Just a few of the eco-friendly wedding-type things we decided to do, hope it gives some of you greenies out there some inspiration 🙂
First of all, we slashed the guest list from 70 people to 12 + our amazing wedding photographer, saving a whole lot of car journeys, food wastage, the amount of flowers needed (“needed”), name cards, invitations, favours – the list goes on.
We switched our original venue for a smaller one much closer to home, cutting down on the distance travelled for meetings, taster evenings etc. They even use produce from local farmers, so bonus points to us 😉
Plus, saving all that money meant we were able to pay for the entire wedding upfront. Kerching.
Okay, boring stuff out the way! Let’s get to the good stuff:
Eco-friendly wedding “invitations”
Rather than look for recycled or FSC-certified paper, we did away with using resources for physical invitations (and those bullshit Save The Date cards) altogether and made our own website.
We both dabble in a bit of website development so between us we set up a WordPress website with a bought wedding theme (they’re about $40-50 from places like Theme Forest), used a photo of our venue, The Woburn Hotel, as the background image, populated some pages with venue, accommodation and timing details, and found a login plugin so only our guests could access the site – and then we texted them with their details.
Eco-friendly wedding flowers
I’ve never liked the idea of spending insane amounts of money on flowers – they’re about to die, for God’s sake.
Plus, I wasn’t digging the norm of florists shipping in pesticide-covered blooms from Holland or even further, grown under God knows what soil conditions.
I really wanted flowers that were grown as locally as possible, in season and without too many pesticides. Fortunately, the events manager at our venue knew of a nearby local florist who grows all of her flowers herself without any horrible chemicals.
Turns out, finding British flowers isn’t as difficult as I first thought it was; you can find local suppliers on Flowers from the Farm and The British Flower Collective. I’m sure the US etc. have their own initiatives too 🙂
Having a small shindig meant our flower needs were very modest:
Oheyyyy, it’s me.
Three buttonholes, for Graeme and our dads
Oh and who’s that dapper sunnabitch?
One large centrepiece for the ceremony table, which was later moved to our dinner table
Aaaand then later to our bedroom windowsill, where they were hugely enjoyed by the cats. Reduce, reuse and all that.
Two smaller vases to help fill the dinner table
And lavender and rosemary sprigs for each place setting
Eco-friendly wedding suit
I don’t even caaare how cheap this bit makes us sound.
Wanting to avoid the cost of suit hire (plus those nasty dry cleaning chemicals), we looked for ages for eco-friendly places to buy Graeme’s suit from.
But, in the end, we didn’t really like the look of anything as much as the suit he already had, and we remembered the old saying that the greenest thing you can do is use what you already own.
Graeme’s been amazing this year eating better and exercising more, and he’s dropped about 2 stone in 9 months – so his suit was a liiiittle bit big for him.
£20 later his jacket was taken in and he was all set. What a babe.
Eco-friendly bridal shoes
I got my ceremony shoes from Beyond Skin, an eco-friendly vegan shoe brand that handmakes its shoes in Spain and sources its materials from as close to its workshop as possible.
Cat-approved and errthang
Unfortunately, I can’t attest to their comfiness throughout the entire day. Anticipating the British weather, I had also bought a pair of gorgeous handmade wellies from Aigle – which, thanks to a bit of drizzle first thing that morning, I ended up needing.
Now I certainly can attest to the comfiness of these suckers as I kept them on for the rest of the night.
My eco thinking behind the wellies was that I didn’t have a pair yet and would continue to use them long after the day was over, and they’re already coming in useful on our October woodland strolls.
Eco-friendly wedding dress
There are a growing number of wedding dress designers who are conscious of the fabrics they use, sourcing vintage and low-impact materials for their creations.
But as much as I’m willing to pay more for organic this and all-natural that, I wasn’t going to spend a fortune on a formal dress, designer, eco or otherwise.
I’m not sure if buying a dress from an outlet really counts as “eco-friendly” (saving a last-season dress from the bin/not ordering a new-new one to be made…?!), but my plan is to have the dress altered and dyed so that I can wear it to the many, many black tie events I get invited to every year…
The only problem I’m having with this plan is in finding low-impact, non-toxic dyes that will stick to material long term. If you know of any, please ping me a message on Instagram!
Eco-friendly wedding favours
Finally, we did away with buying and faffing around with favours, instead opting to donate the money we would have spent to the incredible hospice that provided end of life care to my nan, St Wilfrid’s in Chichester.
We can only hope to make it to 50 years like my wonderful nanny and grandad.
So those are just a couple of the ways you can refuse, reduce and reuse when it comes to planning your wedding – good luck with however you decide to make your wedding day a little less resource-intensive!