Wedding trend: sustainability
Is it just me or does it feel like as soon as you add the word “wedding” to something – even the most banal of things – you immediately add three zeros to the end of its price? Weddings can be extortionately expensive and lavish affaires, with many people choosing to roll the celebrations into four-day feasts or a holiday in some far-away beach destination. Of course, they’re one of the best excuses for a party there is, and it’s only right that such jubilation calls for extra-special food and frolics. But, a great wedding shouldn’t cost the earth or the Earth, and so we’ve cobbled together some tips and recommendations for how you can plan a wedding that will both save you on pennies and have a low impact on the planet.
The Wedding Dress
- Atelier Tammam is a wedding dress couturier specialising in making eco-couture—that is wedding dresses made from sustainable luxury fabrics. Whether that be Assamese peace silks woven from open-ended Eri cocoons to organic GOTS and Fairtrade International-certified cottons and Nepalese banana yarn, all the fabrics used have been sourced and developed using a combination of innovative eco-technology and traditional craftsmanship. All of Tammam’s garments are also 100% vegetarian and cruelty-free and with the exception of peace silk, none have been derived from animals. Other high-end, low-impact eco-ateliers of note include Behuli by Sanyukta Shreshta and Luna Bride.
#EcoBride by Luna Bride
- Buying second-hand is also a great way to reduce clothes waste and is often a lot cheaper than buying new. There are loads of online platforms to find your perfect pre-loved wedding dress, including Oxfam Second-Hand and Vintage Bridal Wear, Stillwhite and PreOwned Wedding Dresses. You can also have your second-hand dress adapted and tailored to fit you perfectly at places like Splendid Stitches which offers an alterations and repairs service specialising in vintage clothing.
- Fairtrade Metals are becoming more readily available thanks to ethical jewellery pioneers such as CRED which works directly with small-scale mines, ensuring that the miners are guaranteed a fair wage, a Fairtrade Premium (an extra sum of money to invest in their business or in community projects of their choosing) and safe working conditions. Small-scale mining also respects the environment, through avoiding the use of mercury and other harmful chemicals. Jewellery companies such as Just Trade UK source all their gold from small-scale miners at the CRED Sotrami mine at San Filomena in Peru and collaborate with their clients to produce bespoke designs to tailor your tastes.
- Second-hand wedding rings are also a great way to wear something that carries a story and there are plenty of antique stores and online second-hand jewellery emporiums for you to pour over and find a gem that’s perfect for you!
- Reduce waste by using ceramic tableware rather than paper or plastic plates and cups. If the wedding breakfast is quite a small and intimate affair, you might feel able to invest in buying some ceramics that you can then keep and use in your home together—Nkuku Life and AuraQue make beautiful and ethical handmade products that would adorn any dining table. You could also raid antique stores and charity shops for second-hand plates and cutlery, or simply ensure that you use a catering company committed to re-using their tableware and recycling where possible.
- Seasonal and Organic Menu-While organic food can be more expensive, buying locally-source, organic produce that’s in-season will help keep the cost down and guarantee the freshest fare. It will also mean that the produce will have travelled a shorter distance, thus requiring less fuel to be transported, and will need less packaging and less fridge time in order to stay fresh. All-in-all, far better for the environment!
- Choose somewhere that’s accessible for the majority of your guests and thus requires them to travel a shorter distance and use up less of the world’s resources in getting there.
- Get Married Outdoors-One of the best ways to cut down on energy usage, as natural light provides all the atmosphere you need. Be it in a botanical garden, by a converted barn or in a back-garden, there are plenty of picturesque locations to choose from!
- If Indoors is a must though, try and choose a venue that gets plenty of natural light and hold your ceremony during the day-time to maximise the amount of time you can go without switching the lights on. You could also hold your ceremony and reception in one place to avoid everyone needing to travel from one event to the next, thus cutting down on fuel emissions. Use candles and energy-efficient light-bulbs to lend atmosphere to the event and reduce electricity consumption.
Wedding Night and Honeymoon
Lingerie-AmaElla creates exquisite, slow lingerie—that’s garments that are made to last and be loved for many years, thus reducing the amount of clothing that ends up in landfill after fewer than seven wears. All of our garments are made with organic cotton which sustains the livelihoods of cotton farmers without polluting the planet or using toxins that are harmful to your skin. A few of our favourites include the Pink Blush Set and Embroidered Pyjama Set or Nightie. We believe they would make a beautiful addition to any honeymoon trousseau and to your wardrobe thereafter.
- Destination-Cut down on air miles and fuel emissions by choosing somewhere closer to home. There are so many romantic spots to explore in the UK and Europe so why go further afield, when you can start your marriage off as you mean to go on, by letting your care for each other be reflected in your care for the planet.