Today we are back with our regular feature ‘Advice from the Married Side,‘ real life wedding planning...
Today we are talking Eco-Friendly weddings here on the Blog. More and more that couples are choosing to plan a green wedding, so I have invited Alice Porter who is an expert wedding planner onto the blog to tell us more about how you can go about planning an such a wedding.
Being environmentally conscious is a lifestyle that many people choose to lead. An Eco-Friendly wedding takes time and care to plan, as you have to research sustainable alternatives, from wedding dress vendors, to the caterers you choose. Alice has been kind enough to compile a guide for UK based Eco-Friendly couples to save you time and stress when planning your special day.
It’s difficult to know where to begin when planning any wedding, as there is so much to consider. I always recommend to clients that they first create a mood board, based around colour schemes, venue ideas and dresses. This will form the basis of your overall wedding theme (however expect changes along the way). Once you have an idea of what you want, you can then begin to research all of the different vendors you will need for your big day.
When planning an eco wedding, be sure to always be prepared to ask the question, “is this bad for the environment”. There are many companies that have been set up to specifically tackle some of the more difficult environmental issues. For example, wedding venues which are run on renewable energy, wedding dress vendors who specifically sell recycled or upcycled wedding dresses and so on.
Wedding invites are one of the most important aspects of your wedding day, these set the tone of your overall wedding theme and keep your guests informed of the time and date of your special day. One of the issues with sending wedding invitations is the amount of paper that is used during this process. A typical batch of wedding invites is equivalent to cutting down one tree, which is excluding any reprints that may need making in the process!
Many couples who are planning a wedding are put off by the thought of eco friendly wedding invites, as they think of this as being a cheap alternative. In reality, this is quite the contrary, as recycled paper gives a beautifully rustic look and feel to the invitations, which is extremely on-trend and classy.
An environmentally friendly alternative to a normal wedding invitation is using recycled paper and vegetable-based inks. When it comes to these wonderfully special invites, you needn’t compromise on quality thanks to the strong paper and eloquently written message. What’s more, some eco-friendly invites are even plantable! You can find these invitations at the Botanical Paper Works, which are embedded with seeds so guests can plant them in their garden and enjoy beautiful flowers or herbs to remind them of your special day.
Another alternative is to go paperless. Though it’s a step away from tradition, it’s an excellent way to save on paper that would otherwise end up in landfill. Work with a talented graphics designer who will help you create memorable invites to email to guests. There are also lots of free wedding website options that you can share with your guests prior to the big day. Here you can include all of the important information and updates on your big day.
Finding the perfect wedding dress can be one of the most challenging aspects of the whole wedding. You want to look and feel special as you walk down the aisle but finding a dress that is eco-friendly can be quite difficult if you don’t know where to look.
The first step is to scour vintage clothing shops or specialist boutiques selling pre-worn gowns for an up-cycled dress. Alterations can be made to ensure it’s the perfect fit, along with any additional changes to personalise it to your tastes. Finding a suitable wedding dress in a vintage clothing store can often be like digging for gold.
If you don’t want to get your hands dirty, then there is a much simpler alternative. Instead, there are an assortment of UK-based eco-friendly wedding dress vendors who specialise in bespoke, eco-friendly wedding dresses.
If you would like to explore the more sentimental route, perhaps there’s a wedding dress in the family that you can make yours for the big day? This could be your mother’s, grandmother’s or maybe even your great-grandmothers. A fantastic, meaningful way to go eco-friendly.
However, if you do want a brand new dress, then there are an abundance of dressmakers who specialise in making wedding dresses with sustainable fabrics. H&M and Wear Your Love are prime examples of companies that use sustainable cotton, silk and hemp to design beautiful environmentally friendly dresses.
When selecting a venue, it’s important to consider those which use less energy, or renewable energy sources. Outdoor weddings, for example, are an excellent way to save on energy. Whether it’s on the beachfront or in a gorgeous vineyard, there are countless outside wedding options to explore.
However, if you’re battling with unpredictable weather conditions or you want a cosier indoor wedding, then there are other considerations to transform it into an eco-friendly wedding. Firstly, you can hold your wedding and reception in one place to save yourself and guests from travelling from one place to another which cuts fuel emissions. You could also choose a venue with lots of natural sunlight to save switching the lights on or pick a hotel that prides itself on its energy-efficient appliances.
There’s nothing better than delicious homemade food at a wedding – other than eco-friendly homemade food, of course. The best way to ensure you’re serving tasty yet environmentally conscious food is to minimise the food’s journey to your guest’s plate. Select a caterer who uses locally sourced ingredients. Not only will this save emissions from food being transported from across the world, but it also means the food is lovely and fresh.
The venues above all provide caterers who source all of their produce locally, however, if you would like to source your own catering company, question where their produce has come from. This will give you an insight into how this has been farmed, harvested and delivered to your plate.
It may come as some surprise to learn that not all flowers are organic. It seems bizarre but due to growing methods used by some farms, such as chemical sprays to protect the flowers, damage can be caused to the environment. To make sure your bouquet is as sustainable as possible, choose companies that have glorious flowers which are cut at the stems and delivered in just a few days. This may mean only picking flowers that are in-season but speak to a florist like Organic Blooms about your options.
No wedding is complete without some great entertainment for your guests. There are plenty of eco-friendly entertainment options for your big day.
A wedding favour is a token for guests to bring home and remember your special day. Much like the eco invites, you can find favours in the form of pots that can be planted and enjoyed for years to come.
You could also browse offerings from local businesses. It can be something as simple as locally made chocolate bars or a mini bottle of alcohol from a local brewery. As an extra favour, you could have the flowers made into bouquets for guests to take home and admire for a few more days!
Alice Porter is a wedding planner who has planned eco-friendly weddings in the UK. She loves seeing her customers happy and smiling and always goes above and beyond to ensure that everything runs smoothly on the big day.
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