Trend alert: sustainable weddings

It’s undeniable that today’s brides are more conscious than ever of the need to think eco-friendly when planning their wedding.

Sustainability is a way of life, and your nuptials should be no exception. There are so many options to help reduce your eco-footprint. From choosing local suppliers to opting for organic make-up, creating a ‘greener wedding’ is really easy to achieve one decision at a time.

When it comes to sustainable wedding planning, there are some great celebrity examples. Remember Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied’s vegan wedding in 2012? Or Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank, who made their wedding a completely plastic free celebration?

To help you get hitched in a more eco-friendly way, I’ve gathered my top industry tips for a sustainable wedding.

Go digital          


Weddings can be a stationary addict’s heaven. Planners, binders, lists, save the dates, invitations, envelopes, RSVP cards, wedding documents – all  this amounts to lots of paper! 

Small changes will go a long way to reduce your waste. And, many of the paperless alternatives are a lot of fun too!

  • Manage your guest list, invitations and RSVP with an online service such as RSVPOnline or Paperless Post

  • Set up a private Facebook Group or website to share important facts and news about your wedding.

  • Ditch the paper diaries, binders and wedding planners and get savvy with apps. There are plenty to choose from such as ‘Manage my Wedding’, which is available on the AppStore.

  • Choose a celebrant who supports your eco-friendly values and can provide a digital ceremony experience.

  • If you can’t let go of your stationary addiction, opt for recycled options and consider handwriting rather than using a printer.

  • Instead of putting disposable cameras on guests’ tables, create a digital photo sharing account with a platform such as Flickr.

  • Create a wedding hashtag to make it easy to find and share each other’s images and memories on Instagram.

  • Photo booths are fun, but why not take things up a notch and wow your guests with a GIF stand? They capture your guests’ fave looping animations and deliver them straight to their smartphones.

Ethical wedding dress and make-up choices

Your wedding gown and make-up are two of the most personal choices you’ll make in the lead up to your wedding day. For brides who have a huge heart for sustainability, creating an eco-friendly look will really make a big difference to how you feel.

  • Get inspired by Vogue’s ‘8 wedding dress brands for the eco-conscious bride.

  • Consider up-cycling an heirloom wedding gown; renting one; or choosing natural, eco-friendly and locally sourced fabrics.

  • When it comes to make-up, going organic and cruelty-free is the most obvious choice. Not only will the planet thank you, but your skin will breathe a big sigh of relief too.

  • Opt for a local, eco-inspired make-up artist or buck the make-up trend altogether and go natural.

  • Consider letting your bridal party wear clothes they already own, or borrow from rental sites. Simply offer a few guidelines around colour, style or dress length. They'll love that they can show off their personal style.

Eat local and seasonal

Your food and drink choices can make or break your plans for a sustainable wedding day – and going green doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice taste! To keep it simple, stick with the idea that the most sustainable option is always to source local, in-season produce:

  • Source your food and drinks from local producers and ones that are proudly sustainable.

  • Think about a seasonal menu that highlights the region’s freshest and best. 

  • Avoid plastic cutlery and crockery where possible and opt for paper, or even better traditional porcelain versions. Most catering suppliers will be more than happy to help with this.

  • Ditch bottled water in favour of glass carafes, not only are they better for the environment, they also make for super cute props.

  • Use fabric napkins and opt for paper straws instead of plastic.

  • If you really want to impress your guests, use terracotta pots filled with fresh herbs as table décor. They can add it straight to their dishes and even take them home as wedding favours.

Giving, receiving and decorating green

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To really take your eco-wedding plan to the next level, here are some more great ideas:

  • Instead of gifts, ask your guests to contribute towards your honeymoon or set up a wishing well.

  • If you want to satisfy your inner eco-warrior and start married life with a good deed, you could also ask for donations towards your favourite eco-charity in lieu of gifts. 

  • When it comes to wedding favours the eco options are endless. Think potted plants, seed packets, edible treats, handmade soaps, tea or herb blends. You could also donate a nominated amount per guest towards your favourite charity instead of the traditional bonbonniere.

  • Say no to paper/plastic confetti and ask your local florist about petal confetti instead.

  • When it comes to flowers, go with the motto ‘grown, not flown’. Ask your local florist to choose natural, local and in-season blooms; work with potted flowers; compost left-over blooms at the end of the day and consider giving flowers away as wedding favours – everyone will love it!

  • By using the farm to table approach you will also be able to ditch the floral foam and minimise any plastic wrapping or packaging, as well as steer clear of refrigeration issues.

  • Minimise plastic paraphernalia by incorporating your natural environment into your theme as much as possible. If decoration is a must, hire as much as you can or pass leftovers on to another bride.

The eco-wedding movement is so big that this is really only the tip of the iceberg. If you want some help planning your sustainable wedding get in touch and I’m more than happy to connect you with my network of trusted suppliers.

Jo x

Jo Hurley