What can you do to make your wedding day more sustainable?

Formed in 2020, The Sustainable Wedding Alliance aims to help conscious couples understand what you can do to make sure your wedding is memorable, without leaving a lasting impact on the planet.

There is an increasing demand from couples looking for sustainable wedding venues and suppliers in the UK, and that demand is only set to rise further as more couples become aware of the environmental impact their wedding can have. In 2021 as part of the SWA couple survey, 95% of couples said that sustainability was a factor when planning their wedding. With 66% saying it was important or very important!

These figures, alongside the Alliance's experience of working with couples means its members know that you wish you had a greater choice when it comes to sustainable, and ethical, venues and suppliers. As responsible business owners, the members of the Sustainable Wedding Alliance are focussed on making both their business and the weddings they are part of, more sustainable.

Here, founder of the Sustainable Wedding Alliance Michelle, shares her wealth of knowledge on how to make your wedding day more sustainable.

Male and female hands palms down on a tree trunk with a heart
Say no to single use plastics sign.

There are lots of ways that you can make your wedding day more sustainable. It’s about making, conscious considered choices at every step of the planning process.

1. Say goodbye to single use plastic!

You knew it would be the first thing on the list - plastic!

Sky Ocean Rescue reported on average 18kg of single-use plastic is thrown away at each and every wedding in the UK. If we could eliminate single use plastic from weddings, we could save over 4,910 tonnes of plastic pouring into our oceans, every year. That’s the equivalent weight of 47 blue whales!

It’s easy to see why plastic has become such an overly used material in the world of weddings, and is the worst offender. With fake confetti, disposable decorations, water bottles and single use gift bags to name a few and that’s not even including the throw away plastic packaging.

So instead of purchasing new we always suggest: hire, reuse (or re-purpose) and recycle.

2. Hire it, don't buy it

Whether it's props, backdrops or crockery, hiring is going to be eco-friendlier and more cost effective. There are a fantastic range of hire companies across the UK, some also offer styling services too. It’s also worth talking to your wedding venue as they may have their own décor that they’re happy to include as part of your hire.

3. Stick to your season

Without doubt, working with the season is the most sustainable way to plan a wedding, and in the UK we’re really lucky to have four very distinctive seasons.

Think about your favourite foods, when local produce is in abundance, flowers are looking their best, how much daylight there is. This should be your starting point, before you research venues, decide on the time of year

bride with bouquet
two wooden chairs in a cornfield decorated with dried flowers

4. Ask the question

Don't be scared to ask your suppliers what their approach to sustainability is. A supplier that is working sustainably will be very happy to talk you through their processes and policies.

All our members have made a commitment to sustainability, working towards our industry standard accreditation. You can be confident that when booking an accredited Sustainable Wedding Alliance member that they have been assessed to ensure they are working as sustainably as they can be.

5. And lastly, always reduce, reuse, recycle

After your wedding, you're probably going to find yourself with things that you'll probably never use again. Why not sell them on one of the pre-loved wedding marketplaces - Sell my Wedding, Recycle my Wedding or local selling sites.

By having a more conscious, sustainable wedding, as well as saving the planet, you’re likely to save money too. Using caterers that are sourcing food locally, seasonal flowers from UK flower farms and vintage, up-cycled and repurposed decorations, is not only good for the soul, but for your bank balance too.

If you'd like to find out more about how the Sustainable Wedding Alliance can help you, contact hello@sustainableweddingalliance.com

Also check out https://sustainableweddingalliance.com

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