25 Green Ideas for a More Eco-Friendly Wedding

Looking for tips to create a more environmentally friendly wedding?

Climate Change is more than just buzz, it is real and it is happening now. With the average UK couple spending over £30,000 on their wedding, one can’t help but think how much of that money is spent on things that will end up in a landfill or on high energy consuming services/products/activities. I have brainstormed a list of steps that you can take when planning your wedding that will reduce waste, save energy, and make your wedding more eco-friendly. You don’t have to do them all, but certainly every little helps!

Wedding Party Celebration
Photo by Lucy Hannah Photography
  1. Choose an eco-friendly wedding venue. This doesn’t mean it has to be a barn conversion with composting toilets! Ask your venue about their recycling practices, do they have water saving fittings in the toilets, are they using environmentally safe cleaning products?

2. Keep it local to reduce carbon footprint from traveling. You will undoubtedly have friends and family that will need to travel to your wedding, but choose your venue closest to where the majority of your guests are to reduce the carbon footprint.

3. Hire a coach or arrange car pooling. If you are travelling from your ceremony to your reception venue, it only makes sense to put on group transportation for your guests. It will reduce pollution by requiring less people to travel separately.

4. Use local suppliers. Again, lowering that carbon footprint. Also, it’s nice to support small, locally run businesses. It will possibly save you money on delivery costs too.

5. Reduce the number of guests. Do you really need to invite you third cousin you haven’t seen for five years? Keep you guest list intimate, only close friends and family. It will reduce stress along with the amount of energy and materials needed for your event.

Red double-decker bus for wedding transportation
Hiring a double-decker bus to transport your guests en masse will help to reduce the carbon footprint of your wedding day.

6. Combine your wedding favours and place cards! Make personalised eco-friendly favours with a little name tag on them. Your guests will appreciate the personal touch.

7. Use dried flower petal confetti in recycled paper cones. It’s so pretty, and smells good too! Collect flower petals from your garden or from family and friends to dry.

8. Choose a pre-loved or vintage wedding dress. Our bridal wear expert Carol has a massive selection of ex-sample and pre-loved dresses at Bridal Reloved Liverpool. Fancy something vintage? Check out Sixpenny Bride for really special, one of a kind gowns.

9. Buy accessories you will wear again. Choose vintage or second hand pieces if possible. Everytime you wear those cufflinks, earrings, or necklaces you will be reminded of your wedding day.

10. Select bridesmaids dresses that will be worn again. I was a bridesmaid for my friend last year, and the dress was so lovely. I had it shortened and have worn it twice since. No point purchasing dresses that will be shoved in the back of a wardrobe never to be worn again.

Vintage Wedding Bands are so romantic, and better for the Earth too!

Photo by Alexandra Gornago on Unsplash

11. Reduce the amount of wedding stationery. Do you need separate RSVP or gifting cards, or can all of the information can be printed on one sheet? Can you create a digital Save the Dates instead of paper? Do you really need a menu or order of service for each person, or at all?

12. For those printed items you do need, choose recycled paper printed with eco-friendly vegetable or soy based inks. 

13. Have a menu based on seasonal, local produce. Ask your venue or caterer where they source their food from. The fewer miles it travels, the fresher it will be. Tastes better and better for the world!

14. Serve vegetarian and vegan dishes. Reducing meat and dairy has a massive impact on reducing carbon emissions. Consider a completely vegetarian or vegan menu.

15. Avoid disposable plates and cutlery. If you absolutely must, opt for wooden or recycled paper or bamboo products.

Serving vegetarian cuisine can add vibrant colours and lots of flavour to your wedding meal.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

16. Don’t over do the cake. Couples tend to over order when it comes to the cake, and there is always so much left over. Be conservative in your estimate and reduce food waste.

17. Source seasonal and local flowers from your florist. Have your bouquets hand tied and centerpieces in vases rather than using floral foam.

18. Skip fresh flowers and go for dried. If you are a keen gardener, or know someone who is, you can collect the blooms and dry them yourself. 

19. Artificial bouquets have become quite popular, but the plastic and foam used to make them will be around longer than any of us. Consider this before choosing this option. If you absolutely must have them, can the flowers be reused for another event or as home decor?

20. Instead of cut floral displays to decorate your venue, opt for potted plants. Some amazing displays can be created, and your guests can take them home as favours.

Tea lights and sweet potted plants make for pretty, environmentally sound wedding decor. 
Photo by Lucy Hannah Photography

21. Choose a cruelty free or vegan hair and makeup artist. Do they use natural products, with fewer chemicals and perfumes? Our wedding beauty expert Vicky and her team at Glamorama Makeup use cruelty-free products and can provide vegan makeup service for their clients. 

22. Hire or borrow table decorations rather than purchasing yourself. So many of the items that people buy for their wedding decorations end up in landfill. Renting is a much better option!

23. Keep the decor simple. If you choose a pretty venue, you may not need lots of extra accessories to jazz it up. Do you absolutely need all of those chair covers and sashes? That creates a lot of washing! Candles are just as atmospheric as fairy lights and use less energy. 

24. Instead of wedding gifts, invite people to donate to your favourite charity. Most couples who get married now have already lived together and have all of the household essentials they need. Using the wedding gift to make the world a little bit better is a great option!

25. Overall, just be conscious of the ecological impact of your wedding. Look at each aspect, and think of one way you can reduce, reuse, or recycle. Every little effort helps!

Dried flower petals make for the best confetti!
Photo by Lucy Hannah Photography

What eco-friendly wedding ideas are you incorporating into your big day? We’d love to hear them! 

Are you a wedding supplier that is making strides to reduce-reuse-recycle? We’d love to hear from you too! 

Leave us a comment and let’s chat!

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