8 Top Tips: How to Have a Sustainable Wedding Day
Weddings ravage the planet, but they don’t have to. Show you love the planet as much as you love your partner by following our easy advice.
Planning a wedding is already hard enough, from saying yes and putting on the engagement ring for the first time to finally saying “I do” there are 1001 things that need to be accomplished and sorted. Given all that, it’s completely understandable to not want to have each of those tasks mired down by having to also make sure that as much of your wedding as possible is sustainable. However, given that it has been previously estimated that British weddings annually create enough plastic waste to weigh the same as 47 blue whales, and result in over 3.6 million extra tonnes of CO2 gas created each year, some brides-to-be may be feeling the eco-anxiety building.
But fear not! There are plenty of ways to make your special day as environmentally friendly as possible!
Pick a Sustainable Wedding Venue (and Stay There for The Reception)
As we become more aware of our impact on the world around us, and more people become climate-conscious, locations that host weddings are turning to finding sustainable ways to operate. Hidden Botanics published a whole separate blog post about sustainable wedding venues, but if you’re in a hurry, don’t worry that looking for somewhere ethical and sustainable will interfere with the grandeur of your wedding. There’s plenty of gorgeous and eco-friendly locations all around the UK.
Also, it may not sound like much, but having your reception in the same location as your ceremony means that emissions from cars and transport are cut down - you’d be surprised at the positive impact this can have!
Use Seasonal, Locally Sourced Food
So. You’ve chosen a great and gorgeous sustainable wedding venue. Maybe the venue offers their own menu of delicious and locally sourced food - in which case: fantastic! However, if you’re looking to bring in an external caterer, there are plenty of culinary experts around the globe that offer both taste and sustainability, and will be more than willing to make a meal to remember!
Don’t forget to ensure you offer your guests a range of vegetarian and vegan options, both of which tend to be more sustainable than their meat-eating counterparts!
Send Out Electronic Invitations
Not only will you save on printing and postage costs (weddings can be costly, so look to conserve your cash wherever you can!) but an e-invite will save on paper, which in turn saves trees!
If you’re worried about an online wedding invite being an underwhelming equivalent to something physical, there are plenty of ways you can up the excitement for an e-invite. Whether that’s by making it animated, using video invites, or something else entirely!
The Wedding Dress: Rent, Re-Use, or Re-Sell
Okay. Okay. I know what you’re thinking. It’s your special day, and no one else's, so you want a dress that is entirely your own. You don’t one you’ve rented and have to give back after the event, or one you’ve bought second hand! But let’s be honest here, as gorgeous and lovely as that may be, you’re really unlikely to wear it again, and pictures of your loved ones celebrating will always be more nostalgic than the white dress at the back of your cupboard. If a bride does want to keep their dress, then a second hand dress is the best way to go as afar as sustainability is concerned.
If you’re really desperate for a new dress, then consider selling your wedding dress afterwards! Let someone else enjoy feeling just as beautiful as you did!
Do Away with Balloons and Confetti
While both may feel iconic to marriage celebrations and something you don’t want to get rid of, most balloons and throwing confetti don’t degrade, and will end up being swallowed by the surrounding wildlife.
Alternatively, another way to avoid your decorations adding to overflowing landfills is to search for biodegradable, sustainable alternatives.
Use Sustainable, Eco-Friendly Decorations
Ordinary bunting and banners will unfortunately often be made of unsustainable materials, so cutting back on these will help your wedding be more green, as will making sure that you have recycle and compost bins on-site during the proceedings.
When it comes to wedding flowers, you’ll want to avoid sources that will have a larger carbon footprint - 80% of flowers in the west come from The Netherlands, Kenya, Colombia, Vietnam or Ecuador. You could buy fresh flowers that were grown locally, or even grow your own!
You could also have your decorations and flowers be from Hidden Botanics sustainable range of dried flowers, which are dried in a way that keeps their scent and colour, and are made to last so you can enjoy your bridal bouquet long after the event is over!
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Lauren - United Kingdom