There are no two ways about it, weddings are incredibly profligate events which never fail to create absolutely ginormous quantities of waste. Following the old offer and acceptance, it seems the need to have the most amazing, most beautiful, most extravagant wedding imaginable and damn the environmental issues of ever-growing landfill sites and high CO2 emissions!
Well, this got us to thinking here at Elegance of Elena – is it possible to have a more environmentally-friendly wedding? Would it really be so difficult? And these were some of the ways we discovered to make your wedding eco-friendlier:
Rent the Crockery and Tablecloths
This one is fairly self-explanatory, simple to achieve and really the way to go, environmentally speaking. Whereas many couples in the past would opt for single use paper plates, tablecloths and plastic cutlery, or simply buy the whole lot new, nowadays more and more people are realising just how criminally wasteful this was and renting instead. Just make sure you ask the rental company if they use an eco-friendly cleaning process, because you could be negating all the good you’ve done if they’re not green!
Ethical Engagement and Wedding Rings Only
Choosing ethically manufactured and eco-friendly engagement ring and wedding rings really ought to be one of the very first environmentally conscious decisions you make when you decide to take a trip down the aisle and spend the rest of your lives together!
After all, wedding and engagement rings are the results of gemstone mining operations and the use of precious metals like gold, silver and platinum, which means wedding jewellery has very negative connotations both for our eco-system and for the people who worked to produce it; the exploited labourers.
Fortunately, there are now a great many companies producing and supplying ethical wedding and engagement rings, most of whom use either conflict-free or recycled diamonds and recycled precious metals.
Choose Local Caterers That Support Local Farmers
You may have noticed from the title, that the operative word here is “local” and it’s that way for good reason. Local means that the food has to travel only a short distance from its point-of-production (the farm or the factory) to its point-of-consumption (your mouth at your wedding).
As a consequence, much less CO2 is generated by its transportation – less petrol used, fewer people (all of whom produce CO2) involved, less wear and tear, and consequent replacement of parts, on the trucks used to transport the goods – the list is endless, but you get the idea.
Indeed, only employ caterers who source their produce locally, and choose only foods that are in-season at the same time as your big day, because if it’s December and you have massive juicy strawberries, you know they're probably not from around these parts!
Donate Your Food and Bloom Waste
The last thing you want if you’re trying to make your wedding as green as possible, is for your flowers and food waste to become landfill. In fact, landfill is the very last place you want any of your waste to end up, but that’s for another blog!
Not just your bouquet but ALL your wedding flowers can be either donated or composted. Yes, yours and your bridesmaids’ bouquets, flower girls’, well, flowers, groom’s, best man’s and groomsmens’ buttonholes, as well as all the table centrepieces, can be donated to charities such as Floral Angels, and there will definitely be a charity in your area to which you can donate yours.
Also, ask your caterer what’s the destination of your food waste, because they’ll know whether it will be composted or not. If yours is a rural or semi-rural area, as a local farmer if his pigs would like the meal of their lives. You never know, he or she might even offer you some of the resultant sausages or bacon, so the food will actually be returning to you in a very weird and convoluted way!
Use an Eco-Conscious Company for Your Wedding Invitations
Nowadays, there are hundreds of stationery companies that trade on the fact that they operate in an eco-conscious manner, so you should be able to get a really great deal on your wedding invitations. Do a little research and seek out the ones to which minimising their environmental impact is their number one priority.
Plantable Paper is a Growing Market!
If you’ve no idea what plantable paper is, neither did we until we researched ways to minimise your environmental impact, while still being able to send out gorgeous wedding invitations!
Plantable paper is a form of handmade paper into which has been added a variety of different seeds in the manufacturing process. Have your wedding invitations printed onto this remarkable, innovative paper, and then ask your guests to plant them in soil rather than throwing them in the bin. That way, they’ll germinate and grow as opposed to making landfill sites grow!
Or You Could Go Completely Paperless!
Of course, if you want to go a step further than having greener paper wedding invites, you could always simply design a lovely card using Adobe Photoshop or any one of a million card design apps, and then e-mail it to all your invitees. That way, no trees whatsoever will have been harmed in the name of your wedding!
Potted Plants Make Perfect Décor
If you want to have foliage decorating the reception, but you’d like to cut out the waste factor altogether, you could use potted plants and succulents instead of cut flower arrangements. They’ll live long and happy lives following the big day, and you could even give them to members of the wedding party as thank you gifts for being so helpful and supportive. You’ll be reducing your environmental impact and solving the age-old problem of what to give as wedding or party favours!
Wear a "Pre-Loved" Wedding Dress
If you decide to wear a second hand or vintage dress that you’ve bought online, from a charity shop or from a vintage shop, you’ll be making a difference in not one, not two but three separate ways. The first is that you’ll be giving a dress that was probably dearly loved by its original owner, a completely new lease of life; another unexpected outing, if you will.
You will also be vastly reducing your carbon footprint in the lead-up to your wedding. Why? Well, just think of the hours of work that would be spent making a brand new dress. Wedding dresses are notoriously labour-intensive to manufacture as they have so much detailing, so you’ll be reducing the CO2 that would’ve been generated by all those man-hours, to zero!
Thirdly, you’ll be saving a considerable amount of money because very few second hand dresses will ever cost as much as a new wedding dress that’s been specifically made-to-measure for you! And, if you buy it from a charity shop, you’ll also be giving much needed support to the charity concerned, so actually, that makes four!
Choose Wedding Décor Items You Can Reuse Around Your Home
There’s absolutely nothing in the rules (what rules?) that says what’s used at a wedding, stays at a wedding. As such, you could have a think about décor to use for your reception that you’d actually like to use around your home, too.
Take a look around car boot sales, charity shops or at antique fairs because you’re guaranteed to find some items there that would be perfect to be repurposed, reused and recycled and will give your wedding a truly unique aesthetic that none of your guests will have ever seen before. Why, whilst searching, you may even be inspired to base the wedding’s whole theme on some of the items you find! Stranger things have definitely happened!
We’re Waiting for Your Call!
If you’ve enjoyed reading this blog and you’d like to discuss its themes with a member of our little team, just pick up the phone and give us a call on 0116 462 3547 or e-mail us at: email@example.com
We can’t wait to hear from you!