Sustainability and weddings can be thought a somewhat incongruous pairing; we are well aware of the somewhat profligate nature of some of the wedding day elements, whether it’s a cake too big to be consumed by the number of guests, a dress that’s only worn once, or flowers that are binned later that night.
I hope this feature helps to give you some ideas around how you can make your wedding less
impactful on the planet but still stylish and everything you dreamed it would be.
CAKE: You may not be aware that a wedding cake can include ‘dummy’ tiers. These are tier-shaped polystyrene that can be iced and decorated to match the rest of your cake. They can be used to give extra height if you only need a finite number of tiers to feed your guests but want a slightly more impactful looking cake. This eliminates the need to have extra cake made and served, that will only go to waste. Also, these polystyrene tiers can be reused by the cake designer.
FLOWERS: There are some amazing faux flowers available now, it is a burgeoning market and some fabulous faux floral designers specialising in this type of décor. It is well worth exploring for certain, or all elements, of your wedding floral décor. There is also the option to mix real flowers with faux.
WEDDING RINGS: Is an heirloom ring an option? Vintage rings usually have a unique design unlike any you can find in shops and it can make them more valuable. If the style or the size is wrong, then you can have it modified to suit your taste or size. If an heirloom ring is not an option, consider a ring from recycled gold. Using recycled gold eliminates 20 to 80 % of gold’s carbon footprint.
THE MENU: Do take the advice of your caterer or venue on the amount of food required to serve your guest number, this will prevent over-catering. You could request a 100-mile seasonal diet rule to make sure your food doesn’t create emissions through travel. Many caterers are now very focussed on sustainability, there are a few who might know the source of your food right down to the farm where it was produced. Avoid bottled water and serve jugs or glass bottles of tap water. Buying your wine from a nearby vineyard or beer from a neighbourhood brewery also reduces transport emissions.
Professional wedding planner Siobhàn Craven-Robins has been arranging weddings since 1996 when she established the 1st dedicated wedding planning business in the UK. She is now established as one of the UK’s leading wedding co-ordinators.
Siobhan holds prestigious wedding industry leadership roles as Co-Founder and Director of the National Association of Wedding Professionals and Chairperson for The UK Weddings-Taskforce Legacy & Representation Working Group
Siobhan is also the Lead Trainer on The Event School London's Wedding Planning Courses.