With wedding season around the corner many couples are preparing for their big day.
The price we pay for getting hitched is well documented, with some bills ringing in at eye-watering amounts, but a wedding could also cost the earth - literally.
Any party has the potential to impact badly on the environment but there is another way.
“The importance of having an eco-friendly wedding is being embraced by more and more couples during the planning of their big day,” said wedding expert, Lisa Forde, of wedding stationery specialists, Tree of Hearts.
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“The sustainable movement is all about reducing the use of single-use materials and opting for products and materials that are better for the environment.
“If you’re looking to plan your own eco-friendly wedding there’s lots of things to think about - from wedding party outfits to confetti to your honeymoon.”
With almost two decades in the industry under her belt, Lisa has seen the priorities of brides-to-be change over time, with many of her brides stating that an eco-friendly wedding is of high importance.
For couples with a conscience, Lisa has pulled together seven things to think about when planning your eco-friendly wedding:
You might think that sending your invitations online is an easy way to eliminate waste but it’s not actually that much more eco-friendly. Did you know that around 120 emails equates to 1,652 g CO2e?
But at the end of the day, nothing beats traditional high-quality stationery, eloquently styled and designed, printed on high-quality sustainable paper and personalised to your day and a keepsake for your guests forever.
Wedding party outfits
Choosing outfits when you're trying to be eco-friendly can be difficult, as you don't want to compromise on style and want something that will really suit you. Luckily for you, there are so many options.
We would recommend looking in second-hand and vintage boutiques to find pre-loved dresses. There will be so many beautiful styles for a fraction of the cost of buying a brand new dress.
More and more brides are also choosing to wear their mum's wedding dress for their special day. You can then have alterations made if you're looking for a more modern style.
For the groom and groomsmen, consider renting suits. This is a great idea as many men will never wear their wedding suit ever again, and it will just sit in the wardrobe gathering dust.
When choosing your wedding make-up, be sure to avoid single-use products, such as fake eyelashes and make-up-removing wipes.
Make sure to discuss this with your make-up artist ahead of time so they can choose make-up that is in eco-friendly containers and packaging, and stay far away from plastic.
Choosing a local venue is very beneficial for the environment, as all of your wedding guests won't have to travel as far.
You may also want to choose a venue that is already very beautiful, such as a castle or a church, as then you won't have to spend as much on decor.
If you do want to use more decor to add to your venue, you can then reduce your waste by using eco-friendly decor.
Live plants make beautiful decorations, and can be kept long after your special day. Candles also make beautiful, sophisticated decorations, and are available in lots of eco-friendly materials, such as beeswax.
Having no food waste after a wedding can be difficult as often people struggle to finish their meals.
To reduce food waste, you could have a buffet instead of set meals. This means that people will take as much food as they want, so may eat more or less than they would at a set meal. The leftover food could then be taken home by guests, or donated.
You can reduce the environmental effects of food waste by sourcing local food, and opting for reusable cutlery.
Serving drinks in glasses rather than single-use cups is another easy way to stay environmentally-conscious. Make sure any empty bottles get recycled.
And whilst a big wedding cake may look lovely, it's unlikely the whole thing will get finished, so perhaps choose a smaller cake.
Unfortunately, gifts are another way that a wedding can become wasteful, especially if you're receiving things you never asked for or wanted.
You can prevent waste by setting up a gift registry. This means that you will only get gifts that you really want and need. You may also want to ask your wedding guests to wrap your gifts in eco-friendly wrapping paper, or not to wrap them at all.
If you do receive any gifts you know that you won't use, then you can resell them or donate them to a local charity.
Alternatively, lots of our couples are now asking for charity donations or money as a gift, or contributions towards their honeymoon fund.
Choosing wedding favours with natural ingredients is a great way to reduce waste.
There are lots of natural handmade favours you can also make, including soaps, bath bombs and jam.
Make sure that your packaging is either made from paper, glass, or another more eco-friendly alternative to plastic.
Many couples choose not to give out favours at all, and this is completely fine.
Want to find out how your old phone can make a difference to the environment? For 5 simple ways to help cut e-waste visit: https://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/lifestyle/tech/earth-day-2022-experts-reveal-5-simple-ways-to-help-cut-e-waste-3664121