Calling all eco-conscious couples out there!
It is possible to have an environmentally sound wedding and still be your dream day, with beauty and kindness all rolled into one. Here’s a few useful tips and considerations to help you plan your “Big Green Wedding”…
In this day and age, email ‘Save the Dates’ are a great, cheap and ecologically sound way of getting your date out there.
For invites, again, e-vites are great. However, if you do want to have something for people to put on the fridge, then ensure the materials used are recycled and recyclable and avoid any additional adornments, which won’t be processed in a recycling plant.
A small note on the invite to guests, “please remember to recycle me” just as a gentle reminder.
There are also some awesome plantable, seeded invites that guests can then plant in soil and they break down and grow into wildflowers or herbs.
Pre loved antique rings are a beautifully made, fitting of times and lovers past but If that’s not your thing, then look into recycled gold, Fairtrade silver and conflict free diamonds.
Ever think about hiring? That way you can have the outfit of your dreams without paying a fortune or having an outfit sitting in your wardrobe for the next 20 years never to be seen again.
If you’re more sentimental than that, then go to a preloved dress shop and ask a talented seamstress to make it unique to you.
If you do want your very own, new sparkling dress, do try and reuse it again by again asking a talented seamstress to repurpose for another occasion.
Venue / Location…
If possible, keep the travel down to a minimal, having the ceremony and reception in the same location.
If not, then in walking distance so you don’t have to rely on coaches or minibuses; this is also really fun. Have the ushers and bridesmaids lead the way with holding “this way to the party” signs.
There are some amazing ecologically friendly venues out there. The Eden Project, Cornwall being a firm favourite of mine.
If you’ve always had your heart set on that destination wedding then reduce numbers to a bare minimum. Offset your carbon foot print by requesting guests, as a wedding gift, go onto https://co2.myclimate.org and calculate the carbon cost of their flight and compensate with funding climate projects.
Biodegradable confetti is generally all that most venues will now accept and there are some lovely ones. You could create your own of course, if you have the time and the patience.
Simple but lovely eco-friendly favours are either packets of seeds or, better yet, pre planted seedlings, or plants, in beautiful ceramic pots.
If creating your own table spaces, ask friends and family if they have any wonderful foliage that can be used as central runners. Or use plants and ceramic pots to create that alfresco style dining effect.
Always work with a florist who doesn’t use Floral Foam and only uses locally grown organic flowers, where possible. Post wedding rehome floral bouquets or centrepieces to local nursing homes so they are not left to waste but can be appreciated by others. Also, ask that no flowers are wrapped in plastic, preferably hessian or delivered to you in glass.
Look in charity shops where you can find an array of beautiful different ribbons or, if you do want to buy new, use naturally dyed ribbons.
I also love used candles. As a stylist and planner, I always have lots of left over candles and they always look amazing. Ask around; it’s such a waste when candles are just thrown away.
Used can create that beautiful rustic feel.
Beg, borrow and steal. Ask friends and family for help. If you are having a rustic outdoor style wedding, ask if anyone has any picnic blankets, spare outdoor furniture, hay bales etc.
Food & drink…
Always source local, seasonal, organic produce or work with caterers that also have the ethos. Also, ugly fruit and veg is a must. No one’s perfect and no one’s fruit and veg needs to be either.
Try to keep waste to a minimum, so limited packaging, if any. Always ensure the venue has a good recycling policy. If you’re having a DIY wedding, ensure your caterers have recycling and compost bins and your bar has recycling bottle bins.
If you’re really brave, keep your menu meat free or plant based only. There are some incredible vegan caterers out there now. The food is so delicious even your meat eating guests won’t complain, promise.
The same with wines, fizz and beers. Source local, organic and vegan; it can be done and you’ll have fun experimenting.
Another fun idea is to ask guests to bring a bottle, any bottle, from their drinks cabinet. Hire an experienced mixologist who can work their magic with a hotchpotch of different spirits and liqueurs that have been gathering dust in the backs of cupboards.
It goes without saying, plastic straws are no longer welcome and if you do have a DIY bar, try to using glass, or at the very least recyclable cups.
Any food or drinks waste, there’s always the next day! Who doesn’t love a post wedding lunch, with flip-flops and sunnies.
Organic Vegan Cakes…
I know they shouldn’t work, but they do and they’re delicious. Again source a baker who can work their magic and your guests won’t know any different.
Ask for donations to an eco-charity of your choice. Friends of the Earth or Rain Forrest Alliance, or more local charities to you and your partner.
Going green is the new black, we know we should and we all need to, so why not lead the way and start life as a married eco couple.
Written by Rebecca Green, Director of The Unique Cornish Event Company & Senior Producer @ Delicious London