If you’ve recently got engaged - congratulations! Planning a wedding is exciting and it’s one of the most memorable events of your life but, with some thought, you can also prevent it being the most wasteful - research by the Green Bride Guide estimates that the average wedding produces 400-600 lbs of rubbish and 63 tons of CO2. With an estimated 2.5 million weddings per year, that’s around 1 billion lbs of rubbish and as many emissions as approximately four people would produce in a year, in just one single day…

The good news is if you are considering the footprint of your special day, there are plenty of green alternatives out there and planning a sustainable wedding doesn’t have to be more challenging than less environmentally friendly nuptials. Read on for some of our top tips and advice to make your big day as earth friendly as possible and show the planet as much love as you show your partner!  

There are lots of swaps which, as well as helping make a more sustainable wedding, also have the potential to save money – great for you and great for the planet! For example, why not go digital with your invites? No need for paper, printing or posting – or consider creating your own website which could also include a guide to your day such as venue information and timings.

By keeping your wedding local to your guests, you can cut out one of the biggest creators of carbon emissions on your big day – nearly three quarters of carbon emissions from weddings are created by guests travelling to and from the venue. Consider having the wedding ceremony and celebration in the same venue as this further cuts down on transport and, with a little organising, you could transport your guests en masse to avoid lots of cars heading to the venue to further reduce your event’s carbon footprint.

Consider a vintage or preloved dress. For many of us, the wedding outfit is one of the most important parts of the day, but have you considered the carbon footprint of getting a dress made and transported to the UK? Going vintage also means your dress or suit will be truly unique! A pre-loved dress from a vintage store has no CO2 emissions and you could even consider dyeing the dress so that you can wear it again.

As well as vintage outfits, have a look in your local antique stores for rings. You can make alterations or add new stones to an heirloom ring. Vintage is a great way to shop and there are so many options available from independent jewellers - a great way to get your perfect ring and support smaller businesses whilst doing so. Other alternatives to traditional rings include lab-grown or synthetic diamonds.

Going local and seasonal is a great way to a more sustainable wedding. Think seasonal, local flowers (or consider paper or dried flowers) and speak to your venue or caterer for their recommendations on what local produce and suppliers are available to you. Hire room and table decorations - far more sustainable than throw away ones.

Discuss your eco requirements with your potential venue – venues are increasingly responding to the demand for more sustainable weddings so find out what their sustainable credentials are, request that they avoid the use of single use plastics such as disposable plates, glasses or cutlery and ask what their recycling practices are. Food waste is a considerable issue at large events such as weddings – does your venue donate leftover food to a local foodbank, or use it for compost for example?

Of course, Sea Change is on hand to supply eco friendly wine – start off with our Prosecco, perfect for your toasts, and explore our range for the ideal food and wine pairings for your wedding breakfast. You’ll be supporting the ocean and its incredible marine life with every bottle. Our range not only tastes fantastic but looks picture perfect too with our award-winning labels and minimal packaging that will grace any wedding table. We also cater for non-drinkers, with Sea Change Free, a 0% alcohol that is perfect for guests who choose to avoid alcohol but don’t want to miss out on that celebratory glass of bubbles.

For some, a big part of giving back to the people who have made the day so special is through the wedding favours for the guests. It’s a great idea, however, one that usually comes with a lot of single use plastic in order to accommodate an affordable product for many guests. Why not wow friends and family with eco alternatives such as wildflower seeds, reusable straws, plants, or edible treats?  These make great gifts for all ages, which don’t disturb the planet! Our Sea Change fizz in a can makes a great favour – again with an alcohol-free option for the non-drinking guests, these sustainable drink options will definitely be a crowd pleaser! 

 Throwing confetti towards the newly wedded couple is a classic tradition at most weddings, however, it's nearly impossible to clean up and is often made from plastic. For an easy switch, we suggest trying dried petals and leaves, or a direct swap for rice or popcorn confetti. Both options are biodegradable, and in our opinion, just as beautiful! 

 Add eco-friendly gifts and brands to your wedding list or, better still, in lieu of gifts or as part of the gift, ask your guests to donate a small pledge in the new couple's name to an environmental charity – we can recommend our amazing charity partners of course!

There are so many sustainable swaps that can be made for weddings, and so much more choice than ever before! Go on – make a little change for a big impact.  

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