While weddings can be pricey and flashy affairs, love doesn’t have to cost the earth, with couples increasingly looking at greener alternatives for their big day.
So whether you reduce travel, opt for an outdoor occasion, choose locally-sourced food or even recycled stationery, ensure your nuptials are a breath of fresh air and check out SoGlosWeddings’ easy ways to create an eco-friendly wedding.
One of the easiest ways to throw a green wedding is to ensure your stationery is made from recycled materials, with everything from invites, place names and welcome signs to bunting, table cloths and even seat covers coming in natural, sustainable and recycled options.
What’s more, introduce your theme with nature-inspired save-the-dates and invites, with the chance to include flowers or leaves and opt for pretty scenic decorations.
Want to really go green? Opt for digital invites and cut out paper completely, offering a modern and savvy way to kick-start an eco-friendly wedding while cutting down on costs too – it’s win-win!
With the wedding industry contributing to the destructive diamond trade, ensure you choose a man-made alternative that doesn’t involve mining waste, environmental damage and poor workers’ rights.
With a number of companies specialising in recycled or fair-trade metals, conflict-free jewels or even cultured diamonds, there’s really no excuse, while vintage or antique rings are perfect for an ethical choice.
Outdoor venues such as barns, marquees, gardens and more are perfect for green weddings, with the more natural light the better to reduce energy.
When choosing your venue, take into account if it can host both your reception and ceremony to cut down on travel and your carbon footprint. If you’ve really got your heart set on a specific place, consider hiring a bus to transport all your guests to reduce the amount of cars.
What’s more, it’s worth enquiring about the venue’s environmental policies, such as whether they recycle and where they source its food and drink from.
No, we’re not suggesting you wear an emerald dress – although if that’s your thing, you go for it – but there are plenty of ways to make sure what you wear on your special day is kind to the environment.
Firstly, second-hand dresses are becoming increasingly popular, with dedicated second-hand bridal stores, bridal charity shops and online sites providing top quality gowns.
Similarly, opting to wear your mum’s or relative’s wedding dress is a great way to reduce costs while also ticking off the ‘something borrowed’ and ‘something old’.
If the dress isn’t quite right, hiring a seamstress to make alterations is still more eco-friendly than buying new, with the chance to create a bespoke dress that is truly unique too.
It goes without saying that your green wedding should be chock-full of fabulous flowers, just ensure you source them responsibly by choosing a local supplier.
What’s more, it helps to choose flowers which are in-season in order to avoid having to fly in flowers from other counties.
Gloucestershire is jam-packed with local gift shops, so if you’re planning on giving out favours to your wedding guests, consider sourcing them from your neighbourhood store, cutting down on postage and any emissions caused by worldwide and national shipping.
Go a step further and give out homemade favours, with everything from jams and chutney to candles and soap perfect for a personal touch. Check out SoGlosWeddings’ handy hotlist of 16-creative-ideas-for-diy-wedding-favours for more inspiration.
If you’re really struggling to think of wedding favours, consider donating to your favourite environmental charity on behalf of all the wedding guests.
The farm-to-table movement is in full swing, with more and more caterers using in-season, locally-grown ingredients, ensuring you don’t have to sacrifice taste to save the world.
Use a local baker or a talented friend or family member to help bake your cake, adding a homemade touch, cutting down on expenses and reducing packaging and fuel.
Staycations, minimoons, local getaways and British breaks. Whatever you want to call it, there’s no denying there’s been an increase in UK honeymoons and holidays, with a host of exciting and beautiful locations to enjoy right on your doorstep.
Whether you fancy a spot of glamping, want to indulge in a 5-star Cotswold venue, or get away to a cute countryside cottage, Gloucestershire is a hotspot for minimoons, and is a much kinder option to the environment than hopping on a plane.
We'd love to hear some of your ideas for a more eco-friendly weddings. Comment with your suggestions below!
By Alice Lloyd
Wednesday 26 October 2016
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