Updated: Sep 3, 2022
Happy Earth Day to you gorgeous people! And what a beautiful day it is too.
I have been thinking about eco-friendly weddings this morning and how to make some small changes that would contribute to some bigger issues. I know, you all already know you should reduce plastic, avoid single use items, rent dishes and linen rather than buy them...but is that enough, really? I don't want anyone to feel pressured into having a 'kraft paper brown' theme wedding if that isn't what they want, This is your one special day and if you aren't allowed a bit of guilt-free, frivolous nonsense today, then when are you?
I have suggestions. They are not groundbreaking and they won't save the planet by themselves but they are achievable, won't spoil your big day and will leave you feeling all warm inside. Bear with.
This is an easy one this year really. I know lots of us dream of getting married on a Caribbean beach accompanied by someone playing the ukulele in a pair of espadrilles but this year, that is looking unlikely. So, this year, let's embrace our lovely little island. We have some of the most beautiful wedding venues in the world! Or, opt for a Humanist ceremony, and you can literally choose your location; on a mountain, down a cave and anywhere in-between. Choose somewhere local! Try to have your ceremony and reception in the same place so that guests don't have to travel in-between the two. Even better if they can camp! Festival wedding theme sounds all colours of amazing. You are helping to reduce the carbon footprint of your day and still ensuring it is a day all of your guests will remember.
Check with a venue about their suppliers. Go for those who use ethical or local providers. Failing that, go for ethical food choices. I truly believe that your guests really don't even notice what they are eating so why not choose a meat-free menu? When I first became a vegetarian at the tender age of 15, the choices were truly bleak. But nowadays, oh my goodness, you can hardly tell the difference! A five mushroom risotto, butternut squash gnocchi, stuffed aubergine... literally endless possibilities. Similarly, talk to your venue about leftovers. Could they be donated to a local homeless shelter? Could the waste be composted or sent to an animal sanctuary? (Lots of these rely on events like weddings. You won't know unless you ask! )
Diamonds are beautiful. No question. But are they worth the human misery that transports them out of the hard and rocky ground and onto our finger? There are so many alternatives! I love that diamonds are becoming unfashionable. There are lab-grown diamonds that are no different to those we pull out of the ground. We now have Etsy stores selling recycled gold and silver rings for crazy cheap prices! Ebay has a wealth of vintage 1920s and 1930s rings that are just to DIE FOR! My man had his ring made out of an old whisky barrel and he loves it. Consider the rings... is all I ask.
This is difficult as they play such a huge part of the day. I personally bought a fake bouquet and button holes which I have since sold on. They weren't cheap, They were incredibly realistic, all thistles and lavender, but I truly hope the 'passing it on' bit outweighs the ecological cost of making them (if they do a good few weddings!) Alternatively, there are again, so many sellers on Etsy selling cool alternatives to the traditional bouquet. IF you are adamant that you want real flowers, (and I totally get it) then perhaps donate them at the end of your day to your local hospital or hospice. Let them be loved for longer.
One tiny glance at Pinterest or Insta and you will be bombarded with all sorts of amazing ideas to make your wedding truly bespoke, Garlands made out of old books, origami stars made out of newspapers, pallets used to create everything from seats to doughnut holders.... this is your chance to get your friends and family onboard. Home-made weddings are literally always the best and always my fave. Make the most of what is around you and I promise, your guests will totally love it.
Again, this is quite an easy one! There are so many people out there producing ethical stationery, there is really no reason to not buy recycled card or paper, or even better, go digital. I love love love the idea of flower bombs... plantable invites that will attract bees to your garden. What is not to love about that? If you want to do it cheaply, print your invite on sticker paper and buy a whole load of wildflower seed packets. I promise you, not a soul in the land would think these were anything less than glorious. (If they do, trust me, you don't want them at your wedding. FACT)
I know I sound a bit of a misery...I'm really, really not! Honestly! Your wedding day is the day you are allowed to do whatever the EFF you both want, without guilt or judgment. I am putting this out here on World Planet Day in the hope that just one couple will consider making just one change. If so, then YAY! I mean, really, we do kind of want the planet to be here and healthy for our children and our grandchildren and all journeys start with a single tiny step. xxx