6 Tips For Planning An Eco-Friendly Wedding
Updated: Oct 14
Let's face it, we can all be pretty wasteful. In a world where everything is on tap, it's so easy for us to get carried away and buy more than we need - especially when it comes to all things wedding! If you're conscious of your personal impact on the world, take a look at my ethical wedding ideas below.
1. Try and pin down that guest list
This is way easier said than done, I know, but if you can secure a final guest list, then you'll know exactly how much of various things to buy. It's all well and good buying spares of things (and things do happen, so sometimes having a few spares is good), but this is how a lot of waste is created. Try and be firm, get those numbers finalised, and just order what you actually need.
If this is too difficult, another environmentally friendly way to do things is to actually bulk buy. I know, this is a complete contradiction of what I've just said, but hear me out. If you're really unsure of your guest list and can't exactly figure out how many invites you'll need, a better idea for you may be to order more than necessary, just to cover yourself. In doing this you're ensuring that only the one set of invites are printed and posted to you, reducing emissions (and money).
2. Buy locally
On the subject of reducing emissions, where possible, try and buy locally. This not only reduces emissions, but you then support small, local businesses. With these kinds of businesses, more often than not items are handmade or ethically sourced, so you can know exactly how your purchase has been produced. That cheap wedding dress may be a bit kinder to your purse, but not necessarily to the people who made it.
3. Remember that you're not feeding the entire town
Listen, I know how tempting it can be to go mad on food. Been there, done that. When we got married, we were so worried that people were going to go hungry that we over-compensated. Canapés, a three course meal, a tower of cupcakes, a cheese tower AND bacon rolls... As you can imagine, a lot of it was taken home and dished out to family and friends! If you're not throwing it away it's not so bad, but it's still unnecessary. Try to remember, your guests will be having so much fun that they won't want to just sit in silence and scoff all day. I actually barely ate all day as I was so busy talking, laughing and dancing!
4. Use recyclable material wherever possible
For your stationery, this is easy. Card is obviously recyclable and can be used again for something else. Other things, such as confetti, take a little bit more planning. Lots of venues these days request that biodegradable confetti be used, but you could go one step beyond this and actually make your own confetti out of petals. This will be environmentally friendly, budget friendly and also a nice activity for you and your bridesmaids to get involved with. Another idea for recycled items are your centres pieces - we used our empty milk bottles for ours!
5. Think about your gift list
If you have a gift list, it could be a good idea to have a long hard think about what you both want/need. You obviously deserve to be spoilt and celebrated, it's your wedding! But donations to your honeymoon or a charity can also be a nice touch too.
6. Something borrowed
Your eco-friendly wedding can put a spin on an old tradition and also add some extra sentiment. I wore my Mum's pearl earrings and necklace from her 21st birthday, which pleased her and also meant I didn't have to bother buying something new (that I would probably wear for that one day). Similarly, after the big day you could always get creative and turn your wedding dress into something else!
These are all just ideas, and you should certainly not feel guilty if you aren't able to/don't want to do any of the above. It's always good to be aware of our impact on the planet, however this is your one special day and it shouldn't be compromised.