Five ideas for a zero waste wedding

Filed in Blog by on March 17, 2020 2 Comments
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how to have a zero waste weddingTwo of my friends are getting married this year and I’m so excited because they’re asking me for advice on how to make it less impactful on the environment!

The average wedding in the UK has a potentially huge impact. Latest figures show that one wedding can create 18kgs of single use plastic waste. When you think that as a family, we generated 5 kgs of waste in ONE YEAR, that’s a phenomenal amount.

This is before you consider airmiles for food, flowers and the honeymoon, conflict diamonds and rare stones for the rings and outfits that might only be worn once.

But it’s not all bad. With some creativity, you can enjoy a wedding that says ‘I love you’ to the environment as well as one another. Here are a few ideas:

The Rings

Choosing an engagement ring is where it all starts, so let’s get this one right – especially as you’ll be wearing that ring for the rest of your life! Instead of something mass produced, consider antique engagement rings or having something commissioned by a jeweller such as Flaxman Fine Jewellery who use responsibly sourced materials. Flaxman also offer alterations, repairs and cleaning, so it would be perfect for repurposing a family heirloom into something for you. This is a lovely way to bring a part of personal history into your celebrations.

zero waste engagement ring

Invitations

Elaborate invitations on the mantlepiece look lovely, but contribute to a paper footprint which can be reduced easily. For people of a younger generation, e-invites are completely acceptable. For guests without internet access, or those who would really appreciate a paper invite, look for recycled card or choose plantable card which contains wild flower seeds.

Wedding Dress

A wedding dress is typically worn once, so this is an important area of your wedding where you can really make a difference. It’s easy to source second hand, infact Oxfam has an extensive bridal shop online where you find a huge range of styles. Failing that, hire a wedding dress if you know you won’t wear it again, or have something made that can then be altered afterwards to make it more wearable at other times. If you have an old wedding dress at home, here are some ways to recycle it.

antique engagement ring

Tablewear

According to research, a huge amount of people use disposable cups, bottles and decorations at their wedding reception. Who knew! It’s so much nicer to drink from proper glassware and it’s easy to hire. For decorations, why not ask friends who love crafting to create pieces for you. If you style them around local, seasonal flowers and go for the trendy mis-matched look then centrepieces can be simple containers of flowers that double up as gifts and favours.

FoodA buffet generally results in less waste and any leftovers can be offered to guests to take home. That way your food fills bellies, not bins!

These are just a few ideas, I’m sure you have many more – please share them in the comments!

how to have a zero waste wedding

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

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  1. One of my favorite parts of my wedding was rethinking and re-wearing my mother’s wedding dress!

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