Ideas for a sustainable wedding
As much as we all love a big celebration, weddings can rack up quite a carbon footprint, when you consider the travel to get everyone together, the food waste produced by the catering, and all the optional extras. Plus, party favours, balloons and decorations can be a single-use plastic nightmare.
Research suggests that the average wedding produces the same amount of CO2 emissions as 5 people would in an entire year!
We’ve come up with a constructive list of ways you can reduce the environmental impact of your wedding with just a little planning and thought…
Don’t be overwhelmed with climate anxiety!
A completely sustainable wedding is extremely difficult to achieve, so don’t let the prospect of planning a more eco-friendly wedding stress you out.
Even just choosing one or two more ethical and eco-friendly choices from the list below can make a big difference. (The very fact that you’re reading this to find ideas to be conscientious about throwing a wedding that’s better for the planet, so you’re already doing well). And you might just inspire other couples to do the same!
Here’s our list of 5 ideas for a more sustainable wedding
1. Choose your venue wisely
Transport emissions are among the top contributors to environmental damage, so it’s a good idea to look at your guest list and think about how people will travel to the wedding venue. Try to choose a location that requires the least amount of miles for the majority of your guests and encourage lift sharing. You could also ask about the green credentials of your preferred venues to see how they operate and what they’re doing about their carbon footprint.
2. Green your Gift List
If you and your partner already live together, chances are you don’t really need ‘another’ dinner service or set of linen. Instead, you could consider supporting a charity as part of your big day. Earth Trust offers a range of Green Gifts which allow you and your guests to donate to causes close to your heart. Sponsoring wildlife, planting trees and hedgerows, or simply making a donation to the charity means that the magic of your special day can keep supporting nature long into the future.
3. Make your menu eco-friendly
Find a catering company with a sustainable ethos, which sources organic, local, Fairtrade and ethically-produced ingredients where possible. A vegan or vegetarian menu would reduce the environmental impact of the wedding meal, but if that’s too drastic for you, you could aim for a menu that’s 50% plant-based. Sourcing your alcohol from local vineyards, distilleries and breweries is another great way to reduce your carbon footprint. Single-serve packaging creates more waste, so consider pouring from bigger glass bottles like magnums that you can easily recycle. Food for thought…
4. Support ethical fashion choices
Buying a vintage or pre-loved second-hand wedding dress from a charity bridal store is one way you can reduce your environmental impact. If you are wanting a bespoke wedding dress, look to support designers who ensure fair conditions for their garment workers and source fabrics from suppliers who do the same (UK designers are generally a safe bet). Rewear, swap, resell, donate or recycle your wedding dress after the big day.
5. Ask your florist for local and seasonal options
One option is to have potted herbs or greenery instead of cut flowers, but we understand that flowers can play a huge part in creating the dream setting for your wedding day, and you won’t want to ditch them entirely. Ask your wedding florist if they are able to source locally-grown flowers, or suggest some seasonal alternatives.
It’s also worth thinking about what happens to your flowers after the wedding.
- Encourage guests (and venue/catering staff) to take them home to enjoy.
- Press some of the flowers in a book which you can then use to decorate your wedding thank you cards, or have them professionally pressed and framed to create a decor piece for your home.
- Bake some of the flowers in an oven to make potpourri.
- Give them back to the earth, by composting them. Flowers are a great natural mulch to mix into your compost – please don’t let them end up in the bin!
We hope that this blog has offered you some inspiration for a more sustainable wedding. Happy planning, and congratulations!