As we move towards a more sustainable future, it’s important to consider how our everyday actions impact the environment. Weddings are no exception. While it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of planning a wedding, it’s essential to keep sustainability in mind. A sustainable wedding not only benefits the environment, but it can also help reduce costs and create a more meaningful celebration. Here’s why you should consider a sustainable wedding and some tips on how to make it happen.

Why choose a sustainable wedding?

The wedding industry has a significant impact on the environment. From the amount of waste produced to the carbon emissions generated by transportation and energy usage, weddings can leave a large carbon footprint. By choosing a sustainable wedding, you can reduce your impact on the environment and make a positive contribution to the planet.

A sustainable wedding also offers an opportunity to create a more meaningful celebration. Instead of focusing on the material aspects of a wedding, such as extravagant decorations and expensive gifts, a sustainable wedding emphasises the importance of the love and commitment shared between the couple. By prioritising sustainable practices, you can create a more intentional and mindful wedding that reflects your values.

1) Choose a sustainable venue: Look for a venue that prioritises sustainability, such as a venue that uses renewable energy, has water-saving fixtures, and has a waste reduction plan in place. Alternatively, consider an outdoor wedding to reduce the need for energy usage.

St Mary's Wedding Space
The proprietors of St Mary’s Wedding Space place a high priority on sustainability by obtaining their electricity from sustainable sources and using wood-burning stoves for warmth. Their water supply comes from the hill behind their residence (which is filtered), and they strive to live and work in harmony with the natural environment. At the heart of their work is a commitment to fairness and equality, and they make every effort to ensure that their guests feel at ease and at home while staying at St Mary’s.
Black House Forest in Selkirk
Blackhouse Forest Estate is an eco-friendly lodge located in the Yarrow Valley in the Scottish Borders. It is nestled in over 1,000 acres of woodland and hills and is available for exclusive stays, events, retreats, and filming. The lodge is powered by hydroelectric, biomass, and solar energy, and water is sourced directly from the hills and cleansed with UV light. The estate strives to encourage biodiversity and offset every stay by planting trees. Check out the full blog on Blackhouse Forest Estate here.

2) Use Local and Seasonal Flowers: Flowers are a big part of weddings, but they can also be one of the most wasteful aspects. Instead of importing exotic flowers, choose locally grown flowers that are in season. This will reduce the carbon footprint of transporting flowers and support local businesses. Using dry flowers is another great option for sustainable wedding decor. Dry flowers are a popular choice for wedding bouquets, centrepieces, and decorations. They are not only eco-friendly, but they also last longer than fresh flowers and can be reused or repurposed after the wedding.

Dry bouquet for sustainable wedding and elopements

3) Use sustainable bridal outfits: One option is to choose a dress made from sustainable materials, such as organic cotton, hemp, or recycled fabrics. Look for dresses made by designers who prioritise sustainability and ethical production practices. You can also opt for secondhand dresses, which not only reduce waste but also offer a unique and affordable option. Another way to make sustainable choices with bridal outfits is to choose outfits that can be worn again. For example, bridesmaids’ dresses can be chosen in colours and styles that can be worn to other events or even in everyday life. Alternatively, brides can choose a non-traditional outfit, such as a jumpsuit or a pantsuit, which can be easily worn again.

Mirka Bridal Couture has their own eco-friendly wedding gowns collection called ‘With Love Mirka’
Made from 100% Recycled Materials

4) Use eco-friendly decorations: When it comes to wedding decor, there are many sustainable options available. Consider using recycled or upcycled decor, such as vintage furniture, old books, and recycled glassware. You can also use natural materials like flowers, leaves, and branches.

Little Dressing Co is a prop hire and event styling company based in Edinburgh that specialises in providing unique and stylish props for weddings and events. Their collection includes a variety of items, ranging from vintage furniture to contemporary pieces, as well as unique decor and styling elements.

5) Opt for a green catering: Choose a catering company that uses locally sourced, organic, and sustainable ingredients. This not only supports local businesses but also reduces the carbon footprint of your wedding.

6) Choose a locally sourced menu: Choose a menu that includes locally sourced, organic, and seasonal ingredients. This not only supports local farmers but also reduces the carbon footprint of transporting food from afar. You can also consider having a vegetarian or vegan menu to reduce the environmental impact of meat production.

7) Use reusable tableware: Instead of using disposable tableware, opt for reusable ones. This not only reduces waste but also adds an elegant touch to your wedding. You can also rent tableware from rental companies.

Sustainable tableware
Cheeky Hound prop hire is a unique and exciting option for couples who want to add a special touch to their wedding decor. Based in Edinburgh, Cheeky Hound offers a wide variety of props, ranging from vintage furniture to quirky signage and everything in between.

8) Opt for sustainable transportation: Encourage your guests to carpool or use public transportation to get to your wedding. You can also provide bike rentals or shuttle buses to reduce the number of cars on the road.

9) Sustainable Favours that Give Back: Consider giving favours that give back to the community or the environment. Here are some ideas:

  • Plants: Give guests a small plant, such as succulents or herbs, that they can take home and grow.
  • Sustainable Products: Choose sustainable products, such as reusable straws or water bottles, that guests can use in their daily lives.
  • Edible Treats: Give guests locally sourced or homemade edible treats, such as jam or honey, that support local businesses and reduce waste.
  • Leftovers: Instead of wasting leftover food, donate it to local food banks or homeless shelters. This not only helps those in need but also reduces food waste.
Sustainable Wedding favours

So, can wedding photography be sustainable?

As a wedding and elopement photographer, I love capturing special moments that couples will cherish for a lifetime. But I also want to make sure that my work doesn’t have a negative impact on the environment.

That’s why I’m committed to taking responsibility for my actions and doing my part to reduce my carbon footprint. For instance, I use eco-friendly practices in my business operations, such as digitising communication to reduce paper usage and recommending sustainable suppliers.

During my shoots, I try to minimise waste and reduce my carbon footprint by using rechargeable batteries and bringing reusable water bottles and snacks. I also love working with couples who share my values and are looking for ways to make their wedding or elopement more eco-friendly.

As a photographer who often travels to different locations, I make sure to plan my travel arrangements efficiently and reduce my impact while on location. This includes using public transport or carpooling whenever possible.

In conclusion, a sustainable wedding is not only a responsible choice for the environment, but it also offers an opportunity to create a more meaningful and intentional celebration. I believe that every little action counts, and by making small changes, we can all play a role in protecting the planet.

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