Looking for eco-friendly wedding ideas? Here are 9 ways to go green while planning your big day

Weddings: yes, they’re super special and joyful and full of love – and especially after years without being able to celebrate our own, or our loved ones’ nuptials, fully, they feel more special than ever. But as much as we enjoy the celebration of two people finding love and committing to each other, there is one aspect of a wedding that we can’t say we feel entirely comfortable with, and that’s their impact on the environment

You may think your big day is pretty harmless, but when you really think about it, the toll adds up. There’s the air and road miles of guests travelling long distances to attend, the waste involved in feeding a large group of people, decorations and signage you’ll use once and discard, all those single-wear outfits (even if your sister swears she’ll get lots more use out of that peach chiffon number). And that’s before we even consider the inexplicable amount of plastic stuff that seems to come with every hen do – add in the fact that now, many couples are asking guests to take lateral flow tests prior to their arrival and this also adds to the list.

However, even with all of that wastage, we were still shocked to hear that it’s estimated that the average wedding emits – wait for it – up to 21 tonnes of carbon dioxide. That’s the equivalent of 525,000,000 plastic straws or driving 483,000 miles. In short, that’s one very big day indeed, and the equivalent of what the average Brit produces in almost four years.

Yet in almost two years of the pandemic, during which many weddings were cancelled or postponed, and couples embraced local, micro weddings when destination events and huge parties were off-limits, priorities shifted. And as well as a renewed focus on what’s really important – celebrating with our loved ones – engaged couples are also thinking more consciously about their weddings too.

Creative wedding planner and designer Andri Benson has noticed a rise in demand from her clients for greener nuptials that show the planet some love, as well as our partners. She says: “There’s definitely been a shift to making more sustainable choices during the planning process and ultimately for the wedding day itself. 

“It’s not about having the biggest, flashiest wedding any more. It’s about making meaningful choices for your day that are right for you as a couple and your guests, while still considering how your decisions can be more sustainable.”

And the growing demand for eco friendly wedding ideas has been gaining traction for some time. In the 2018 National Wedding Survey, 39% of engaged couples said they were making sustainability a priority while planning, while sustainability was one of Etsy’s top wedding trends for 2020. And Vestiaire Collective reported that sales of vintage wedding dresses were up 56% – plus, it only takes one look at Twitter to see how many brides are asking for recommendations on how to have a greener, more eco friendly wedding. And we’re here for it!