23 Aug Planning a green wedding: an eco-friendly guide
Your wedding should be the most magical day of your life. While weddings are often associated with large quantities of waste, there are plenty of ways to create a green wedding and make your special day as eco-friendly as possible. With this in mind, here are some useful tips on how to plan a green wedding.
Buy an eco-friendly wedding dress
Find a company that specialises in designing eco-friendly wedding dresses that are made from organic or recycled materials. You could also consider renting a dress or buying a pre-worn gown. Many of these are in near-perfect condition and you could save hundreds or even thousands of pounds! Remember that you can have a seamstress amend the style and size of the dress so that it fits you perfectly and reflects your individual taste.
For accessories, you can also select ethically sourced jewellery to match. You can go for something simple like a silver cuff bracelet or a gold full moon necklace – depending on your dress. Don’t forget matching earrings!
For your bridesmaids, make sure you pick a dress in a style they like and will wear again. You can easily get more use out of your accessories by making a few simple changes. For example, you can dye your wedding shoes and wear them for other occasions.
Get married outdoors
One of the simplest ways to make your wedding more eco-friendly is by getting married outdoors, such as at a farm or vineyard. According to For Better For Worse, “There’s nothing quite like a delightfully rustic barn or country manor with panoramic views to suit your relaxed garden party vibe.”
Many outdoor venues provide the perfect setting for a romantic wedding and they often come with all modern conveniences, so you don’t need to worry about lack of toilets or plumbing. If you are getting married indoors, then don’t worry! Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to make your indoor wedding more eco-friendly. For instance, holding your ceremony and reception in the same place will cut fuel emissions as no one will have to travel between venues. You could even consider reducing the need to switch lights on by choosing a venue with lots of natural sunlight or by holding your ceremony during the day.
Choose a green caterer
Eco-friendly is big business, which means you'll have plenty of green catering companies to choose from. When you’re looking for a suitable caterer, make sure to check for words like ‘sustainable, ‘organic,’ and ‘free-range’ and look for local vendors where possible. This will help to reduce the emissions associated with travelling to and from your venue on the day. Remember that going green doesn’t have to mean sacrificing on taste. Often, local organic food is far fresher and tastier than transported food products.
Opt for locally grown flowers
When picking your flowers, make sure that you opt for local, organic, and in-season varieties. Ask your florist for advice on what is in-season at the time of your wedding. Choosing in-season and local flowers means that you’ll get the freshest and best quality varieties at the lowest price – the environment and your budget will thank you! You will most likely spend a lot of money on your wedding flowers, so don’t let them go to waste. You can choose to donate your flowers to a local crematory after your wedding.
Use green wedding stationery
Wedding stationery, such as invites, can cause huge volumes of waste. You can easily make your special day more eco-friendly by buying green wedding stationery made from recycled materials. Decorate them with little touches, like dainty heart page savers, which can also be used as a gift if the bride is a bookworm.
You could even go paperless and opt for e-invitations; these should save you lots of money and will start off your celebration on an eco-friendly path. You should also consider offering your guests green wedding favours. Seed packs or flower pots can be personalised and provide the perfect wedding favour for your guests. The seeds will benefit your guests’ garden and also give something back to the environment by providing an excellent food source for bees.
Ask for environmentally-friendly wedding gifts
Wedding gifts generate huge volumes of waste and couples are often left with unwanted presents that they don’t need. You can easily make your wedding more green by requesting ethical and eco-friendly gifts. If you've already got everything you need, why not ask guests to donate to environmental work instead. You can easily set up a donation page on sites like JustGiving and Virgin Money Giving, and ask your guests to donate to a good cause.
Many people think that green weddings are more expensive, but this is simply not the case. Planning a green wedding can actually save you money in many ways, while also minimising any harm to the environment. Use some of the tips above to help you create the perfect eco-friendly wedding.
Ruby Clarkson is a freelance writer who is passionate about our planet and the animals that we share it with. When she is not writing, she is either out in the garden or wrapped up in a blanket with a good book. Accompanied by a bar of chocolate of course.