Sure, you can secure bright lights, bundles of imported flowers, and a cake the size of the Eiffel Tower if you want. But many people are seeking a more sustainable approach for the traditional wedding day. Las Vegas has some incredible ideas to help you execute everything with grace, creativity and an eco-edge.
From a re-think of the venue decor to the menu options for your guests to the honeymoon suite itself, here is the green-friendly guide to kicking off the planning for your big day with a small footprint. As always, the only limit is what you can imagine. Use this list to inspire your start.
1. Get Creative at Your Venue
Fill your venue space with character as much as consciousness. Decorations are so frequently single-use or placed across tables and strung through corridors straight from new packaging. But who says you can’t reuse items, both elegant and off-the-cupboard shelf, to create a breathtaking scene?
Look for unique collections of used glassware from antique shops or fill mason jars with flowers for a rustic style. Instead of towering vases of flowers, try potted plants like succulents native to the Mojave, or other locally sourced flowers. There are many florists in Las Vegas that can create the scene of your dreams, some even offering special wedding packages. From your bouquet, as you walk down the aisle to the table centerpieces, the greenery and flora options available to you will wow.
2. A Walk Down the Aisle – and Everywhere in Between
Being within walking distance is a true virtue of Las Vegas. One of the best benefits of celebrating here is how easy the city makes it to get around. Everything’s within proximity of the next thing you want to see, the next place you want to be. You can reach practically any place on foot, but there are so many other eco-friendly options that let you forego the car rental.
A fun group activity for the wedding party and guests is even pedaling from point A to point B with the RTC Bike Share program. Throughout the city there are 21 stations and 180 bikes available 24/7, making it convenient with a smaller carbon footprint. It even has electric bikes to help put some power into your pedal during warmer seasons.
3. Dine Eco-Friendly
Behold, the local ingredient! Las Vegas is famous for its restaurants, and so many of them make it a treasured practice to use locally harvested produce and proteins in their cuisine.
Honey Salt partners regularly with restaurants and caterers who commit themselves to sustainability in the kitchen. It’s known as one of the best off-the-Strip restaurants to focus on local, seasonal ingredients, meaning the farm-to-table emphasis cuts out the carbon from importing and does it with approachable panache. It also offers private dining for events for up to 90 people.
Harvest by Chef Roy Ellamar at the Bellagio is another foodie favorite for its fresh, health-conscious fare that’s always creative and always overflowing with flavor. Chef Ellamar’s history inspires his work where, as a child, he learned the importance of the relationship between food producers and buyers – from farmers to fishermen. Now he’s an advocate of local agriculture, and you’ll find it in everything he stirs, chops or throws atop the grill.
Meanwhile, Esther’s Kitchen takes things back to Roman simplicity in the cucina. Roman cuisine is famous for being based on just a few ingredients. Somehow, when they come together, the taste is something complex and magical, and comforting above all else. “[Pasta’s] my comfort food,” says chef James Trees, and here, you’re sure to find it’s yours too.
While you’re cutting out what’s excessive and overproduced, check out Donut Bar for a sweet dessert spread in place of a towering cake. Those multitiered cakes can frequently favor design over flavor, but nobody turns down a donut! It offers chef-on-site services, plus catering specially for weddings, bridal showers and more.
4. Embrace the Desert Landscape
Look to the desert to hold you in its mystical light and silent, spiritual charm. The landscape in and around Las Vegas is not to be ignored, and you’re sure to find romantic transcendence in any one of the breathtaking naturescapes for your ceremony or photo shoot.
Red Rock Canyon, its most famous locale, is a protected conservation area that offers a 13-mile scenic drive, and offshoots of trails into infinity. It’s just 17 miles from the Strip, but you’ll feel like you’re on another planet. Permits are available for wedding ceremonies and photo shoots. Just look for planners who can arrange the proper licensing for you. Or, elope at Seven Magic Mountains, the colorful boulder art installation by Swiss artist, Ugo Rondinone. The bright spectrum of hues will feel florescent against the brown haze of the desert around it, almost like an apparition. This is a place of poetry and of ephemera: The installation has been extended but will only be here until the end of 2021 – make it yours while it lasts.
Lake Las Vegas is somewhere in the middle of what you’d expect from a central Strip venue and the remote desert mysticism. It offers lush hotel accommodations and restaurant offerings to boot, plus extensive venues to host your day with seamless style. At the same time, you’re placed before the gorgeous serenity of the lake itself, giving you a connection with nature you crave. It’s the perfect place for a sunset ceremony that combines the arid mountain backdrop with the dewy, romantic lake in the forefront.
5. Go with Green Hotels
Being Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED)-certified is only the start when it comes to these eco-conscious hotels in the heart of Las Vegas. Going green comes in many different forms, meaning, even if you prefer the bright lights of the city, there are hotels and venues that execute that elegance with precision – and without ever exploiting the environment.
The Waldorf Astoria doesn’t just put that LEED sticker on the door front. They call themselves “environmental stewards,” and for that, they are set apart. The Waldorf instituted a “LightStay” program, making sure the practice of installing and using light is sustainable, and takes a proactive approach to CO2 reduction. Even the staff is trained on best practices to conserve water and electricity, manage air quality, and uphold other environmental protections. This is truly one of the greenest hotel venues on the globe.
Likewise, ARIA insists on top-quality experiences defined by elegance, while at the same time keeping waste to an absolute minimum. The ARIA’s campus of buildings has secured the highest rating possible from the Green Key Eco-Rating Program, the “5 Green Keys” – it’s like the Michelin star of hotel eco-sustainability. Even the wood it’s used to design interiors is sourced from responsibly managed forests. The suites at The Palazzo offer the ultimate in the upscale, lavishing you with luxury, elegance and comfort, and are designed with a high esteem for environmental sustainability.
6. Extra Pro Tips
And for the perfect finishing touch, hand out seed packets as favors to your guests so they can continue the eco-love when the ceremony’s all over. Select plants that are known to attract hummingbirds and bees to add even more blossom back into the world. When it comes to attire, simply select a color scheme for your wedding party and let them pick out their outfits. They’re likely to wear it again if they do, meaning there’s less consumption at your celebration from every angle.
Rest assured that with all the green-friendly ways there are to create your big day, Las Vegas is the perfect eco-option for it. You’ll remember not just your vows to one another, but the commitment you made to the future well-being of our planet, too.