It’s increasingly important these days to be aware of your impact on the environment, and unfortunately weddings can generate a LOT of waste. Luckily, there are loads of little ways you can make your big day more eco-friendly! Here’s how to plan a green wedding day…
In-season wedding flowers
To get the most sustainable (and beautiful!) bouquets possible, work with a local provider to ensure that your flowers are in season and as organic as possible. That means less money spent shipping in out-of-season blooms, and fresher, greener bouquets all round!
Vintage bridesmaid dresses
It’s an old stereotype that bridesmaid dresses only get worn once before being stored in the back of the wardrobe, but a lot of the time that’s exactly what happens (be honest, how many times have you reworn that bridesmaid dress? We thought so). Instead of buying expensive new gowns for your girls that they’ll get no use out of, why not let them wear a dress they already own and love? Alternatively, shop around for vintage dresses so you’re re-using the fabrics, or even consider renting dresses instead of buying.
Rather than spend your hard-earned money on token gifts that are likely to be forgotten or thrown away, why not donate to a charity in lieu of a favour? Pick a charity that’s close to your hearts, or one that supports the local community – we promise that your guests won’t miss those sugared almonds!
If your choice of venue means that you have to opt for disposable tablewear over reusable china, cutlery and napkins, then at least ensure that everything is biodegradable and compostable! You can get plenty of natural options these days, including plates, bowls and cutlery made of bamboo, palm leaf or natural wheat fibre.
When shopping for wedding rings (or engagement rings), be sure that your chosen jeweller uses ethically-sourced diamonds and metals – plenty of the big names do, but it’s always worth checking to ensure you get an environmentally sound design. Alternately, use family heirlooms or antiques.
There’s no doubt that potted plants are a greener option than cut flowers when it comes to venue decoration and centrepieces, and they’re likely to save you some money, too! The best bit is, you can re-plant them in our own garden as a reminder of your big day.
A responsible honeymoon
Carry your eco-friendly theme through past the big day to your honeymoon by looking into eco-tourism and travelling responsibly. This doesn’t mean forgoing your luxury honeymoon in lieu of a staycation – all it means is booking with a company that works with their destinations to ensure that any tourism has less of a negative environmental impact, and that travel and activities are sustainable and support the local community.
Instead of buying brand new decorations that will just end up in the bin or sat gathering dust in your garage, search around charity shops and flea markets for your table centres and venue decorations. Keep an eye out for anything that you’ll use again in your home, either pratically or for decoration, like vases and china plates.
Recycle bottles and cans
If there’s one thing you’re likely to get through plenty of on the big day, it’s drinks bottles! Discuss the recycling situation with your venue beforehand, and make sure that separate bins are set up so that your guests (or the venue staff) can easily recycle their beer and wine bottles.
If you’re travelling between the ceremony and reception venue, consider putting on a shuttle bus to take your guests from one place to the other. Not only will it mean that you’re cutting down on the carbon emissions from everyone driving over separately, but it also means you’re less likely to have guests get lost on the way!
Speak to your catering company (or venue, if the catering is in-house) about the possibility of donating any leftover food from the wedding to a local homeless shelter or charity. This may require a little planning and research, as some shelters will need the food to meet certain conditions before they accept it, but it’s worth considering if you’re worried about wasting perfectly delicious food.
See more tips and tricks on how to plan an eco-friendly green wedding day here!