Going green for your wedding day will not only benefit the planet, it could also benefit your budget! Clever eco-friendly alternatives exist for almost every aspect of your wedding setup, and it really does feel great to plan a day which walks a little more lightly on the earth than the average wedding. Even if you incorporate just one or two of the below ideas, you are sure to reap the karmic benefits, and you may even save a small fortune!
Recycled paper invitations are becoming very popular with brides and grooms who have an interest in making their weddings as eco-friendly as possible. It is very easy to find good quality recycled paper in the shops, and many stationers will use recycled paper if you request it. You can even find recycled paper which is impregnated with wild flower seeds for an extra bit of earth-friendly wow factor!
Tea towel invitations are another fantastic way of making a very green impact on your guests right from the off! Sending tea towels as invitations is such a cute idea, and you are providing your guests with something which they can use and re-use for years to come.
Earth-friendly favours & gifts:
Flower seeds are a budget and earth-friendly choice for wedding favours. I gave seeds at my own wedding and they went down a storm! When spring arrives my wedding guests will be able to plant their seeds and enjoy the resulting wild flowers as they remember how fabulous our wedding day was. Your resident garden bugs will also benefit from this, the ultimate eco-friendly choice for wedding favours.
Beeswax candles are a cheap and cheerful option for wedding favours, and are better for the planet than regular paraffin candles. You could opt for candles coloured in the same shades as your wedding pallet to continue your theme, and tying three candles together with twine and a label makes for a gorgeous favour!
Bird feeders are a fantastic choice for brides and grooms with an interest in wildlife. You can buy fat cakes in various shapes and sizes from the shops, or you can do what I did for our wedding and mix melted lard with bird seed mix and pour into moulds. I used a heart-shaped mould to make over fifty seed cakes and it cost us less than £30 to make all of them!
Bird seed confetti is far more eco-friendly than paper confetti and will give the local birds a real treat. Either ask your guests to bring their own bird seed, or have the groomsmen hand out small packets of seed as everyone enters the church or venue. Your church or venue will really thank you for this as the birds take care of the clean up!
Reusable totes are a great way of ensuring that your guests remember your special day every time they pop to the shops! You could personalise the totes by having your names and the date of your wedding printed on the totes, along with the words ‘thank you’.
Succulents have enjoyed their status as a popular wedding trend for the past few years, and for good reason! Not only are they incredibly beautiful and very easy to incorporate into bouquets and arrangements, they also require very little maintenance and are long-lived. Your guests are sure to appreciate this little gift!
If your venue will allow it, hire a catering company which uses only free-range meat and organic ingredients. Knowing that your wedding breakfast is as earth-friendly as possible will allow you to feel totally guilt free about what you’re feeding to your guests. It’s also very important to support businesses which have adopted an ethical and eco-friendly way of making money!
If you have your heart set on a summer wedding you could opt for a cold buffet so that less energy is required to cook the food. Just make sure that the company providing the menu is reputable and has all of the latest food safety certificates.
For intimate weddings you may like to host your wedding reception at home if you have the space, or at a friend’s house. This way you can do your own catering (or have your family members do it for you!), and you will know exactly how eco-friendly the resulting menu is. It’s true that organic food is more expensive than non-organic, however if you’re smart you can make better quality ingredients stretch further.
Go green with your venue:
For midsummer brides it’s easy to make your wedding more eco-friendly by opting for a festival or garden theme, whereby your reception takes place outside under the protection of tents or marquees. Just remember that your guests will probably be warm enough during the day, however you will still need to provide heating during the evening. With this in mind you may like to go for an early ceremony, so that you can make the most of the (hopefully!) warm summer weather before the temperature starts to dip.
For brides who are marrying in spring, autumn or winter the best thing you can do is to hire a cosy venue which doesn’t require as much heating as, say, a stately home with high ceilings. If you are lucky enough to live close to a venue which has excellent energy saving credentials; that would be your ideal choice!