How to make your wedding eco-friendly
While we all love a celebration, environmentally aware couples sure are conscious about the impact their day will have on a greater scale.
With fears around the amount of waste, paper goods, flowers that are tossed in the bin, and travel required to reach a wedding destination, it’s enough to feel a little uncomfortable and rightly so, we’re seeing the uprise in couples wanting to know how we can be kinder to Mother Nature.
While we’re not saying you have to do all these steps, even implementing a few can have a positive impact, and as they say – change needs to begin somewhere.
Here’s some steps on how to get eco-friendly when it comes to your big day.
Say goodbye to single-use.
Using anything only once is never good for the environment so keep this in mind for every aspect of your day. Wherever you can, hire versus buying something you will never be able to use again. Consider hiring wedding decor and furniture along with table linens and each time you think of purchasing something, ask yourself, will I use this again? Source a second-hand wedding gown, rent your suits and bridesmaid gowns and make a saving along the way too. If buying new is unavoidable, consider unselling or gifting after your big day wherever you can.
Sensational, sustainable cuisine.
Fabulous food is something we all look forward to but it’s important to think about sustainability factor too. When hunting for a caterer, consider looking for someone who focuses on local produce that is seasonal. Ask where they source their food, because the more local, the less impact it has on our carbon-footprint that comes with travel to obtain the goods. It also helps to know you’re supporting local businesses along the way. Talk to your caterer about ditching plastic (straws, plates etc) and either hire metal cutlery and ceramic crockery or use compostable items instead.
Reduce food waste.
When feeding a large group, naturally there is likely to be leftovers. So what can you do to reduce this? While grazing tables and buffets can look abundant and be a real visual feast, to avoid excess, consider plated dinners or individual boxed bites, portioned to every guest. Alternatively, work with your caterer to see if there is an option to package up any leftover food to give to family and friends if this is within food safety standards. Bear in mind your caterer will be experienced in knowing how much is required when it comes to food, so heed their advice.
Sustainable wedding stationery.
Get creative with your stationery and make it as sustainable as possible. If you’re set on sending paper invitations, speak with your stationer about the use of recycled paper and other innovative low-impact options. Then really think, is it necessary to send a save-the-date, or an RSVP card? Are these aspects of your stationery that you can take online, helping you save costs while also cutting unnecessary paper waste? Eco-friendly doesn’t mean any less impressive.
Sustainability is a vibe right now and many florists are creating gorgeous modern designs using responsible practices. They’re there to help you make thoughtful decisions while respecting our eco systems and communities but at the same time delivering a stunning outcome. Look for a florist who is ‘foam free’, who says no to single-use boxes to deliver your bouquets, and that look to reuse and repurpose as much as possible. Use your ceremony florals at your receptions, hiring vases and have any flowers used made into posies for guests to take home are all great economical ideas.
Sure a destination wedding sounds glamorous but the impact it has on the environment with all the car and aeroplane travel really starts to blow out. Lower your wedding’s carbon footprint by keeping your wedding local. Source a venue close to where you live, book suppliers that are local to the area, choose your ceremony and reception to be hosted in the one location and bus your guests to your wedding to minimise the number of cars. Simple steps, but definitely steps in the right direction.
What do most do with their wedding dress after the day is done? Hang it in their cupboard to never see the light of day. The eco-conscious bride knows that you can choose a gown that is not only sustainable but stunning. Find a designer who can design you a dress in up-cycled fabrics or recycled materials, or source a previously loved gown. Websites like Still White offer incredible designs at incredible prices, or look at Facebook groups, Ebay or Gumtree for leads.
Downsize the guest list.
Consider downsizing your guest list in order to be more environmentally friendly, after all, every person attending will contribute to your environmental impact in some way – think waste, packaging, petrol use etc. While it can be a contentious decision to make, if low environmental impact is a priority to you, this is one way that it can be done, while saving dollars in the meantime – plus micro-weddings are all the rage!
If you want environmentally friendly favours, focus on sourcing items your guests will actually use. Think locally sourced gourmet goodies like spices, jams or macarons, and try and ensure they’re not overpackaged or at least packaged in an eco-friendly way. If you’re undecided about favours, perhaps ditch them all together!
When it comes to pulling off a beautiful, eco-conscious celebration, the proof is in the pudding, and Holly and Jason’s Fish Creek day ticked all the boxes. For insight into sustainable wedding florals, don’t miss some wise words from Tribe florist Dear Henri, who sheds some light on making beauty while going green here.