5 Ways to Make Your Wedding More Sustainable
I can’t believe it’s already been 7 months since Charlie & I tied the knot. In some ways, our wedding feels like yesterday as all of the wonderful memories feel so fresh in my mind; and yet it also feels like we’ve been married forever. If you’re in the exciting stage of planning your own wedding, read on to discover some excellent ways to make your wedding more sustainable. It might be easier than you think, and many of these sustainable swaps could make for a fun DIY afternoon with your bridal party!
1 – Source local ingredients
If you watched my vlogs in the lead up to my wedding, you may know that Charlie & I made a huge effort to source all of our ingredients and drinks as locally as possible. All of the meat was from local farms, and so the animals were raised on fields only a few miles from our home. Our ‘champagne’ of choice was Nyetimber – a wonderful English sparkling wine. I even grew some of the crudités myself, which were offered to guests right after the ceremony.
If you’d like to source local ingredients for your wedding, ask your venue or caterer where they get their produce from. If they don’t get all of their ingredients locally, pop into your local farm shop or butchers and enquire about them supplying your wedding. Then you can go back to your venue or caterer with some practical suggestions.
If you’ve got the time and the space, you could even grow a few of the ingredients yourself – if you have limited space, you could think about just providing the herbs needed for your wedding breakfast; or you could grow all of the microgreens which will top your canapés; or you could grow the strawberries which will be popped into the glasses of English sparkling wine! You could even add pots of fresh herbs to the wedding breakfast table, as a form of edible decor!
2 – Choose a wedding favour that benefits the environment
For our wedding, we had the idea that we could provide each guest with some local wildflower seed, that they could take home and scatter in their own gardens; therefore increasing the biodiversity of our guests’ gardens, which should help to attract more butterflies and bees to their gardens.
Wildflower seeds make for a very simple and affordable wedding favour, with the added bonus that you’re doing a little something to improve the biodiversity of our country.
You can purchase little glass bottles from Amazon, fill each with some wildflower seed, and then create little labels for each guest, with their name on one side, and the instructions for when to sow the seeds on the other. Guests can then reuse their little glass bottles for whatever they wish, meaning this could be a zero-waste wedding favour!
3 – Give away your flowers at the end of the celebrations
If you’re heading straight off on honeymoon after your wedding, there’s no point leaving all of your gorgeous flowers in your house where no-one will get to enjoy them; instead gift them to friends and family. You could Also gift them to the team who helped with your wedding such as wedding planners, the owners of the venue and the caterers.
Another lovely way to get the most enjoyment out of your blooms as possible is to donate a bouquet or two to a local old people’s home.
Alternatively, you could get your bridal bouquet pressed in order to preserve them. We sent our bouquet over to Rachel Dein who can preserve your beautiful bridal blooms for you into a timeless and everlasting piece of artwork.
4 – Borrow your decorations
Luckily for us, our wedding planners also had a rental company, so we were able to hire cutlery, crockery and chairs from them which meant we didn’t have to buy a load of things that we wouldn’t have a need for after the wedding! Look for rental companies in your area – you may even be able to loan beautiful antiques to decorate your venue with.
We also borrowed wireless lamps to run the lengths of our dining tables from Pooky, and we borrowed gorgeous printed linen napkins from Bertioli – this really helped to reduce the amount of waste produced from our wedding. Nothing was single use.
Another tip is to avoid single-use decorations where possible. So rather than decorating with a load of helium balloons which will only end up in land-fill, you could collect together old jam jars, wrap a little ribbon around each one, and fill them with tea lights, or sprigs of foliage.
5 – Use biodegradable confetti
I’m sure you’ll already be aware that metallic, plastic or glitter confetti is not great for the environment, as it would be pretty impossible to pick up all of the confetti after it’s thrown and it’s not biodegradable. Paper confetti is slightly better as it is biodegradable, however it won’t degrade as quickly as flower petals.
Therefore, the best type of confetti for the environment is flower petal confetti. You can get dried flower petals from a range of plants, including rose, lavender, delphinium, hydrangea; the list goes on. You could use your confetti purchase to support a small British business, such as Cotswold Confetti.
Or, if you happen to have a cut-flower area in your garden, you could grow your own flowers & dry the petals yourself! Our lovely neighbour Jac actually nipped into our garden on the morning of our wedding, and picked buckets of fresh rose petals which we were able to use as our confetti – it doesn’t get fresher than that! – and I’ll never forget the incredible fragrance of them as we walked down the church path.