how to have a sustainable wedding

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I’m pretty sure, by the law of averages, that some Moral Fibres readers are getting married soon.  If that happens to be you, then huge congratulations!  Whilst we congratulate you and ooh and aah over your ring, pull up a pew because I’ve got seven great eco-friendly and sustainable wedding ideas for you!

Seven Ideas for An Eco-Friendly And Sustainable Wedding

Go British

Cut flowers have a surprising carbon footprint.  Instead, for a more sustainable wedding, consider sourcing British-grown seasonal flowers for your bouquet.  Try the British Flower Collective to find growers and sellers near you.  For table displays, why not consider using potted plants rather than cut flowers?  You can then take them home after your wedding, or offer them to guests as an eco-friendly and long-lasting reminder of your special day.

Ditch The Wedding List

Wedding lists traditionally sought to help out a young couple setting up a home together for the first time.  Nowadays most couples live together prior to tying the knot, and own all of the big and small tickets items that wedding lists once sought to provide.

For an eco-friendly and sustainable wedding, I suggest ditching the traditional wedding list.  It doesn’t make any financial or environmental sense to ask guests for a toaster, kettle, bed linen, or dinner service when you already own those items.

If you’re like any of my friends who have tied the knot, then their financial concerns are either saving for a honeymoon or saving for a deposit on a property.  Why not, therefore, consider using an alternative wedding list service, such as Patchwork?

Patchwork allows guests to contribute towards your saving goals by being able to fund parts of your honeymoon or deposit for a property.  For example, say you want to ask guests to contribute towards your honeymoon.  You can set up a Patchwork account where guests are given various fun options that they can treat you to on your honeymoon, such as £2 for beers on the beach; £50 for a romantic meal; £100 for a night in a hotel and so forth.  It’s fun, feels more tangible than putting some money in an envelope, and is more sustainable than getting a gift that you don’t need or want.

Give Some Love To Preloved

At a time when the average cost of a wedding is £24,000, opting for a pre-loved wedding dress isn’t just good for the planet, but good for your pocket too.

Oxfam Online*, eBay*, and Etsy* all have fantastic selections of both vintage and secondhand dresses in a vast variety of styles and sizes.  If buying a wedding dress online gives you the fear then try charity shops, one of Oxfam’s 12 specialist bridal charity shops, and vintage shops.  You could even get a talented tailor/dressmaker to customise your preloved dress for something really unique and special.

If preloved isn’t for you, do check out my guide to ethical wedding dresses.

Don’t Stick To Traditions

It’s traditional to offer wedding favours to guests.  I say no one will mind if there’s not a box of sugared almonds sitting on their dinner table!  Does anyone even eat the sugared almonds anyway?  Save your effort and save your money. If you really want to offer favours, one sustainable wedding idea to is offer packets of bee-friendly seeds. Etsy has so many selections*, or you could DIY your own.

Rope In Friends and Family

green and eco-friendly wedding ideas

For a great eco-friendly and sustainable wedding idea you could eschew gifts or money, and instead, simply ask your friends and family to help make your wedding day happen.

Patchwork offers a fabulous free service where you can ask guests to contribute to your big day.  You can list who and what you need for your wedding then share your list with friends and family.  People can then sign up for the job/role they would like via the site.   So, for example, you might want someone who is good at baking to bake a cake; someone who has a nice car that you could borrow; people who are good at cooking to bring a dish for the buffet; someone who has an ear for music to act as DJ for an hour; crafty people to help make decorations with you; people to bring a bottle with them, and so forth.  It’s a fun and inclusive way to plan a wedding.

There are some customisable pre-made ‘Patchworks’, as they are called. This A Make & Do Wedding and this Festival Wedding would make good starting points, otherwise, you could make your own personal to your wedding.

Something Borrowed, Something Blue

One of my top eco-friendly wedding tips is to borrow what you can.  From the decoration to the jewellery, to the tableware: rather than rushing out and buying items new, instead see what you can borrow from friends and family.  No one is going to mind if the wine glasses don’t match – just as long as the glasses are full!  If you can’t borrow, try hiring what you can.

Go Electronic

For a truly sustainable wedding cut out any unnecessary paper.  Electronic invites are lighter on the environment and lighter on your pocket, and don’t have to be poorly designed Microsoft Paint affairs!

Sites like Paperless Wedding allow you to create a wedding website along with e-invites, whilst Paperless Post has some really stunning wedding invite designs from designers such as Rifle Paper Co, Kate Spade, Oscar De La Renta, and more. What’s more, they also offer a service that allows you to track your RSVPs with ease.  There is also a handy option to print invites for grandparents and other relatives that may not be au fait with the world wide web.

Your Ideas for A Sustainable Wedding

Do you have any other ideas for having an eco-friendly and sustainable wedding?  I’m sure readers would be interested to hear them so do share!

Finally, if you are buying wedding rings, do also check out my guide to ethical jewellery. It outlines the greenwashing to be wary of. For example, did you know that recycled gold is a form of greenwashing? Everything you need to look out is in there, so do take a read.

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