As if all that food on offer and the huge amount of variety, themes, styles, different serving methods, cutlery options, crockery options… (the list goes on)… weren’t enough, now I’m hear telling you you should be considering how eco-friendly that catering is too?? I get it, it’s already complicated, but choosing a vendor that aligns with your values shouldn’t be difficult – here’s what you need to consider.

Photo credit: Abi Hackling Photography


The whole lifecycle. Think about what happens before you wedding, during your wedding and after you wedding. Food is grown, food is prepared, food is served, food is eaten, food is disposed of. What can you do to make that process more conscious and considered. How can you reduce waste and lower emissions? What mindset shifts can you make yourselves, to choose a more eco-friendly menu.


Think local and think seasonal. Less travel miles, less artificial growing conditions (unnecessary use of likely very ‘dirty’ energy), and more flavour. Choosing seasonally appropriate foods that have been grown and prepared in your local area is one of the most sure-fire ways to ensure you keep that carbon footprint small.

A moody table setting of dark patterned plates and bowls sitting atop a circular cane placemat and a wooden table.
Photo credit: Micheile Henderson (via Unsplash)


Use reusables, not disposables. I’ve seen so many posts on Facebook lately from couples looking to use disposable plates, bowls, cutlery, cups… all in the name of saving a few dishes??? Chances are, you don’t even have to do those dishes, so spend the money, have fun choosing colours and styles you love and know that you’re doing what’s right for the environment. Plus, your guests will thank you later, trust me. (…did I mention napkins???).


Reduce the meat options. Sure, going vegetarian may not be for you. And that’s okay! But do you really need all of those meat options available? Maybe you can cut one single meat option out in favour of a couple more vegetarian ones. It’s no secret that the meat industry is much harder on the environment, even here in New Zealand where many of the farms use good practices and are able to graze outside all year round, we still have a long way to go before farming meat rivals growing fruit and vegetables on the emissions front.

A basket of fresh veggies sits perfectly on a dark wood table
Photo credit: Markus Spiske


Consider the leftovers and scraps. Find out if your caterers have systems in place for a considered and appropriate disposal of food scraps. Ask if you can bring your own re-usable containers to be filled with all the leftovers. You paid for them after all, may as well get to enjoy that prime, eco-friendly, wedding food the day after your wedding as well.

What decisions are you making to ensure your wedding catering is light on the earth?

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Emerald and Ebony – Planning Eco-friendly weddings in Taranaki and beyond.

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