23 Jul How To Plan An Eco-Friendly Wedding
A wedding may only last one beautiful day, however, when you tot up the travel of your guests, the food waste, plastic and material use, and carbon emissions, one day’s celebration can result in a considerable amount of environmental damage. As become more attuned to cutting plastic waste (largely sparked by David Attenborough’s Blue Planet and the horror we all felt as we witnessed the destructive effects of plastic pollution in our oceans), more and more brides are looking for ways to create a low- impact, eco-friendly wedding.
Long gone are the days of ‘eco-friendly’ referring to linen-clad hippies and tree-hugging. Nowadays, opting for an eco-friendly wedding has become mainstream, with many brides choosing to make their day kinder to the environment. Opting for an eco-friendly wedding also doesn’t mean you have to skip on luxury; thanks to some very talented designers and sustainable businesses, there are now a huge number of ways that you can create a beautiful and green wedding.
Consider the Location
Considering an eco-friendly wedding location can streamline the decision-making process for yourself when it comes to the planning and logistics of trying to get the whole family and friends together in one place. Rule out having your wedding ceremony abroad entirely and think of somewhere much closer to home. Encourage your guests to travel by public transport or share rides if they have a large enough vehicle, saving on carbon emissions. If they’re not sure, try positioning this idea as a fun challenge, and remind them that they’ll probably be saving money too.
Source Eco-Friendly Wedding Favours
Small wedding favours can be one of the least environmentally friendly elements of the day, usually packed with single-use items and packaging. We’ve discovered some smart solutions to throw away items that your guests can take away and cherish for longer:
– Plantable wedding favours – these cute packets contain seeds which your guests can simply place in the soil in their garden and grow. The paper packaging containing the seeds will dissolve in soil, and the seeds will grow into beautiful flowers; attracting new wildlife and bees.
– Recycled paper favour boxes – opting for recycled card or paper is much lower impact than buying brand new. You can also find some stunning recycled card options with small dried flowers pressed inside.
– Fairtrade coffee – who wouldn’t love the gift of a hot cup of joe? Sustainable, fair trade coffee beans can be given fresh or ground and make an excellent eco-friendly wedding fancy.
– Local produce – jams, honey and quinces can easily be packed into small (recycled) wedding favour boxes, to give your guests something they can use long after the wedding is over.
Try An Eco-Friendly Wedding Dress
We all know that the wedding dress is an essential part of the day; however, it can also be one of the least environmentally-kind aspects when you look at the carbon footprint of shipping, waste fabric, materials used and production methods. You may think that opting for a sustainably-made dress might mean leaving yourself with fewer options, but don’t worry – choosing an eco-friendly wedding dress doesn’t mean you need to skip on style or quality. Dresses created using low-impact manufacture or with sustainable fabrics are usually hard to tell apart from their counterparts; with some of the best designers in the country now opting to use sustainable materials over regular fabrics (see Stella McCartney, Sanyukta Shrestha and Vivienne Westwood, to name a few). Source designers who favour methods such as zero-waste pattern cutting (creating no leftover fabric or waste during the cutting process), offer alterations to your dress after the big day by dying or shortening so that you can wear it again, or use sustainable fabrics such as organic silk or organic bamboo silk, which pose little or no environmental damage.
Cut Plastic Waste From Your Day
A la Princess Eugenie, encourage your guests to cut their plastic pollution, ditching single-use plastics on your big day. Using small and large actions, you can achieve this by:
– Saying no to single-use plastic packaging: speak to the suppliers of your wedding and check whether they use any plastic wrapping or packaging to transport flowers or food. Where possible, aim to source locally to avoid plastic-wrapped perishable goods, packaged only for the journey to your venue.
– Serve drinks in reusable glassware, not plastic cups, and avoid plastic plates and cutlery. Choose paper or reusable metal straws in place of plastic straws.
– Source a florist who can deliver your flowers as close to your wedding day as possible: this will mean no need to wrap and preserve in single-use plastic. Need some inspiration? Look up Princess Eugenie’s beautiful floral wedding display, which was created using only freshly picked, local flowers; to save on transportation and carbon emissions.
– Avoid balloons and plastic bunting – replace throwaway decorations with sustainable or natural options such as soy candles or fairy lights, which are far more eco-friendly and can be used time and time again.
Create An Eco-Friendly Wedding Gift List
Finally, encourage your guests to think about their gifts in a more sustainable way. Reclaimed furniture and recycled glass products make great presents, have a tiny environmental impact and are super stylish. Bamboo products are making huge waves in eco-friendly wedding gift itineraries, beautifully fashioned bowls and cutlery sets have been a huge win this season as well as cute bamboo bug hotels for the garden.
Remember, the happiest day of your life doesn’t have to cost the world! Think different, get creative and most of all, have a fabulous eco-friendly wedding day.