Most people try do to their bit in everyday life - we’re all more conscious about recycling, fair trade, reducing plastic etc. Sadly weddings are quite guilty of not being great for the environment - it’s all about making it look beautiful for one day only and with that can come a lot of waste. But it doesn’t have to! Here’s some things to consider if you’re trying to make your wedding a little more eco-friendly:
Invitations - they’re the first glimpse of your wedding for guests but you don’t need physical invites to be beautiful and make an impression! There are lots of sites available now or hire a designer to create your bespoke invites online. It’ll also save you a lot in printing and postage!
Caterers - if you have the option to choose your own caterers or influence the menu at your chosen location then look into options to go organic, seasonal and local! If you’re really going for it, then there are lots of great caterers providing amazing veggie / vegan options too. I feel this is going to become more and more popular in years to come and whilst it might not be the norm now, I predict that in time it will be.
Cake - Check with your cake maker that they use free range eggs and ideally get them and their butter from local sources. Ensure any chocolate used is fair trade and ethically sourced.
Plastic - this is a big one. Try and avoid plastic cups at the bar. Obviously glassware is the obvious solution so insist on this where you can. I know it’s not always allowed - I’ve worked in a few venues (old barns and outdoors) where they don’t allow glass. It’s now possible to get disposable, compostable ‘cups’ for hot and cold drinks so ask your caterer / bar team to source them for you. You can also find compostable food containers and cutlery, so if you’re having street food type vans then ensure your suppliers are serving up in an eco friendly option. If you’re having an outdoor wedding - see if it’s possible to have a standpipe from the mains water so you can refill water jugs rather than using plastic water bottles.
Flowers - oh how I love flowers. I suspect having them at weddings is something that will never go out of fashion. But there are lots of organic, locally grown florists all over the UK and if you hunt down your local one, then you might be able to go and see your wedding flowers being grown which is pretty cool! You could also consider having potted plants at your wedding instead which will obviously last a whole lot longer than cut flowers. Using plants or seeds as favours is also a nice touch and you can’t beat some mini succulents for this! There are also many alternatives for bouquets from paper to broaches and lots in between so get your creative juices flowing!
Ethical designs - when it comes to the dress, believe me I know how important it is. Vintage is a very popular option. If you’re going new then look for a bridal designer that uses ethical production and don’t be afraid to ask if they don’t say upfront. The more brides who ask about it, then more conscious everyone will become about the people and materials used in their designs. You can also look into fair-trade materials and ethical stones for your engagement and wedding rings. Consider finding homes or charities for your bridesmaids dresses post wedding.
Props - There are lots of places to hire props for your wedding and you can often find some amazing bargains on second hand wedding sites too if you’re going down the DIY route. Things like bunting, lanterns, vases etc that have only been used for one day - it’ll save you money and it’s great for the environment to be able to re-use rather than buy new.
Hope this has given some food for thought. You don’t have to compromise on your dream for the big day, but a few little decisions along the way can help to make a big difference to the environmental impact on the day. Vx