This post was written by Kate L. Harrison, author of the best-selling green wedding book The Green Bride Guide: How to Plan an Earth-friendly Wedding on Any Budget, and founder of the premier green wedding resource: GreenBrideGuide.com.
The average wedding produces over 450 lbs of garbage and 63 tons of CO2! So much of this waste and pollution can be avoided. As a wedding professional, you have a unique opportunity to help engaged couples get the information they need to make eco-friendly choices. It is always nice to do something good for the environment, but if when giving back gives you extra cash, it is win-win for you, your couples and the earth!
Here are the top five ways to go green and earn more in 2013:
Promote the use of Wedding Websites
Wedding websites are excellent tools for organizing guests, sharing important information, saving paper and cutting costs for your couples. Many couples opt for a simple, information-based wedding website — but there’s no reason why they can’t be much more. Adding interactive features keeps guests engaged and gives everyone attending the wedding a forum where they can connect before the big day. Remember, your couples can set up customized, designed free wedding websites through WeddingWire!
The upside of the down economy is that more couples are looking to rent items for their weddings than ever before. With couples renting everything from their gowns to vintage china, it is a great time to get into the wedding rentals market. You can start with simple items you know everyone needs: tea light holders, good china, attractive flatware, etc., and build from there. If you plan a lot of weddings with similar themes, specialty items that match your décor aesthetic, such a log place card holders, chair signs, and other reusable items, this can add a lot of value to your service offering and give you extra income at the same time.
Join green affiliate programs
Many companies offer revenue sharing programs for everything from eco-wedding décor to green gift registries. Browse shareasale, linkshare and commission junction for vendors offering products and services that meet your clients needs — and include their ads on your blog or website. Most programs offer 5-10% commissions with a 90+ day “cookie,” so you get credit even if the couples going through your site do not buy something right away.
Photo Credit: Susabella
Promote honeymoon registries
Who needs more stuff when you can register for once-in-a-lifetime experiences? Help your wedding couples reduce waste by encouraging them to register for their honeymoon or cash for their mortgage or down payment. Companies like Honeymoon Wishes and Wed&Wish make this easy and a much less tacky option than the cash envelope stuffed into the groom’s lapel pocket.
Recycle and donate
If you are working with a venue that does not offer on-site recycling, composting or floral donations, you can offer these services as an up-sell to your clients and arrange to bring these materials to off-site locations after the event. Depending on the size and complexity of the event, it is reasonable to charge several hundred dollars to manage the waste. This is great for the environment and can really boost your business and your reputation as an eco-friendly values-oriented provider. You can also earn additional money in some states by collecting and cashing in recyclables if the couple needs to use bottled beverages instead of offering drinks on tap.
These are just a few of the creative ways you can help wedding couples go green while you earn more. Going green is a great way to distinguish yourself from the competition and step up your sales at the same time. With so many couples expressing their eco-conscious values there has never been a better time to add environmentally friendly services to your repertoire!