Weddings are largely regarded as one of the biggest days of your life – a rite of passage celebrating the union of two people in love. Ranging from small affairs to extravagant events, the big day is often a meticulously planned itinerary of different happenings. As a result, the environmental impact that they have can also be sizeable. But it’s not a lost cause. There are numerous, simple swaps you can make that don’t sacrifice the special nature of the event.
Starting with saving the date
Believe it or not, saving the planet from wedding waste can start from as soon as you save the date. Wedding invitations, especially for larger group celebrations, amass large quantities of wastepaper. One alternative to this is to take advantage of our modern world and send out e-invites. With these, you can further reduce unnecessary paper waste, down the line, by sharing an electronic copy of the programme with guests, sparing the need to unnecessarily print out a copy for each attendee on the day.
Don’t fancy going digital? Companies such as Botanical Paperworks print wedding invitations on 100% post-consumer recycled, seeded paper which, once planted, a beautiful variety of wildflowers grow in its place. This option is a unique way to encourage biodiversity and brighten up your friends and family’s gardens.
It’s all about the venue
It goes a long way to opt for a venue that takes sustainability seriously. If you’ve already got somewhere in mind, the Green Building Information Gateway (GBIG) is one resource that allows you to see what green activity different venues have participated in. Alternatively, websites such as Coco Wedding Venues produce compiled lists of eco-friendly spots – to make the search a little bit easier if you are unsure where to start.
After the exchange of vows, sustainable swaps can continue into the reception. If your wedding plans include a dinner, consider how to make the most of local resources. Contemplate a vegetarian or vegan menu, cutting out high emission foods such as meats and biodiversity harming practices, like overfishing. If you don’t fancy that, it still goes a long way to find local producers who are upfront about attempting to make their processes more environmental.
Very rarely will a wedding be entirely carbon neutral and completely sustainable, and it’s okay to not make every swap. Be realistic with how you can be better, not perfect. Talk to your caterers – what can you serve that’s seasonal and produced from foods that don’t rack up carbon emissions in transportation?
Bouquets don’t have to become waste
Flowers tend to make a big feature at weddings, both in the décor and in bridal bouquets. Opting for centrepieces that incorporate potted plants, over cut flowers, can be both a sustainable swap and a great option for a wedding favour. Cut flowers, particularly those used in the bridal bouquet, can be pressed and preserved as a keepsake or donated to care homes (most newlyweds don’t need a house full of vases), ensuring that they get the most use out of them possible – reducing wastefulness.
Some useful links:
Botanical Paperworks - Plantable Wedding Collection | Catalog | Botanical PaperWorks
Green Building Information Gateway - Green Building Information Gateway (gbig.org)
Coco Wedding Venues - Eco Wedding Venues | UK Wedding Venue Directory | Page 1 (cocoweddingvenues.co.uk)