How to plan a more sustainable wedding

With evergrowing concern over our environmental impact, many people are looking to make changes to their individual households’ footprint on the world and big celebrations such as weddings are no exception. 

According to research from the Sustainable Wedding Alliance there are approximately 278,000 weddings every year in the UK. Each of these can produce 14.5 tons C02e. The scale of this is incredibly hard to imagine, so to think of this more practically if each wedding reduced their emissions by 50% that’s the potential of taking an equivalent of over 850,000 cars off the road.

Weddings are known to be enveloped in luxury and excess, and we’re sure many brides and grooms don’t want to make any major sacrifices to their day that stray too far from their dream vision. However, we’ve put together five helpful tips on small changes that you can consider when planning a more sustainable wedding: 

Eco-Friendly Confetti 

The throwing of confetti can be dated back to the Middle Ages as a symbol of fertility and prosperity. This remains an unquestionably iconic gesture of excitement shown towards the newlyweds following the wedding ceremony to this day. We’ve come a long way since the uncooked grains of rice we used to throw, but is it time for this to evolve further?

Why not consider a more sustainable option such as rice paper which is 100% water-soluble. With the reliable British Weather it is guaranteed to dissolve in the next downpour. It also has some aesthetic benefits; due to its thinner consistency, it produces a more even spread of confetti over the bride and groom rather than the clumped-together traditional confetti. 

Another alternative is petal confetti made from dried flowers which come in a variety of colours to complement your theme. This can add a vintage look which looks great for photo opportunities. This type of confetti is handpicked in the summer months and dried to retain its original beauty. Due to this process, they are 100% naturally biodegradable making them much better for the environment than their paper predecessor. 

Sustainable Wedding Venue

Choosing a venue that aligns with eco-friendly values can often be a daunting task, but some simple considerations can make your choice more in line with a lower carbon footprint. The first is location, where are your guests travelling from? The more central your venue is to the majority of your wedding guests the less they will need to travel, reducing the emissions associated with driving. It is encouraged to find a venue that accommodates your ceremony and your evening reception to reduce travel further too. 

Another sustainable conscious choice is to get married outdoors. Yes, this does come with some challenges, if you are getting married in the summer months and select a venue that can accommodate a plan b room for rain-related emergencies these can be significantly reduced. When saying ‘I do’ outdoors, couples often feel like they don’t need as many decorations as they can make use of the landscape around them. The natural light from sunshine in comparison to artificial light can also work wonders for photos. 

How to plan a more sustainable wedding

Earth-Friendly Guest Invites

According to Hitched the average number of day guests at a UK wedding is 82, with night guests totalling to 103.  These numbers can often be much larger, with Asian cultures often averaging over 350 guests for example. All of these people will need notification of when and where they will be attending your event. May vendors now offer wedding invites that are made with recycled fibres but also can be recycled themselves. This is a great place to start. The wedding stationary industry is evolving even further, with a growing trend towards paperless digital invites. Not only are these a more sustainable choice but they can help with organisation. The invites come with text and email option and often have a streamlined system to track RSVPs in one place. A winning combination from all angles. 

Organic Wedding attire

There are several ways in which you can make more sustainable decisions on your wedding dress depending on the level of environmental commitment you wish to place on this aspect of your special day. Some brides are opting for purchasing second-hand dresses, after all, they will likely have only been worn once. Others opt for choosing to rent aspects of their party’s attire, such a bridesmaid dresses and groomsmen suits. This is especially prevalent if you are choosing styles that you believe won’t be reused beyond the date. 

There are many bridal shops available to us now that use fabrics that are gentle to the earth and sourced by ethical means. This is often referred to as the ‘minimalist bride’ movement. There is absolutely no sacrifice to style with these exquisite garments. Using materials such as organic silk, English lace, and vegan bamboo to create a sleek luxurious look. There may also be elements of your dress that are recycled such as zips and buttons. 

Zero-Waste Wedding favours

From rich canapes to three-course wedding breakfasts, evening feasts and wedding cakes. The food offered at a wedding plays a large part in your big day. A study from Sainsbury’s shows that 15% of the food available remains untouched by wedding guests, and an even larger percentage – 37% – will avoid their edible favours. What a waste! Even if you don’t want to fully skip the wedding favours, there a lot of other ways to symbolise your appreciation for your guests that have a reduced impact on the environment. Some of our personal favourites have been take-home plantable place cards, beeswax reusable wraps (to take a slice of cake home), hand-made beautifully smelling soaps, and personalised reusable straws which can be used on the day and taken away by the guests. 

If you are looking to book your dream wedding and would like to take a tour of Carden Park Hotel as a potential venue. Our dedicated co-ordinators would be happy to show you around. 
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How to plan a more sustainable wedding


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