Eco-friendly wedding ideas

Jan 29, 2021 | Wedding advice & ideas

Sustainability and being eco friendly are two things that I am really passionate about, so in this blog post, I wanted to share some eco ideas I’ve seen at weddings that might inspire your wedding planning. As many of you loved the ‘Eco-friendly wedding ideas’ reel I created I thought I would expand on the ideas I shared and share some more.

Using potted plants instead of cut flowers

Due to certain flowers being seasonal a lot of florists have to get flowers imported, which makes for a larger environmental impact getting them flown over. Opting for potted planted for wedding decor means that they will last a lot longer, can make wonderful keepsakes to enjoy in your home/garden and could even be used as gifts to your guests. 

Kate and Chris’ wedding at Blackstock Country Estate.

Sourcing a sustainable florist

If potted plants aren’t your jam and you vision cut flowers as part of the decor, I would recommend working with a sustainable florist. If you plan to work with a sustainable florist I would suggest researching what flowers are in season on your wedding date, as sustainable florists would usually opt for locally grown. For example, if you wanted peony flowers on your wedding date, know that they have a very short growing season and usually only in flower during the month of May in the UK.

Opting for dried flowers

I feel like dried flower wedding decor is on the rise and in coming years will really increase into a big trend. The main benefit of using dried wedding flowers is that they can be reused and reposed. For example, a dried flower wedding bouquet could become a gorgeous piece of home decor showcased in a vase. Here is a stunner of a dried wedding bouquet created by Elise from Hedges and Flowers on our Modern Muted styled shoot.

Flowers by Hedge and Flowers, full blog feature over on Wedding Chicks.

Make your own wedding confetti out of dried flowers

It is good for the environment, smells gorgeous and looks great in photos. Floral confetti can cost a small fortune whereas making your own is the total opposite. Here’s a blog post on how to make your own confetti.

Opt for no favours and do donations instead

Do wedding guests really keep and use the wedding favours? The amount of times I’ve seen countless wedding favours left behind on the tables after a wedding (that is if they aren’t edible!). Opting for a charity donation instead is a really thoughtful way to do wedding favours. It saves on the waste of unused wedding favours and guests will likely get a good feeling when you’ve donated to charity on their behalf. The charity can be one close to your heart and that is meaningful to you both as a couple. Below is an example of what Ami and Thomas displayed on their wedding breakfast tables about making a donation in their guest’s honour.

Ami & Thomas’ wedding at Hutton Hall.

Seeds for Bees as wedding favours

If you still love the idea of wedding favours for your guests this is a fab idea! At a couple of weddings, I received ‘Seeds for Bees’. I planted them up and loved watching them grow. They are good for the environment as they help the bee population, not only that but they look lovely when in flower and guests will be reminded of your wedding day.

A wedding website instead of wedding stationery

Save on paper but having a wedding website. These are great as you can easily make amendments and keep them up to date. If you’re anything like me and love pretty stationery then you can opt for eco-friendly stationery that can easily be recycled and work with a sustainable wedding stationer.

Opting for a vegan meal

This is a big one and if you have a lot of meat-eaters in the family it might be a tricky one to do. If going full vegan is too difficult you could always opt for all/some vegan canapés. Ask your caterers what options they have and how they can help you with this. If going vegan is too challenging you could work with a caterer that purchase their produce locally like Stour Valley Catering, just doing this alone will help the environmental impact.

Glemham Hall wedding venue at featured on Wedding Chicks.

Buying second hand

You can get so many bargains out there by purchasing second hand. Often wedding items are only used once so can be in very good condition. It is possible to save thousands by buying a secondhand wedding dress, once it’s fitted to your body and dry-cleaned no one would know and you’ll have extra cash in the bank. As well as buying second hand you could sell on your used wedding items. Facebook marketplace and eBay make it so easy to sell secondhand items. As they say, “one man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure”. 

Avoid disposable dinner wear and say no to plastic straws

Avoid disposable dinner wear for the obvious reason that most disposable table wear is plastic. If disposable table wear is unavoidable it is possible to purchase bamboo cutlery and paper plates. I would open up the conversation with your caterers on how they can help you with this. If your venue/bar provide plastic straws you can ask them to keep them behind the bar in case someone asks/needs one or could ask if they could stock paper straws instead.

Hire. You don’t have to buy everything

There are many wonderful hire companies that you can use for props, furniture, etc. The beauty of hiring is that the items are reused and kept in tiptop condition, and you don’t have to worry about having lots of items to sell after the wedding. Here are some of my favourite local hire companies: Party Squared for prop hire and Anthology Vintage Hire for larger furniture and styling items.

Party Squared cake hoop and candle holders featured on Wedding Chicks.

Keeping the event small

Keeping it small might not be for everyone but with micro weddings on the rise it is an idea.

Picking a location that is good travelling distance.

It goes without saying that if you get married local to you and your family it reduced the carbon footprint of everyone travelling to your wedding.

DIY/upcycle out of things you might already have.

Pinterest is filled with ideas on how you can upcycle and repurpose items for your wedding day. I’ve seen corks from wine bottles made into a seating plan, old gin bottles used for decor, pallets for a wedding timeline, the list is endless, you can certainly get creative with it!

Kirstie & James’ wine cork welcome sign for their West Street Vineyard wedding.

Some things ideas I’ve loved but not yet photographed at one of my own weddings: 

  • Using leaves for place names
  • Engraved sea glass for place names

What other eco-friendly wedding ideas do you love? Let me know over on Instagram!