Making your DIY wedding an eco-friendly wedding.

May 8, 2022

Weddings are an amazing day from beginning to end. But when the dust has all settled and you look back, you may have a feeling that it was somewhat a wasteful event. What with travelling back and forth to your favoured venue, the food, and even the left behind or left over favours you may soon realise that a wedding can cause as much CO2 emissions as that of five people for an whole year. But fear not we say! We have some considerations to aid in reducing that carbon footprint that your wedding MAY have. You may feel that it's too difficult, but actually it's not.

Firstly, you have to reason that there is no such thing as THE perfect wedding! There is your perfect wedding. Also, accept that there is no such thing as the totally eco free wedding. (not yet anyway). If eco friendly is important to you, then that pure green wedding will create a lot of pressure. Relax. and be reasonable with yourself. You've considered this path and it's potential carbon footprint so that already puts you in an eco conscious mind, which is more than most. Don't feel the pressure to do all the things mentioned here, just select a few that mean the most to you, and that's a start.

Is your venue the best option

We are all well aware that emissions from aeroplanes a at the top when it comes to contributing to environmental damage. So it may be worth having a think as to how you and your guests are going to have to travel to get to your wedding destination. We're very pro when it come to getting married in a place that YOU want to get married at. So if you have a couple of top options, going with the one with less flights and/or car journeys will have a lesser environmental impact. The venue itself will have it's own way of working, pro eco or not. Is being greener high on their list of importance? Or are they only just sorting out their recycling. Do they source their food locally, and organically, or is it brought in wholesale for larger distributors? Just a couple of things worth considering when it comes to looking for a greener wedding venue.

The Food & Drink

After the venue and it's travelling requirements, the next thing on the eco-list is the food and drink. There will be many options available to you, so take some time to look more deeply into who can provide what, and where from and how. Are they environmentally more conscious or even aware? Some suppliers may be part of a carbon offset scheme. Others may only use local, sustainable and ethically sourced items. When you've found a caterer, then aim to work as closely with them as you can to produce a menu that is as eco friendly as possible. Think about produce that is seasonal, and ethically sourced. Along with the food and drink, you may want to give consideration to any single use plastic items. do away with plastic one time use cups and have a bar that serves glass bottles. If you're DIY'ing, even wooden cutlery for the more remote venues.

Other Bits: Décor Flowers & Stationary

We've mentioned single use items above. Nowadays, you can probably find a company that will hire out items as well as offering biodegradable things too. An obvious but maybe overlooked option is using recycled paper. This would be ideal stationary items, name cards and menu's, as well as the more popular option in natural, biodegradable confetti. What about the idea of doing away with favours completely and donating to a charity instead? With each item you consider purchasing, particularly anything extravagant, ask yourself the question: Do I actually need it? This will help keep your wedding as eco-friendly as possible. The stationary that you order could be limited, and combine it with a paperless option. You can also discuss with your stationer about recycled papers and eco-friendly printing ink.

The flowers. A big part for the duration of the day. But think about your choice, and the time of year your wedding is taking place. Do the flowers naturally bloom then, or are they force grown out of season? The obvious option is to go with a seasonal choice. It'll make more sense and tell a better story in your photos later on. Check whether you flowers have been flown in from the other side of the globe. Think about supporting the more independent flower farmers who growing those lovely blooms wherever you are. You can also look slightly beyond the flowers themselves and think about what goes into producing the arrangement you have visions of. The traditional floral foam that florists tend to use to keep the flowers in place for the duration is in fact very damaging to the environment. It is non-biodegradable. It can end up in water systems and spend centuries in landfill sites. More alarmingly its contains chemicals such as formaldehyde, barium sulphates and carbon so it’s right up there on the non eco-friendly scale. Fortunately, and it's good news, increasing numbers of florists are no longer using the foam. They are now foam free! Get on Instagram and follow the hashtag #foamfree for inspiration as well as finding the more eco-friendly florists in your area. It would seem that going foam free in your flowers suits a more organic natural style of wedding day flowers. It's considered romantic and modern, so there is less need to use foam for your flowers.

At the end of the day

With any wedding day left overs, let some good come from them. Try to not throw too much away into the skip or trash. You can always re-gift the flowers to someone in attendance. You favourite aunt, you nan, or one of your besties. Or maybe someone that has done a little bit more for you in the build up to the wedding day. Give them something as a thank you. If you have piles of food, get some doggy bags made up for guests to take with them. Even, maybe you photographer. People have dropped in flowers to local charities and care homes to see their days out and been a very welcomed source of colour and enjoyment. And of course, if there's any cake left over and you're not wanting it to come home with you, make sure every one leaves with a piece or two.....especially the little ones....and the photographer!

Think of Fashion

Selecting the fashion for your wedding day. You can be more ethical in various ways. Buy vintage? Rent a gown? Your jewellery could be ethical. Make sure your engagement ring has been ethically sourced as well. The groom can likewise make some ethical choices when it comes to him and his team being suited and booted for the day. Moss Bros. have a whole range of eco-suit options. Have a look here: eco-suits Nowadays suites can be created from earth friendly fabrics such as recycled PET polyester and responsibly sourced cotton.

Make up, make over and beauty

Yes, I'm sure you know this one. But if you haven't already you can add a few cruelty free, zero waste or even locally produced make up items, and add them to your routine for your wedding. Check also to see if your hairstylist and make up artist have any, or are able to use more cruelty free products for your day.

Gifts

Your gift list can not be just full of treats, but also guilty culprits that may impact on your eco-friendly plans. If you're having a gift list, have a think through as to wht you're hoping to get from it. Again, it can be another way to overindulge when you really don't need to. Better to create a particular brand list, or ask for donations to a bigger purchase you may need as newlyweds.

The wedding day you've create should be the day of your dreams as you begin your adventure into the future with the love of your life. If you are mindful of a few of the points we've been through,  in doing so you will also give a little bit of that love back to our planet.

Featured photos are from Lily & Nicks wedding in a field that was filled with recycled, upcycled and hand made items for the fantastic wedding including a hand made piñata.

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