As wedding season is upon us, it can sometimes feel overwhelming when planning your own special day. Your wedding is meant to be one of the greatest days of your life, but with tossed paper, plastic, flowers and excess food thrown in the bin, it can also be one of the most wasteful. By no means skip those gorgeous details that make your wedding yours, but, if you’re trying to be more eco-conscious, why not consider hosting a green wedding?
What is a green wedding?
Also known as an eco-friendly or sustainable wedding, it is a celebration where the couple try to reduce the event’s effect on the environment. These days, green wedding ideas are plentiful, with more eco-friendly wedding decorations on the market and greener options from catering to invitations than ever before.
Below are a few easy ways you can make your white wedding greener:
- The Ring – go vintage! Vintage rings have little or no environmental impact by reusing or recycling a gorgeous retro ring that will be unique and eco-friendly. You can even melt down existing gold and refine it or set an existing jewel into a new band.
- The Invitations – try recycled, handmade, or even seed paper – a biodegradable material that sprouts into flowers when planted in a pot of soil! You can of course go completely digital, but if you still want some printed invites even reducing the number of printed items can make an impact, such as having your guests RSVP online rather than sending an extra RSVP card and envelope to send back.
- The Venue – choose your location wisely and think about how you and your guests will travel. Of course, get married wherever you want, but if you are torn between a few, figure out which requires the fewest plane and car journeys. You can also find eco-friendly venues these days that try and lesson their carbon footprint and grow their food on site, so do your research if this is something you’d like to find out.
- The Flowers – flowers are often flown across the planet for weddings… no, seriously! Try and find seasonal blooms that are grown locally, some florists will even compost your greens after the wedding so explore your options. You can also use potted plants where possible and either take them home or give them to your guests.
- The Décor – try and use sustainable décor you won’t just throw out. Look for pieces you will reuse at home or at work, donate what you know you won’t keep, or recycle as much as possible.
- The Food – support locally-sourced food and opt for a seated meal as these have less waste than buffets. If you do want buffet, why not ask the caterer about saving leftovers or donating extra food to a homeless shelter.
- The Cake – When it comes to the wedding cake, we promise you don’t need it to be as big as you think! After pumping guests with food all day so much cake is wasted at the end of a wedding, so be conscious of this when ordering.
- The Wedding Favors – do you really need them? The reality is that most guests won’t keep your gift and it will eventually end up in landfill – remember they are simply happy to be able to share in your special day with you. If you do decide you want to show your appreciation, why not provide an edible gift, or even a plant? Centrepieces that your guests take home or plant place settings with the guest’s name on is a great way of providing an eco-friendly gift.
- The Confetti – we don’t have to disrupt the local ecosystem for a photo opportunity, so make sure the confetti is biodegradable or plant based. Petals, herbs and micro flowers are biodegradable, stunning and won’t hurt the wildlife (or you when thrown!).
- The Dress – rent it, buy pre-loved, or if pre-owned isn’t for you, you can research eco-friendly designers that use fabrics with low carbon emissions and who make dresses to order. You can even ask bridesmaids/groomsmen to pick out outfits themselves that they would wear again to reduce the number of single use outfits bought for the day.
Whether a green wedding is something you heavily invest in from the planning stage, or you just make small conscious decisions to add in sustainable choices throughout the process, each decision you make will help lessen the impact we make. It is very unlikely you can plan a wedding of your dreams that is also completely zero-waste/eco-friendly but choices you make throughout the process can make a large difference.