Zero Waste Wedding in the French Alps

Zero Waste Wedding in French Alps

After months of planning finally your big day has arrived! But what happens to all of those beautiful decorations, confetti, leftover food and the hundreds of dollars worth of flowers? They end up in the bin. With an estimated 40 million + weddings per year – that is a lot of waste!

Zero Waste Recycled Book Floral Buttonhole

White lace dress hanging from pine interior of French chalet

For real-life couple Yustiniya & Steve, creating a zero waste wedding was important and Mont Blanc Weddings & Celebrations helped them realise their dream…

Bride in white lace dress with shawl and boots and bride's father in black woollen coat and top hat outside Brasserie and Bar

Bride and groom stand at the door of a red and white train in France which was caught to their sustainable wedding

Bride and groom sit on train in their wedding attire on the way to their wedding

“Yustiniya & Steve, a Russian-Irish couple living in France on the shore of Lake Geneva, contacted us back in 2019 to help them organise their wedding in Chamonix.

Bride and groom sit next to each other wearing black suit with black turtle neck and lace dress with pearl necklace and recycled paper bouquet

Bride and father walk into dark wooden church doors to come down aisle

Couple has Zero waste wedding in wooden church with no decorations

As they both love mountains and skiing, they wanted to share one of their favourite places with friends and relatives and they opted for a winter wedding with snowy landscape for a magical wedding set up.

Bride and grooms legs showing grey brides boots and brown grooms boots

Wedding guest takes handful of bird seed to use as confetti for the married couple

However, Yustiniya & Steve didn’t just want a standard wedding, they wanted to make it zero-waste! It meant we had to look at every aspect of the event to make it as sustainable as possible. We loved the challenge!

bride and groom leave stone church - bride in white lace long sleeved dress and groom wears red pants and black turtle neck and suit jacket

Wedding guests shower bride and groom in sustainable bird seed confetti

Bride and groom duck as they are showered in sustainable confetti made from birdseed

In terms of decoration, the church was so beautiful that any additional decorations were unnecessary.

Chamonix Mont Blanc Hotel in French Alps

French Alps Chalet Hotel with snowy mountains behind it

Bride and Groom kiss in front of red and white train on way to wedding

The venue at which dinner and the evening celebration took place was decorated with lovely items the couple brought from home, branches from a tree that had fallen not far from the venue and with an eclectic selection of pretty glass vessels such as wine bottles and garlands.

Brown rustic looking chalet hotel in French Alps

Interior of French chalet wedding venue with red plush sofas and book shelves

Old recycled photo frame with wooden back makes wedding welcome sign

The red paper roses and potato sack material were sourced from one of their colleagues who had married a few months before them.

Cheese fondue wedding food in red iron pots

Sustainable wedding favour made of sunflower seeds in personalised pouch

Even the welcoming sign was hand-made with a frame that the couple had found thrown out on the street some weeks before the wedding!

Wedding table decoration made from recycled paper into rose for zero waste wedding

Zero waste wedding decoration made from recycled paper into rose, in old bottle covered in recycled lace

The bride’s dress for the church ceremony was rented from a clothes rental shop and the groom’s jacket and trousers were purchased from a luxury second-hand shop, both based in Geneva Switzerland, close to where the couple lives.

Wedding table decorations are made from collected and repurposed tree branches

Wedding wall decoration made of photos of the married couple and fairy lights

The bride’s evening outfit was a custom-design made from used denim and the groom wore an existing outfit.

Wedding table decoration that has wooden bride and from signs and branches from nature

Hand drawn and recycled napkin ring personalised with guest name

Wedding decoration made of old jars filled with fairy lights

Both bouquet and boutonnière were made from the pages of an English-Russian dictionary found in a waste paper container. The bride’s bouquet and the bouquet caught by one of the guests also contained red paper roses that were used as decorations at the wedding of the same colleague who donated some of her other decorative pieces.

Bookshelf in French Alps Hotel with chairlift art and photos

Goats cheese, beetroot and dill on rye toast starters

Ring cookies threaded onto ribbon in silver goblet

It was great to be able to both upcycle and reuse.

Bride and groom enter carriage of ski lift in french alps

Brides bouquet made of recycled book pages and red paper

Silhouette of bride and groom looking out of ski lift at French Alps below

The couple used birdseed from a pet store as confetti rather than traditional paper ones that are difficult to pick up and tend to be left in the natural environment.

French Alps covered in snow with clouds surrounding it

Bride and groom walk through the snow in boots in the French Alps in their suit and wedding dress

Newly married couple at the top of snowy mountain in the French Alps with snowcapped mountains behind them

In terms of food, it was agreed that all meals would be vegetarian with a vegan option. Most guests ate cheese fondue at lunch: a typical local dish.

Brides bouquet made of recycled book pages and red paper

Bride in wedding dress, green woollen coat and grey boots with red lipstick sits on rocks on French Alps mountain top

Bride in sustainable lace wedding dress with long bell sleeves and red lipstick stands in the snow in the French Alps

The evening chef embraced the challenge of creating a vegetarian menu including traditional Russian food that was made from locally sourced ingredients.

Groom in grey woollen coat ad red pants with sunglasses looks and smiles at bride in lace dress, green woollen coat and red scarf wearing sunglasses

Bride and groom sit on rock holding hands at the top of a mountain in the French Alps

Bride in sustainable lace wedding dress with long bell sleeves and red lipstick stands in the snow in the French Alps for her Zero waste wedding

The little that remained on the plates of the guests was sent to one of the nearby farms as food for the pigs.

Bride with red lips and short hair looks into grooms eyes holding her recycled paper bouquet

Bride and groom hug in snow wearing woollen coats

It was also key to reduce the impact of guests’ transportation. Everyone stayed overnight at the venue which offered both accommodation and space for the evening meal & party. Guests were also moved from place to place on the public bus and one of the local trains. Guests who came by car were asked to car pool as far as possible.

Chalets in French Alps

As wedding favours, Yustiniya & Steve gave some sunflower seeds harvested from their garden and zero-waste cloth bags that fulfilled a dual role as both presents and place name cards.

Recycled fir tree branch and small jars filled with fairy lights adorn wedding tables

As wedding planners, we loved the concept and we embraced the challenge of this zero-waste wedding which is very much in line with our own company’s ethos.

French Alps chalet in the dark with snowcapped mountain behind and bright tree-shaped lights at front entrance

French Alps chalet in dark evening with lights and snow capped mountain in background

We hope this blog will give inspiration to couples who want to celebrate their union in a more sustainable manner and show them that a wedding can be eco-friendly and still beautiful!”

Thinking of going sustainable? Check out our DIY Projects!

Zero Waste Wedding in the French Alps Snapshot

Zero Waste Wedding in the French Alps Collage

Zero Waste Wedding in the French Alps Vendors

Accomodation & Reception Les Granges d’en Haut | Wedding Dress La Garde Robe | Bride’s Dress Jean’s Revision | Groom’s Outfit Downtown Uptown Geneva | Catering Cham Chef | Entertainment Tintamarre | Hair Hair Pur Chamonix | Photograher & Videographer Eight Bells | Transport Mont Blanc Express | Planner Mont Blanc Weddings