Your guide to creating the perfect eco-wedding
As more and more people are becoming environmentally-conscious every year, it is not surprising that we are seeing a growing trend for eco-friendly weddings. Weddings are not generally thought of as eco-friendly events, as there can be food waste, disposable décor, cut flowers and the carbon footprint of travelling guests, but it is possible to make positive changes.
At many stages of wedding planning, there are efforts that can be made to be more eco-friendly, so it is up to each individual couple as to whether to go the whole hog, or just add in a couple of environmentally friendly ideas where they can.
Starting with the location of your wedding, you can actually choose a venue dedicated to sustainability. Look for venues that grow their own food, have recycling facilities and good contacts with local suppliers. Some venues may require less décor to be added as they are already beautiful as they are. Another important element of choosing a location is to get married nearest to where most of your guests are based, to reduce the amount of fuel and therefore emissions that travel will create. If guests do need to travel, including from the wedding venue to the reception, provide transportation in buses to reduce the number of vehicles and fuel used.
Once the location and date are set, you will be ready to send out save-the-dates and/or invitations. Whilst the most eco-friendly option would be to do this digitally by email, many still love the tradition of sending/receiving a physical invitation, so look for recycled paper/card and minimise the amount you use.
The bride and bridemaids’ dresses can also be eco-friendly choices, by opting for vintage or pre-loved dresses. Not only is this better for the environment, but for the wedding budget too! If you really want a new dress, you can choose an ethical designer who is committed to environmentally-friendly fabrics and ethical production. For the male wedding party, hiring suits is the most eco-friendly option.
There is always substantial food wastage at weddings, especially with buffets. If you are able to bring in your own food supplier at your venue, look for a local company that has an eco-friendly ethos and good relationships with local farmers. If you have to use the in-house catering, don’t be afraid to ask where the food comes from and ask for more local/seasonal suggestions.
As part of the growing movement to reduce plastic, try to avoid plastic tableware and packaging. Whilst disposable plates, cups and cutlery might seem more convenient in many ways, they are definitely not friends to the environment.
There are several ways to make your wedding flower choices more eco-friendly. For example, instead of cut flowers, you could have a display of planted flowers that will live long past your wedding day. Potted plants can also look lovely as table centrepieces. For bouquets, the best way to reduce the environmental impact is to choose seasonal and local and always ask your florist to not use floral foam, as it doesn’t break down in landfill.
Reception décor often contains many one-use items that are not great for the environment, so try to hire décor items if possible. In terms of wedding favours, avoid options in cellophane, or wrapped sweets and even better, double up the wedding favour as a place card. There are many options, from personalised biscuits to personalised jars or wooden name discs. And don’t forget lighting too. Set the mood for a romantic evening by lighting your reception tables with candles. This reduces electricity and will look fantastic.
Wedding signage is a growing trend and there are many eco-friendly options, such as those made from reclaimed wood. For example, one of our most popular options is our 100% reclaimed pallet signs, which as well as being eco-friendly, adds a lovely natural look to a wedding. We use these to make everything from welcome signs and order of the day signs, to table plans, table numbers and alternative guestbooks. Where it isn’t possible to use 100% reclaimed wood, we source all other materials from local, sustainable suppliers.