Blog - Sustainable and Savvy5th March 2021
Our events coordinator Amy has been reading about sustainable weddings. How you can make your wedding environmentally friendly while keeping costs down.
One of the main focuses for 2020 and 2021 are the environment and the impact humans have on climate change. The introduction of restrictions and a lockdown across the world had a positive impact on the environment. It has encouraged more and more people to think about their own impact on the environment. Did you know the average wedding emits 14.5 tons of C02 into the atmosphere? the average adult human only emits 12.7 tons in a year it is an area that needs improvement.
Wedding suppliers are starting to take responsibility for their impact on the environment offering eco-friendly options. Lysaght has completed a sustainable strategy and aims to become a responsible member of the community considering the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.
Wedding couples are jumping on the trend of ethical weddings. They are looking at ways to be environmentally friendly, and there are so many ways to lessen your carbon footprint and the awareness of your impact will also save you some money.
Saving paper with digital invitations is becoming more and more popular with eco-friendly couples. As much as people like receiving invitations in the post, having a website dedicated to your wedding to invite guests can keep all your guests informed. Some websites are free, and you can use websites like Canva to create your wedding look. Then choosing menu options and your guests with dietary requirements are all in one place, R.S.V. P’s become a simple click rather than a postal reply and your guests can interact with you and other guests on your website. So many weddings have changed over the past year that couples have set up websites to keep everyone in the loop with the plans without having to see them all. Couples have also turned to Facebook groups or events to keep track of their guest list. These are free and offer a place for your guests to reply to your invite and keep track of your plans.
The impact of fast fashion on the environment is huge and while wedding dresses are not fast fashion (they can take up to eight months to be made) they do have a big carbon footprint. Making just one wedding dress will use 9000 litres of water. There are lots of options for vintage and preloved wedding dresses that don’t weigh so heavy on the environment. Shops selling vintage dresses with inhouse seamstresses are a good option for the environment and your pocket. You will still get the wedding dress shopping experience with your bridal party while looking after the environment. The owner of Heart Felt Vintage, Kate, is an expert in vintage clothing. Based in Bristol, her shop has hundreds of options from the 1990s right back to original 1920s dresses and to protect the environment and the delicate fabrics each dress is hand washed onsite.
When it comes to the dress, if you know what you want it’s quite easy to find a second hand or sample sale dress on sites like stillwhite.com , preloved.com and ebay.com while these options are easy on the purse strings it’s not like going into a dress shop. If that doesn’t inspire you there is always the options of renting your wedding attire. Sites like girlmeetsdress.com thebridalgalleryuk.co.uk and vonleebridalhire.com offer designer dresses and accessories for a fraction of the cost of buying a new dress. This trend has taken off so much that By Rotation is an app that rents fashion and has a selection of wedding dresses from previous brides.
The groom and groomsmen also have the option of hiring their outfits and for morning suits or top hats and tails that won’t be worn again, this has been a long-standing option. It is a relatively new trend for brides.
When choosing your flowers look for an eco-friendly florist. They will use natural materials to make your arrangements rather than the foam settings that are made up of plastic. Most of the exotic flowers like peonies and roses are imported and the pesticides are not regulated the same as they are in the UK. 80% of the flowers sold in the UK are from the Netherlands and the delicate nature of flowers means that flower distributors rely on speedy transport, often via air so it isn’t just the chemicals that have to be taken into consideration here. Opting for British grown, home grown, and wildflowers is going to cost less, not have pesticides and have less of an impact of the environment. By choosing flowers that are in season for your wedding date you will have the best quality flowers for your day. Foraging for greenery is a simple and cheap way of filling out your displays and anything like eucalyptus or evergreens will smell lovely on the day.
Lots of venue décor is disposable and while lots of suppliers are looking to source more eco-friendly solutions one is to recycle or reuse. Hiring companies are already a big hit when it comes to wedding décor, so much cheaper than buying big items for your wedding day without the hassle of trying to sell them on afterwards or store them. Lots of couples are opting for a DIY wedding to be more environmentally friendly. When creating your own décor recycling is best, lots of couples opt for old jam jars and material scraps to create their table centre pieces. If you are using candles, soy is a much better option, as there is no paraffin, but the best choice would be using natural bee’s wax.
On your wedding day it is nice to encourage your guests to be more eco-friendly. Offering natural confetti to throw like dried petals or leaves cut out with a shaped craft punch. You will still get that great confetti shot and not have any effect on the environment. Biodegradable paper is another option for eco-friendly couples as the paper will dissolve in the rain.
Lots of eco-friendly weddings will be vegetarian or even vegan, and while this does seem to be the most environmentally friendly option you may want to offer a meat option. Using organic and free-range produce and sourcing local ingredients will lower the need for transportation and give your guests a better quality and ethical dish for your wedding breakfast. It is easy to keep your wedding cake ethical, choosing a baker who is local and uses local and fair-trade products will ensure this. Be careful with the size of the cake too. As we know food waste has a negative effect on the environment. Uneaten wedding cake was found to be one of the biggest contributors to the nation’s food waste problem, with 37% of guests admitting they don’t eat it.
While we are talking about food, I would like to point out that serving your food on crockery, drinks in real glasses and avoiding single use plastics are the best options. While paper plates for the cake are handy, they will not decompose for five years and single use plastics can take up to 450 years to break down. Besides, food always looks better on a china plate!
Another bugbear for the wedding industry is the waste from the wedding favours. Unless they are sentimental or personalised, guests tend to take the treat and leave the packaging. A good way to reduce this would be favours of seeds, succulents, plants or offering a donation to a charity in your guest’s name.
It doesn’t take much to make the simple changes to have an ethical, environmentally friendly wedding. Reducing the massive carbon footprint that weddings have on the environment can only be a good thing. It’s likely to save you money in the long run while giving you a better quality of product. Vendors and suppliers are trying to change their ways to help and it is important for couples to help too, for our future generations.
For more information on ethical weddings and Lysaght’s own sustainable policy look at the links below.
Table of references
Amy is an events operations executive here at Lysaght and is one of the many brides to be that has had to postpone their wedding. Some couples just cannot wait to tie the knot and here is how it can be done virtually.
Amy is our events operations executive and a locked down bride and has looked at the best ways you can still celebrate the day that would have been. Why not mark the day by making special memories? From doorstep photoshoots to cutting the cake, Amy shares some unique ideas to help you celebrate your big day lock-down style