In the current climate, it's nice to know we're all doing our bit for the planet. More and more, everyone is becoming aware of what we can do to make a difference. A wedding is a huge event, and there are things you can do to keep it as green as possible.
Start with your stationery. When choosing the paper you will use for your invitations, menus, order of service etc. opt for recycled paper! Often people are surprised at just how much paper is used in a wedding, so if you can avoid cutting down any trees, you're on to a winner. You can also now get seed paper! This is a biodegradable paper, that can sprout into flowers when planted. Head to https://botanicalpaperworks.com/ where they have a huge range of plantable paper to choose from.
Fresh cut flowers aren't actually the best for the environment and they are only used for the day before they get chucked. Have you considered using potted flowers or plants? Even potted trees! They can be kept and reused in your garden after the wedding, or even handed out at the end as guest favours. This particularly works for a rustic style wedding.
If you really want to use fresh flowers, choose in-season flowers that are ideally grown locally. There are quite a few sustainable florists around, who avoid using things like Oasis foam, which is used once and then thrown in the bin. For those in the Surrey area, check out Caroline from Hayloft Floral at https://www.hayloftfloral.co.uk/ , who puts sustainability at the heart of her work.
Where you can, hire in your decor as apposed to buying. Single use decor is a waste of money, and of course, is never good for our planet. You can hire near enough anything these days, from furniture, to tableware, flower walls and lighting. If you head to my Hire page, you'll find I actually hire a handmade (by me) macrame arch, made from 100% recycled cotton cord! Whatever you're looking for, it's usually up for rent somewhere!
Anything you do buy, don't chuck it! Re-sell or donate it. It would be such a shame to see it all go to waste when it could contribute towards another couple's big day, and you can even get some of your money back for it. It's a no brainer.
This is a big one and you'll find a lot of wedding venues no longer permit confetti that isn't biodegradable. Throwing paper confetti is still a huge waste however. There are other options such a plant based confetti that you could use. Rose petals are very popular, and in my opinion much more beautiful than paper confetti. You can also use lavender or fresh herbs for a gorgous smelling display! A new one that became particularly popular over COVID, was to use bubbles. This requires nothing but water, soap and a bubble machine/gun that you can sell or give away afterwards. It works just as well and brings out the child in everyone.
You don't have to buy everything new! It will save you a pretty penny to purchase a pre-loved dress. There are now many boutiques who take on wedding dresses that have been worn before. They get thoroughly cleaned and brought back to life, and you will likely be paying half the price! It's also a good idea to hire in suits for the groomsman instead of buying them all new. It saves money and avoids the production of new clothing.
Ideally, you want to choose a venue as close to home as possible to avoid your guests collectively leaving a huge carbon footprint. Usually, guests will all travel in seperate cars, but what about hiring a coach? It requires less fuel and can be a really fun part of the day, often encouraging guests to get to know each other sooner rather than later. Consider hiring a decorated double decker!
Make sure you choose your caterers wisely. Are they sourcing local, organic food? Also, consider having a largely vegetarian or vegan menu. Even if you aim for half veggie, it's better than nothing. When it comes to food waste, speak to your caterer about keeping left overs rather than throwing it all away. You can donate it to local food banks or a homeless shelter to do your bit for the community.
So, to summarise, there really are loads of things you can do to contribute to a healthier planet by keeping your wedding as eco-conscious as possible. If it's important to you, then make it happen and come out of your wedding feeling guilt free!