Planning a wedding is a colossal undertaking at the best of times, let alone when you’re also trying to simultaneously flex your eco-credentials. But for more and more couples, sustainability is becoming an important part of their big day. In the U.S. alone, it’s estimated that the average wedding emits 62 tonnes of carbon dioxide, so it’s understandable that many ‘soonlyweds’ are wanting to do something about it.
If sustainability is important to you and your partner, it’s likely that you’ve considered the environment at each stage of the planning process. From your carefully-selected engagement ring, through to the big day itself, there are lots of different ways you can incorporate the theme of sustainability into this special time of your lives. When it comes to your wedding day, here are three things the eco-conscious couple will need to consider.
In any eco-friendly wedding, the guests will have as big a part to play as you and your partner. Not only should you encourage them to think about their travel, attire and accommodation choices, but their eco contributions could start in advance of the big day.
If you’re doing a gift register, consider asking for environmentally friendly alternatives to standard gifts. There are eco options for almost every classic wedding gift, from cutlery sets to household ornaments, so do a little research online and let this inspire your gift requests.
You could even go one step further and ask your guests to get involved with some DIY wedding projects. They could help out with many different aspects of the day, from homemade decorations to eco-friendly confetti. Not only will getting your guests involved make them feel a bigger part of the wedding, but it can also help to trim your expenses, too.
Time of year
Chances are you’ve already considered which time of year you’d prefer to get married in, but have you thought about the environmental impacts of this choice? Though you might have envisioned a cosy white winter wedding, ceremonies at this time of year will generally cause more harm to the environment than summer weddings. Typical winter weather will mean that your guests are more likely to spend more time inside, and thus more energy will be used heating the venue.
What’s more, the shorter days at this time of year will mean that you can’t rely on natural lighting for as long, so artificial lighting will likely play a big part in your wedding’s carbon footprint.
Depending on your venue’s location, transport could be one of the most environmentally-damaging aspects of your big day. Not only will you and your guests have to get to the venue in the first place, but if you’re holding the reception at a different location then the carbon footprint of your wedding can quickly grow.
There are many different options to help you to limit the costs of your travel on the environment. First and foremost, picking a venue that’s local to the majority of your guests is a great way to reduce carbon emissions. But, if you have your heart set on somewhere a little further afield, why not consider a carpool, and encourage guests to travel together?
Or, particularly if there are two different venues for the service and reception, hire a coach or shuttle for the guests. Not only will this method help to limit emissions, but it’s also a fun way to get the party started and allow guests to get better acquainted with one another before the reception.