Tips on how to have a sustainable wedding
Weddings, typically extravagant and lavish affairs. As much as the celebration is exciting, the day can be pretty wasteful. From the travel to food waste, floral arrangments and even the location. And through all the stress of planning, it is easy for your environmentally responsible and sustainable side to be forgotten. In this day it is so important to make sure we are doing our part in protecting our earth. In light of this, we have created a series of things you can do to reduce the environmental impact of your big day and create a sustainable wedding.
A quick disclaimer, there is no such thing as a perfect eco-friendly wedding. Don’t get overwhelmed in the process, the very fact you’re reading this means you’re taking your first steps. An eco-friendly wedding doesn’t have to be harder than a less eco-friendly wedding. Lucky for us, sustainability is a hot topic and options are plentiful. We got this!
Let’s get into it…
Wedding invitations are a key part of a wedding, however, they can incur a lot of waste. There are a few ways you can approach this. One, simply send invitations with recyclable paper. Recyclable paper can be beautiful and unique, whilst saving the trees. You could even go the extra mile and create your invitations on leather, wood or upcycled fabrics. To eliminate the energy and toxic chemical printing produces you could employ a local calligrapher to help write out your invitations for you, simultaneously creating stunningly delicate invites with a local finish. If you are willing to take the step altogether and eliminate all paper, you could go electronic. There are so many options out there to create beautiful online invitations, and it makes RSVP’ing so much easier.
Picking a location for your wedding is a huge deal, and we understand this. When making these decisions it is important to think about your carbon footprint. Aeroplane and car emissions are huge, so take a think about how your guests are getting to your wedding. Encourage carpooling or offer a shuttle bus. Of course, you should get married wherever you want, but if you are torn between options take a second look at the guest list and figure out which requires the fewest car and plane travel.
Food, food, food. My favourite part of any event. When considering food the most sustainable option is focus on local caterers. The more local, the less of a carbon footprint. It won’t be difficult to find a catering company with sustainable ethos, who source organic, local, fairtrade ingredients. A vegan or vegetarian menu consumes fewer resources and doesn’t harm animals in the process, but if this is too much to ask aim for 50% of your menu being meat-free. Even your booze can come from local wineries, distilleries and breweries who focus on being earth-friendly. Food waste is a massive aspect. Consider a three-course meal instead of a buffet, as research shows that buffets cause more waste. If you do want a buffet, then talk to the caterer about saving leftovers. Donate to a local food bank or homeless shelter or take it home for the kid’s lunchboxes for the next week.
Wedding dresses have a few different sustainable options (lucky for us). The first being buying vintage or second hand and upcycling. This way your dress is unique, less expensive and sustainable! You could even wear a gown a family member has worn and customize it, this would have lovely meaning for a cheap cost. But, I understand if you want to buy new. If this is the case, consider local designers who are sustainable in their making.
Jewellery is another option to be green. There is a lot of controversy around sustainable jewellery due to the effect of mining precious metal and ‘blood diamond’ across the globe. It is best to maker sure it is ethically sourced and produced. Choose jewellers that use materials that are ethically sourced and recycled, keeping the mining to a minimum. Use handed down jewellery, heirlooms are special and also cheap!
Some say that floral arrangements make or break wedding decor, and we don’t disagree. Depending on the time of year your florist may be able to source locally grown flowers. Also, keep in mind that freshly cut plants aren’t always the best for the environment. Instead, consider potted flowers e.g orchids or spray roses or even herbs and trees that can be reused later on. For after the wedding it is worth having a conversation with your florist about what they are going to do with the flowers. They may compost the grees after the wedding, or donate to a local hospital. Anything is better than trashing them altogether.
I hope it is clear that there is a lot you can do to make sure your wedding has the best possible impact on the earth as possible. Even if you just adopt two of the tips outlined above you are making positive steps towards a greener wedding. Mother Nature will thank you later! Get in touch with us here and we at Fantail Weddings would love to help you with your sustainable wedding journey xx