Your wedding will be an incredibly special day for everyone. Tying the knot with the person you love is such an incredible feeling and for many of us, it feels like the first day of the rest of your life.
Bringing your values to your wedding is the best way to express who you are as a couple and set the bar for how you plan to live. For more and more people, this means loving each other but also looking after our environment and trying hard to limit any negative impact.
But is it possible to host an eco-friendly wedding?
Wedding flowers are a big part of the day and since they capture carbon to grow and can be composted after use, they are already eco-friendly. Choosing local party flowers that are grown sustainably is the next step up.
Locally grown flowers have a much smaller carbon footprint than those transported long distances but they also have a way of rooting you to the land which just feels good. In fact, if you really want to go the whole hog, buy some seeds and grow your own flowers in your garden. Just remember that you’ll need to plan about a year in advance to make sure they grow in time!
The decorations always make a wedding but it is all too easy to fall into a plastic trap with balloons and bunting. Instead, try to think a bit more outside the box with your decorations and theme.
Decorating the tables for the wedding breakfast is another area where thinking outside the box really helps. You can create some stunning centerpieces using anything from driftwood to vegetables and pine cones. Add in a few vintage bottles to create height and a couple of beeswax candles to introduce some light and you’re away.
As for balloons and bunting, why not try making tissue paper pom poms and dangling them from the ceiling instead? Tissue made from recycled materials is a great choice and can often be composted if they are too low-grade for further recycling. And instead of plastic bunting, using old clothing to make rags is a great way to recycle what you have, making something beautiful and save money!
Food is one of the biggest costs for couples saving up for their wedding and trying to please everyone can be really challenging. And, when you want to bring your environmental values to the table as well, things can get even more complicated.
Like the flowers, going local is the very best thing you can do. Choosing a local venue that sources local food – or even better, grows some of its own veggies – is a great way to limit the miles your ingredients do as well as reduce the amount of plastic packaging required.
If you are looking to save money, you could also make some of your own wedding food with locally bought ingredients. The wedding cake is one of the biggest expenses and making your own can reduce the cost as well. And what about the leftovers? Well, there are plenty of ways to enjoy wedding cake from making a trifle to sprinkling crumbs over ice cream.
Wedding favors are a lovely way to bring your guests into the day and make them feel special. The only problem is that so many favors come wrapped in plastic and aren’t biodegradable.
Biodegradable confetti is definitely a good place to start. Leaving your venue under a shower of bright colors is the perfect send off and switching to a biodegradable option like dried flower petals means that you (or rather, your guests) don’t need to worry about the cleanup later on.
Putting out place settings can also be turned into an eco-friendly pursuit. One lovely idea is to use iced biscuits to label each seat giving your guests a snack before the main event and leaving no waste. But another great option is to use seeded paper. This paper is brilliant because your guests can go home and plant it to get some lovely new plants in their garden later on. In fact, you can do this with your wedding invitations too.
Though most weddings aren’t particularly environmentally friendly, it doesn’t actually take too much effort to switch things up and choose a different option. If you put your mind to it and you know where to look, planning an eco-friendly wedding doesn’t need to be any more difficult than any other event. And you can feel proud of your small contribution too.