As more and more couples become aware of being environmentally friendly in their day to day lives, it’s an aspect many of us want to introduce in to our weddings.
How to plan and host an eco‐friendly wedding
As more and more couples become aware of being environmentally friendly in their day to day lives, it’s an aspect many of us want to introduce in to our weddings. So ‐‐ how do you have an organic wedding?
Your ceremony and reception venues are an enormous part of the wedding day, and can play a big part in your eco‐friendly arrangements. Bear in mind that more travel means a higher environmental cost, so look out for a location that is convenient for your guests. If your ceremony and reception are in different venues, try to make sure the distance isn’t too great, and organise a minibus or coach so that all the cars aren’t driving between the two.
Having a daytime wedding can also cut down electricity costs as you won’t have any need for lighting. If your reception does go on in to the evening, ask whether you can have candlelight ‐‐ it’s more romantic after all!
When possible, seek out local, privately owned businesses to supply your reception, to help support the local economy.
Green stationery and decorations
Create your own invitations, looking out for recycled paper if at all possible, and keep the number of pieces of paper to a minimum. As an alternative to placecards, write names on pebbles or even leaves.
When it comes to decorating your tables, use pretty candles and rose petals instead of plastic decorations. And, for your centrepieces, have pot plants instead of cut flowers.
Cut down on cars
Cut down the CO2 emissions by opting for a horse and carriage instead of a car. Alternatively, if you’re not far away from your ceremony, why not walk? Encourage guests to share car journeys or, even better, take the train (send information with your invitations).
Pick your wedding flowers by season
Speak to your florist about sticking to local, seasonal flowers instead of opting for imported blooms. You might even decide to try and grow flowers for your bouquet yourself! For floral decorations, stick to tubs of lavender or pretty plants, and reuse your flowers by transferring arrangements from your ceremony to reception venue. After the big day is over, give your bouquets and arrangements as gifts to your guests, or donate them to a local hospital or nursing home.
Consider dried or silk flowers as an alternative to fresh, cut flowers. Many silk flowers are now so realistic that it can be hard to tell them from the real thing… and they won’t die at the end of the day so you can keep them as a memento!
Of course, there are alternatives to flowers. Bridesmaids could carry bouquets made of jewellery wire, ribbons, beads and feathers. When it comes to table centrepieces, have bowls of sweets or floating candles to add decoration to the tables.
Yes ‐‐ it is possible to have an eco‐friendly wedding dress! Choose suits and dresses made from natural fibres such as organic cotton or hemp. If you’re fortunate enough to have the option of reusing your mother’s wedding dress, that’s a great idea too. If you do buy a new dress, sell it on so that it can be worn again. Hire men’s suits, ties, cravats and waistcoats instead of buying outfits that may never be worn again.
Don’t panic ‐‐ go organic
Food and drink is one area where you really can ‘go organic’. Many caterers now offer organic produce, so be sure to speak about this before you place a booking. Look out for seasonal, locally grown produce that doesn’t have to be flown half way around the world to your wedding.
Fair trade/organic coffee and tea is now widely available, as is organic wine and beer, so you should be able to source this easily.
Wedding cake ideas
It’s really not difficult to have an organic wedding cake as many of the necessary ingredients are so widely available. Ask your cake maker whether they would be willing to make an organic cake ‐‐ you could even offer to shop for the produce yourself. And, when it comes to decorating the cake, choose ribbons, ornate icing and flowers instead of plastic items.
When it comes to entertainment, the basic idea is to keep electricity costs low. So hire a live acoustic band, or choose classical music.
Adventures close to home
Instead of jetting off to faraway lands, keep your travel to a minimum and stay closer to home. Alternatively, consider a ‘working’ honeymoon where you can contribute to an environmental project, or raise money for a charity.