Your wedding day should be one of the best days of your life, a day filled with happiness, memories, laughter, and love - but all of those can come at the cost of the environment. As we are all becoming more and more aware of the damaging effects that we are having on our planet, we are seeing a huge shift towards sustainable weddings.
Choosing to have a sustainable wedding doesn't mean you have to redo your entire wedding; it just takes a few simple swaps to make a huge difference!
I've put together a list of six easy, sustainable swaps you can make to your wedding that are better for our planet! Read on to see which swaps you can make!
It will come as no surprise when I say automobile and plane emissions are some of the biggest contributors to environmental damage. The effects of your venue choice is something you should think about if you are planning a sustainable wedding. Having a destination wedding or one that isn’t local for most of your guests involves a lot of traveling, which in turns puts unnecessary emissions into our atmosphere.
By having a local wedding, the amount of environmental damage caused you and by your guests traveling to your big day would be significantly reduced. Now I understand that everyone may not have their dream wedding venue right on their doorstep, but just trust me and start searching for local wedding venues around you- you never know what's out there unless you start looking! You may find a hidden gem that is the highlight of your night. Some of my favorites in London are No.11 Cavendish Square, Holmes Hotel (pictured second), and Church House Westminster (pictured first).
You just said your vows to the love of your life and now you're walking back down the aisle together- with your loved ones throwing confetti at your heads... Unfortunately, standard confetti is definitely not environmentally-friendly! And the clean-up? It's almost as bad as glitter!
Try making your own confetti out of dried leaves or flowers that are local to where you're getting married. Check out your local art store or hit Google for fun hole-punches, then grab your leaves/flower pedals and punch! Or if you'd rather support a sustainable business, check out Flower Confetti UK! They even have dried florals, as I'll mention a bit more below. Alternatively, you can have guests throw bird seed or blow bubbles as you walk down the aisle, both make for amazing photos as seen above!
I love a nice, big bridal bouquet, but I hate the thought of all those flowers going right into the trash after the day's over.
If you would like fresh flowers, be sure to work with someone local who has an eco-conscious brand- check out a list of the best in London here! You could also use potted plants or succulents as decor on tables, and then at the end of the night send them home with your guests as party favors. You could always upcycle your bouquet by sending it to be dried and framed, perfect for remembering the day in an elegant way.
If you're thinking of going down the fake flower route, please proceed with caution! Many fake florals are made entirely out of plastic, which means tons of waste is made during their production and most end up in the trash. Instead, look for paper or fabric flowers. It is also important to tell you that not all fabric flowers are made equally! If you opt for fabric flowers, make sure they are made from silk and not materials like polyester and plastic.
Also, you can always use dried flowers! Dried flowers can last for years in your home and can be repurposed in tons of different ways.
If you choose to include wedding favors on your day, think about what your guests would actually want/ use. If you're including things just to have a favor or two, I'd suggest skipping them. If you're keen to have a few small, sustainable wedding favors, here are a few ideas for you...
Bamboo or reusable straws
Herb growing kits
Soy wax candles in glass jars with cotton wicks
Potted plants (doubled as table decor)
SAVE THE DATES & INVITATIONS
I know, we love receiving a save-the-date or wedding invitation in the mail to place on our fridges! But after the wedding, usually they end up in the trash. And if you're inviting hundreds of guests... that's a lot of invites in landfills.
A more eco-friendly (and also budget-friendly) option is to choose to send online invitations instead. I feel like there's a stereotype that these can be cheesy or come off as less formal, but I am definitely happy to tell you otherwise. A lot of wedding websites nowadays offer the option to send out invitations and even track RSVPs!
Definitely check out sites like Greenvelope. They create a similar experience to opening a physical wedding invitation, but it's all online!
If you would like to opt for printed invitations, I'd suggest to look into eco-conscious companies that print on recycled paper. Also, some companies print them on paper that contain seeds that your guests can plant rather than throw away!
SMALLER WEDDINGS = LESS WASTE
It may be tempting to invite tons of people to really celebrate the day with, but reducing your guest list reduces the overall cost and the waste of your wedding. If you want a foolproof way to have a more sustainable wedding, opt for fewer guests! This will allow you to spend more quality time with the guests you do have there, which will make the day a little more manageable and special.
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I hope this blog post was helpful for you if you're planning a sustainable wedding! These sustainable swaps may take a little extra time to plan, but you'll be so much happier knowing that your big day didn't have as big of an impact on the environment!
See you in the next one!