Weddings can be the most magical day for a couple, surrounded by close friends and family to celebrate their love with a big bash. But they can also come at a great cost to the environment. There are the obvious things like all that travel for guests. And then there's a dress that's worn once and stacks of food waste and single-use plastic decor. Cue a wave of mindful couples looking to make changes to their big day to ensure a more sustainable wedding.
If you're looking to plan a green wedding, look no further. From eco-friendly transport to carefully picked decorations, here are our top 10 tips for a sustainable wedding.
Cutting down on stationery is an easy step towards an eco-friendly wedding that will also help to save you money. Opt for reducing the number of pieces of paper to your invitation and print on recycled paper. Or go completely paperless and e-mail your invites, possibly redirecting guests to a website where they can respond and keep up to date.
On the big day, try alternatives to place cards. We love the use of personalised pebbles, coasters and leaves as non-stationery versions.
Picking the best venue for your wedding is crucial to ensure it's as good for the environment as it is for your guests. Scrap venues on foreign soil and opt for a destination that's local to the majority of your guests to reduce travel emissions. Beyond this, try to find a reception that is close to your ceremony.
Penrhos Court Country Hotel in Herefordshire is the only organic and environmentally friendly wedding venue in the UK. If you're local, its worth checking them out here.
If there is some travel between venues, why not offer some transport for guests so they don't all drive separately. Consider a vintage bus to add a bit of fun to the day.
To make your food and drink as eco-friendly as possible, it's important to stay local. Look to Britain or France for wine. And don't forget to select those with real corks!
Opt for caters that source local, organic products too. Offering vegan and vegetarian menus will also reduce your weddings carbon footprint. Look into donating any leftovers to local homeless shelters to keep waste down - and support your community whilst you're at it!
5. Wedding Favours
Wedding favours don't have to cost the earth. That's why we've recently launched our range of favours that are the icing on the cake for your eco-friendly wedding. Everything is made from natural and organic ingredients, free from palm oil and plastics and packaged in biodegradable or recyclable packaging. Take a closer look here.
6. Biodegradable Confetti
Most venues will only accept environmentally friendly confetti. Petals are the best option for the environment as they are biodegradable. Be careful to select petals that contain no dyes that could pollute the local environment and water systems.
How many outfits do you plan to purchase for the wedding? From the big dress to flower girl clothes, the list can quickly add up.
It's long been an option to hire suits for the day which is a brilliant way of reducing your weddings environmental impact. And today there is growing popularity of hiring wedding and bridesmaid dresses. Your wedding dress might not be yours forever but you'll potentially save thousands of pounds - and support the environment in the process.
If hiring isn't an option for you, explore vintage or pre-loved pieces, a great eco-friendly option that also comes with a reduced price tag. Win-win.
Tropical blooms or flowers that are out of season will come hand in hand with thousands of air miles. Sourcing in season flowers from a local, organic grower is the best eco-friendly option for your wedding. Always check with your florist whether they use floral foam, or Oasis, in their designs. It won't break down in landfill and chemicals in it can pollute water and air.
For centrepieces, potted plants or flowers are a great alternative to cut flowers. Guests can even take them home at the end of the day to dress up their garden or home.
At the end of the day, donate or compost your cut flowers. Organisations such as Random Acts of Flowers deliver recycled flowers to people in health care facilities meaning the joy of your wedding flowers can be passed on to someone else.
Hiring out decorations is another sure way to reduce plastic waste during your wedding. Use rented linens, plates and glasses for the day. Be sure to ask your rental company about their cleaning processes and some may be more harmful to the environment.
And finally, we have the honeymoon. Jetting across to the other side of the world could undo all the hard work of making your big day a sustainable event. So, stick to a short-haul flight. It will save your carbon footprint and you'll dodge the dreaded jet lag!
Here's to a wedding day that's doesn't literally cost the earth. If you've got any extra tips, we'd love to hear from you! Leave us a comment below.