Eco-friendly weddings are in…
It’s more than just a trend! Planning a more sustainable wedding day should be at the top of every couple’s minds these days. With so many tasks to check off your to-do list before the big day, it might be difficult to pick out where to start. This week we caught up with Tanya Hedley, former award-winning wedding co-ordinator, to find out more about her experiences and some of her top tips for planning a ‘greener’ wedding day…
I remember my first day at a new venue, I left the room and cried as the couple put live goldfish in their centrepieces. Believe it not this was a trend many years ago, and not only might goldfish poop put you off your meal, but it’s also terribly cruel. I wanted to save them and run – but I was on a trial shift and stealing is generally frowned upon.
Thankfully those days are behind us (*praying emoji*) and today’s couples are more mindful of the impact of their weddings. Not just in respect of animals but we’re all a little more eco-conscious. From upcycling jam jars and furniture to create unique décor to mindful giving, our modern Brides & Grooms are really earning their eco-wedding status.
Now, I should mention that donning a lace, boho dress and carrying a hand-tied bouquet will not automatically earn you eco-bride status, although you may look the part. And no, you don’t have to have your hen party in a yurt performing some naked paganist rituals (unless of course you really want to). But there is a happy medium. There are simple, practical things that you can consider to make your wedding just that little kinder to Mother Earth.
Without getting all preachy, here are a few of my favourites;
- It starts with ring shopping. I know that you know about conflict-free diamonds, so don’t be afraid to ask if your jeweller obtains precious metals and gemstones in ways that are socially and environmentally responsible.
- I’m sorry to break it to you but unless it’s drinkable, a huge amount of your wedding favours will end up in the trash at the end of the night. Those Eiffel Tower keyrings may remind you of your engagement but they don’t mean all that much to your guests. Beautifully thought out wedding favours mount up in hotels – we save them in case people come back for them (guess what? they don’t). I’m sorry, I know you hate me right now but every wedding planner sitting in an office-come-storage facility agrees with me. Think of something practical; bamboo fans for a hot day, homemade alcoholic sweeties, a drink token for the bar, something they will enjoy on the day and please please please ditch the plastic wrapping!
- If you’re jetting off for a destination wedding, consider offsetting your carbon emissions. There are dozens of sites that allow you to calculate your carbon emissions and offset them by contributing to environmental projects. Head to https://climatecare.org/calculator/ – it cost me £3.47 to offset my emissions for a return flight to Sardinia. Small change, big difference!
- Plastic-free! Try to keep your plastic waste to a minimum. Paper straws, home-made or biodegradable confetti – not only do these things look better but your get serious eco-bride points with each!
- Ditch the Chinese lanterns. Sure, they look dreamy on Pinterest but they rarely take off as they’re meant to and can cause untold damage to wildlife.
- Opt for seasonal stems – not only will this reduce the air miles for imported blooms, but it will bring down the cost of your flower bill (ask your florist for advice.)
- If your guests are travelling venue to venue then hire a coach, this will massively reduce your environmental impact as well as be a fun part of the day.
Now, no matter what time of year you plan to wed, you’ll be well-equipped to make the right decisions in planning an earth-friendly celebration.