The Basics

Nice day for a green wedding.

It has to be admitted that weddings don’t naturally lend themselves to being eco-friendly. Food wastage, disposable décor, the carbon footprint involved in travelling: the environmental impact of your wedding may come as a shock once you start to add it all up.

However, every little helps. Aiming for zero waste might be a tad ambitious, but there are lots of relatively simple things you can do to reduce wastage. As well making you feel a lot better about your day, your guests are bound to appreciate your efforts.

Begin by assessing the venue. Of course, the most eco option of all is to hold your wedding in a field – festival weddings are increasingly popular, with portable loos lending a definite Glasto vibe to proceedings! But if that’s not your thing, just ask the venue about its recycling policy, and whether their food is locally sourced. Choosing a venue that’s local for the majority of your guests can save on the amount of travelling, though if you’ve set your heart on a destination wedding overseas you could always put the link to a carbon-offset programme on your Wedding Website or invitations.

There’s a saying that god is in the detail, and a lot of little eco-conscious decisions can quickly add up – requesting biodegradable confetti, for example. When it comes to invitations and Save The Date cards, the most sustainable option is to use the GettingMarried Email Save The Dates and Email Invitations, saving both paper wastage and the carbon footprint involved in delivery. However, if you prefer to send invites through the post, GettingMarried Printed Stationery always uses recycled paper.

How about requesting eco-friendly wedding gifts? But don’t have a no-gift policy thinking it’s the greenest option; most people will still buy you something so best to help them by preparing a Gift List. If you’ve been living together for years you’re probably swimming in the usual home stuff, so how about choosing some environmentally friendly gifts and asking guests to donate? Most gift list services offer a large range of eco brands and product ranges to add to your gift list as well as the facility to collect donations for various environmental charities.

Few things are more wasteful than vast quantities of cut flowers being chucked into bin liners at the end of the day. Let your guests (and/or the venue staff) know that you’re happy for them to take flowers away with them, or arrange for them to be delivered to a local nursing home; hospitals tend to be stricter on donations due to allergies. It’s also a nice idea to keep a few blooms back for yourself to press as a memento.  

Whenever possible, buy local, and support small independent companies. Tiny bottles of spirits or liqueurs from local distillers, or home-made sweets from artisan chocolatiers, make ideal wedding favours. Wildflower seeds and homegrown herb cuttings also make lovely little gifts, as well as looking pretty on the table.