How to make your wedding more sustainable (9 ideas)
A typical wedding in the UK produces 14.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide and 400 – 700 pounds of solid waste. But your wedding doesn’t have to be a wasteful affair. Discover our 9 simple but effective ideas to ensure your wedding is a green celebration!
How to plan a sustainable wedding
Sustainability is a big topic in the wedding industry at the moment – more couples are making eco-friendly choices. Here we recommend eco-friendly ideas for your:
- Bridal outfit
- Food & drink
- Accessories & jewellery
- Gift list
1. Bridal outfit
When it comes to choosing a sustainable bridal outfit, you’ll want to consider:
- Where is it made?
- Who makes it?
- What fabrics is it made from?
At Andrea Hawkes, our wedding dress designs are made right here in the heart of London by our in-house team. We only work with natural fabrics, such as silks, tencel and organic cotton which is breathable, comfortable and soft to wear. None of our designs are made with man-made synthetic fibres (which have a detrimental effect on our environment).
Choose your sustainable wedding dress
All of our wedding dresses are made to order, so we only produce what is needed. This helps to reduce waste and be kinder to our planet.
Give your wedding dress a new lease of life
Why not think about repurposing your bridal outfit? We offer an aftercare alterations service for every bride, transforming it into a versatile garment for another occasion, or even multiple events!
Learn how to repurpose your bridal outfit
Discover our sustainability practices
You will want to think about where the majority of your guests will be travelling from. Try to find a location that is close by or local – this will reduce the travel time for your guests and reduce the emissions.
If this is not possible, think about putting on transport for your guests to minimise the number of trips taken to and from your venue.
Explore sustainable wedding venues
3. Food & drink
Everyone loves a great meal and some good cocktails – these will taste even better if you opt for in-season produce. Look to use caterers/suppliers/farms and distilleries that use seasonal and local ingredients. Curate a menu based on what’s in season in your location on your wedding day – sourcing your food nearby not only cuts food miles, but it also supports local businesses.
Vegetarian & vegan options
A vegetarian diet has far less of a carbon footprint than a meat diet. Ensuring you have vegetarian/vegan options readily available may interest your guests in trying more eco-friendly foods, whilst encouraging them to adopt healthier eating habits. Reducing the amount of meat available at the table will reduce your carbon footprint and prevent meat wastage.
Learn about sustainable wedding catering
Flowers are a wonderful way to bring life into your wedding venue. It’s helpful to talk to your florist in advance about which flowers will be in bloom at the time of your wedding. By choosing in-season flowers, you can base your bouquet as well as the decor around such fitting florals. Locally grown flowers are the way to go. Another option is to use potted plants – these can add lots of greenery to a space and will continue to live on beyond your wedding day.
Get inspired by our sustainable wedding flowers ideas
Choose a location that already has some beautiful features, or use second-hand/hire props to style up your venue. Think vintage glassware, cutlery and dinnerware – all of which can be reused again for another wedding or event. Use natural and recycled materials for your napkins and tablecloths. Ditch the plastic cups, straws and balloons!
Say no to sky lanterns
As pretty as they are, sky lanterns are not an eco-friendly choice. Opt for soy wax candles to create an ambience instead. Confetti is great fun and there are some amazing eco-friendly alternatives, such as dried petals.
There are so many wonderful illustrators and calligraphers that work with recycled or seed paper – the perfect option for a more sustainable wedding invitation or name card. Why not double up and use seed cards as your favour? Your guests can plant their cards and have a little reminder of your day when their flowers bloom.
Learn about sustainable wedding invitations – invite your guests in style and guilt-free!
Encourage your guests to be more sustainable by gifting items such as metal straws, beeswax wraps or organic soaps. Another great option is an edible favour, such as homemade jam or biscuits – these are sure to go down well without any wastage.
8. Accessories & jewellery
Ask your family and friends if they have accessories you can borrow or look to designers who hand-make their pieces from natural materials or utilise offcuts.
9. Gift list
Ask your guests to donate to a charity close to your heart, or create a list of sustainable gifts you would love for your home that will help you to carry your sustainable efforts through to everyday life.
These are just some of the ways in which you can make your wedding day more sustainable – explore the rest of our sustainable wedding planning guides. Get married in style and be kinder to the planet whilst doing it!
For every bride who purchases their dress at AH we will be planting a Tree, read all about our Tree Project here.
From wedding dress ideas & inspiration to how-to guides and expert know-how. You'll find everything you need in the run up to your big day and beyond on our bridal blog!