From the wedding dress to the guest list, soon-to-be brides and grooms have a lot to consider before their big day.
But with the average wedding producing almost twice as much carbon emissions as an individual does in an entire year, should couples also be conscious of their weddings carbon footprint?
The simple five-step guide shows how easy it is to plan an eco-friendly wedding, and all without compromising on the creativity.
5 steps to an eco-friendly wedding…
Buy a vintage wedding dress
Your wedding dress can feel like the biggest decision of the whole wedding planning process. As all eyes will be on you, it’s important you find the perfect look.
However, wedding gowns can come with a huge environmental cost. Those produced overseas not only use the power to create the dress, but also transporting it to the UK. And it’s likely it will only be worn once.
Consider swapping the designer gown for a vintage find. A unique dress from a vintage store has no CO2 emissions and you could even consider dyeing the dress so that you can wear it again.
Have a vegetarian or vegan wedding breakfast
10% of wedding food is wasted in the UK and as meat is one of the biggest contributors to CO2 emissions, there are a number of ways you can reduce the impact of food on your big day.
Consider a mainly vegetarian or vegan wedding. This is a quick way to reduce the impact of your wedding and all of those colourful veggies will make for beautiful photos.
Keen on eating meat? Make sure to ask your venue to source the food for your wedding locally. This will massively cut down on the emissions of your big day. Stick to British meat and seasonal vegetables and use non-edible wedding favours as over a third of wedding guests say they don’t eat edible favours.
Use plastic-free wedding decorations and favours
Avoid single use plastic and decorations on your big day to make sure you don’t leave a negative legacy after your special day.
There are some really fun ways to create a luxury wedding without the environmental impact. Use seeds as your party favours, asking guests to plant them in their garden to remember the special occasion. Make sure to choose bee friendly seeds to have a positive impact.
To reduce the number of cups being washed or worse, single use plastic cups, give each guess a jam jar with their name on. This can be act as a memento of the day and guests can go to the bar and have their glass topped up with whatever they want to drink.
For decorations, avoid paper and plastic and consider decorations that are hired and therefore reused at different weddings as this is far more sustainable than throw away decorations.
Before the big day even arrives, create invitations out of recycled paper or consider online invites to make sure you’re going with the green option.
Consider a UK wedding ceremony
A wedding abroad might seem like a great idea, but the flights alone are terrible for the environment. And with so many beautiful locations in the UK it’s easy to find a luxurious space for your big day.
Guests travelling to the wedding venue makes up a whopping 73% of the carbon emissions of the average wedding, so staying local is definitely the best way to go.
Consider having the ceremony and reception in the same location or at least close to each other to reduce the impact of your wedding as much as possible.
Ditch the honeymoon abroad
Just like the wedding itself, consider enjoying a honeymoon in the UK. Extend your wedding by enjoying your honeymoon at the wedding location itself and avoid the impact of flying abroad or even travelling by car to a new location.
A long distance flight can use thousands of kg of CO2, with a flight to Costa Rica from London burning 1,500 litres of fuel and creating 3,800 kg of CO2 per couple. Even driving abroad, such as to the French Alps from London will use 1,250kg of CO2.
Therefore, to be truly environmentally friendly the couple can make the most of the beautiful countryside and cities the UK has to offer!
READ MORE: How to plan the perfect eco-friendly wedding