The rise of sustainable weddings, and how you can plan one.
Over recent years, we’ve noticed that couples are opting for more “green” options when planning their weddings. Just a few small and simple ‘swaps’ could reduce your weddings’ carbon footprint by half. We’ve combined our favourite ways to make your wedding more eco friendly…
Bio degradable or "plantable" invites
One of my favourite “green” discoveries is a company called Wildflower Favours, who specialise in eco-friendly wedding favours, invites, decorations and more. Head over to their website, where you’ll find thoughtfully made ‘seed invitations’ that can be planted and admired for years to come.
(Photo: Wildflower Favours)
Better yet: go paperless
This option isn’t for everyone, but for those of us who are living a very 21st century lifestyle, many of our family and friends will know their way around the world wide web. Creating a 'wedding website' is a fantastic way to manage your wedding day. You can record everything online, send out save the dates, invites, collect RSVPs, dietary requirements etc. You can put way more information on a website than you ever could on a paper invite. You can let your guests know what the parking is like at the venue, when you'll be cutting the cake, what time to get a cab home and offer number of local taxi companies and hotels.
It’s all about the location…
If you take the time to really think about it, the location can be a huge environmental factor in keeping your wedding emissions low. Planes and cars are among some of the top culprits of air pollution, and if your wedding is 1) in a different country or 2) far away from home, it’s likely that your guests will be using some form of high-emission travel as a means of transport. Try and chose a venue close to home and the majority of your guests, to cut your wedding carbon footprint.
(Photo: Piece of Cake Marquees)
Less is more...
When it comes to food, seasonal produce is best.
Having worked in the wedding industry for over 8 years and having helped countless couples plan their wedding, there is one thing that is usually a common pit-fall of most weddings. For someone who hasn't planned a wedding before, or even a party for more than 10 people, knowing how much food you're going to need is really difficult. I've personally found that 90% of the time, over half of the evening buffet food is thrown away at the end of the night. If you're going all out, opt for a lighter evening buffet and cater for less people than expected to attend the event.
Another great way to plan a more sustainable wedding, is to make sure your caterers are sourcing local, organic and in-season food. Ask for menus that will allow your chosen caterer to make the most of what's fresh and in-season, and who purchase their food items as locally as possible.
Re-plantable or re-useable decor and/or flowers
I worked a wedding not too long ago that had a beautiful idea; Instead of using flowers in vases that were hired, they went to charity shops and bought cheap and cheerful vases to place their flowers in. They then asked guests to take whichever flowers they liked home. They also "mix and matched" with potted plants and succulents, which were a huge hit. There are so many ways to repurpose your wedding decor, whether you give items to guests or even pass some items on to other couples who might be able to make use of them.
Organic wedding cake
Keep the locally sourced and seasonal theme going by asking your cake supplier to make an organic cake. Same as with your caterers, if you ask, your expert baker should be able to make small swaps to stay in keeping with your eco-friendly wedding.
(Photo: Wilma's Bakery)
The gift of giving (or not)
This is something that we have noticed a LOT of couples doing, particularly in more recent years, and to be honest, many might not even realise how eco-friendly this one is.
Ask your guests to donate money to either something you want as a couple such as: a house, a car, or a honeymoon, as opposed to buying a bunch of stuff that you'll probably never use and will end up at someone else's house or at a dump. I mean, I've been to friends weddings who have received gifts that they would never realistically use, and these things end up in a cupboard for years and years before being casually thrown out during a spring clean.
Please bear in mind that more often than not, being kind to the environment does cost a little bit more. Organic and local produce is often a higher cost than mass produced food, and bio-degradable items may also be costly. Even if you could make just one or two small adjustments to your wedding day plans, you could make a huge difference to our environment and keeping it safe for as long as possible.