8 ways to make your wedding sustainable and greener without compromising on a luxury finish
In the world of weddings, sometimes hearing the words ‘green’, ‘eco-friendly’ and ‘sustainable’ conjures up thoughts of rustic weddings complete with kraft brown paper and portable loos. Celia Gaze, Founder of The Wellbeing Farm, the first B Corp Certified independent wedding and events venue in the UK, puts us right and shares eight ways to make your wedding sustainable and greener without compromising on a luxurious finish with high attention to detail.
Eco weddings don’t need to be outside, pick a venue which has a good eco-friendly reputation and is certified. For example, the Green Tourism Scheme or B Corp Certification are good schemes to look for. These will have been independently accredited and are working hard to reduce their energy consumption waste and overall impact on the planet.
1. Use real foliage from gardens, potted plants, and well-chosen artificial flowers which are reusable for table and wedding ceremony décor.Consider using potted flowers, such as spray roses or herbs for lovely scents. These can be reused or replanted in your garden after your wedding or given as wedding favours to guests. You could look to source your flowers for your bouquet from a sustainable British-grown florist and choose flowers which are in season during the month of your wedding.You can also ask your florist how your bouquet and décor will be assembled: many florists are ditching oasis for more sustainable alternatives such as moss and chicken wire.
2. Speak to your caterer or the Chef at your venue to see if they can make a menu using seasonal and locally sourced food. Look for caterers who focus on sustainable, local and seasonal food. Ask about the suppliers and farmers that they work with, as well as how they source items like meat and seafood. Ask them what they are doing about reducing food waste. Similarly, does the venue supply its own bottled water rather than purchasing mineral water? Seek to eliminate disposable cutlery and dinner wear. Revert back to crockery with real cutlery to enhance your dining experience and save the planet. If you are having food trucks, use palm plates or wooden cutlery and insist on quality biodegradable napkins.
3. Think about sustainable wedding favours – ditch the plastic single-use items (which normally end up in the bin anyway) and opt for miniature bottles of your favourite spirit, charitable donations or decorate your table with pot plants and give your guests the plant to take home.
4. Less and less couples are asking for wedding gifts, but it does provide an opportunity to give back to the planet. We’ve seen weddings where couples ask guests to bring donations for a local food bank, donate to their favourite charity, plant a tree or join one of those sustainable wedding gift registers instead.
5. Use seed bomb paper for invites, menus, place cards etc. A least you still have the luxury of the place holdersand a lovely invite etc. but at least the items are biodegradable. Some companies even plant a tree for every order received.
6. Vintage items offer something unique, luxurious and sustainable. Search for a vintage engagement or wedding ring – you could even have a ring melted down and designed just for you.Vintage wedding dresses can be unique and can be adapted by using a local seamstress to something spectacular and luxury.
7. When it comes to décor, see what decorative items are already at your venue. For example, at The Wellbeing Farm, we offer all couples the opportunity to use our Prop Shed free of charge where various items can be used again and again and couples are encouraged to donate any items after their wedding to the Shed so they can be reused by other couples in the future. This saves cash for you and saves the planet too by reducing the number of single-use items.
8. Weddings in particular can generate a lot of waste and are often major culprits of single-use plastic and the ‘use once, throw away’ culture that prevails. There are so many ways you can incorporate sustainability and save the planet, while still maintaining an up-market vibe to your wedding.
Celia Gaze is the Founder and Managing Director of The Wellbeing Farm based in Lancashire, a fun, unique and sustainable wedding and events venue and the first independent venue in the UK to be B Corp Certified.