Sustainability and Your Wedding
Increasingly we are being asked for advice about how to create a truly sustainable wedding day for our couples in a wedding world where the Pandemic has accelerated a trend for maximalism. The reality is that maximalism is a key trend of our times that is here to stay, couples have waited through at the worst 3 or 4 postponements so when the big day finally arrives, they are wanting to go all out with the wow factor for their guests whether that be with the food, theme, or favours. That being said, there are plenty of ways our couples can create a sustainable wedding:
Choosing a venue location close to home is a good start. This will minimise travel for your friends and family. An established trend is to hold your ceremony and reception at the same location, minimising guests travelling from place to place.
Bridal Party Outfit
Whether it is choosing a British designer, renting a pre-owned contour dress / suit or wearing a pre-owned vintage ensemble which has been handed down the family line – all make a sustainable option in comparison to an international clothing designer.
Avoid at all costs! Yes, they have an immediate visual wow factor, but they scream single use plastic waste! Instead, opt for an alternative showstopper such as foam free floral installations or hanging decorations sourced locally.
There has been a movement for some time to source biodegradable confetti but take it one step further and source a local farmer who grows his / her own florals – this gives the couple the ability to press and dry your own beautiful petals.
Make the most of natural light. Try to avoid extravagant lighting installations if possible (we know this is heavily dependent on season). Instead, choose a venue that can take advantage of hosting most of the wedding day outdoors (weather permitting) and therefore be able to use natural light. Your photographer will appreciate this too. Burning soy candles instead of paraffin alternatives are a great way to create atmosphere.
Sustainability in floristry is not always easy to achieve. It is relatively straight forward for florists to create foam free displays, but the issue surrounds the sourcing of the flowers themselves. Couples usually want the wow factor large scale installations using blooms that are not in season in the UK and therefore need to be imported in. We always recommend booking your wedding date during a season that has the availability of flowers that you are happy with, this allows us to source and use local suppliers whilst embracing seasonality and in turn reducing carbon footprint.
Organisations like LEAF, the Soil Association and the Rainforest Alliance are all quality-checkers when it comes to the ethicality of flowers being sold in the UK and is worth for an eco-conscious couple.
Minimise the Guest List
Reduce the guest list to family and close friends only. This goes without saying, with all supplier costs rising post – be savvy about you non-negotiable guests and work out how far they have to travel to attend your special day.
The trend of personalisation is here to stay, and couples can get carried away with the amount of cash to spend when it comes to favours. We have sadly seen at many weddings, wedding favours sitting on the tables uneaten or undrunk. The trend of the moment is for couples to either buy from small local and independent sellers, providing a favour where the guests grow their own plant from seed or alternatively couples donate to a meaningful charity in their guests’ honour.
There is debate around how to provide your guests with all the information they need about the big day. Sustainable couples are doing one of two things: creating an e-commerce platform which shares every last detail from timings of the day to accommodation, to taxi companies or opting for Vegetable or Soy ink printed onto recycled paper. A typical stationary suite consists of save the dates, invitations, place settings, table numbers, RSVP options and matching signage around the venue.
Our couples main concern revolves around food waste. Wedding food can be extremely wasteful, and it is important to book a catering company who have a clear process in place to reduce this. The statistic goes 40% of guests skip a course of food at a wedding – a real wake up call for our couples and the catering they provide. Most sustainable caterers will take wasted food to a food bank that very wedding night. Alternatively, food that doesn’t get consumed can be turned into compost. With the rising trend of veganism, it is important to create menus based on the tastes and preferences of the guests. By consuming food created by your local food emporium you are not only choosing to support local catering companies but also sending a message that we love where we live. Seasonality can also be embraced when it comes to food and choosing seasonal vegetables – this sends a message to your guests that you have sustainability in mind.