No, you don't have to sacrifice style, fun or your budget for this!
There is no need to be afraid dear reader, if you've chosen to read this then you've already taken the first step.
There are so many simple choices and tricks to make your entire wedding celebrations that much less costly on the planet, without compromising on style, fun or making your planning process stressful.
One of the biggest shocks to me when I started working on weddings was the amount of waste created and rubbish left behind once the wedding was over.
Over the years it became a big part of how I selected suppliers, briefed my staff on better practices and mindsets, and generally what I consciously worked to make better over time, like using less paper. So simple.
It's not difficult at all when you spend just a little bit of time considering and factoring these small details into your plans.
If you're feeling overwhelmed, I can totally relate, but I can also help you.
I've highlighted below the main elements that cost the earth the most, not necessarily you, and some quick-fix changes that you can do if you want to make small changes and still have piece of mind that you're doing something positive.
First up, the biggest part of your wedding, and one that will have the greatest impact on your sustainability goals...
Choose a green wedding venue
Probably the most important decision to make when planning an eco-wedding is choosing the venue. There are a serious amount of factors to take into consideration.
Firstly, choosing a type of venue that is a permenant structure such as a barn, hall or purpose-built property will always be much more sustainable than hiring a marquee or tipi & having it constructed, as all of the materials required will have to be transported to the site, increasing the carbon footprint hugely.
These types of venues will most likely already have the facilities and reusable items to adapt to your eco-friendly theme and the team in place to make it happen with more ease than in a temporary structure.
Not only that, but there will be a lot less single-use packaging and food waste involved, as a barn, lodge or hotel will most likely have proper disposal and recycling processes in place.
Venues like Groobarbs Wild Farm, pictured below, have an actual working farm where they grow their own fruit, vegetables and flowers, seriously giving bringing the sustainability factor and home-grown quality produce to your celebrations.
Not only that, they claim to be a carbon-neutral farm. What more could you ask for?
However, on the flip side, if you or your parents have a beautiful garden, field or woodland, you could host your wedding at one of these locations instead of booking a venue at all.
This way not only would you have the freedom to select a caterer who uses locally, sourced organic produce and is ethically conscious, which not all venues will offer the choice of.
Which brings us nicely to the next main element of your wedding.
As I mentioned, there are also several things to think about when selecting your caterer.
It seems obvious to choose one within your local area as they will already have relationships with growers and butchers who will also likely use organic methods as well as less single-use packaging.
These caterers will also have the menus, ingredients and knowledge to help you create your delicious choices, guilt-free.
They will also use laundry services and potentially cleaning products that also use less plastic packaging & recyclable materials.
Check out our recommended caterers to find out if any are in your area and may suit your taste & ideas.
Your wedding dress
It's possibly your most important decision in all of your wedding planning, and one that means a lot to more than just you.
So there's a lot of pressure to get this on-point, without the feeling of any guilt that you're not choosing something that's unsustainable, right?
There are some incredible dress boutiques and designers up and down the country who are creating stunning gowns using sustainable materials.
This decision is really important. I mean, it's a huge decision to spend your money on floral displays that will only last a week or two at most. So some tips on making these as sustainable as possible are all here for you.
Firstly, I'm banging on that door again, make sure they are local to your venue.
I'm not saying they have to live opposite, but do your best to choose a florist from your venue's recommended list or one that covers your area.
Secondly, ensure the fresh flowers your florist uses are seasonal and grown in the UK, reducing carbon miles and waste water from growing.
If their supplier uses organically grown blooms then even better, the less pollution in our soils the better.
Another very on-trend way of being eco-friendly is to use dried flowers in your designs. Not only can you make them yourself if you wanted to, but they can be kept after your wedding for years to come, so you can use them at home to remind you of your special day.
You can dry almost any type of flower, so you could use some from your grandparent's garden or somewhere that has special meaning to you.
Being green can often mean you have a more personalised wedding, centred around things that are dearest to you, with just a little extra thought and planning.
Next, read my top 10 easy quick-fix tips for planning a sustainable wedding.
Get in touch today to find out more about how I could help you plan your beautiful, sustainable wedding celebration by clicking the link!