Sustainable Wedding Ideas – how to make your wedding more eco friendly
As I make more and more changes to my lifestyle, it seems clear that reducing my impact on the environment is becoming easier for the most part. There is so much more information on how to do it for starters. I should add it is certainly not perfect. However, from choosing to eat plant based 99% of the time and switching to a locally sourced organic veg box to making compost both at home and on our allotment, every little helps. The biggie for me is making sure I offset my carbon. Which in all honesty I hadn’t done this year (usually on my January job list) until I started to write this post. It’s so easy to let things slide but it took me minutes to calculate my carbon footprint and offset it by investing in a reforestation project in Panama and a Wind Power project in Rajasthan.
So in an ode to making it easier to make sustainable choices, here are some tips to help you make your wedding day more earth friendly. I have collaborated with some wonderful UK based wedding suppliers to bring together our knowledge and offerings.
The main objectives are to reduce waste where you can, not buy everything new (which emits carbon in production) so hiring is a great call and keep it local where you can too.
First up, getting everyone to your wedding will be one of the biggest creators of carbon. You could ask your guests to offset their journey – especially anyone that has to fly as it can be done at the point of purchase and really doesn’t cost as much as you’d think.
Consider how the items you purchase for your wedding are made. Look at whether they are sourced in an eco friendly and fair way by those growing or sourcing the raw materials. Indie Bride is a wonderful example. Ever since one of my closest friends (Ali that’s you my love) wore a dress by Miina on her wedding day I was hooked. With a nod towards Boho style and with sustainability at the forefront of everything they do, not only will you know exactly who made your dress but how it was produced. They minimise waste by using the off-cuts to make and embellish their sashes or donate them to organisations that repurpose them as new materials. My favourite in her current collections is the Rain Top with the Annette Skirt.
Another favourite creative of mine is Shakti Ellenwood. I’m a little bit obsessed with Shakti’s work. Aside from the fact her jewellery is exquisite with an capital ‘E’, her ethics are admirable. All her raw materials are carefully sourced to ensure they are Fair trade, conflict free and sourced in an artisanal and responsible manner. She is also a certified B Corp. If you want something that is beautiful inside and out then do have a look at her insanely well crafted rings.
Hands down one of the most fun ways of making a switch to natural is to use biodegradable confetti in the form of real petals. I spoke to Sally to hear a bit more about how it all works on their flower farm at The Real Flower Petal Confetti Company. She explained “The biodegradable flowers bloom on our family farm every summer. They are then handpicked and delicately dried in fresh air and sunshine, allowing them to biodegrade as naturally as blossom.”I love that you can visit the farm in summer and choose your own colours to match your own colour scheme.
Another great way to ensure dresses aren’t just worn once is to let your bridesmaids pick their own dress and go for mismatched styling like Alice did above with her maids. All in various shades of pink! You could go one better and ask them to buy secondhand or borrow a dress for the day.
When choosing your flowers go for seasonal as this means they are not going to be shipped with added air miles. If you are looking for a company with great ethics start with those who grow their own and use regenerative methods. Blooming Green set a great example, they have a no dig approach (great for soil health) and use no chemicals (great for every single living thing). Check out how they work here.
When choosing your caterer again the rule is similar – go local and seasonal. Less food miles is always better. Consider a vegan menu too. To quote the book I’m currently reading – Tapestries of Life by Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson
“Half of the entire land area on Earth that isn’t ice or desert is used for agriculture, but only a fifth of it is used to cultivate the end product, i.e. human food. The rest is given over to our domestic animals, either for grazing or the production of fodder.”
Food for thought right? It is also worth finding out what happens to the food waste – does your venue have composting facilities? Some venues even have animals that will eat the food scraps so nothing goes to waste at all.
Whilst I’m talking about vegan choices check out Tiny Sarah’s Cakes – her cakes are incredible! Here are two that caught my eye.
Her cakes are free from animal products and she’s a professional French Trained Pastry chef. Not only are they easy on the eye but delectable on the taste buds.
Wedding decor can easily be something to get carried away with but in all honesty some of the most beautiful receptions I have seen make use of and enhance the existing venue without too much fuss. Loads of candles mixed with florals and hired table accessories really do look amazing.
Middle Coombe Farm being one of my absolute favourite venues ever. It is such a dream. It makes it possible to truly have a a low impact wedding. Steph and Morgan’s wedding there was a highlight of 2021 and just below you’ll see Frances and Gav planting a tree at their wedding. Something my husband and I did when we got married at Mount Pleasant Eco park back in 2013. Our tiny oak will hopefully provide shade for our great great grandchildren.
Huntstile Organic Farm is another of my favourite venues because it is a working organic farm which means zero food miles. Click on the image to see more of Niamh & Conor’s wedding.
River Cottage has a great sustainability policy and strives to provide a low impact wedding day. Anna & Phil had their wedding at River Cottage last year and it was perfect. They kept it simple with smaller guests numbers (another way to reduce emissions) and used seasonal or secondhand.
I hope these tips either inspire you or help you make more sustainable choices for your wedding day. Even small changes, if implemented by the many, adds up. It is so easy to feel despondent about climate change and things like plastic pollution but there are so many grassroots small companies trying to make their patch a little bit kinder to every living being on the earth.