Ecowedding ideas: how to plan an eco wedding
There are different ways of reducing the environmental cost of your wedding and it’s up to you what is your priority, what is feasible for you and your party.This is not to put any pressure on you, but to give you options, tips and ecowedding ideas that will make you feel good and reduce the ecological footprint. It’s not an all or nothing, but a palette of ideas.
Eco-weddings don’t have to look Boho, DIY, or hippy if that’s not your style, in the same way that these weddings aren’t automatically eco-friendly weddings.
Your wedding is an opportunity to share your values with your loved ones and to educate them on things they can take back and do in their daily lives.
Most of all have fun and enjoy your day!
1- When and where
In terms of season, summer will be better in terms of longer days and more products and flowers in season.
Choosing one venue rather than one for the ceremony and one for the reception will reduce transport needs too. Some venues are greener than others, so do ask about composting, recycling, using recycled products etc.
These venues call themselves eco wedding venues: The Longhouse, found down in Bruton in Somerset, is one of the country’s most eco-friendly venues, with Geo-thermic heating, rain water storage and on-site solar panels, recycled materials used to create the building! Other green venues include FForest in Wales, which features glamping and eco pods, Green Directions in Sheffield, which holds weddings fueled by solar and wind power, Elmore Court in Gloucestershire, with a room called the Gillyflower built from Rammed Earth and timber sourced from the grounds. Other eco-wedding venues are Beechenhill Farm, Derbyshire and Mount Pleasant Eco Park, Cornwall
Tipis are also very eco-friendly. See more about outdoor weddings here.
Obviously, transport is a big carbon footprint spender so choosing a location that most people can access easily and quickly is ideal, Of course for our wedding, we don’t want to exclude people just because they live far away, on the contrary we often want this occasion to be a good reason to see people who are far. One way of seeing people who live very far is to make it a honeymoon destination if that’s on the cards. Of course a UK honeymoon would be more ecological.
For your transport, you have many choices: a horse carriage, a rickshaw, bicycles or a tandem or walking, or a hybrid vehicle. For the guests, you could hire a bus to get them all to the venue.
3- Food, flowers and make up
Buying products that are organic, seasonal, locally produced or fairtrade, vegetarian/ vegan and not tested on animals is ideal. Alternatively, use silk flowers and favour local vendors.
The most efficient way is paperless and you can make some great wedding websites. Just make sure people do read the information as you’ll be surprised how many ring or email to ask what is there in plain sight.
Alternatively create custom invitations by hand or ask your printer to print with soy-based ink and use recycled paper or materials like bamboo and hemp . If you’re so inclined you can make your own paper, or at least your own cards with a whole range of materials. I also wrote another blog on towel wedding invites, which are great as they can be used for years
Many charity shops offer wedding dresses and bridesmaids dresses, some specialise in vintage clothes, You can also look online at used clothes. Of course your bridesmaids don’t have to be matching. For your dress, check out designers who use environmentally sound fabrics inc. fair trade.
Rings can be re-used, or made from recycled materials, or made from lab-created diamonds, better than mining them.
Charitable or eco-minded registry list, or simply using less, consuming less, buying less. You can ask for donations to a charity
Reusing old bottles, teapots, assorted containers to have garden flowers around the room. Using real plants as centrepieces so they can be planted. you can do so for favours too, or seeds, foodstuff
For entertainment, you might wish to opt for acoustic singers or hire an ensemble to play stringed instruments.
For wedding albums, ask your photographer to use Folio, the greenest album supplier in UK.
Afterwards, you can gift the flowers and decorations to guests or hospices to benefit more people.
Real Wedding: Lisa-Marie and Michael’s wedding- all images except title from their wedding reception.
They had their ceremony one day and invited their friends and family to a reception another day. They chose a pick-your-own farm as the location, with plenty of space for kids to run around and guests to mingle. Here are their suppliers and ideas.
Dresses were made by Natalie of Sister Organics using ethically made and sourced fabric
Michael’s outfit was purchased from a charity shop (sue ryder vintage shop)
All shoes were second hand from eBay
Lisa’s umbrella fully biodegradable
Lisa’s welly boots from Rockfish using ethical processes and materials
Lisa’s bag upcycled from an old T-shirt
Jewellery was either handmade by lisa or from a charity shop
Lingerie from a What katy did, a British boutique that uses ethical practices and labour for making their items
Jam jars we collected ourselves (some from freecycle) and decorated with lace remnants (same lace used to make the invites). We then used 100% beeswax tealights made with wax sourced from the east midlands
All other decor items were either acquired from charity shops or made using things we already had in the home.
Fete games we will be making ourselves using old wellie boots, pieces of wood and things we have round the house.
Bunting 50m made by a friend using scraps of material she already had
Food and tableware;
The cake was made using fairtrade and organic ingredients with all profits being donated to charity
All ingredients for meals locally sourced
Tea was grown in England at the tregothnan estate
Crockery for the friend celebration will either be from a charity shop and then returned afterwards or will be biodegradable disposable tableware
Anwyn’s baby crockery is biodegradable
Flowers locally sourced. At friend celebration using sunflowers grown on the farm.
Invites either handmade using items we already had or via Facebook to reduce need to purchase unnecessary materials
All guests asked to respect the ethical theme and reuse clothing or purchase ethically
Favours were homemade using fruit from hill farm
If you’re planning your wedding and are looking for a photographer who’ll do their best to help you and give you images that are really like you, get in touch.
Alix x 07763064497