Something borrowed and something GREEN! – Wedding planning for the environmentally conscious

Action towards preserving the health of our planet and the O-zone layer is something that’s been gathering massive momentum in recent years. And with good reason. Our oceans are filled with plastic and we’re running out of land to fill with our unnecessary waste. And then there’s our carbon footprint, which, in not too many generations time, is going to cause some seriously iffy weather. And no one wants that. So unless you’re a certain follicly challenged world leader, our environment, and the damage we’re doing to it, is an issue. And a big one.

 

But where on earth do you come into this?…

 

Well, let’s just have a look at what goes into a wedding. Guests. They’ve all gotta get there somehow. Some from further away than others. There’s your carbon footprint. Then there’s the food. Is every morsel on every plate at breakfast devoured? Does the buffet get completely and totally cleaned out? Highly doubtful. Imagine the food waste from a three-figure guest list. Not pretty. Now you may choose to look at these issues and think ‘Well one wedding isn’t gonna make a massive difference’. And you’ve every right to take that stance. But how many millions of others do you suppose are thinking the same?…

 

Bottom line, no one person is ever going to save the world. It’s a big team effort. And if you’re on that team, read on for some tips on planning an eco-friendly wedding…

 

Choose your venue wisely

The single most effective way to minimise your wedding’s carbon footprint is all in your venue of choice. There are two factors here. The first is the location of the venue in relation to the majority of the guest list. It’s important to choose a location that will require as few combined miles travelled as possible. This is, of course, allowing for a possible handful of guests who live significantly further away than the majority. Secondly, try to choose a venue with the required infrastructure already established. For example, If you tie the knot at a church and then have the reception at a hotel function room, there’s no need for any kind of temporary construction with its own dedicated power supply.

 

Save the seamstress a job

For many brides, the wedding dress may not be something to be compromised on. But just take a moment to think about it. Even if you have a dress made especially for you, how unique can it be, really? And that’s the super expensive option! For most of us it’s a case of visiting a bridal shop, picking out a dress we love and ignoring the fact that we aren’t the first or last to get hitched in it. So maybe, just maybe, it’s worth considering other options for the sake of the planet. ‘Pre-Loved‘ is the preferred term to ‘second hand’ nowadays. And it’s a beautiful way of looking at it if you think about it. Free-cycle or eBay anyone? But either way, it’s made happy memories for one person, now it can do the same for you.

 

Get with the times with your invitations

It’s 2019. There are very few people left now without access to the internet and email. With that in mind, one easy win for the environment could be to do away with paper invitations altogether. This could be achieved through simply sending an email and requesting an RSVP by return. There is however an electronic option that could retain the style, colour and expression of a fancy paper invite. A simple website could really provide a wow factor for your guests before they’ve even responded. It can even be used to gather RSVPs, with your invitees using a form within the site to respond. Attendance, accommodation and dietary requirements could all end up in your email inbox.

 

Catering for the environment

When it comes to environmentally friendly catering on your big day, there are a few things to consider. One of the main ones is the catering company you use. Do your research. A company that uses mainly locally sourced produce will make a big difference to the carbon footprint. In terms of reducing potential waste, It’s perhaps worth implementing a more rigid evening meal system than the standard buffet. It doesn’t have to be another formal sit-down affair. It just needs to be a little more thought out, with guests providing their general preferences with their RSVPs as they would their wedding breakfast choices.

Finally, avoid throw-away dinnerware. In most cases, this would only apply to the evening meal, but still, consider the number of paper plates plastic cutlery, cups and straws all binned at the end of a big wedding. By breaking that mould you’re taking a big step toward making your wedding an environmentally friendly one.