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Green Wedding Guide

Six Eco-Tips for a Sustainable Celebration

Weddings are a gorgeous celebration of love, but uneaten meals, leftover flowers, and single-use items can create a lot of waste. Yours, of course, doesn’t have to, though, thanks to this handy Green Wedding Guide. Don’t worry—you don’t need to DIY everything to make your wedding more eco-friendly. Instead, I’ll give you some easy tips for throwing a more sustainable wedding.

  • 01

    Location, location, location

    An easy place to start is your wedding venue. Some, like BrookLodge & Macreddin Village in County Wicklow, are carbon neutral, while others, like Mountain View in County Kilkenny, focus on seasonal, locally sourced food. These days, most venues are at least relatively conscious of their environmental impact; when speaking with potential venues, be sure to ask what they do to reduce their carbon footprint or whether they’re involved in any green initiatives.

    Another point worth considering is how far you and your guests have to travel to get to your venue. Does it require air travel? Long-distance car travel? These journeys can increase CO2 emissions.

  • 02

    Food for thought

    Between your wedding meal and your wedding cake, there is a huge opportunity to create a sustainable menu for you and your guests. Look for caterers who use local, seasonal ingredients where possible. The closer these ingredients are sourced to your wedding venue, the fewer food miles they’ll need to travel—a win-win for your wedding celebration’s carbon footprint.

  • 03

    Go paperless

    Save the dates, invitations, and thank you cards can all be sent digitally using stunning designs made on Etsy and more. However, if Evites aren’t for you, there are loads of sustainable stationery options that use recycled paper or alternative materials, such as leather, wood, and seed paper (a biodegradable material pressed with flower seeds for easy planting).

  • 04

    Buy pre-loved

    So many new wedding dresses and rings are designed in vintage styles, so if that’s the look you’re going for, why not go for the real deal? A vintage wedding dress or antique wedding ring will create a uniquely stylish look. There are also plenty of rental companies now which allow you or your bridesmaids to rent stunning dresses at a low cost. That’s “something borrowed” or “something old” done and dusted!

  • 05

    Think about your décor

    From charming country houses to majestic castles, so many Irish wedding venues are perfectly decorated as is, complete with gorgeous gardens dripping in flowers! With built-in décor like this, there’s no need to bring in any additional décor or cut flowers. If this isn’t the case at your venue, or you have your heart set on even more blooms, opt for florists who use local, seasonal flowers. For the remaining décor, consider bringing in reusable options that you can take home with you, such as dried flowers, vases, or candlestick holders. Many vendors will allow you to rent décor, linens, and more, but if you are purchasing décor you aren’t likely to reuse, see what can be donated afterward. Some floral arrangements can even be donated to local hospitals, for example.

    It should also be noted that balloons and lanterns can harm the environment. If you plan to use glitter or confetti, ensure it’s biodegradable. Dried flower petals are another beautiful (and biodegradable) option!

  • 06

    Eco-friendly wedding favours

    From succulents to stainless steel straws, there are loads of sustainable wedding favours you can gift to your guests. Alternatively, many couples choose to do away with favours entirely, opting instead to donate to a charity in their guests’ names. Let guests know by communicating this anywhere from your wedding website to a single sign near the seating chart or a brief notation on your menu cards.

I hope this leaves you with some simple ways to throw a more eco-friendly wedding. This list is by no means exhaustive, and there’s no pressure to incorporate every single one of these tips into your celebration—take what resonates and leave what doesn’t!

For more tips on throwing a greener wedding or to see my wedding photography availability, please get in touch!