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The Sustainable Wedding Revolution
Sustainability is becoming part of everyday life for most of us now, so your wedding day should be no exception. The current worst offenders are confetti, disposable decorations, and exotic flowers, but luckily there are plenty of ways to achieve the same effect without putting the planet at risk. So, you can still have a fabulous, memorable wedding, without the guilt.
Saving the planet save-the-dates
Paper invitations, or plastic-coated ones, aren’t great for the environment. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t send them. A great way to remedy this is to use alternative materials that are better for the earth instead. Look for companies that have a sustainable mission when you’re picking out your stationer. You can also consider using recycled paper or even alternative materials like uncycled fabrics, leather, or sustainably sourced wood for an invitation that’s designed to be kept.
Another way to reduce the environmental impact of your invites is to send them virtually. Either via email or message, you can hire a designer to create a personalised e-vite that follows your colour scheme and theme or try working on them yourself using a platform like Canva.
For many people, the throwing of confetti over the new couple is a vital part of their wedding day. Unfortunately, disposable confetti is actually terrible for the environment. From polluting the local ecosystem, choking wildlife and not being able to break down naturally, it’s a big no-no for a sustainable wedding. Luckily, there are plenty of more conscious alternatives; a great one is to use biodegradable dried petals. These not only keep the aesthetic appeal of confetti but also don’t leave any lasting damage on the environment.
Less food waste
On average, £488 is wasted on food at every wedding, and that’s all because 15% of guests only eat one or two of their three courses, newlyweds end up throwing their cake remains away, and almost half of guests don’t eat their edible wedding favours.
To combat this, you should assess how much food you really want to serve; there’s no set rule that says there have to be three courses at your reception. Another great way to reduce your carbon footprint when it comes to food is to use a catering company with a sustainable ethos that uses local, organic and ethically sourced ingredients wherever possible.
Sustainable wedding fashion
Your wedding attire is something you won’t have the opportunity to wear often. For most of us, the wedding day is the only day we actually put it on. And since many dresses and suits are made with embellishments and a combination of materials, they’re not great for the environment as a whole.
A way you can make your fashion more conscious is to ensure that the pieces you purchase are made from sustainable materials. On the other hand, you could consider renting your dress or suit for the day, which is not only better for the planet but also a lot easier on your wallet. In addition to this, you could purchase your garments second hand, which often helps to support charity too.
When it comes to your wedding style, makeup and skincare will likely be very high up on your list of priorities. If you haven’t already, you should try to incorporate more natural, sustainable and cruelty-free products into your routine and pick a makeup artist that uses these kinds of products too.
Low impact flowers
Aside from the huge carbon emissions you add to your wedding when you import flowers from across the world, there can also be issues of exploitation within the supply chain of exotic flowers. Most of the flowers used in western Europe are grown in Kenya, Colombia, Vietnam and Ecuador and need to be flown or shipped to your country from there. Instead of wasting energy here, a great way to make your flower arrangements more sustainable is to source them locally and seasonally, or if you’re set on a particular exotic breed, then you should always check for certification. Organisations like LEAF, the Soil Association and the Rainforest Alliance are all quality checkers when it comes to the ethicality of flowers being sold in the UK.
You’ll also want to make sure that your florist is making sustainability a priority by not using foam or plastic and are transparent about where their flowers come from.
Pick an Eco-Friendly Venue
Probably the easiest way to have a more sustainable wedding is to make sure your venue takes sustainability seriously. From energy conservation to reducing single-use plastics, venues can affect the carbon footprint of your event massively. Not just that, but you should also be mindful about how your guests will get there. Needless to say, destination weddings have higher carbon emissions than ones in your home country. But if everyone is driving separately to a venue in the UK, then you’ll also be adding unnecessary mileage to your energy usage. Instead, recommend that your guests car-share or if the venue is close to home you could even arrange alternative transport like a horse and carriage for a traditional, yet sustainable, aesthetic.
The sustainable wedding revolution is real. Every day more venues and suppliers, makeup artists and bridal fashion brands are incorporating sustainable options into their repertoire, and there are more ways than ever to reduce the carbon footprint of your big day. These are just a few ideas to get started, but if you’re serious about sustainability, there are even more ways to make your big day environmentally kind. If you’d like to find out how we can help make your wedding day easy on the planet, get in touch with our team of specialists today.
Photo by Marble Private & Foto Righi, Words by Marble Private