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If you've been amazed at how our world has benefited from less pollution - have you see the canals in Italy? - then perhaps a sustainable wedding is the way to go when planning your big day? Celia Gaze founder of The Wellbeing Farm has some top tips...
Celia says, "As we're getting more conscious about our environment and how we can protect it, the idea is also flooding the wedding market, as brides are looking for a lush wedding day that doesn't cost the planet. As a venue that has always had a green centre, here are our 10 top tips if you're planning a sustainable wedding..."
1 Ditch the Palm Beach wedding in favour of something local
This may be an obvious one, but it's a good starting point. As nice as those pictures of destination weddings look, think of all the air miles to fly everyone over, and then transport from the airport... that's a lot of CO2 emissions. With that in mind, if your venue is accessible by public transport, even better.
2 Plan a vegetarian or vegan menu
One of the biggest trends is cutting out a lot of meat and other animal products from your diet. Whilst your wedding has been considered the one day you can indulge, this now doesn't mean that you can't splurge on taste without cutting out the meat. Even as an omnivore, some of the nicest food I have had is vegetarian and vegan. If your menu is seasonal, organic, or uses fair trade ingredients, or a mixture of all three, even better!
3 Speaking of seasonal, keep your flowers seasonal too
Seasonal flowers save the air miles, there's no need to import tulips from Holland in the middle of September. Also start thinking about what you are going to do with the flowers afterwards, and if your florist avoids using foam in their arrangements, that's a big fat green thumbs up. If they are also supplying confetti, look at a kind that is bio-degradable.
4 Think about transport
If your venue isn't easy to get to via public transport, instead of a million cars arriving at your venue, think about hiring a coach from a suitable meeting point e.g. the hotel your guests are staying at; this will hopefully cut down a lot of emissions even before your big day starts.
5 Use recyclable materials or secondhand props for your décor
One of our biggest features for our brides is our Prop Shed, which holds every kind of decorative prop you can imagine: saving time, money and the planet as everything is reused from couple to couple. Some brides like to use bits they've picked up themselves – afterwards, think about donating to other brides for their day.
6 Ask your venue about their green policy
A big note when looking around venues is looking at their bar – if they are still using plastic straws, that's a big no-no! Do they recycle everything on-site, use local suppliers, grow their own produce and have they cracked down on single-use plastic, among many other measures.
7 Find local suppliers
From your cake to your DJs, using suppliers who are local to you/your venue is key to making your wedding sustainable and keeping your wedding's carbon footprint down. Venues should have a list of recommended suppliers on their websites, who are all local to property.
8 Consider sustainable favours
Think about not just what you want them to be, but also how they are packaged. Stay away from the plastic toys and trinkets, and cellophane wrapping that cannot be recycled. If there is an animal, environmental or sustainability charity that means something to you and your partner, a donation favour to that charity would be a good choice.
9 Dress upcycle
Why not donate your dress to a charity shop to make an impact long after the big day – this also applies to the bridesmaids dresses too – if you're looking for a green wedding! Also, keep away from silk and other materials that come from animals.
10 Is your stationery sustainable?
As pretty as the save-the-date invitations and other stationery looks, think about using invites made from an ethically sourced or recycled material.
To find out more go to: www.thewellbeingfarm.co.uk