Our top 10 tips for a more responsible celebration
The Wedding march was already playing in your head when a conflicting thought wormed its way into your mind, disrupting those coveted, celestial notes: is my wedding going to hurt the planet?
Weddings can be expensive and use a lot of resources but there are ways to celebrate our love whilst giving our little contribution to a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Here are our top 10 suggestions for an ethical wedding.
Before the Day
Are you absolutely sure that the wedding gown of your dreams isn’t the one hanging in your mother’s (or grandmother’s) closet? Do you really need to buy a new dress or can you, with the help of a seamstress, give new life to that stunning vintage dress, creating a truly unique garment?
If you’re not that into white, wearing an embellished and renewed item of clothing that you already have is another viable option
Nothing is more dashing than a man in a tailored suit, right?
If you have decided to purchase a go sustainable, your husband-to-be should be as good as you.
There are plenty of possible options for your fiancée, such as considering renting instead of buying (both economical and green), purchasing a vintage suit to be tailored down or investing in an ethically made item that, contrary to your white dress, can be worn over and over again.
Put a ring on your commitment… to the cause! Don’t take part in the unethical trade of diamonds and stones. Choose fairtrade, cruelty-free jewellery.
Paperless is the future and if you want to do more than sending electronic invites, you can plan your whole wedding with a website and provide your guests with all the information they need to come and celebrate your love.
They can RSVP via email thus ensuring a lesser impact on the forests and the indiscriminate, wasteful use of paper.
The venue is one of the key factors for a successful wedding. Consider choosing one of the many eco-friendly and sustainable venues available throughout the UK or a charity owned one… the possibilities are endless, the sky‘s the limit.
On the day
Make-up & preparation
Gifting yourself and your bridesmaids a beautiful kimono, will add a touch of glamour to sipping bubbles while getting ready, but consider doing your skin and the planet a big favour: avoid at all cost those shiny polyester gowns! Choose organic cotton kimonos and responsible manufacturing instead. They will also last longer, and you will always be able to look back at those pictures guilt-free.
When bought in season from a local grower, flowers are pesticide free and ready for the picking. As a bonus, they are also cheaper. There’s no need to fly flowers for hundreds of miles when our gardens are full of beautiful options.
Food is undeniably one of the crucial elements of a well-organised wedding. A completely vegetarian or vegan meal would be the greenest choice, but as not all guests might be satisfied, you should make sure that all food is in season, comes from responsible, local farmers and is cruelty-free.
Hire a caterer or choose a restaurant that can guarantee an organic menu, made with products with a minimum mile radius.
Finally, make sure to donate leftover, untouched food.
The Gifts – Charity Donations
If you have decided not to use a Wedding List service, you could provide each seat on the table with a list of charity organizations whose work you deem important and ask your guests to contribute to a worthy cause.
Eco-tourism is certainly the way to go if you want to travel long-distance (planes emissions considered), but if you really want to lessen your carbon footprint as newlyweds you could consider exploring your own country by bike or train and staying in eco-friendly hotels: green and luxurious are not antonyms!
Hi, I’m Claudia, a Classics student at Edinburgh University, passionate about sustainability and protecting the environment. You can often find me involved in social and environmental projects, trying to encourage positive change.