Tying the knot has become quite difficult these days. The coronavirus context has added important new points onto the to do list of the future bride and groom to make sure that friends and family participating in the big day stay safe and sound

Staying eco-friendly on this special days is another big challenge for couples. As we have shared on UrbanMeisters, an average wedding creates a considerable amount of waste and CO2 emissions. Read more here.

As the world continues to sit up and take note of the looming threat of climate change, attitudes towards the environment are rapidly shifting. In a recent survey, as many as 80% of shoppers said they thought ethically about the products they were purchasing. While another report found as many as 61% of Millennials would be happy to pay more for items which were sourced sustainably.

This change in attitudes has been reflected by most industries. The wedding sector being no exception. More and more couples are looking to tie the knot in a manner which has as small an impact on the world around them as possible. But how?

Our guest writer John Bramer shares five of tips to host a green wedding when your big day finally arrives.

  1. Only use materials which can be recycled

This sounds like a no-brainer, but weddings often produce a mind-boggling amount of non-recyclable waste. One report even suggested as much as 4,910 tonnes of waste is produced every year.

Make sure everything you’re using can be recycled in some way. Whether it’s dishes which can be reused, food waste which can be turned into compost, or even taking some of your wedding decor and using it in your home after the ceremony.

Food wastage is arguably the most important factor here. An average wedding can see as much as £700 worth of food discarded by its conclusion. That’s the equivalent of 65% of food wastage from a single household across an entire year.

  1. Skip paper wedding invitations

While paper invites are a charming and iconic way to let your guests know about your special day, they aren’t a requirement anymore. Although once a necessity, the internet has meant that sending out these kinds of invitations is now more for tradition than anything else.

There are several online organisations who’ll take care of this for you. And you could even go one step further and ring up from house to house, letting people know what day you’ve opted for.

RSVPs can be checked in online too, with a system which lets a guest fill out any dietary requirements or accessibility needs they or a partner have. If you want to avoid creating more unnecessary wastage, a digital option might be the way to go.

  1. Cut out the “worst offenders”

Just as wedding invitations are a classic staple of weddings which no longer really have a place, so too are a number of other unsustainable celebration elements.

Some of the chief offenders which fall into this category include:

  • Exotic flowers. While you won’t instantly make the association in your head, moving flowers from abroad will drastically raise your wedding’s carbon footprint. Try to pick local flowers which are seasonal to the time of year.
  • Balloons. While you can find biodegradable balloons, a lot are made from materials which won’t naturally break up. Save landfills from becoming filled up with this damaging plastic by cutting them out.
  • Confetti. Another product which won’t naturally degrade, confetti is often consumed by animals who mistake it for food. This can be incredibly damaging to their health.

Make sure to either find sustainable variants for the classic wedding tropes, or avoid using them altogether.

  1. Think about your catering company

It’s important not only to compost any waste food at the end of the event, but also only use ingredients which are sustainably and locally sourced. Ask your catering company whether they rely on local farmers.

It would also be preferable if they are offering a menu which is seasonal to your area. That means that all the ingredients being used to create dishes are fresh, again preventing the need to ship them in from across the world.

  1. Eco-friendly outfits

Picking out your outfit for the big day is one of the most exciting aspects of the wedding planning process, and there’s no reason why this has to be any different for a green wedding. There are now multiple eco-friendly suppliers producing outfits that are at the cutting-edge of fashion, whilst also being good for the planet.

When assessing a supplier, a good checklist to keep in mind is:

  • Do they use sustainable materials?
  • Do they work to minimise their carbon footprint?
  • What kind of local causes or charities are they involved in?

If you’re searching for inspiration, take a look at Vogue’s list of sustainable wedding dress brands.

As a general eco-friendly principle, always look for an outfit that you’d be able to wear more than once. Or, as an alternative, you could hire your wedding outfit instead!

Read on for more tips and a complete guide here: « The Guide to Sustainable, Zero-Waste, Ethical Weddings”

Do you have any experiences and tips to add on how to make a wedding more sustainable? Write us to get featured and share with the community contact@urbanmeisters.com

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