Lot of us are looking for ways to lead a more sustainable lifestyle, but how do you bring that mindset to your big day? Here are some ideas to have an environmentally conscious wedding!
Hosting your venue locally will save on your guests carbon footprint. If possible you could choose a location central to your guests locations. Encouraging guests to lift share or setting up a wedding bus to deliver all of your guests to the venue will cut their carbon footprints even more! (Plus they'll love you for arranging their transport for them!).
Sustainable by no means equals boring! There are so many options for being sustainable whilst still having a chic and unique dress. If someone your love is kind enough to gift you their wedding dress, re-wearing is a fab way to reduce your environmental impact. Not quite your style? Have it redesigned! It will be truly bespoke and will fit you perfectly!
If you're dreaming of a new dress, choose a environmentally conscious designer. Luna Bride creates "beautiful, ethical handmade wedding dresses for the modern bride" by using organic, sustainable and vegan materials. And they do bridesmaid dresses too!
After the big day has been you could have your gown redesigned into something fabulous for you to wear again, or donate it to charity. Wish For A Wedding grants one last wish of a wedding couples facing terminal illness.
Sustainable floristry is a hot topic at the moment. The movement of floral foam free floristry has been growing momentum over the last year with the RHS announcing that from 2021 The Chelsea Flower show would no longer be using floral foam (another big YAY for the environment!).
Floral foam is a single-use plastic which breaks down into the microplastics which are causing chaos in our oceans. With a little thought an practice it is possible to make floral designs without the need for traditional floral foam. Chicken wire, moss or sand are some of the most popular alternatives. Personally, I love using chicken wire as a base for floral designs, and find it really lends itself to free-flowing shapes and designs with lots of texture and movement... Say goodbye to old fashioned, rigid flowers in floral foam!
Another way to cut your wedding's carbon footprint is to choose locally grown seasonal flowers, rather than imported flowers. Here at Emma Jane Floral Design I LOVE the chance to work with my amazing local flower growers, who have an amazing selection of beautiful blooms to choose from! Consult with your wedding florist to find out what is in season and available locally at the time of your wedding.
Want to get more out of your wedding flowers? What about gifting them to your family and friends after the wedding or donating them to a local residential home? They'll be sure to brighten someone's day!
The Bridesmaids & Groomsmen
An eco friendly (and purse friendly) way to style your wedding party is hiring outfits. Whilst this has been an option for the boys for some time there is starting to be more choice for the ladies! Something Borrowed offer rental of bridesmaid dresses. And it super easy! First you email them your wedding date, size requirements and numbers. They then show you everything that's available. You get to pick a variety of dresses to try at home (say goodbye to off-theme dress choices made by unruly bridesmaids, you'll have pre-selected options for them to try!). You then return any you don't want and receive a full refund!
The big way to be eco here is to go paperless! There are lots of companies offering to design beautiful and bespoke online invitations. Wish N Wed help you create digital invitations to send via WhatsApp, Facebook or email.
If this is a bit too modern for you or you're dying for gorgeous handmade stationary, another option is to be more conscious of the amount of paper used in your stationary designs, opt for a simple design rather than one with lots of insets, you can also keep paper to a minimum by including minimal information and directing guests to a wedding website. Or ask your stationary designer to use sustainable paper such a recycled, bamboo or cotton.
Plantable seed stationary from Laura Likes is a super fun way to be eco conscious... and it's pretty too! What better way to help the environment by planting your invitations! The air dried paper is embedded with a "meadow mix" of grasses and wild flowers, with planting instructions on the reverse. How lovely for your guests to look out over their wild flowers and remember your wedding day!
Opting for biodegradable petal confetti is kinder to local wildlife and the environment, and looks super pretty!
At Emma Jane Floral Design, I recycle any left over or broken blooms (usually a couples of stems get broken in the creative process) into biodegradable confetti, perfect for venues who request only eco-friendly confetti! (And the left over flowers still get a chance to be in your big day!).
Each batch is dried using residual heat so no extra energy is involved in the process - another big YAY for the environment, and packaged into recyclable glassine sachets. Alternatively, reduce waste by ordering loose petals to present in a gorgeous basket!
A fully vegetarian or vegan menu is one way to go. Or, if you can't bear to cut out meat completely, even choosing just one vegetarian course will reduce your environmental impact. If you do want to serve meat, choose a caterer who uses locally sourced ingredients. We're so lucky in Britain to have so many amazing food producers on our doorsteps!
Ban the use of any disposable plastic plates, cutlery and cups. If you need something disposable, opt for bamboo alternatives. Or hire in some gorgeous table wear and create a stunning tablescape that you're guests won't forget! (Everyone knows I'm a BIG fan of gold cutlery for adding a touch of luxury to a table setting!).
Locally sourced alcohol not only reduces your carbon footprint but also adds a lovely personal touch to your wedding. What better to accompany your locally sourced meal than wine from a nearby vineyard or locally brewed craft beer?!
Ask your bar to provide paper or rice straws in place of single-use plastic. You could even have reusable aluminium straws printed with your names and wedding date as a fab, eco friendly wedding favour. These cute ones are from NHK Crafts on Etsy.
I hope you've enjoyed thinking of some fun and stylish ways to have an environmentally conscious wedding day. Incorporate one of these ideas, or all of them! It all adds up to make a difference.
Got any other eco wedding ideas? Leave a comment or drop me a message - I'd love to hear what you think!