How to Enjoy a Sustainable Wedding in Bali
Updated: Jan 20
If you’re planning on tying the knot on the beautiful island of Bali, but are concerned about your wedding’s carbon footprint, it can be reassuring to know that there are lots of things you can do to enjoy a sustainable ceremony that doesn’t cost the Earth.
Eco-conscious couples may be quick to discount destination weddings, due predominantly to the environmental costs generally associated with the travel involved. But this needn’t be the case! Make your dream Bali Wedding become reality by keeping these top tips in mind during the planning process.
Outdoor weddings are a great way to help keep the environment at the forefront of your special day, whilst also keeping your energy consumption down. Bali is not and never has been the place to have an air-conditioned ball-room wedding reception. This sub-tropical island comes with a certain degree of humidity, which is why the island’s fauna stays green the entire year around. It gets considerably less humid during 'high season’, which usually is from mid-July to mid-September.
A few years back, Bali was considered ‘dry’ between the months of April and October, although the weather has become somewhat more inconsistent. But this is no reason to head indoors, in our experience. The pleasant weather and warm temperatures during the dry season months will give you and your guests more freedom to explore the island either side of the day of the ceremony!
Don’t worry, we understand the necessity of a rain plan and sometimes, taking these measurements is necessary, but usually they only come in a ‘plan C’ options (setting up marquees are what we recommend to explore first) and are discussed in lengths before your wedding. We recommend an outdoor wedding because it is the best way to enjoy Bali’s beauty and nature – preferably in dry season!
Thinking of your wedding, the best is only good enough for you and your guests. Isn’t it great that this does not mean relying on many imported goods anymore? Local suppliers in Bali have become more and more professional and diverse in recent years, catering to a higher demand of what was considered 'imported goods', which means that you can now rely on more and more high-quality local products.
Part of a ‘green wedding’ is to stick to local produce on the menu and flowers that grow on the island. Locally grown vegetables not only support the local farming industry and guarantees short ways of transportation & logistics. Nowadays, a lot of the products are also organically grown! Our catering partners order local produce whenever possible and would be thrilled to design a ‘green menu’ for you.
Lush tropical greenery grows naturally in Bali and comes in all shapes and sizes with the most amazing colour-pops that other destinations charge premium for. The florists we work with offer a huge variety of flowers that are not imported: from Anthurium to Orchids and Sunflowers to Wisteria. Ask us about your seasonal options if you want to stay local!
Go vegetarian (of flexitarian)
Did you know that in Bali there is a growing demand for healthy, sustainable (including organic) vegetarian options and these are available for your wedding dinner? Reducing the consumption of meat (or switching to vegetarian or vegan diets completely) is not only a healthy choice but also good for the climate. About 25 to 30 percent of greenhouse gases are produced by the food sector – and more than half of it by animal farming. Offering more vegetarian options at your wedding will significantly reduce your event’s carbon footprint. We are happy to suggest trusted suppliers of high-quality local vegetarian food.
We will happily offer our advice on how to reduce waste – or even organize a zero-waste event. Measures include avoiding single use plastics are always taken. We serve water in jugs, not plastic bottles, use paper straws and advise all vendors not to bring or use plastic to wrap any of their good and products.
Offset your flights
Considering the travel implications of your entire guest-list is a crucial part of planning any eco-friendly wedding. The most convenient way to offset the carbon emissions of your flight is to add it as an extra when booking with an airline. However, not all international aviation companies offer this service, and providers offered on airline websites may not be the ones with the highest standards. We recommend offsetting schemes listed on the Gold Standard website. Another reliable offsetting provider is www.atmosfair.org. Even offsetting parts of your journey with a reliable organization is still better than offsetting the whole trip with doubtful providers!
The efficacy of carbon offsetting does often get criticized, with concerns about who receives the funding for certain schemes. As such, you may prefer to consider other ways you can reduce the impact of flying. For example, ensure you ask your guests to pack light, and consider asking them to share transfers at either end of their flight.
Note that carbon offsetting is only working if the supported projects are effectively saving carbon emissions – otherwise, we may speak of green-washing (e.g., planting trees that may have been planted anyways).
Thank your guests with sustainable wedding favours
Wedding favours are a way of providing your guests with a memento of the day, to keep those special memories alive long after the final dance. Traditionally, they’re also a way of giving thanks for the time they’ve given up to be there to play a part in your wedding.
For an extra special favour that closely follows your theme of sustainability, why not lean on local suppliers to provide those special gifts? Organic, locally-made products like soaps and candles are always a crowd-pleasing option, and they fit well in suitcases for the way home. With our help and maybe a little stroll to Seminyak’s boutiques and shops we’ll find you the right company that can supply your preferred gifts – the handmade touch makes them extra special.
You could even take it one step further, and instead of asking for wedding gifts, encourage your generous guests to donate to local charities. This would ensure your big day continues to support local communities even after you’ve returned home. If sustainability is the theme of the day, find some local charities supporting environmental causes, and make your guests aware of these options.