Happy Earth Day! An increasing number of couples are thinking about the impact their wedding might have on the environment, and modern wedding suppliers are listening and offering wonderful ecological options. Being eco-aware during your special day can not only be a great starting point for creating a new family - showing recognition of the impact today will have on any future families lives, but can also create a fabulous theme that is both stunning and right on-trend.
From tech-savvy online save-the-dates and fully interactive video invitations (that’s something Olive & Thistle can certainly help you with!) to subtle changes like recycled paper, or reductions in inserts - stationary may be the simplest way to make a both a big statement and impact.
If you’re willing to forgo the snail mail altogether there are a number of beautiful online options for inviting your inlaws and recording your R.S.V.P.’s.
Just one example www.greenvelope.com has a number of beautiful template options (I’m a big fan of
the Eucalyptus frame!) or you can have one custom designed to really reflect your personal style. With RSVP tracking, private messaging, and even the ability to send out a survey, it really is everything you need to go paperless.
Not ready to ditch the snail mail? Think about reducing the number of inserts in your invitation, or using cotton, bamboo, or recycled paper.
There’s even the incredible option of plantable paper - think of it, your invite will turn into a beautiful bed of flowers! There are lots of options for seeded paper online, including a number on Etsy like this sweet one from user TalkoftheTownPartyUK
Lastly, and something I’ve never thought about, you can get a local calligrapher to write out your invitations for you! There is an incredible amount of energy and toxic chemicals used in the printing process, so by going handwritten, you're simultaneously helping both the planet, and creating exquisite invites with a local finish.
Obviously the easiest way to ecofy your venue is to hold it outdoors! All you need is a farm, forest or
garden, and you help save a ton of energy by using natural light. But you and I both know that outdoor weather in Scotland is unpredictable at best - so if you want to hold it indoors, there are a few things you can do to make it more eco-friendly:
Try to make it all one location so people aren’t having to drive between locations - that’ll help cut down on fuel emissions. There are a number of beautiful all-in-one venues where both your ceremony and reception can be held - we’ve seen some amazing turnovers - there's a brief glimpse of one in this promotional video we filmed for Oran Mor:
Another way to be green indoors - find a venue with a lot of natural light or look for a venue that recycles and uses energy-efficient appliances and biodegradable products. Check out Green Union UK for some great suggestions!
Organic. You didn’t really expect me to not use that word right? As more and more companies are taking note of the rise of awareness around environmental impact, it means there’s a good chance there’s an organic caterer or even a zero waste caterer near you. It may cost more, but if you keep the food in season and locally grown, you can keep costs down, and keep it super fresh. Not only does this immensely reduce your carbon footprint, but local farmers and growers will thank you for the positive effect your choice has on their businesses and community.
And when the night is over, see if instead of throwing away leftovers, you can donate them to your local food bank or to those in need - helping spread the love even further!
Look for companies that are farm-to-table, pick some from friends gardens, or if you have a green thumb, grow your own! Commercial flowers are cultivated in large amounts of pesticides, and flown in from around the world, contributing to air-pollution. Try to use flowers that are in season or Veri-Flora certified to cut down on the impact. You could also choose potted plants for your reception tables that people can take home after and plant in their own garden as a reminder of your special day.
But you might not even NEED flowers. If you’re a crafty bride/groom, you may want to look at a number of other options that fit into your interests. A bouquet made out of an old favorite book, boutineers made from buttons, edible fruit and veg centerpieces - I’m in love with these cupcake bouquets from Flowers Aren't Enough! Really the only limit is imagination!
THE WEDDING DRESS
Surprisingly, aside from the invitations, your wedding dress can be one of the easiest parts of your wedding to go green with - and it doesn't mean sacrificing on style! One of the first options could be to use a dress that’s already been worn, either by your mom, a friend or other family member - often these offer a sentimental and original vintage look for your big day! And hey, if it doesn’t suit your style it’s easy to work with a seamstress to make alterations so it's 100% you. If you do prefer a new dress though, find a designer that uses sustainable fabrics, there are a number of fantastic designers working to make both you and the environment look their best. Trash Couture, Leila Hafzi, Minna, and Sanyukta Shrestha are all making incredible dresses that take ecofashion to the next level. As for your bridal party - why not have them in dresses they already own? Or even rent out some dresses from a store like Hire That Look- then you’re looking at some great styles without breaking the bank OR the planet!
Your wedding favours - no longer just candy coated almonds, favours are becoming a popular way to have your guest take home something memorable from your big day. But how about them taking home something they can then give back to the rest of the world? Check out plantable products like veggie or fruit seeds in biodegradable seed packets or even good old fashioned potted plants! Want something more traditional that your guests can munch on? Think globally, munch locally as we always say! Edible products like homemade jam in glass jars or fair-trade coffee beans in a recycled paper bag are a great treat for guests and the environment! Whether it’s a favour for the garden or a favour for the gut, you’re doing the planet a big favour by going green with these wee gifts for your guests!
There's now an eco-friendly option for almost everything you can think of - from registries to rings, veils to vehicles. Whether you make one eco-gesture or are ensuring that your whole wedding is green, every bit matters. Here's to making your wedding day as beautiful for the planet as it is for you.