How to plan an eco-friendly wedding
Thinking of going green for your wedding? More & more couples are ditching glitzy ceremonies in favour of more environmental-friendly ones. Not sure how to plan an eco-friendly wedding that leaves you feeling good about the planet? Here are my top tips:
Find an eco-friendly sustainable wedding venue near you
To lessen the impact on the environment, you could choose a permanent set up like a barn or country house instead of transporting and constructing a venue such as a marquee. Permanent venues regularly host events and so their infrastructure may already suit an eco wedding. They may also already have recycling facilities and good contacts with local suppliers. There’s so much choice nowadays! Here are some of my favourite eco-friendly venues:
Eco-friendly AND quirky, happy days! The Wellbeing Farm sits in acres and acres of super gorgeous Lancashire countryside. There are bow tie-wearing llamas, alpacas and donkeys, plus this super relaxed farm venue is well-known for delicious food and drink. Which doesn’t come as a total surprise as they run an award-winning cookery school and have a 130-year-old butchers’ shop in the family!
Unique wedding & event venue on the Herts/Cambs border. Stunning location, outstanding home-grown food, charming Romany Wagons & their very own Thai Tuk Tuk!
An intimate wedding venue steeped in history, crafted with local expertise and finished with the latest eco-technology. A perfect elopement venue or a romantic getaway with wedding ceremonies being held in a 15th-century barn.
Inspiring and enchanting, weddings in the charming River Cottage are truly unique and the River Cottage chefs are renowned for cooking up wonderful celebratory feasts, featuring the very best produce that the area has to offer.
Beautiful and unusual wedding venue offering the Rainforest and Mediterranean Biome, and sustainably sourced food. The Eden Project’s Rainforest Biome is the largest indoor jungle in the world and its lush foliage provides a beautiful backdrop for wedding ceremonies. The Mediterranean Biome recreates the sights and smells of this lovely region, with its bright blooms and fragrant aromas of herbs and citrus trees, guaranteeing an outdoor-style wedding regardless of the British weather.
See more: Eco Wedding Venues | UK Wedding Venues Directory
Pick an eco-friendly wedding dress
Wear the dress, get married, save the planet! Go for vintage or pre-loved. There are many gems to be found on sites like MillyBridal and Oxfam. And while some vintage styles may not be every bride’s idea of the perfect wedding dress, there sure are some real bargains to be had. Hiring suits for the guys is common practice and now Girl Meets Dress offers the same for eco-conscious brides. A top tip for how to plan your eco-friendly wedding would be to go second hand and choose one from www.stillwhite.co.uk – there are almost 45,000 2nd hand wedding dresses on offer. How to plan an eco-friendly wedding bonus tip: you can even re-sell your 2nd hand wedding dress after your wedding day for extra eco-friendliness!
See more: Sustainable Wedding Dresses
Go for eco-friendly wedding invites
This recycled folded seed paper wedding invite oozes gorgeousness and luxury! And it is very eco-friendly too! Or how about this pretty little seed paper wedding invitation with pressed flowers. There are several eco-friendly paper variations out there such as grass paper (who would have thought?!) and poppy seed paper. Want your guests to remember your invite long after the paper’s been recycled and the cake’s been eaten? Opt for plantable wedding invitations.
For effortless customised online wedding invitations, there’s Greenvelope. Upload your own custom design or tailor one of their exclusive designer suites. Then finish off your eco-friendly invitation with personalised envelopes, liners, stamps, and RSVP tracking.
Companies like Paper Source are taking it even further by planting a tree for every order they receive.
Make your wedding favours eco-friendly
You could opt out of favours altogether and make a feel-good donation to a charity close to your heart, such as Nightingale House, Cancer Research or the RSCPA. If you really wanted your guests to take a little gift home you may consider buying fragrant herbs from your local garden center that your guests can use for cooking and garnishing. Simply dress them up by decorating pots with your names and wedding date for that all important personal touch. Personalised seed packets also make beautiful favours. If you enjoy baking – how about some seriously easy home-baked wedding favours?
Be eco-friendly with edible place cards
Get creative and choose tasty & eco-friendly edible place cards. Not only do they look great, but they also give your guests a real taste of your wedding. Pun intended ;)
Regular paper confetti is a single-use product and many venues have already banned it as it’s not environmentally friendly and messy. But don’t worry, there are now some eco-friendly alternatives on offer that come with all the fun but none of the consequences such as biodegradable confetti and real flower confetti. If you find you have lots of time on your hand you could make your own petal confetti and you can even get the kids involved and punch out this eco-friendly leaf confetti.
Choose ethical wedding rings
Looking for an ethical engagement or wedding ring? Look for local tradesmen and always ask where the diamonds and gemstones were mined. A responsible jeweler will know every step in the supply chain from mine to market. Go for handmade if you can. It’s an investment you won’t want to take off and you’ll want to pass it down to the next generation. Bargain-priced and mass-produced jewelry is often lower quality and does not create decently paid jobs for anyone involved along the way. One-of-a-kind pieces made locally with low-impact, environmentally-friendly processes reduce carbon footprints and keep local traditions alive. You may also want to consider different materials such as these beautiful eco wood rings. Or these stunning pieces handcrafted by an ethical fairtrade jeweler.
Go seasonal & local for wedding flowers
How to plan your eco-friendly wedding with eco-friendly flower arrangements: you should avoid floral foam. It has a longevity of its own as it’s not biodegradable and contains known carcinogens. If you have some particularly big arrangements in mind, ask your florist to get creative with chicken wire. Alternatively, only use vases and containers that lend themselves for filling with pebbles, gravel or stones. Maybe consider using potted plants. You could then give them to family members after the wedding so that every time you see them they will remind you of your wedding day. To avoid flowers going to waste after just one day, ask guests to help themselves or follow in Harry & Meghan‘s footsteps and donate them to a local hospice. Or how about having your bouquet made from brooches or paper?
Use seasonal flowers for your wedding. Not only may your budget stretch further. But your conscience will be clear as you’re considering the negative environmental impact of expensive imports.
Spring Weddings: use tulips, white daffodils, lilac, ranunculus and guilder roses;
Summer Weddings: perfect for peonies, larkspur, nigella, sweet peas, sunflowers, and roses;
Autumn Weddings: best time for dahlias, calla lilies, hydrangeas, and snapdragons;
Winter Weddings: time for hellebores, berried ivy, jasmine, narcissus, poinsettia, and anemones.
Eco-friendly wedding venue decorations
Avoid buying everything brand new and consider pre-loved items from sites such as www.sellmywedding.co.uk. You could also save on electricity and turn your venue into a super romantic one by introducing lots and lots of candles. Tealights, for example, look beautiful in recycled kitchen items such as old jam jars and wide glass bottles.
North Wales Wedding Photographer
I am a Snowdonia Anglesey & North Wales Wedding Photographer based near Llangollen in glorious North Wales. I cover the whole of the UK in a natural, relaxed & emotive style. Being eco-friendly in business is pretty important to me. I only use rechargeable batteries and have chosen not to have any printed promotional materials. If you order products from me they are printed on FSC approved papers & albums and I try to use local suppliers whenever I can to keep carbon footprints to a minimum.
If you are currently planning an eco-friendly wedding and are looking for a wedding photographer, do get in touch! xoxo
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