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Eco-friendly weddings: 5 tips to help you plan the perfect planet-friendly wedding day

One of the main things that prompted me to launch Wedding in a Teacup back in 2011 was the waste that I saw within the industry at the time. I wanted a beautiful wedding day, but without the guilt of filling landfill afterwards.

Today it’s hard to not be aware of the war on plastic, but can you still have the wedding of your dreams guilt free? We think so! Here are some ideas around how to make your wedding day a little more sustainable; every little helps, and the great thing is that environmentally friendly quite often means purse friendly too. Win, win!

Your venue and suppliers

One of your biggest outlays is going to be your venue, and the same goes for environmental impact too. This doesn’t mean having to get hitched in a field if that’s not your thing - just go armed with the questions that are important to you; how they recycle, what they do with leftover food, do they use plastic cups or straws. They should also have a list of local suppliers – less travel means a smaller carbon footprint! Check with these suppliers where their items are actually made, too. Plenty of UK companies stock items that have been made far from here.

Guest numbers

Need an excuse to not invite that grumpy great aunt you’ve not seen for 10 years? Well here it is: the number one way you can limit the impact of your wedding day is keeping it intimate! Fewer guests means less waste and less travel.

Décor

First up – stick to the essentials. What can you not see your day without, and what can you ditch? Once you’ve got your list of essentials, now to brainstorm how to create your look.

Recycling is great, but re-using is even better… Always dreamt of a candlelit dinner? Ask your venue if they have candles you can borrow. If not there will probably be a local décor hire company who will drop off, set up and pick up. If you can’t find what you’re after for hire locally, how about collecting them second-hand from car-boot sales and then doubling them up as your favours too – each guest could take home a candle holder for example!

The general rule for décor is go for re-usable or recyclable materials whenever possible: instead of single use place-name holders simply write your guests names on a card tag. Have cloth napkins instead of paper ones. Use rose petals scattered on your tables rather than plastic confetti. And of course paper straws with your cocktails!



Favours

Favours are not an essential wedding item. No-one will mind if you ditch them. But if you love the idea of a thank you gift for your guests, you can opt for something that is going to actively help the environment at the same time. Flower seed favours are perfect – even your most cynical guests won’t be able to resist planting them and you’ll be happy knowing your day has contributed to happy bees. Food favours are also a great idea – no-one can resist your mum’s homemade fudge, and none will end up in the bin! Wrap them in pretty paper bags or boxes to avoid plastic waste.

Doubling up on as many items as you can is a great idea to limit waste in this area too; favours/place names, favours bags/menus, table plans/favours, get creative!

Outfits

Instead of opting for clothing that your wedding party may not even like, let alone wear again - why not let them choose their own outfits? If you have a colour theme you could buy the best man and ushers a tie that they can wear with their own suits, or give your bridesmaids a colour pallet that they have to stick to when choosing their own outfits. If you have your heart set on matching outfits check out hire firms or second-hand places such as Oxfam online or Preloved.


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