10 tips for planning an eco-friendly wedding

30 Aug 2017

Thinking of going green with your wedding planning? Here are 10 ways to do it

Words: Melissa Hobson

Image gallery

Image gallery

Your wedding is one of the most important days of your life. There are so many things to consider that it might seem like a challenge to make sure your plans don’t impact the environment. In fact, it might not have even crossed your mind. But there are several simple ways to make sure your special day is as green as possible - and they might just save you some money too. Here, the experts at Ecophiles.com share their tips.

1. The dress

Think an eco-friendly wedding dress would be impossible to find? Think again. Sustainable wedding dresses are the latest trend and there’s a growing number of fashion designers working to ensure their dresses are sustainable. Designers such as Deborah Lindquist or The Reformation are great eco-friendly choices. Or, for the personal touch, you could pick up a vintage gown and customise it yourself. If it’s a versatile design, you could rework it (and possibly dye it) after the wedding so you can wear it again and again.

planning-an-eco-friendly-wedding-3

2. The ring

According to the international ‘No Dirty Gold’ campaign, which demands alternatives to irresponsibly produced metals, producing the gold for one wedding ring generates 20 tonnes of waste. When choosing your ring, consider vintage or find a jeweller that only sources from eco-conscious mines with fair labour.

3. The invitations

Paperless save the dates and invitations are becoming increasingly popular - not only are they a much greener choice, but you’re more likely to know your friends’ emails than their postal addresses. This will also help you keep your budget down as the cost of fancy paper invites and ribbons will add up more quickly than you think.

planning-an-eco-friendly-wedding-4

4. The confetti

Most people see confetti as an integral part of a wedding - but, although it’s fun and looks great in pictures, it does have the negative effect of creating a lot of waste. That doesn’t mean you have to boycott confetti completely. Lots of shops now sell biodegradable confetti - so you don’t need to worry about the waste - or you could even throw birdseed instead.

5. Getting there

One of the things that impacts the environment the most when planning a large event is the transportation. With so many guests coming to share in your special day, choosing a venue that’s as centrally located to the majority of them as possible is a good way to reduce your wedding’s eco-footprint. Your big day will have less energy consumption plus it will be more convenient for your guests - win win.

planning-an-eco-friendly-wedding-6

6. The reception

The way you decorate your venue is a huge part of showing your personality at your wedding - so if you care about the environment, shouldn’t that be a part of it? A venue with lots of natural light - or an outdoor wedding - will help you reduce electricity consumption (and save some pennies again). To go green with your decor, use websites like Tradesy to find recycled wedding decorations and shop locally for in-season flowers.

7. The wedding breakfast

As with any meal, a few simple changes can go a long way in having a positive impact on the environment. Vegetarian meals require less energy to produce than the traditional beef or chicken dishes and there are several organic catering companies that source ingredients locally. Use eco-friendly cutlery. Also; recycle, recycle, recycle. Empty alcohol bottles can all be recycled and you could ask your caterer to make sure there are recycling bins at the venue.

planning-an-eco-friendly-wedding-2

8. The photos

Digital photography is becoming more and more popular and the good thing is it’s also a much more responsible choice. Processing film uses harmful chemicals and you can’t review and select the perfect pictures before printing. It’s now also easier to print on recycled paper and soy ink - even more environmentally friendly.

9. Carbon offsetting

There are lots of small changes you can make to your wedding to reduce energy consumption, emissions and waste. As another step, you could ask your guests to contribute to offset their travel - there are many companies to choose from which will channel the money into positive, eco-friendly projects.

planning-an-eco-friendly-wedding-7

10. The honeymoon

Once the celebrations are all over, you’ll be ready to relax on your honeymoon. You’ll be pleased to know that there are lots of options for green travel. If possible, find romantic vineyards, beaches or mountains that are local to you or research train routes to avoid bringing your car. Or, if you are travelling further from home, try to book with a company which has ethical or meaningful travel at the heart of its ethos - such as Rickshaw Travel - to ensure your trip has a positive impact on the destination you’re visiting.