Many of us dream of our big day for years and planning a wedding comes with a multitude of decisions to make. Along with finances and family to consider, there is also the environmental impact of a wedding. Recent headlines have made most of us aware of the detrimental impact overconsumption is having on the earth. For example, weddings use 14.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide on average – that’s the same as running three cars for a whole year.
1. Consider a vintage dress
The wedding dress can feel like the most important part of the big day, as all eyes are on the beautiful bride. However, many wedding gown’s come with a huge carbon footprint as the power to create the dress and transporting it to the UK build up.
Consider swapping a designer gown for a unique vintage dress and make sure no other bride will be wearing the same thing while reducing the weddings carbon footprint. Vintage dresses are fun and exciting to find as you search through different stores and enjoy a truly unique wedding dress shopping experience.
Even better still, you could dye your little vintage dress and create a new outfit for many parties to come – far more environmentally friendly than a dress you’ll never wear again.
2. Go veggie
There are some startling facts about food and the environment. Meat is one of the biggest contributors to CO2 emissions globally.
And on average, 10% of wedding food is wasted in the UK.
Reduce waste by doing away with edible favours which often go unused.
For your wedding catering, consider offering only vegetarian dishes and locally sourced fruit and vegetables to really reduce the footprint of your wedding. If you really want to keep the meat, make sure it’s British so that it hasn’t travelled as far.
Talk to your wedding venue as they will be able to recommend the best local produce to you and will help get inventive with your wedding menu.
3. Avoid using single-use plastic and decorations
The recent social media movement to stop the use of plastic straws has brought our attention to the damage single use plastic can do. And weddings are a great place to make a change.
Avoid single use decorations and straws, using only recycled paper and hire decorations. Consider making a quirky keepsake with reusable jam jars for each guest to fill with drinks throughout the evening and provide metal straws for guests to take home.
Crockery from the venue or hired for the event will bring a far more upmarket look than single use plastic or paper plates, as will linen table cloths and napkins.
Avoid confetti unless it biodegradable and get inventive with floral decorations rather than single use plastic and paper.
4. Keep it local
By keeping your wedding local to your guests, you can cut out one of the biggest creators of carbon emissions on your big day. 73% of carbon emissions from weddings are created by guests travelling to and from the venue.
You could consider transporting your guests in masse to avoid loads of cars heading to the venue but keeping everyone close to home is the best way to reduce your weddings carbon footprint.
Also, consider having the wedding ceremony and celebration in the same venue as this further cuts down on transport.
5. Try a staycation for your honeymoon
For many of us, the honeymoon is as much a part of the celebration as the ceremony. You may have been dreaming of a foreign location for your post-wedding trip but staying in the UK can be just as romantic.
A long-distance flight will eat up thousands of kg of CO2 – undoing all that hard work to reduce your big day’s carbon footprint!
For example, a trip from London to Costa Rica will burn a massive 1,500 litres of fuel and create 3,800 kg of CO2 per couple.
Even driving abroad comes at a cost. Driving to the French Alps from London will use 1,250 kg of CO2.
To overcome this huge environmental cost, consider staying closer to home for your trip, or perhaps continuing your wedding experience by staying at your wedding venue for your honeymoon. Wave friends and family off before enjoying the carefully chosen location just the two of you.
Staying anywhere in the UK will reduce the impact of your honeymoon and with so many holiday options close to home, there is bound to be something to suit you and your future spouse.
Discover how to make your wedding as eco-friendly as possible ahead of the big day.