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Sustainable + Charitable Ways to Give Back with Your Wedding

Did you know that your wedding can make a meaningful contribution to the environment and society? By hosting a sustainable wedding event, you can celebrate your love and commitment with your partner in a way that embraces eco-friendly practices and supports local communities. In Malaysia, there’s a growing movement towards sustainable weddings, where couples engage with vendors committed to reducing environmental impact. Imagine exchanging vows surrounded by biodegradable decorations and elegant vintage elements, knowing that every choice you make is a step towards a more sustainable future.

MY Wedding Planner would like to promote sustainable weddings in Malaysia, we support and wish to make impact decisions in adhere to our core value of ‘peace and environment’. We wish to expand this horizon, for the wedding couples who want to share their commitment to the earth. By selecting a planner who aligns with these values, you can ensure that every detail of your special day reflects your dedication to preserving the planet.

Sustainable weddings raise awareness about environmental issues, encouraging guests to adopt eco-friendly practices in their own lives. By using eco-friendly materials, reducing waste, and conserving resources, you can significantly lower your environmental footprint. Supporting local vendors and fair-trade products promotes sustainable and ethical business practices, contributing to the health of local economies and reducing carbon emissions. Additionally, incorporating practices that conserve water, energy, and other natural resources helps ensure these resources are preserved for future generations. By opting for reusable, recyclable, or biodegradable materials, you reduce waste and set a positive example for others, demonstrating that it’s possible to celebrate in a way that is both meaningful and environmentally responsible. Embracing a sustainable wedding allows you to give back to the planet, ensuring that your joyous occasion also contributes to the well-being of the Earth and future generations.

Here’s some ideas from us to suggest to couples who would like to give back with your wedding:

1. Select a Venue to Reduce your Carbon Footprint 

Consider the most convenient location for your guests, ideally a central point that minimizes travel distances. This simple action can significantly reduce the carbon emissions produced by vehicles. While we may not be able to eliminate the carbon footprint of your wedding entirely, we can certainly reduce its environmental impact. Remember, small actions can lead to big changes.

If you’re planning a destination wedding, consider bus pooling solutions. Invite your guests to travel together on a rented bus, allowing them to relax during the journey rather than drive long distances. This not only makes the trip more convenient and less tiring for your guests but also helps reduce the overall carbon footprint. By opting for bus pooling, you contribute to environmental sustainability and ensure a more enjoyable experience for your loved ones.

2. Opt for Wedding Favors That Benefit Charitable Organizations.


Tenaganita, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that primarily focuses on protecting and promoting the rights of women and migrant workers, also collaboratively runs programs with Tanma Federation that include skill development in various crafts, empowering women to achieve financial independence.

Product: Crochet key chain, batik coaster, earphone / cable holder, batik passport cover, handmade candle, handmade coconut oil, and more.

Tanoti Crafts, a collective of Sarawakian women weavers and artisans dedicated to the production, promotion, and proliferation of hand-crafted fabrics. Their mission is to improve the lives and livelihoods of women and rural communities through the ancient art of songket weaving.

Product: Mengkuang hand fan, made from organic Mengkuang leaves harvested from Sarawak’s rainforests and it is suitable for an outdoor wedding.

Gifts & Souvenirs:

The Tea Republic, a Malaysian company, prioritizes sustainable farming practices and fair trade. 

Product: Organic tea blends along with biodegradable tea infusers (Customize your own note cards, gift tags, and ribbons)

Beyond Bins is a flagship programme by Biji-biji Initiative, an NGO that aims to inspire positive change throughout society by encouraging businesses and individuals to adopt practices that are sustainable, collaborative, and constructive. 

Product: Coasters, carabiners, planter pots, seed planter kits, and phone holders that are made from recycled plastics, specifically Types 2 (HDPE) and/or 5 (PP) plastics.

Dignity for Children Foundation, an NGO in Malaysia that provides holistic care and education for urban poor children, is also involved in sustainable activities.

Product: Keychains, batik key fobs, batik coasters, wooden coasters, batik coin purses, and giant cookies. 

Komuniti Tukang Jahit (KTJ), a social enterprise in Malaysia that empower and provide job opportunities for autistic & down syndrome youths, refugee families, the underprivileged, and single mothers.

Product: Customizable hampers tailored to your budget, including options for themes, story cards, logo applications, packaging, and wrappers.

Tanoti Crafts

Product: Traditional hot-processed Hasmah & Habuni’s coconut oil.

The Ranee Artisan Gallery supports various charities, NGOs, and independent artisans of Sarawak, aiming to preserve the crafts and heritage of Malaysia.

Product: Panned chocolate gift boxes, a wide selection of postcards, and organic goat’s milk soap in handwoven baskets.

Seven Tea One, an organization that empowers disabled teenagers and single mothers by providing them with skills to help them grow and cope with life’s challenges.

Product: Handmade soap, herbal infusion tea leaves, childhood cookies, and almond cranberry biscotti.

Changgih Designs, a social enterprise that aims to positively impact the Sabahan community to produce designs that are inspired by local traditional motifs while providing wages to women, especially mothers to empower them to support their families.

Product: Eco-friendly bamboo straws that come with a pouch, face mask, and more.

Bejute, a social enterprise that aims to reduce plastic waste and promote sustainable living by providing eco-friendly alternatives to traditional packaging. They reduce carbon footprint by using biodegradable and renewable materials, and supporting fair trade ethical manufacturing.

Product: Customizable Eco totes & Drawstring pouch, perfect as goody bags for the gifts.

3. Decide Your Catering Options in a More Sustainable Way.

When planning your wedding catering, consider if possible. Buffets often result in large amounts of food waste because food is prepared in excess to ensure all guests have enough options. Instead, opt for plated meals or family-style servings, where portions can be controlled, and leftovers minimized. This approach not only reduces food waste but also allows for a more elegant dining experience.

Another effective strategy is to consider hosting a smaller, more intimate wedding. Fewer guests mean less food to prepare and, consequently, less waste. By inviting only your closest family and friends, you can create a more meaningful and personal atmosphere while also being mindful of the environmental impact.

What A Waste (WAW) is a platform designed to reduce the amount of good food that gets discarded at food outlets every day simply because it hasn’t been sold. If you are planning a buffet-style wedding in Klang Valley and are concerned about having a lot of leftovers afterward, consider partnering with WAW to donate the surplus food. Their professionals will portion and pack the leftover food after the event in a methodical and hygienic manner. The food will then be distributed to the nearest marginalized communities, such as underprivileged families in need from the point of collection. Instead of wasting food, let’s begin contributing to society.

If you are based in Kuching, one way to do this is by sending leftover food to WormingUp, a Kuching-based social enterprise that collects and channels leftover food into compost bins. These organic materials are either given to worm farms to make bio-protein or donated to farmers for composting. By participating in this initiative, you help reduce food waste and contribute to sustainable agricultural practices. 

4. Implement Eco-Friendly Waste Management Strategies for Your Wedding.

Another thoughtful way to manage waste is by donating unused fresh flowers. After your wedding, instead of discarding these beautiful arrangements, consider donating them to nursing homes, hospitals, churches, schools, or any residents who would appreciate them. This not only reduces waste but also brings joy and beauty to others who may benefit from the uplifting presence of fresh flowers.

Apart from that, to reduce production waste, consider renting your wedding dress from bridal rental shops that offer rental services. Renting a wedding dress is a popular option and can be more cost-effective than purchasing a new one. Some bridal boutiques may also offer the option to custom-make a wedding dress that can later be rented out to other brides. This allows you to have a unique dress tailored to your preferences while contributing to sustainable fashion by extending the dress’s use. These options provide flexibility and sustainability in managing wedding attire, ensuring that you make choices that align with your values and budget while also considering the environmental impact.

5. Embrace Biodegradable Decor Options for An Environmentally Friendly Celebration.

  • Consider using plants instead of fresh flowers for your wedding decorations. For example, rosemary, mint, and lemon plants can replace traditional table flowers. These plants not only add a fresh and aromatic touch to your decor but can also be taken home by guests after the wedding to continue growing. This way, the love celebrated on your wedding day takes root and sprouts, creating lasting memories. 
  • Another eco-friendly decor option is using terracotta plates as direction signs. These plates can be beautifully hand-painted or marked to indicate different areas of your wedding, such as the reception sign, guest book sign, dessert area, cam zone, ice cream zone, registration area, washroom, door gift zone, and more. Terracotta is biodegradable and reusable, making it a sustainable choice for wedding signage.
  • Moreover, opt for petal confetti instead of glitter confetti. Dried petals are non-toxic and safe for animals. They also break down easily and won’t end up in landfills, making them an environmentally friendly alternative. Petal confetti adds a touch of natural beauty to your celebration and ensures that your festivities are kind to the planet.

As we know, reuse is one of the elements in the 3Rs. Instead of focusing solely on recycled items, why not consider renting reusable items? Renting your wedding decor from a rental shop is a great way to avoid purchasing single-use items that will be discarded afterward. Just Rent It! Malaysia offers a wide range of sustainable wedding decor options made from wood and rattan. You can rent items such as rattan backdrops, wooden oriental/Peranakan backdrop panels, rustic framed display boards, handmade wooden rustic Double Happiness marquee lights, Chiavari chairs, wooden welcome sign stands, and more. Additionally, they offer unique decor for Chinese tea ceremonies, including tea sets, oriental lanterns, ceramic chinoiserie ginger jars with the Double Happiness character, handmade oriental baskets, and Double Happiness designed cushions. Renting these beautiful and sustainable decor items can help make your wedding both elegant and eco-friendly.

6. Initiate Your Green Wedding Journey with Thoughtful Invitations.

  • Opt for e-invitation cards to support a paperless wedding. Digital invitations not only reduce paper waste but also save on printing and postage costs. They are convenient for both you and your guests, as they can be easily sent via email or shared on social media. Additionally, e-invitations can include interactive elements like RSVP buttons, maps, and links to your wedding website, making the planning process smoother and more efficient. Discover the website below for a variety of wedding invitation designs.


  • If you prefer to have printed invitations, consider using soy-based inks. Soy-based inks have a lower carbon footprint compared to traditional petroleum-based inks and are easier to recycle. They produce vibrant colors and are less harmful to the environment. By choosing soy-based inks, you ensure that your printed invitations are both beautiful and eco-friendly.

7. Skip the Traditional Wedding Favors. 

Collaborate with reputable institutions and organizations, or any other institution close to your heart. You can make your wedding a meaningful occasion by allocating the wedding favor budget portion and replacing it as charitable donations benefiting institutions in need. This thoughtful gesture not only supports meaningful causes but also reduces unnecessary expenditure and environmental impact by opting to skip traditional wedding favors. Guests will appreciate contributing to a cause close to your hearts, transforming your celebration into a platform for positive social impact and generosity.


Besides, you can consider choosing a local charity and coordinate directly with them to set up a donation page or provide guests with the necessary details to make donations in lieu of gifts. Select a charity or non-profit organization that resonates with you and your partner. It could be related to causes you are passionate about, such as education, healthcare, environmental conservation, animal welfare, or social services. These charities provide a platform where guests can contribute to charities of you and your partner’s choice. It’s a meaningful way to make a positive impact and promote charitable giving during a significant life event.


8. Plan Your Bachelor/Bachelorette Around Helping a Cause That is Close to Your Heart.

Instead of traditional pre-wedding festivities, invite your cherished friends and family to join you in a series of meaningful activities that give back to the community. Whether it’s distributing food to the homeless with Kechara Soup Kitchen, helping with animal care and shelter activities at SPCA Selangor, participating in environmental conservation efforts such as beach cleanup and river log boom cleanup with EcoKnights, Trash Hero Malaysia,  sorting and distributing surplus food to charities with The Lost Food Project (TLFP), organizing fun and educational activities for the children at Shelter Home for Children, or tree planting with Global Environment Centre (GEC), the goal is to create lasting memories while supporting causes close to your hearts. By integrating charitable acts into your celebrations, you can spread joy and kindness, making your special moments even more impactful.

“Love is not just about passion and romance; it’s also about compassion and responsibility towards each other and the world we live in.”

By embracing sustainable practices, thoughtful giving, and conscious choices across invitations, decor, catering, and more, your wedding can be a beautiful celebration of love that also honors our planet and supports meaningful causes. Together, let’s celebrate love and generosity, making your wedding not just an event to remember, but a catalyst for positive change.