How to Plan a Sustainable Wedding
‘Sustainable’ has been one of the buzzwords of 2019 - a trend that is looking to continue into 2020. The environmental impact we are having on the planet is now a central conversation across main stream media; hardly a day goes by without an article in the paper or a news segment on the topic.
The positive thing about this is that more and more people are looking to lessen their impact and try to live sustainably. This trend has found its way into most parts of day-to-day life; what we eat, what we wear, how we travel – the list goes on. But what about other, less commonplace parts of life; special events, parties, even weddings?
A wedding is often the most special day in a couple’s life, but they can also create a huge level of waste. According to Sky Ocean Rescue, the average wedding is responsible for nearly 20kg of single use plastic. In the UK last year 245,513 weddings took place, resulting in 4,910 of plastic waste. For scale, that works out at roughly 800 elephants or 3,000 cars in weight.
Such immense levels of waste have prompted brides and husbands-to-be to seek out ways to reduce their environmental impact on their big day. A prime example of which being Princess Eugenie’s plastic-free royal wedding to Jack Brooksbank in 2018.
There are plenty of simple ways to make your wedding sustainable – and you don’t need a royal budget either!
Examples would include:
Recycled paper wedding invitations.
Replace plastic confetti with dried flower petals (warn guests beforehand to leave the traditional confetti at home).
Buy local flowers – this way you can reduce the CO2 emissions created by transporting flowers, as well as reduce the amount of plastic used to wrap them.
Avoid plastic tableware or disposable cups and plates by renting cutlery, crockery and glassware.
Why not try a plastic-free bar? Instead of offering water in plastic bottles and mixers, opt for refillable water jugs and glass-bottled mixers. You could also swap plastic straws in favour of paper.
When deciding on your wedding food, take into account what is in season. Creating a menu out of seasonal produce will help to reduce air miles on your food. Go one step further and look at using produce from local suppliers as well.
Avoid decorations that require a lot of plastic; balloons, table confetti, streamers, bunting etc. Instead, why not use reusable, recyclable or natural options? For example, fairy lights, candles and flowers.
For your centrepieces, get creative and use jam jars or gin bottles as vases or use potted plants.
If you decide to have table favours, some great sustainable options would be seeds, potted plants, handmade soap, or Fairtrade chocolate.
This may be a given, but try to ensure that any waste that can be recycled; such as plastic, food, aluminium, paper and cardboard, are recycled.
Encourage guests to travel together, or organise a mini bus for anyone who would have to get a taxi.
Hire wedding items from a sustainable provider like Wild Occasion Hire.
Hire Sustainable Wedding Props
When planning their weddings, many couples want items that are a little bit different – think photo booths or star-lit dance floors. However, why not opt for items that are sustainable and contribute to a good cause?
Wild Occasion Hire is part of Create for Nature, a charity funded by Cheshire Wildlife Trust. They take reclaimed wood and, with the help of volunteers, create beautiful rustic items that can be hired for weddings.
They produce all sorts of pieces, from the show stopping to smaller items. Why not try the wooden light up ‘LOVE’ letters? Or possibly a traditional sweet cart, wooden dividers or a social media frame – perfect for guest photos. The smaller items they offer include; champagne carousel centrepieces made from reclaimed cable reels and personalised wooden post boxes for cards. They even have bars made from recycled palettes – perfect for venues such as barns or tents to add to that rustic feel.
The items created by the staff and volunteers at Wild Weddings are all produced at their workshop in Cheshire. They are not just an environmental initiative, but social as well. Another one of their goals is to reduce social isolation in the over 50’s, which they do by inviting volunteers to help in their workshop. Creating a sociable and creative environment for people over the age of 50.
Another benefit to renting wedding items from Wild Occasion Hire, is that any money raised will go back to the Cheshire Wildlife Trust. Meaning that not only would it be better for the environment, have a positive impact on local society, but also benefit the Cheshire countryside.
If you are planning a sustainable wedding, why not also contribute to a good cause?