Coffee, Punakea Palms Coconuts, Maui Gold Pineapples, Jewel Fruit Organic Candy, Ku’ui Chocolates, Banana Bread Company, Honolulu Cookie Company, Tedeschi Winery, Ocean Vodka, Maui Brews, and more.
- CHOOSE ORGANIC AND SUSTAINABLE- When what you need isn’t in season or you want items that aren’t grown locally.
- LESS IS MORE- More food means more waste. Although you’ll want to offer a good selection to satisfy your guests, sticking with plated meals is guaranteed to create the least amount of waste. Compared to buffets, stations, or family-style service, plated meals control portion size.
- SKIP THE LATE NIGHT SNACK- If you think most of your guests will pass on that snack, just put that money into your main meal, or choose packaged favors that guests can take with them. Paper-free.
- MAKE IT IN-HOUSE- Making food in-house reduces food miles and packaging. In-house to ensure freshness and quality by using organic flour and reduce packaging Just think about how much plastic ensures crackers don’t crumble before they get to you.
- LESS PACKAGING- Packaging affects every business, but food businesses definitely use a lot of materials to store and transport food. Avoid plastic-usage. Make sure your caterer is using reusable containers to bring the food into a venue, then washing them and bringing them back rather than using aluminum hotel pans or other things that get tossed at the end of the night. Hawaii offers an abundance of large ti leaves and palm leaves which are excellent for wrapping leftovers in.
- SKIP MEAT- Consider having a predominantly locally-sourced vegetarian menu, like all-veggie appetizers which your vegetarian guests will appreciate. Vegetarian diets use less energy, water, and land space as compared to meat-based diets.
- SAVE SCRAPS- We work with catering companies to reduce your event’s overall impact by composting the food scraps. Composts all food and compostable product waste at our events. Plant-based materials go straight back to the earth.
- CRAFT COCKTAILS – Locally sourced such as lilikoi, mango, and pineapple are popular ingredients for signature beverages.
- At private events, we may return bottles that are unused with labels intact.
- Use paperless or re-cycled paper.
- Carry metal water bottles.
- Use of rechargeable batteries.
- Albums on recyclable and eco-friendly material.
INVITATIONS, SIGNAGE, AND PRINT
- USE SUSTAINABLE- Since invitations are your guests’ first clue as to the kind of event you’re planning, set the expectation for a green wedding. Here’s how to use real invitations and still be eco-friendly.
- CHOOSE PAPER WISELY- Be mindful as you choose what kind of papers the invitations are printed on. There are endless options, including recycled, chlorine-free, tree-free, and sustainably-sourced papers that are available in every color and texture. Like with all other areas, steer clear of plastic-coated or metallic papers that are not easy to recycle. And always avoid those little liners as these are entirely unnecessary. Remind your guests that paper scraps are a resource in themselves and can be saved for other uses, reused for jotting notes or for art. At A Maui Wedding Day, scrap note paper comes in handy each and every day.
- SEED PAPER- Your guests can plant them after your wedding and perhaps think of your wedding day when they see that plant in bloom every season.
- THINK INK- Ask your printer about what kind of ink will be used to print the invites. Of course, vegetable and soy-based inks are preferable to petroleum-based ones.
- GO PAPERLESS- Online wedding invitations aren’t necessarily tacky, especially as the world feels the impact of global warming. Consider online save the dates and invites to wedding and/or bridal shower and direct guests to your wedding website to RSVP for these wedding events. This is also a great way to gather guests’ email addresses!
- SIMPLIFY- Does your mother insist on sending paper invites?! Reduce the number of pieces in your invitation including a simplified card and direct everyone to your wedding website for up-to-date information on when & what is happening during your wedding weekend! You can include rehearsal dinner, hotel reservation info, maps, post-wedding brunch, gift registry any other information on your designer wedding website. This is especially helpful for out of town guests!
- SKIP WEDDING PROGRAMS- Oftentimes, wedding programs are single usage material which is read once by the guest, then discarded. Consider posting a schedule of events by the entrance and avoid programs altogether. Put that money you saved toward your bar package! But if you do want to have programs, don’t feel the need to print one per person. Many guests will take one program per couple.
- NATURAL SOURCES – Avoid paper waste. A creative and beautiful way to display table numbers, name cards, or guest seating at each table is to have your calligrapher print on natural palm leaves.
- ESCORT CARDS AND NAME CARDS- While we’re on the topic of paper. With certain styles of dinner service, you may not even need escort cards, eliminating another need for a paper item. Consider having maybe 10 or so cards listing the appetizers being passed along with the dinner menu and place these on highboy tables during cocktail hour. Now you’ve informed your guests with a fraction of the paper!
- Keep in mind travel and distance, as well as convenience for destination wedding guests. Don’t forget walkability with reserving a block of rooms at a Maui resort.
- Encourage ride-sharing or guest shuttle buses with a designated safe driver.
- Indigenous woods such as Koa offer a fascinating history and appearance exclusive to the island style of the time it was crafted.
RENTALS AND DÉCOR
- The art of design is based on chic and sustainable thinking.
- Choose vintage and locally-sourced options from rental companies. Use re-usable totes to store and transport décor and products. Ask how linens and fabric drapes get washed and dried. High-efficiency machines, cold water, and non-toxic detergents are best. Use rental plates, silverware, and the glassware is better than disposable materials. If you do use disposable, consider compostable items like bamboo and plant-based utensils and cups.
- LIGHTING- We recommend using LED lighting features. They are more energy-efficient, last longer and less wasteful.
- SUSTAINABLE VOTIVES- Refill votives with soy wax which is both sustainable and provides jobs for young mothers in need.
- TABLES AND CHAIRS- White tables and chairs have to be repainted every few months, but natural wood chairs don’t.
- CLEANING- Use of green cleaning products.
- RE-USE VINTAGE- Avoiding creating new is a more sustainable approach. Plus vintage items make for a true one-of-a-kind look. While it requires some planning and effort, some couples revel in scouring garage and estate sales to create eclectic looks for their wedding.
- SAVE PEANUTS- Packing materials can create a LOT of waste rather quickly. Rather than packing items in cardboard boxes. Use reusable totes and padding to bring items to and from events.
- SHIP SEASONALLY- Flowers that bloom naturally during the month of your wedding require less resource-heavy maintenance and, as a bonus, are less expensive! So choose your flowers based on seasonality and even better, opt for locally-grown locally grown flowers instead of ones from Latin America. As with food, this means a shorter distance to transport and less fuel for shipping/cooling!
- SOURCE LOCALLY- Hawaii offers an abundance of beautiful tropical blooms and lavender (seasonal).
- SKIP THE FOAM- Floral foam is mostly plastic, is non-biodegradable, and contains toxic chemicals like formaldehyde!
- VINTAGE IS BEAUTIFUL- Vintage, mismatched vases make for vibrant vessels and save waste. Some florists even have their own collection. You can also source them from second-hand shops or shop at our annual.
- GIVE ARRANGEMENTS A SECOND LIFE- If you opt for cut flowers, donate them to a local hospital or retirement home. Flowers will brighten anyone’s day nearly as much as they brightened your event. Be sure to make arrangements for that before your wedding.
- ALTERNATIVES- Re-purpose vessels and recycle glass. Use potted flowers and plants, herbs, succulents in place of cut flowers. This is a low impact way to decorate and support local businesses by re-ordering from your local greenhouse. They are waste-free and may be re-purposed at the end of the event.