Weddings can be pretty wasteful, if you think about them seriously - I'm thinking leftover food; everyone travelling from the ceremony to the reception venue in their own car; reams of paper used for save the dates, invitations, orders of service, menus; almost every guest buying a brand new outfit for the day; the individually plastic wrapped favours - you get the idea.
No wedding can be perfectly eco-friendly and I'm not here to guilt you into anything, but let's just think about some ideas on how a few small changes could really make a difference to the carbon-footprint of your wedding.
1. The dress
Think about buying a second-hand or vintage wedding dress, or recycling your dress after your wedding day.
Oxfam, Red Cross and Cancer Research have dedicated bridal departments, all with nearly new wedding dresses only worn once, that can easily be altered by a dressmaker.
Bridal Reloved are a chain of pre-owned wedding dress boutiques, stocking dresses that are either brand new, ex-sample or worn once and cleaned. If you're local to Yorkshire, they have boutiques in York, Beverley and Ilkley!
Image: Sugarbird Photography; Dress: Bridal Reloved Ilkley
On a similar note, why not get your bridesmaids to choose their own dresses that they will use again after your big day, instead of it being left at the back of the wardrobe never to wear again. Give them the colour scheme and let them choose a dress that they will be comfortable in and will go on to wear for years to come. This way, they'll love what they're wearing, and you'll get the tonal mix and match colour scheme that looks incredible in pictures!
2. The place
Think about how your guests will get to your venue, or from your ceremony to your reception.
Car emissions are among the worst when it comes to damaging the environment, so thinking about a venue that will require the fewest car journeys is a good idea, or why not put on some transport so no one has to drive?
Image: Chris Spencer Payne; Venue: The Chilli Barn
3. All the yummy things!
If you can bring in a catering company, try to find one with a sustainable angle - especially if they specialise in local ingredients!
A vegetarian or vegan menu is a great way to reduce the environmental impact of your wedding - this might not be for you, but try to think about the food miles.
Why not go to a local vineyard or distillery for your alcohol? - there are so many brilliant British wines, beers and gins out there. Even better - why not make a day of it and go for a tasting!
Image: Yorkshire Wedding Catering
4. The details
Instead of paper invitations, why not send them digitally? Everyone uses email now, and you can design beautiful invitations using templates in Canva, that can be sent directly to your guests inboxes!
If you do want to use paper invitations, ask for them to be printed on recycled paper.
Also think about whether you need everyone to have an order of service, and is it essential to have menus for each person?
5. The beautiful things
Ask your florist which flowers will be in season on your wedding day, and if they can source from local flower farms instead of importing from abroad.
Think about using potted plants as part of your table dressing instead of cut flowers.
If you're getting married in a church, can they use the ceremony flowers to dress the church for their service on the Sunday?
After your wedding, can you donate your flowers to a local care home or hospice to brighten someone's day?
Image: Stacey Evans Photography; Flowers: Untamed Floral Art
6. The favours
Favours are notoriously hit and miss - more often than not, they're still on the table at the end of the night, and you've wasted a good few hundred pounds.
Think about more practical options that are also cute and beautiful - wildflower seeds, little jars of local honey or homemade chutney, or why not use our personalised biscuits? These will save paper on place names for your table too!
Favours: Miss Helen's
7. The extras
Think about making good choices to decorate your venue - look at charity shops or somewhere like Facebook marketplace for bunting, glassware, cake stands, and similar items.
Why not borrow jars or vases from family members or friends, or hire decor from your venue?
How about using dried flower petals as confetti instead of metallic paper pieces?
Image: Stacey Evans Photography; Candles in jars: New Craven Hall
Have any questions? Drop me a message today and let's chat about your perfect wedding cake!
Happy wedding planning!