With eco-friendly products and the focus on sustainability becoming more prevalent, more couples than ever are thinking about the ways they can adapt their wedding plans to account for their carbon footprint and the effect they may be having on the environment.
It can be very easy to get carried away with the excitement of your big day and forget about all the unnecessary items you may be buying or all of the props that may include plastic, but there are some very simple steps you can take to make sure you avoid these mistakes and take every step possible to make your day as special as it can be, without being detrimental to the environment.
One very simple way to solve a number of eco-conscious problems is to hire wedding suppliers that focus on being eco-friendly. Sustainable wedding suppliers often follow their own ethos and policies, meaning they will only supply their customers with the very best products that follow their promises.
We spoke to Louise, half of the duo Sam and Louise Photography, she thinks that finding eco-friendly suppliers is one of the best ways to plan a wedding: “I like to try and live by the motto that we can't all do everything, but we can all do something. So, if the idea of being eco-friendly is new to you or you're not quite sure where to start, my top tip would be to start out with the plan that you'll do something. Don't over-burden yourself initially by thinking you have to do it all.
Even if that "something" is just actively seeking out eco-friendly suppliers or those with their own environmental policies. That way, you can be sure that the entire wedding planning process is as green as possible and not just your wedding day. By choosing eco-friendly wedding suppliers, you can be confident that they'll be doing as much as they can to lessen the environmental impact on your behalf, so it's one less thing for you to worry about.”
“Hosting an eco-friendly wedding can be quite a challenge, but by going back to basics and considering each element of your day with sustainability in mind it is certainly possible,” says Louise Hollis from Whimsical Wonderland Weddings. “Look for local wedding suppliers to cut down on mileage or look at suppliers' eco-friendly credentials on their websites. For example, do they use paper or do they work electronically where possible? You can also go digital yourself, manage your spreadsheets virtually, send out information via a website and do your wedding inspiration research online too.”
Whether you are booking your wedding flowers, your venue, or the caterers, making sure they try to be as conscious as possible can save you worrying about making special arrangements.
“One of the best ways to plan an eco-friendly wedding is to book suppliers who share a strong environmentally-friendly ethos. Whether it is your venue, florist or wedding photographer. By working with sustainable businesses you’re not only improving the green credentials of your special day. But for example, by booking an Eco-friendly wedding photographer, you create a positive ripple effect. Your support allows them to continue trading and improving the environmental impact of other wedding days. Whilst setting a great example of social change within the wedding industry.” Says Amber from Amber Marie Photography.
Simple, yet effective – try at all costs to avoid ordering, planning or buying anything unnecessary for your big day. If you’re not sure or you don’t love it, then you don’t need to buy it. Minimalism is a big wedding trend for 2020 and this plays hand in hand with that.
“In terms of what you can do, limiting ‘wedding fluff’ is a small thing you can do and it'll have a big impact overall. It's easy to get carried away with spontaneous, unnecessary or wasteful purchases, just because. Minimise wedding fluff by asking yourself before buying ‘Do we love it? Do we need it? What purpose will it serve? What will happen to it after the wedding?’ If it's not ticking all the boxes and it'll end up in the bin at the end of it all, is it worth it? At the very least, make sure your purchases can be re-used, recycled or are compostable.” Says Louise.
Why buy new when you can borrow? If you’re wanting to cut back on your footprint when planning your upcoming celebrations, why not think about renting or borrowing the necessary items for the wedding. Tables, chairs, large decorations and extra special features and touches are often sold second hand or are available from retailers for hire.
“Renting, borrowing and purchasing used items rather than new is a great way to recycle and reuse, also consider when buying new items how you can reuse them in the future too, perhaps using them around your home or as gifts. Ask your venue about their sustainability levels, such as how they power their venue, where the food is sourced from or how efficient they are with recycling and waste. For your honeymoon opt for low emission travel options or think about staying a bit closer to home” says Louise Hollis.
“There are also many small ways you can incorporate eco-friendly choices into your wedding day. Think about potted plants or succulents rather than cut flowers, which can be reused or grow your own flowers to cut down on mileage (or find a local flower farm!). You could give favours which enhance gardens such as seeds or think about reusing items like old doors or windows to use as signs.”
As Louise Hollis mentions, potted rather than cut flowers are a lovely choice and these can be reused and replanted after the big day to avoid any wastage.
Similarly, Katrina from Captured by Katrina says everyone should be mindful of the wastage they can incur when planning a wedding: “The main thing is to try not to be wasteful. Give each of your table flowers to your guests, try not to provide anything that is likely to be thrown away - hire props in from a stylist that they reuse rather than buying stuff that will go in the skip afterwards, don't buy something just because it is a wedding 'thing', think carefully about all of your purchases.”
“Try to reduce the amount of plastic you use, especially in your styling and décor. Aim to use British grown, in-season flowers rather than flying in lots of out of season” says Katrina.
“Think carefully about your wedding favours. This is a great opportunity to provide something really meaningful or something that you know will get reused and be good for the environment. Ideas could include wildflower seeds, potted plants (which make great table decorations too), birdseed, donations to charity.” Instead of having favours on the dining tables, have a wedding favours table which features a shot of your favourite drink or something edible that people can eat there and then to prevent waste.”
Plastic usage is one of the biggest contributors to the eco-friendly downfall of wedding celebrations and everything that comes with planning a large-scale event. Thinking carefully about your choices and making plastic cutbacks where possible will really make the biggest difference, no matter how large or small the change.
Whether you are planning a wedding or know someone who is, urging them to make sensible choices is a step closer to an eco-friendly planet. Rather than hiring a whole venue, why not enquire about our tipi tent hire, the perfect option for your sustainable and eco-friendly wedding.