Essex Wedding Photographer: 10 Tips for a Sustainable Wedding

Traditionally weddings can be very draining on resources and create a lot of waste. Even contemplating making a sustainable wedding may be overwhelming with everything else you have on your to do list. However, there are some easy steps you can take to make your big day a bit more eco-friendly:

  1. Go local

This applies to everything: from venue to flowers, to food. If you choose a local venue, you’ll cut down on carbon emissions from travel, and the same goes for bringing in details of your day. Buying local flowers means they don’t have to be flown in from elsewhere, which will also bring down the price. It may mean your flowers will be more seasonal, but perhaps thats something to embrace. Celebrate the season you chose to get married in!

Sustainable wedding flowers idea

2. Hire in not buy

Buying decor which is typically used once can be both expensive and wasteful – what do you do with 50 vases after your wedding day? Hiring in furniture, props and decor can be a really easy way to relieve the stress of sourcing all this yourself, and cutting down waste. I absolutely love working with hire companies and am always amazed at what beautiful items they have. For Essex couples, I love Anthology Vintage Hire and Rock the Day

Sustainable outdoor wedding in Essex

3. Reuse-able Crockery

Plenty of couples are moving away from a traditional sit down wedding breakfast and opting for food trucks, BBQs or buffets. I absolutely love all of these ideas as they generally make for a much more relaxed atmosphere and allow more mingling. To cut down on waste, use recyclable or biodegradable bamboo plates and cutlery. If you want to be really stylish, hire in some vintage plates. Bamboo straws or glasses with guest’s names on can also mean less waste from drinks.

4. Hire Group Transport

Wedding carbon footprints are often large because guests have to drive to them. Hiring group transport such as a coach or old Routemaster to transport guests from the ceremony to reception, or a central meeting point, can help. It also means people won’t get lost between ceremony and reception and everyone arrives at the same time. You would be surprised at the amount of times group shots have been delayed because members of the wedding party have taken a detour on the way to the reception!

Routemaster bus picking up wedding guest

5. Say yes to pre-loved

A sustainable wedding doesn’t just mean helping the environment, it also means supporting ethical businesses and helping them to flourish. Using an ethical wedding dress supplier ensures the materials are sustainability sourced and fair trade. If you are more of a vintage fan, a pre-loved wedding dress is one of the most eco-friendly options. You can even use suppliers such as Poppy Perspective to personalise or repair your vintage dress.

Vintage 1960s dress with orange details

6. DIY Favours

There are endless ideas for DIY or reusable wedding favours over on my Eco-Friendly wedding Pinterest board. Herb kits, homemade jam, wildflower seed packs – all these ideas last for longer and can be really fun memorable favours. Rock my Wedding also has some very cute ideas.

7. Wedding Venue

Finding a wedding venue is hard enough without wondering about it’s eco credentials. However, a wedding venue is often the biggest contributor to whether your wedding is sustainable or not. Some criteria to consider includes:

  • Power: is it from a sustainable source?
  • Waste: is recycling common place?
  • Carbon footprint: Does your venue source locally and ethically?

Wedding marquee at dusk

8. Stationery

A wedding invite or Save the Date is often the first flavour of your wedding the guests will get so you want to make a great impression. I absolutely love wedding stationery and you can now get some absolutely stunning invitations made from recycled paper. I’ve even seen ‘plantable’ invites which sprout into flowers once placed in soil – how amazing!  If you think the whole idea of stationery is wasteful, opt for a wedding website instead.

9. Registering for gifts

Who doesn’t love a gift, especially one thats part of an age old tradition? When creating your registry, see if you can make easy swaps for sustainable brands or zero-waste items.  If you are struggling to think of anything to add, why not opt for honeymoon donations or activities/experiences instead? You could create some amazing memories.

10. Choose eco-friendly rings

When looking for wedding rings, consider items made from fair trade gems/silver and gold, recycled precious materials or eco materials such as wood. The Natural Wedding Company has some fantastic suppliers listed.

London Victorian Ring Co vintage ring

Hopefully those are some useful starting points for making steps to make your wedding more eco-friendly. I’m happy to say that I am now listed on the Natural Wedding Company as a sustainable supplier. Head over there to check out my page, and you can even find an offer for 10% off my 2019 wedding packages.

If you’re planning an eco-friendly wedding let me know how you’re getting on in the comments.


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