Weddings are big business and can create big waste. Most of the stuff that used for a wedding is a one time only deal, can’t be used again and ends up in the bin.
We recently came across a story where the bride and groom chose to use a food saviour charity called the Real Junk Food Project, who collect food from supermarkets, fast food outlets etc. that is going out of date or doesn’t pass the health and safety inspection but is legally fit for human consumption, and turns it into fantastic tasty meals for events. The bride and groom chose not to tell their guests where the food came from until it had already been eaten!
So the story got us thinking about what other ways there are to save the planet as you say your vows.
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♥ Favours, sadly, are considered by most guests to be a bit of a waste if they can’t eat it, drink it or easily use it. Some people keep them as keepsakes but most of them end up in the bin. If you really feel that you must offer a favour, here are some great ideas for eco friendly favours:
- Rice crispies treats made with fair trade choccie
- Donating to a charity in the name of you and your guests (most charities will give you a little card to put out to say what you’ve done).
- Remade candles or wax melts (using wax from old candles) or soy candles
- Flower seeds or little potted plants (like a cactus) Image: Not on the High Street
♥ Save paper and waste by using your glasses as both the favour and the place name. You can pick up fizzy glasses for around 50p from places like Asda and Wilkos. Get yourself a glass or ceramic paint pen and write your guests’ names on (with a little heart or flower if you’re feeling arty!). Pop the date and your initials on the base. Viola! They get to keep the glass as a keepsake, reuse it; no waste, less washing up – doubly eco friendly!
♥ Ask if your venue uses Refood – a company that champions turning food waste into green energy – or if they recycle their waste food in any other way. If they don’t, then perhaps encourage them to look into this or other ways of using their waste food. Could they send leftovers to the local homeless shelter?
♥ Please give your flowers away! We recently coordinated an awesome wedding that used potted wildflowers for the decorations, and guests were told to pick one they liked and take it home! When I got married my venue included two huge displays which we asked them to send on to the old folks home nearby. If you’re not going to be home for a few weeks don’t let your poor flowers just die off; give someone else the chance to enjoy them. If you have fancy displays, discuss with your florist the best way to reuse the floral arrangements or how to safely get the flowers out for people to take home.
♥ Have an everlasting bouquet made of silk flowers, broaches, paper or use only seasonal flowers sourced from a local florist (keep your delivery road miles down – I mean local to your venue, not to your house!). Use wild flowers and greenery for decorations (but please ask the landowner before you hack down a holly bush!). Or create a stunning mixed bouquet of mainly dried flowers with seasonal real flowers scattered throughout.
♥ Clothing! How many of us have bridesmaids frocks in the cupboard that we’ll never wear again because a) they’re gopping or b) they’re too formal. Get your bridesmaids dresses that can be worn again or easily converted (shortened) into something more wearable. Use organic, natural fibres like cotton or bamboo to have your dress made (also keeps a small business in business!). There are companies around the globe that make gorgeous eco wedding gowns – eco does NOT equal shabby; check these out. Of course, you could always rent your dress, saving £££££s and the planet. Oh, and buy your fella’s suit so he can wear it again and again!
♥ Don’t go mad with your cake – you’re only feeding around 100 people so you don’t need 6 tiers! You can have a ‘fake cake’ – the bottom and top tiers are real but all other tiers are iced polystyrene or other interior. The cake maker will use them again and again and you have the showstopper you want without all of the waste. And ask your cake maker to use organic, fair trade and free range ingredients.
Only two of these tiers can be eaten (image from one of my brides)
♥ Use technology! Instead of printing out Order of Service cards, use a big screen to display it, and then to display your seating plan later on. Makes last minute changes so much easier too!
There are plenty of ways to be an eco warrior bride; these are just a few ideas for you. You can send e-invites or choose a printing company that uses recycled paper and natural inks. Get ready at your venue to keep the car emissions down. Or come by horse!
Eco doesn’t have to mean cheap, and it doesn’t have to mean over priced either. Do your research – there are loads of companies out there who want to save the planet, one wedding at a time ♥
Thanks to Not on the High Street for the super header image ♥