Something new, something borrowed, something green...
Sustainable weddings don't mean compromising on style or having to spend more. Often the sustainable choice is the most tasteful and affordable. There are great ways you can reduce waste and reuse materials that not only make your wedding planet-friendly, but also unique and memorable. Here, are some top tips for a sustainable wedding from County Wedding Magazine...
1. Make it local: Celebrate what your area has to offer. By choosing local produce and working with local suppliers, you'll support the community and reduce food miles at the same time.
2. Flowers: go for British seasonal flowers: Currently, 90% of cut flowers in the UK come from overseas and that's bad news for the environment. Have a plan for what to do with them afterwards. What about giving them to your guests or to local hospitals or nursing homes where they can continue to spread joy. You can also dry your bouquet or floral crown and keep it as a reminder of the big day.
3. Food: Speak with your caterer about portions sizes to reduce risk of waste at the end of the night – or your guests being too full to dance the night away. Don't be shy about asking guests to bring a reusable container or take some to the venue in advance of the day so that you can be sure leftovers don't go to waste. Guests will be grateful for it the next day when they don't have to cook after a late night!
4. Drink: Think smaller, organic producers or fresh pressed juices - you'll find something funkier that's made with real passion. What about trying juices and cordials made with surplus fruit or English wines that will reduce your carbon footprint? And at the end of the night, make sure all bottles are recycled.
5. Stationery: If you want to print menus or name cards for the day, consider using eco-friendly stationery or seed paper that your guests can plant afterwards.
6. Cut down on single use plastic: From décor to confetti, balloons to party favours. Go natural with dried petals instead of confetti, they're more beautiful and romantic. And how about giving flower seeds or championing local craftsmanship when it comes to wedding favours?
7. Something borrowed: Did your mum or gran keep their veil? For dress code, why not ask your guests to only wear vintage, preloved, borrowed or rented?
8. Reuse and repurpose where possible: How about using old jam jars and milk bottles for vases? Or hiring in props so you don't have to buy in anything new? You can also reset a family heirloom into a wedding band, use upcycled materials to decorate, or create your own fashion items by upcycling old but loved fabric to create pocket squares or bow ties.
9. Be ethical: Think about who made your outfit, what the fabric is made of, and where your shoes come from. There are lots of ethical brands available these days who are thoughtful about how they source their supplies, produce their products and support the community they operate in. For example, you may find a designer that uses reclaimed fabric and a socially responsible manufacturing process.
10. Venue: Deciding on your venue is key is to the environmental impact of your wedding. Don't be afraid to ask about their sustainable practices and how they reduce and handle waste. And choosing a beautiful venue like a nursery or botanical garden will reduce the need for decorations.