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There are many things to consider when planning your wedding. Finding the perfect venue, choosing the right dress, but have you considered how Eco friendly your wedding is going to be? I am finding so many more couples are looking at green issues while planning their big day, with sustainability top of their list. There are so many ways that you can help the environment and the planet while planning your day. Being green doesn’t mean any of the glitz and glam will be lost, simple things like buying seasonal flowers, being conscious about the amount of waste you are creating and buying local are just a few ways that you can help make sure your wedding stays eco friendly. Today Edel Fingleton is here to give us more information about sustainable weddings. Edel is a waste prevention manager so knows her stuff.
I’d also like to tell you more about the Something Green Wedding Fair online on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th March, more details of this can be found at the bottom of the post. I’ll pass you over to Edel.
Do you recycle, try to reduce the amount of plastic you use and cut down on waste? Then it makes sense to take into consideration these things when planning the perfect wedding.
The trend for sustainable-weddings is definitely growing. At North London Waste Authority, we commissioned research that shows 2 in 5 people planning their nuptials say that making their wedding as green as possible is a key priority. And 46% of those who are considering the environmental impact of their upcoming wedding say they make green choices in their everyday life, so it is a given that their wedding should be environmentally friendly.
The good news is that the Boho aesthetic is already seasonal, wild and at one with nature. Which means it’s the perfect style for an environmentally-friendly wedding.
Buy Local and Seasonal
Reuse and Re purpose where possible.
Instead of fancy postal invites, you can do everything electronically – it’s easier, quicker and you can get a lovely online design made.
When it comes to decorations, go big on natural décor and avoid single-use plastic. Instead of traditional confetti why not go for dried flower petals – it looks much better and its less wasteful. Or if you’re feeling really brave (and you’re a bird lover), ask your guests to shower you with bird seed instead of confetti! You may find a seed or two in random places throughout the day but you’ll be popular with the local wildlife!
For wedding flowers choose locally grown seasonal flowers; 90% of cut flowers in the UK come from overseas and that’s bad news for the environment. Every four imported bunches have the carbon footprint of a flight from London to Paris. What’s more British seasonal flowers are stunning. And you can save money with some recycling too; collect glass jars in the run up to your big day and put bunches of flowers on tables in a hotch-potch of reused glassware e.g. jam jars, milk bottles etc. Perfect for that authentic Boho look. An even more sustainable alternative is to use potted plans instead of cut flowers to decorate and then give them as gifts to guests at the end of the night.
Clothing is one of the top single-use items at weddings, our survey found 28% of those already married admitted to having kept their outfit and never worn it again. Trends seem to be moving in a more sustainable direction though, with only 18% of people who have married under Covid-19 restrictions saying they had bought something new. Instead, 22% bought a second-hand or vintage outfit from a fashion boutique specialising in wedding outfits, 13% rented their outfit and 11% made their own.
An easy option is to visit local charity and second-hand shops when looking for a dress. I bought my outfit in a second-hand shop, it wasn’t a wedding dress but with a bit of alteration by a local dressmaker it fit perfectly. I also found a lovely second-hand necklace to go with it. Once again, this approach will also save you money and of course wearing something borrowed is traditional.
There’s a good range of other choices too, ranging from ethical designers and brands to pre-loved, vintage, rental, borrowed or handmade. Madeline at The Sustainable Bride, who creates stunning dresses from heirloom pieces and vintage fabrics, says: “When choosing your Wedding dress, consider a thoughtful approach. This could be by wearing or reworking a preloved dress, or by finding a company or designer that uses sustainably certified fabrics and a socially responsible manufacturing process.”
Nanna Sandhom, Head Dressmaker and Founder Director at Splendid Stitches, London’s only dedicated specialist vintage clothes alterations and repairs service advises: “Try to incorporate vintage and preloved wherever possible. For dress code, why not ask your guests to only wear vintage, preloved, borrowed or rented?”
Wedding planner Rachel Harrison from The Capston Second says: “My number one tip for a green wedding is to be organised! During the planning process, take your time to find a venue which is suitable for an environmentally friendly wedding and do your research on potential suppliers’ eco credentials. For the big day itself, make sure there’s a plan for the end of the night to prevent waste. You don’t want your carefully thought out reusable decor or flowers you were planning to give out the next day getting thrown away after all that careful planning!”
When it comes to food, Jacinta, Director of Forage and Feast, says: “Try to source local and sustainable produce wherever possible. Be careful not to over-cater, you don’t want too much food waste or guests too full to dance the night away!”
You can also encourage your guests to take away any food leftovers along with their piece of cake. And some caterers will make their own arrangements to ensure food leftovers go to a good home rather than in the bin.
If you’re planning to offer guests wine, Emma Chandler from Unwined Bars has expert knowledge of ‘off the beaten track’ wines and encourages people to choose something special but with a sustainable message. She says: “With wine choice: think smaller, organic producers – you’ll find something funkier that’s made with real passion which is better value plus better for the planet.”
There’s also a vast range of UK sparkling wines and spirits for botanical cocktails and mocktails.
For more tips and advice for planning a planet friendly wedding please join us at the Something Green Wedding Fair online on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th March. It’s a totally free, green wedding fair bringing together experts on wedding planning, sustainable bridal wear, local seasonal flowers, sustainable food and drink. And it’s not just for north Londoners – as it’s online people across the country can join in so everyone can plan a sustainable, yet sophisticated wedding.
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