Whether you’re planning a full zero-waste wedding or you’re looking for small ways to reduce your impact on the planet, every little helps in the fight against climate change. Weddings are a huge cost, both financially and for the planet, so reducing how much ‘stuff’ we have and being conscious of the way we plan weddings should always be at the forefront of our minds. Planning a zero-waste wedding is no different to planning a ‘normal’ wedding, but our mindset needs to be different when it comes to doing it more ethically. We give you our top ten tips when planning a zero-waste wedding…
Choose Recyclable Or Paperless Invitations
Sending e-invites and save the dates is the most ethical way as there is zero waste involved. This doesn’t mean they have to be boring though. There is lots of fun you can have with e-invites and you can be as creative as your heart desires! Setting up a wedding website and then directing your guests there with your e-invite means that you can keep them up to date with any changes, plus they have all the information to hand when they need it, without scrambling around trying to find the invite you sent them 6 months ago. If you would really prefer not to do it electronically then use a stationer that offers an eco-friendly range, some make from recycled materials, and others use beautiful options like seeded paper that your guests can plant and grow flowers from.
Choose an Ethical Wedding Venue
Choosing an ethical or eco-friendly wedding venue is one of the best things you can do if you’re planning a zero-waste wedding as they’ll already have a lot of ethical practices in place. They will be able to help you with other elements of your day and support you in your bid to have a zero-waste wedding. Check with them on all their policies from recycling policies, to food wastage and energy usage – if they’re an ethical wedding venue they’ll be loud and proud about it! Need help choosing an ethical wedding venue? See our tips here Finding An Sustainable, Eco Friendly & Ethical Wedding Venue
Choose Local Caterers With Local Produce
If your venue is eco-friendly then they should have some local caterers that use local produce. Choosing local means less travelling time and a reduced carbon footprint, plus local produce is putting money back into the community and helping, generally, small businesses to continue to trade! Also, think about how much food you actually need; most weddings have copious amounts of food that’s too much for any person to consume in one day. Food wastage is huge when it comes to weddings so reduce the amount and have a plan in place for any wastage. Can this go to food shelters? Do the venue or caterers have a practice in place for food wastage?
Choose Seasonal Flowers With Eco Methods
Go local when it comes to choosing your flowers and chat to your florist about what’s in-season when you are getting married. Flowers in season do not need to be imported thus making them more eco-friendly. Your flowers if you’re having them, should be local, in season and foam-free. Beautiful dried flowers are also an option and can look truly amazing on your wedding day. When it comes to making them last longer, have a plan in place! You could give them to your guests or donate them to a local charity or care home to make them last even longer than just one day! We have some more ideas here How to Keep Your Flowers Fresh For Longer After The Wedding.
Choose Ethical Suppliers
Choose a supplier that markets itself as ethical and eco-friendly; using suppliers that have the same values and vision will give you a head start when planning your zero-waste wedding. Chat with them about how you can make their particular product or service zero-waste and find out about their ethical practices.
If you’re looking for ethical suppliers check out our Ethical Wedding Show…
Choose Companies With Ethical Initiatives
There are so many companies that now work in a way that helps climate change. From planting trees for every purchase, to making donations to climate change charities. Your food and drink especially is a great place to start when looking for companies with ethical initiatives.
Choose Second Hand Or Ethical Clothing
Wedding outfits contribute to a huge carbon footprint when bought new without consideration. Buying second-hand or hiring can reduce this massively. Wedding dresses can be sourced from specialist second-hand stores or pre-loved boutiques. If you want a new dress, bear in mind the ethical implications of this and look for a local supplier that uses eco- fabrics and practices. When it comes to bridesmaids’ dresses, there are a few options buying second-hand is great, generally, dresses have only ever been worn once or give your bridesmaids a colour and let them choose a dress that they will wear over and over again. Hiring your suits is the most eco-friendly option and provides zero-waste. You could also encourage your guests to hire or re-wear their outfits too if they plan on buying new ones for your wedding day!
SEE MORE HERE >> Our Favourite UK Vintage/Pre-Loved Ethical Wedding Dress Shops
Hire Don’t Buy
This is so important and can reduce your waste tenfold! You should hire anything and everything that you can! Hiring means zero-waste and you can apply this to your outfits, as mentioned previously, decor, catering and even flowers (if you’re choosing dried or silk). It’s a surefire way to reduce your wedding waste.
Use Fewer Decorations
If your venue has a beautiful backdrop then use it to your advantage, thus keeping decor to a minimum. Ask your family and friends if they have decorations you could use for your wedding day, you’s be surprised what can be found! Make sure your decorations are recyclable or re-useable if you need to add a few extra in.
Ask For Ethical Wedding Gifts or Donations
If you are asking for wedding gifts then make sure they are as eco-friendly as possible and provide zero-waste. Most people put on their invite that gifts aren’t required, however, this in some cases ends with guests buying you things you don’t actually need or want, hence producing waste. If you need things then create a gift list and add it to you zero-waste wedding website, or if you really don’t need anything as a couple then ask for donations to a climate change charity!
And remember… every little helps when it comes to climate change!
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