For this month’s instalment of our Revelry Events advice series, Holly & Susannah are sharing 5 ways you can have a knockout wedding that considers the environment too!
“2020 was a year without weddings for us, an unwelcome sabbatical, but it gave us the chance to reflect on the impact weddings have on the environment and how we as planners can do better to advise our couples on making more sustainable decisions.
According to Do the Green Thing, a typical British wedding day produces 14.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide; the annual carbon emissions per capita in the UK is about 9.1 tonnes. It’s not a great stat to have associated with your wedding day so we’ve spent the past year chatting to suppliers and taking stock of our own experience to pull together our own eco wedding guide The Green Wedding Series, full of eco-friendly information, advice and no judgement. Here are some tips from the guide, but do dive into the full series for even more.
1. Picking a local or self-sufficient venue will have one of the biggest impacts on keeping your carbon footprint down. To help you figure out if your venue is genuinely eco friendly, find out if they have an environmental policy in place. If they have they’ll be proud to talk about it, if not then you’ll quickly realise your values don’t align. Ask them – do they recycle and compost? Do they run on renewable energy like solar power or a biomass heating system? What’s their policy on single use plastic? Venues won’t necessarily tick every box as some sustainable options may not be possible for them to put in place, but it will give you a sense of how important the environment is to them.
2. If you’re serious about keeping your carbon footprint down but you’re planning to feed 150 people then going Vegan or Vegetarian is a serious step in the right direction. The processes of producing meat and dairy use way more land and natural resources and result in more emissions than a plant based diet, similarly industrial Western fishing creates a lot of chemical waste and plastic in the oceans. If you’re happy to take meat off the menu for the day that’s the single biggest thing you can do from a catering perspective. And here comes the but…but we know that’s not for everyone and can feel very restrictive, so if you’re reluctant to go meat-free then the next best thing to do is keep your menu seasonal. As well as promising the freshest, most delicious taste, seasonal food minimises the amount of energy spent on travel and production.
3. If you can’t imagine a wedding without booze (and who can) avoiding plastic and opting for UK produced drinks (of which we have many amazing options) is much kinder to the planet. Want beer? Kegs are your friend. If that’s too tricky to bring in and operate yourselves then go for cans of beer over bottles because the UK has a solid aluminium recycling infrastructure. Did you know that the greenest way to drink spirits is neat (bring on the shot bar!) and that the UK is totally self-sufficient in apples, making cider a brilliant booze choice for your day?
4. Oh we are about to hit you with a truth bomb here – flowers can be really bad for the environment. There we said it, we’re sorry, don’t hate us! It’s the water, the fertiliser, the crazy big greenhouses in Holland that need to be powered, the shipment of flowers to and from the UK. But we love flowers and we’re not here to put florists out of a job, just to give you a bit of advice on how to approach it if this is an area you feel you can compromise. Try putting your flowers completely in your florist’s hands and letting them style for you based on what’s available locally at the time of your wedding, rather than having to meet a specific brief. If the peonies bloom early this year and you miss the window, trust that your florist will find a beautiful alternative instead.
5. Avoid an unsustainable one wear wedding dress by shopping vintage or second hand – nothing else is going into production for your day if you re-wear what already exists. And you’re no longer confined to your local charity shop, there are a wealth of physical and online second hand stores to try. You could also hire your dress, buy separates that you know can be mixed and matched to get more wear out of it or opt for one of the growing number of new designers with ethical creds, and existing designers embracing a more eco conscious ethos. We’ve got some lovely recommendations in the attire chapter of our eco wedding guide to get you started.
That’s just a smattering of eco friendly wedding info but we hope it’s enough to get your cogs whirring about big or small ways you can be more eco-minded in your wedding planning. Your planet will thank you.”
Photo credits: Seth Carnill, Megan Elle Photography, Matthew Lawrence
Revelry Events are London and Scotland based wedding planners specialising in rulebook-free weddings that don’t fit the normal conventions, push creative boundaries, capture your personalities and, most importantly, show everyone a damn good time. They were also recently awarded the TWIA Best UK Wedding Planner Award 2021, and will be bringing their wisdom to you via their monthly column here. Check out their profile here to get in touch with them!