5 Ways To Make Your Wedding More Eco-Friendlyhttps://towerhillbarns.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/Green-Eco-Wedding-Tower-Hill-Barns-Joe-Bickerton-Photography.jpeg25001667SallySallyhttps://towerhillbarns.co.uk/wp-content/litespeed/avatar/eb71c109e05389d58acd30ea196a5e82.jpg?ver=1701269702
5, of many, considerations for an eco-friendly and sustainable wedding day
Because weddings should not cost the earth and you know we’re all about our commitment to being a sustainable wedding venue with consideration for our natural environment.
Research suggests that the average wedding produces the same CO2 emissions as five people would in a whole year and around 4910 tonnes of waste plastic (that’s equivalent to 47 blue whales). And the Sustainable Wedding Alliance estimates that at least half of these emissions could be reduced simply by making sensible choices in your wedding planning.
We don’t know about you, but we think those numbers are pretty shocking – there has to be a better way!
As a countryside wedding venue nestled within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, we are committed to improving the environmental sustainability of the UK wedding industry – because we believe weddings should not cost the earth, nor do they have to.
Last year we made our ‘Earth Day pledge’ and set out on a personal journey to minimise the environmental impact of our weddings while still offering the same high-standard, luxury experience for which we have become known. You can read about some of the changes we’ve implemented to reduce our footprint. Rest assured we are still as passionate as ever about making our weddings more sustainable!
In that vein, this Earth Day we would like to continue the conversation by sharing five things you could consider incorporating into your wedding planning process to minimise the environmental impact of your wedding.
credit: Richard Miller Photography
5 ways to make your wedding more eco-friendly in 2023
(1) Choose a wedding venue that shares your commitment towards sustainability.
This may seem like an obvious one, but the venue in which you hold your wedding can be a significant factor in determining the overall environmental impact of your wedding. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when choosing your wedding venue:
The company ethos
Choosing a venue that is already committed towards sustainability will undoubtedly help you on your way towards ensuring the environmental impact of your wedding will be minimised.
Ask your wedding venue for their sustainability policy. If they have one in place it will tell you what they are doing, and when they plan to do it by. If they don’t have one or aren’t able to tell you what their plans are, then it’s likely that they aren’t working sustainably, and don’t have plans to either.
Location, location, location
One of the biggest contributors to a wedding’s carbon footprint is, without a doubt, travel. Choosing a local wedding venue, ideally, one where you can hold both the ceremony and the reception in one place, will reduce your carbon footprint and the amount of environmental damage caused by guests travelling to your wedding day.
A dressed venue (with all the bells and whistles) vs. an empty shell
From a sustainability perspective, choosing a wedding venue that is static (such as a barn, or similar) and one that already has decorative accessories such as fairy lights and candles up year-round as part of their offering is the way to go. This reduces the amount of single-use items you need to bring with you and then eliminates the need to dispose of them afterwards.
If you do have to provide decor for your wedding venue, consider hiring as a more cost-effective and sustainable option, or be sure to donate or repurpose after the wedding.
credit: Willo Photography
(2) Give eco-friendly wedding favours that your guests will actually appreciate.
Wedding favours are a lovely touch to let your guests know that you appreciate the effort they’ve made to celebrate your wedding day with you. They also make great ice-breakers or pretty table decor. Unfortunately, a lot of these wedding favours get left behind after your guests have gone home. Or worse, end up in landfill.
We’re not here to tell you to scrap wedding favours completely. We know how much you love them! But in our humble opinion, the most appreciated (and sustainable) wedding favours are those that your guests can use and enjoy.
The options are endless and there’s plenty of opportunity to have fun with this (check out Pinterest for all the wild and wacky inspo) but some of our personal favourite sustainable wedding favour ideas include:
Handmade, sustainably packaged natural soaps with a personalised name tag.
Hand-poured, naturally scented, soy wax candles in recycled glass jars.
Personalised, edible wedding favours in biodegradable packaging.
Plantable place cards & quirky seed bombs (you’ll have your guest’s gardens looking like our wildflower meadow in no time!)
Small, individual shot-sized bottles of your fave spirits and liquors.
(3) Eco-friendly wedding invitations and save the dates.
Save the dates and wedding invitations can represent A LOT of environmental impact for something so small. Between their carbon footprint from posting, and the reams of paper and card required to create them (not to mention the cost), you have to wonder: is all that paper really necessary?
The most eco-friendly and cost-effective way to invite your guests to share your big day is undoubtedly to send online invitations. A lot of wedding websites nowadays offer the option to send out invitations and even track RSVPs. So it’s also usually the most organised and least time-consuming method (what’s not to love).
But if online invites aren’t for you, that’s ok, we get it. It’s your wedding day and you’ve dreamt of every little detail – right down to hand delivering your granny a physical invitation that’s been lovingly designed to capture the very essence of your big day. If this is you and you simply cannot forgo printed invitations, don’t worry there are still plenty of options to help you find the sweet spot between caring for our planet and realising your vision.
Our favourite option for printed invitations with an eco-friendly twist is the innovation that is plantable invitations. These invitations see your design printed onto recycled wildflower seed paper that can be planted and grows into beautiful blooms–an invitation and a gift in one! You don’t get much more biodegradable than that and the bees will thank you too!
Another option is to choose an eco-conscious company that will print your invitations onto recycled paper. Some will even plant a tree to offset the carbon produced in creating and sending your invitations. Ahh we love it when someone else solves our problems for us!
credit: Jessica O’Shaughnessy Photography
(4) Choose in-season, locally-grown flowers.
From bouquets to buttonholes, flowers are traditionally an iconic part of any wedding day. You’ll see them incorporated into everything from ceremony décor, and table styling to bouquets and boutonnieres. So choosing your florals wisely represents the perfect opportunity to make your wedding more eco-friendly!
There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to choosing florals for a sustainable wedding:
Choose locally grown, in-season blooms.
Flowers are often mass-produced and grown out of season. And this requires the use of chemical aids. Plus the travel miles to import them in. If this is something you’re keen to minimise, ask your florist about their supply chain to ensure the flowers used are grown locally (ideally) and not just from a local wholesaler. To avoid blooms being shipped from abroad (and therefore racking up air miles) you’ll need to choose blooms that are in-season natively.
If you’re especially committed to sustainability and live in North Wales, check out Firth Flock Flowers, based in Ruthin. Ellen grows all the blooms she uses in her designs organically, in harmony with wildlife, in her flower field in Ruthin and has a strong focus on sustainability. We can also recommend Ivy, Pip & Rose (based in Criccieth) and Soil and Fleurs, just over in Marbury, Wrexham. How’s that for locally grown!
Avoid arrangements containing floral foam.
Floral foam, also known as oasis, is commonly used in floral arrangements. However, this foam is non-recyclable and doesn’t break down in landfill. So where possible it’s best avoided. If in doubt, speak with your florist to ensure they have alternative materials and practices to hand when they prepare your wedding flowers.
Consider swapping single-use flower arrangements for a longer-lasting alternative.
From a sustainability point of view, anything single-use is generally to be avoided. Luckily, dried flowers are very ‘in’ right now. In fact, last year, dried flowers were the most pinned sustainable wedding decoration. And searches for ‘dried flower bouquets for weddings’ increased by 50%.
This is great news all around as dried flowers are far more cost-effective as well as more environmentally friendly. Their production conserves water, and energy and they’re biodegradable to boot.
If dried flowers aren’t your thing you could also consider swapping out single-use flower arrangements for some beautiful potted plants. Succulents and Orchids make beautiful table centrepieces. And, as an added bonus, once the celebrations have come to an end, your more green-fingered guests can take home a little memento.
credit: Joe Bickerton Photography
(5) Serve organic, locally sourced, seasonal food where possible.
Serving organic, locally grown seasonal food is the way to go if you’re trying to keep your wedding environmentally friendly. Speak to your caterer to learn more about which suppliers they use and ensure the produce used is local and in-season.
If you’re lucky enough to be marrying here at ours, rest assured we’ve got you covered on this one. Food is one of our big passions and we always use locally-grown, in-season produce sourced from our neighbouring farms right here in North Wales and the surrounding borders. In fact, we even go a step further and source the spirits stocked behind our bar from local Welsh distilleries as well. You can read more here about our commitment to excellent food and drink.
credit: Richard Miller Photography
So there you have it, five ways you can be more eco-conscious while you plan your wedding!
We hope you agree that the conversation surrounding sustainability and reducing the impact of the wedding industry on our environment is an important one. There are so many great ways to make your wedding more sustainable, we could have gone on all day.
If you’re interested in going the extra mile there are plenty of other swaps you can make to ensure your wedding is more sustainable too. From saying ‘yes’ to the right dress or choosing lab-grown diamonds for your engagement ring to drawing up an ethical wedding registry, the options are seemingly endless.
Rest assured we’ll continue to do our part to ensure we’re doing all we can to protect the rolling Welsh hills that we love so much. Happy Earth Day!