Something old, something new, something borrowed, and something… green? On the whole, we are all looking for ways to be kinder to the planet and seeking sustainable solutions to everyday life, and the wedding industry is no different.
Sustainable weddings have become one of the hottest trends for couples designing their big day, and to help, the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) has launched a free resource, Something Green, for couples to help gather all the experts’ tips on everything sustainable for your nuptials, from cakes and cocktails to fashion and flowers.
Here are our top tips for a sustainable wedding day to remember.
Keep it local
Try finding what your local area has to offer and choose local produce and work with local suppliers, and you’ll support the community and reduce the food miles at the same time.
Maybe you can find a local brewery, bakers, or an amazing farmer’s market, and you can bring something unique to your big day, as well as putting money into your community.
According to the NLWA, 90 per cent of cut flowers in the UK come from overseas, which is not great news for the environment. British seasonal flowers are gorgeous, and they likely won’t have had to take an aeroplane ride to get to you.
Also consider what to do with them after the day, maybe give them to guests, or local hospital and care homes where they can continue to spread joy.
Be mindful of single-use plastic
Weddings have the potential to generate huge piles of plastic and paper waste, from plastic cutlery, cups, plates, balloons, disposable tablecloths, and confetti, it all adds up, and will unfortunately probably end up in a landfill.
Instead, look for businesses that rent table linens, cutlery and dinnerware, or, to tie in with the next tip, seek out pre-loved tablecloths and napkins for a vintage and eclectic vibe.
The bridal gown is one of the most special and sentimental fashion purchases of any brides lifetime, but with the price of the average wedding dress costing over £1,000, you may want to look for ways to save, while still looking and feeling incredible.
If shopping for vintage and pre-loved clothing is new to you, do not worry. Not everything pre-loved and secondhand smells of mothballs and has armpit stains, and there are some utterly beautiful bargains to be found.
Maybe there is an old wedding dress in your family that can be altered and reworked by a local dressmaker or tailor.
Watch out for food waste
Around 25 per cent of married people said they felt guilty about the amount of food wasted at their wedding, according to a February 2021 poll conducted for NLWA. Talk to your caterer about portion sizes to reduce the amount of water food at the end of the night, or see if your caterer or reception venue can donate leftovers to a food bank or shelter so that it goes to good use.
Bonus tip: Ditch the hipster disposable cameras left on tables, and ask guests to send smartphone photos to you after the big day, and even better, have a look at our wedding photo booth hire in the UK.