The average wedding produces nearly 200kg of waste – between single use decorations, discarded food, and more, that’s an insane amount! But this figure doesn’t even include the massive carbon emissions, so there’s definitely loads to think about when it comes to the impact your big day can have on the environment. Of course, it’s super important to care for the environment as best as we can, and luckily, there are plenty of ways to reduce your impact and have an eco-friendly wedding. This guide will give you some tips!
Use Local Suppliers
Transporting goods takes a big toll on the environment – so a lot of the time, you can reduce the impact of your wedding simply by hiring local suppliers.
Book a florist who can source your blooms locally, rather than importing them from halfway across the world. This is much more sustainable, as it doesn’t require shipping flowers.
Look for caterers who’ll provide food that’s grown locally. As an added bonus, this food tends to have fewer preservatives and pesticides!
Hint hint, we love to shoot local venues (minimising the travel) and we’re surrounded by great local venues.
Make Eco-Friendly Confetti
The old tradition was that rice gets thrown as the couple walks down the aisle together, but while throwing something that grows from the ground can seem like an eco-friendly option, it can actually be harmful to birds and other wildlife. Confetti and sparklers are usually single use and create some waste, so these aren’t ideal either.
One great eco-friendly wedding alternative is to make your own confetti! It’s super easy to do – just find some leaves (ones that have already fallen), grab a hole punch, and get to work! Another option is bubbles. Blowing bubbles is always fun, so you can hand some out to your guests! Look for refillable containers that aren’t plastic, and this way some of your guests can take them home and reuse them, creating no waste from your grand exit.
Avoid Single Use Items
One of the best ways to have an eco-friendly wedding is to avoid waste. You don’t have to worry about every little thing – it’s pretty difficult to completely avoid throwing stuff away, and sustainability is about doing your best to reduce your impact, not about being 100% perfect. Still, there’s a lot you can do to reduce the amount of things that get thrown away at the end of the night.
When you decorate for your wedding, you can avoid anything that will just get thrown away at the end of the night. For example, balloons can’t be reused, so instead you can get some string lights or lanterns to hang up, decorate with florals and greenery, or come up with some crafty decorations that don’t require plastic.
Use proper plates and silverware, rather than the disposable kind. While paper streamers or ribbons are much better than plastic, they’re unlikely to be reused, so you can also opt for cloth decor (like drapery and table cloths) that can be donated or sold after the wedding is over instead.
Renting is Eco-Friendly
Another tip for eco-friendly wedding decorations is to rent things that you need! See what your venue has available for you to use, and if you need anything else, whether it’s chairs or decorations, you can often find a place to rent these items. This is much more sustainable, allowing you to return items you won’t ever use again!
You can even rent what you wear – especially suits (as long as you aren’t planning on getting too rowdy during your wedding day). If you’re unlikely to wear it again, this can be a budget friendly way to help out the environment. Your wedding party can also rent their dresses or suits, saving them some money.
Charity shops or DIY
You can find some incredible gems in charity shops – so this can be an amazing way to have a more eco-friendly wedding. Whether it’s decorations or a denim jacket that you can monogram, buying second hand is more sustainable.
Making your own wedding decorations, and repurposing some items is another way to help the environment – things like taking old pallets and painting them, finding an old mirror and making it a sign, and any way to upcycle and use something old is better than buying something new!
Hire a bus
If your guests are all taking their own cars, that’s a lot of fuel burned and carbon emitted. One way to cut down on this is by providing transportation. Buses can be hired to take guests to and from hotels or between venues if your ceremony and reception are in different places. For added style points, get yourself a vintage double decker!
Ethically Sourced Jewellery
Planning your eco-friendly wedding can start with the jewellery you purchase – from the engagement ring to the wedding bands, you can do some extra research to make sure they’re ethically sourced. Unfortunately, when it comes to mining, a lot of human rights concerns can pop up, as well as environmental ones – so when you look for a company to shop from, make sure that they’re transparent about their ethics (or just propose with a Haribo ring instead).
A lot of things can be donated at the end of your wedding day, which is more sustainable than just throwing things away. Food can be bagged and donated to food banks, flowers can be donated to local hospitals or nursing homes, and decorations, attire, and other things you may not use again can be taken to a charity shop!
Book suppliers that are Eco-Friendly
Suppliers are a big part of your day, so a good way to reduce the environmental impact of your wedding is to look for people who share your values. For example, when you hire a florist, talk to them about your sustainability hopes for the wedding, and ask if they can source local blooms. When you book a venue, ask them about their clean up and waste removal process, and about any green initiatives that they take!
We are aiming to be as eco-friendly as possible as your wedding photographers.
If you’re ready to find eco-friendly wedding vendors and plan a wedding that’s focused on sustainability, contact us! We’re ready to be by your side as you plan a wedding that’s fun, colourful, and ethical!