Your Quick guide to an Eco-Friendly Wedding!
Updated: Jun 12
Ok, so you want to have a sustainable wedding, but where do you start? What does that even mean?
It probably feels a little daunting. Well this quick start guide will get you started on the right track!
The first thing to decide is how far you want to go? Are we talking cut down on plastic waste and throw some biodegradable confetti? Or are you wanting to go full on Environmental warrior? Chances are you are somewhere in-between.
Well let’s start by explaining exactly what we mean by an eco-friendly or sustainable wedding!
Sustainability is about how we reduce what we take from the earth in the form of Fossil fuels in order to maintain an ecological balance. Reducing our Carbon Footprint or striving to be Carbon Neutral is about reducing what we put back into the atmosphere, in the form of CO2 and other harmful gases to again maintain an ecological balance. The two, whilst very different, do go hand in hand, as naturally if you reduce one, you reduce the other, creating a more Environmentally friendly event.
How eco-friendly can your wedding really be?
This depends on the type of wedding you want, what kind of venue you are dreaming of. Certain kinds of weddings lend themselves really well to the cause, whilst others do not. For example, an outdoor wedding in Tipis or an old barn are already on their way to being more eco-friendly than a destination wedding where you and all of your guests have to jet off on a plane to get there. There are options in between and a lot of venues are working hard now to market themselves as more sustainable.
So what sort of questions should you be asking a potential venue?
Make sure you are asking the right questions when you speak to a potential venue. What system of waste management do they have for example? Do they have a specific recycling system in place? Do they have a no single use plastic policy? How do they source their energy, is it from a sustainable supplier, do they have solar panels? If they are providing the catering too, where do they source their food, how do they deal with food waste? All of these questions are perfectly valid if they are marketing themselves as a sustainable venue.
If you are opting for an outdoor venue, while it is easier to be eco-friendly as you are in control of everything, it is more work and therefore you may want to look into getting some help from a wedding planner who specialises in this type of wedding. However, I know this isn’t in everyone’s budget which is why I have written this quick start guide.
Another thing to consider when deciding on a venue is transport. How will your guests get there? Choose a venue that is close to where the majority of your family and friends live. If possible, arrange group transport like a bus to avoid lots of separate cars, and consider having your ceremony and reception at the same venue to cut out the need for travel between the two.
Finding the right suppliers.
When you are looking for suppliers, just like with venues, look for ones that specialise in sustainability, there are a number of online directories out there now to help you with this. for example thenaturalweddingcompany.co.uk or thesustainableweddingmovement.co.uk
Here the hard work has been done for you as you already know these suppliers work sustainably, you just have to choose which ones fit more with you and what you want for your day.
With suppliers, the same as with venues, make sure you ask lots of questions. Where does the florist source their flowers? Does the caterer use local produce and fair trade ingredients? What recycled or biodegradable paper options does the stationer offer? Your supplier choices are crucial to the success of your eco-friendly day.
My final point would have to be around DIY, re-purposing and upcycling. Second hand shops and car boot sales should definitely be your go-to in terms of décor for your sustainable event. The best way to be sustainable is to reuse and repurpose things that already exist. Why buy something new if you can make it yourself out of something someone else doesn’t want anymore? It’s the ultimate in sustainability and it’s also a great way to save money!
This of course is just a start. There are lots of other helpful tips and guides on my blog www.willowandrustweddings.com/blog or if you would like some more advise or would like some help with your event contact us here.