Let’s start planting the seeds for an eco-friendly wedding.
When planning an eco-friendly wedding all sorts of images might spring to mind, quite often it seems difficult, I mean where do you start? What will your parents and friends think? But really, it’s not so hard, and the most important people to consider on your wedding day is you!
I like to think of eco-friendly as being helpful to or looking after the planet, making sure things are not environmentally harmful and so amongst other things I tend to include animal welfare under that umbrella. However you decide to be eco-friendly for your wedding it’s probably not a good thing to say “We’re going green for our wedding” it may conjure up all sorts of images!!!!
If you do a search for eco-friendly wedding suppliers there are plenty out there, everything from eco-friendly venues to wedding photographers so in many ways you’re halfway there. But make sure you ask how they are eco-friendly, what processes do they follow, after all it’s not just a label but a way of life. Of course, you can pay for eco-friendly suppliers but it’s nice to put your own personal input alongside that if you can, and it’s not that difficult. In fact, just by saying your wedding will be eco-friendly is a start as some of your guests may need to do an internet search to find out exactly what that means.
Sometimes little things can make a huge difference, for example single use throw away cameras seem to be popular at weddings again, great fun but generally not eco-friendly, try and avoid single use items, that’s a good start.
But what about the things you can do that you might not realise can be eco-friendly?
Choose a venue that’s local to you and most of your guests, this eliminates the need for people to travel great distances thus minimising their carbon footprint. For those who must travel try and encourage car sharing, and maybe have a coach for travel from the church to the reception. If you choose a venue where the ceremony and party are all in one location or venue, even better!
Recommend your guests take the train if they are travelling from far away and suggest they get a railcard, if it’s a long journey it could pay for itself in terms of the cost savings.
An outdoor wedding can be eco-friendly and photographers love working in good natural light, not only that but sometimes the natural beauty of the area and the scenic views means less decoration is needed. As well as eco-friendly venues don’t forget there are also eco-friendly hotels too!
Food and Drink.
Try to work with local suppliers in terms of your food and drink, and eat seasonally, remember many foods that are out of season may be grown in very artificial environments or may have to be imported, all things that make them not eco-friendly.
Plants and Flowers.
Instead of using freshly cut flowers, try and use seasonal blooms or even better artificial flowers or plants, many brides now favour artificial flowers for their bouquets, and they look amazing! How nice would it be for your bridesmaid to reuse her bouquet for her bridesmaid on her wedding day?!
So how about some quick and easy tips, let’s not make this too difficult in terms of your wedding plans. Try and eliminate single use plastic so no plastic plates, cutlery or straws, replace them with wooden cutlery, paper straws or better still hire plates and cutlery.
Talking of charity shops there are some which now specialise in bridal wear, and of course you can hire amazing outfits from some great outlets, some designer too. That’s not for everyone so if you want so to buy a new outfit try and go for eco-friendly fibres like cotton instead of man-made synthetic fibres like polyester. Perhaps you can recycle a wedding dress from a family member or friend.
If you don’t have a wedding website and prefer traditional paper invitations and stationery then use suppliers who use biodegradable paper or seed paper, but make sure your recipients understand they are plantable invitations.
How about a wedding invitation, replay card and envelope all in one on seed paper?
There are Seal and Send Wedding Invitations, eco-friendly seed paper options because they are fully plantable and don’t require any envelopes! Both the invitation and reply card are combined into one piece to make it easier for you and truly green for the planet.
Using seed paper and giving seeds as wedding favours means you’ll grow tons of wildflowers that will help create habitats for important species such as butterflies and honeybees to thrive! Now I’m glad we got onto animals and insects as I mentioned it earlier, and wildlife contributes to the eco structure of the planet so that’s an important part of the eco-friendly story. Why not have your wedding at a nature reserve, weddings at Port Lympne help the work of the Aspinall foundation which does amazing work for wildlife and helps with animal conservation projects worldwide. As part of your wedding day, you and your guests get to go on a guided safari too! https://www.aspinallfoundation.org/port-lympne/weddings/
In terms of wedding favours there are lots of ways you can be eco-friendly, having already mentioned seed packages lots of charities do terrific wedding favours and you can donate on behalf of your guests, or for example even make an oath to plant a tree for every wedding guest.
There are many ways to make your personalised ceremony eco-friendly. In terms of your values and beliefs the celebrant can incorporate these within the ceremony, maybe as part of the welcome, it may even be part of your love story!
It can be reflected in your choice of venue, your readings, incorporated within your vows, and within your ceremony enhancements. So, for example your sand ceremony, unity candle ceremony, and other types of enhancements can use eco-friendly materials.
About the author
I’m Amanda a modern celebrant who helps couples have the ceremony they deserve with real freedom of choice and personalisation. As a friendly award-winning celebrant, you’ll be guaranteed of a professional and stress-free approach to your big day. I have been featured in several newspapers and regularly write/blog for wedding magazines. To find out more check https://www.amandasceremonies.com