How to make your wedding more eco-friendly in 2023

If you have been wondering how to make your wedding more eco-friendly in 2023 then you have come to the right place. In this article from Michelle Miles, founder of the Sustainable Wedding Alliance, we explore the five areas of your wedding that you can address to become more eco-friendly, so you can reduce the impact of your celebration on the planet.

How to make your wedding more eco-friendly in 2023 - 5 key considerations...

  1. Energy
  2. Waste
  3. Travel & Transport
  4. Suppliers
  5. People

Let’s explore each one in a bit more detail…

1: Energy

By this we are not talking about your personal energy – though we know it takes a lot! We are talking here about your energy consumption for your celebration. To make you your wedding more eco-friendly in 2023 you want to look at both the heating and lighting arrangements and requirements for your big day. Work with your wedding planner and other wedding suppliers to make an energy efficient plan for your big day, and you can reduce the overall carbon impact of the celebration. 

Simple swaps can include switching to energy efficient bulbs, using timers for both the heating and lighting, and also reviewing people practices. So much energy can be saved by looking at the behaviours of the staff and your guests at your wedding. Being eco-conscious and building this into the culture of your big day can have a significant impact. 

How to make your wedding more eco-friendly in 2023 - review your energy consumption

2: waste

Waste is a huge issue when it comes to weddings, and addressing this area is an amazing opportunity to make your wedding more eco-friendly in 2023. Areas of waste you can address to be more sustainable with your wedding:

  • Ceremony related waste
  • Decor waste 
  • Food and drink waste 
  • Other waste 

Ceremony Waste – From orders of service to your choice of confetti, making eco-friendly decisions about your ceremony can reduce the amount of waste created – and in some circumstances reduce the cost of your wedding. Being sustainable doesn’t have to mean more expense. 

Decor Waste – Areas that you can look at when it comes to your decor that can make your wedding less wasteful and therefore less damaging to the planet:

  • Hiring your decor rather than buying
  • Swapping from plastic to natural materials
  • Ditching the single use
  • Re-purposing items to be decor

Your wedding doesn’t need to be drab in order to be more sustainable, so work with your wedding planner to find the wedding suppliers that have eco-friendly credentials that also match your aesthetic. 

Food and Drink Waste – This one has so much potential if you are looking for ideas on how to make your wedding more eco-friendly in 2023. With over 10% of food discarded at the average wedding, by working with your venue and caterers to come up with a less wasteful solution for your big day. Looking at guest numbers, being clear on dietary requirements and portion sizes – and even looking at making your wedding cake your dessert; these are all options you can explore to reduce waste at your celebration.

Other Waste – Did you know that wedding favours are one of the biggest culprits of creating waste at a wedding?! We were surprised too, but its true. Making some conscious decisions when it comes to the smaller details of your big day can add up to have a significant impact.

 

How to make your wedding Eco-friendly in 2023 - think about your wedding favours

3: Travel & Transport

Group transportation is a brilliant option if you are looking for tips on how to make your wedding more eco-friendly in 2023. Things you can consider for your big day: 

  • Using public transport
  • Car sharing
  • On day transportation
  • Coach hire

You can also take this opportunity to the next level by looking at your overall travel and transport plans for the preparation of the wedding, you guest list and supplier selection. Choosing local suppliers, having a conscious hen or stag party and considering your travel when shopping for your wedding trousseau can have a real impact. If you are local to Norfolk, Suffolk or Cambridgeshire for example, shopping for your wedding dress at Boutique Of Dreams will minimise your carbon impact as opposed to travelling further afield. 

4: suppliers

Choosing the right wedding suppliers to help you create the perfect celebration is something that needs to be really considered when planning your big day. If you are looking for how to make your wedding more eco-friendly in 2023 then your choice of wedding suppliers is a huge consideration. We suggest prioritising local suppliers where possible, and checking out their ethical and sustainability credentials prior to booking so you can make sure you are working with vendors that are in alignment with your eco-friendly goals. If they don’t have a sustainability policy or its not part of their values on their website then you can ask them when you are in the consultation phase. Choosing an eco-friendly wedding planner is a great place to start as they will have access to a network of suppliers they have already worked with and have ethical policies in place. 

An eco-friendly wedding planner can help you to source the suppliers that will be in alignment with your values

5: people

The power that people play when it comes to making your wedding more sustainable is immense. From the approach taken with your wedding suppliers as just mentioned through to the behaviour of your wedding party and guests, how people act when it comes to being conscious is really significant. Creating a culture of sustainability, providing easy options for people to make good decisions and being really transparent about what you want to achieve will support you with your goals to reduce the carbon footprint that your celebration creates. 

How to make your wedding more eco-friendly in 2023...

10 simple ideas to get you started:
  1. Choose a venue with green practices or one that’s easily accessible by public transport.
  2. Serve locally sourced and organic food.
  3. Use reusable tableware and decor made from natural materials.
  4. Offer guests eco-friendly favours, such as seeds or potted plants.
  5. Choose a florist that uses locally grown flowers and minimize floral arrangements.
  6. Opt for digital invitations and limit paper waste.
  7. Use energy-efficient lighting and limit single-use plastics.
  8. Encourage guests to car share or use public transport.
  9. Choose a wedding dress made from sustainable materials, or make sure it gets a second life beyond your big day..
  10. Make a donation to an environmental cause rather than having gifts or rather than you giving favours.

How to make your wedding more eco-friendly in 2023...

You have already taken the first step by being curious about how to make your wedding more eco-friendly in 2023, by reading this article. Now is the time to take action. Whether you plan to make wholesale adjustments to your celebration or would prefer to make smaller changes, both will have a positive impact on the planet. You can find out more about sustainable weddings by visiting the Sustainable Wedding Alliance website. What will your first eco-conscious decision be?

Michelle Miles is the founder and CEO of the Sustainable Wedding Alliance, a membership for wedding suppliers that want to change the industry for the good of the planet and its people.

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