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15 tips for planning an eco-wedding
Weddings are notoriously wasteful. It was reported that 4,910 tonnes of plastic were discarded from weddings in 2021 alone – that’s the equivalent of 47 Blue Whales. We often get clients come to us looking for simple sustainable alternatives, and we say the same thing to them every time: making a wedding eco-friendly is actually really simple! Marketing Coordinator, Hattie, has listed her favourite top tips for planning an eco-wedding below.
One of the easiest ways to offset carbon is to plant trees, and we’ve known many couples who plant a tree to pay homage to their special day. It could be incorporated into part of your ceremony, or turned into a group activity with guests!
- Opt for virtual invitations instead of paper. Most of us will put the date into our phone calendars anyway, so there’s absolutely no need to waste paper in 2022
- Flowers – this is a massively unsustainable and wasteful part of the traditional wedding ceremony. Dried flowers offer a much more sustainable alternative, and can be taken away as wedding favours or even framed as a memento of your big day. Basically just avoid shipping in flowers or buying flowers out of season
- Food is one of the worst offenders of wedding waste. Supposedly 15% of guests don’t eat all 3 courses! Make sure you’re using seasonal, local produce, and opt for a food van caterer to reduce waste
- Scrap balloons. They’re extremely harmful to the environment and to wildlife
- We’ve encouraged our brides and grooms to opt for leaves instead of paper confetti, or use any other naturally biodegradable material which won’t affect wildlife
- Encourage earth-friendly gifts from your guests – or set the challenge of going completely plastic free for all gifts!
- Ask your suppliers, planners and venues about their certifications. Most will follow a Sustainable Event Management System (SEMS), or will have met the UN Sustainable Development Goals, meaning you can actively track the CO2 emissions that your wedding is emitting
- Give guests seeds to take away instead of plastic-wrapped wedding favours – it will mean they can plant their own flowers and trees and will be a special reminder of the wedding for months and even years to follow
- Make the most of daylight whilst you can, and use beeswax candles to create an elegant and romantic atmosphere, rather than using too much electricity throughout the day
- Consider a plant-based menu. Meat consumption has an extraordinary impact on the environment, and in the wake of COP26, many venues and suppliers are pushing to make 50% of their menu plant-based
- Decor also should have viable substitutes, like using hemp or pure linen tablecloths, or using bamboo paper for place cards. We’ve had many couples using wood carvings for plates to serve canapés, which is a really easy way to cut down on tableware
- As for table decorations, you could dry your own flowers ahead of the event and collect recycled gin and wine bottles to give a rustic but beautifully boho feel to your wedding – all of this will save so much money!
- Outdoor weddings are immediately less polluting, as they tend to take advantage of natural daylight and use less electricity (just be mindful of leaving waste behind after, as this can cause damage to wildlife)
- Destination weddings are beautiful, but flying out hundreds of guests can rack up an enormous amount of CO2 emissions. Could you consider a hybrid wedding, or have a larger celebration at home?
Whilst it’s great that these simple alternatives have less of an impact on the environment, we encourage every single one of our couples to have a less passive view on sustainability, to ensure that the 4,910 tonnes of annual plastic waste is being cut down and that the enormous carbon footprint of the wedding industry is actively being reduced.
At Marble Private we want to really pioneer this change and help our couples in making more environmentally conscious choices in 2022 and beyond. If you want to chat to our wedding planners about this, you can get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo by Marble Private, Words by Marble Private