Sustainable and eco-friendly weddings have been on the rise lately and all for good reason. As much as we live for the excitement of the big day, we’ve got to admit that weddings are going to have an environmental impact in one way or another between the travel required to gather everyone in one place to the food waste produced by the meals served.
But the last thing we want is to send you into a shame spiral, so instead we’ve come up with some environmental and ethical actions to consider when planning your wedding. You probably won't be able to use all of the ideas on this list, so just choose one or two points that leap out at you and start there! You can't solve all the world's problems with a wedding, but you can strive to make more ethical and eco-friendly choices, and you never know, you might just inspire other couples to do the same!
Choose Local Vendors and Suppliers
It's no secret that transport emissions are among the top contributors to environmental damage, so it's a good idea to think about how you and your guests will be travelling to the wedding venue. By choosing local suppliers, you’re making sure transport emissions are minimised as well as supporting the economy in the area where the wedding is taking place.
Seasonal produce should be a priority when planning a sustainable wedding menu. Choosing seasonal and local produce mitigates the environmental impact of your wedding. Locally sourced produce can be easily transported to the venue, will require little to no additional preservatives or insecticides and refrigeration costs will be kept to a minimum. Depending on the time of year, your florist may be able to source locally-grown flowers, suggest some seasonal alternatives or provide living plants. It's also worth having a chat with them about what happens to the arrangements after the wedding - they may be able to arrange for them to be donated or set up a flower wrapping station for your guests.
Repurpose and Recycle
There are many creative options you can opt for when it comes to wedding décor. They key is to be considerate about the materials that you are going to be using. For a more eco-friendly wedding, try and focus on recyclable or reusable items like glassware, bunting, ribbon and books. It’s also a good idea to source non-toxic candles, biodegradable confetti for the big day too.
Many sustainably-minded couples choose to do all their wedding correspondence digitally to avoid paper wastage, but personally, I'm too much of a font geek to forgo stationery altogether! A nice alternative is to keep one gorgeous paper element, such as bespoke wedding invitations, and see if they can print on recycled paper or seeded paper so guests can plant their invites in their garden after the wedding.
Lighting is always going to be one of the most important aspects of your wedding. It creates the ambiance and atmosphere for your special day. If not carefully thought out, lighting could consume a lot of energy. Instead of going for the regular lights, ask the planners for LED which is known to consume less energy.
Having a lot of guests will increase the carbon footprint. This should be a consideration if having a sustainable wedding is a priority for you. A small wedding tends to be more intimate and memorable. Having a few guests will also save you on the overall costs.