For those of you who don’t know, I’m a massive advocate for all things eco-friendly! As a photographer, I’m privileged to be able to combine my passion for photography and green issues into one. I do this by using UK-made wedding albums that are produced using as many local suppliers as possible, limiting the use of packaging by providing couples with their own password-protected wedding album on the Client Lounge, and working from home reduces the need for transport.
As your wedding photographer, I’m doing my bit. But are you doing yours?
Eco-weddings, or green weddings, are becoming increasingly popular and I can definitely see why! It not only is great for the environment but will give your guests something to remember and talk about. Here are just a few ways that you can plan a sustainable celebration!
Depending on how many guests you have at your wedding, you could be throwing out hundreds, if not thousands, of plastic and paper cups and plates after the celebration. Instead, why not invest in some biodegradable tableware? Little Cherry provides natural and biodegradable tableware made from palm leaf (sourced from rural communities in India), bamboo, wheat fibre and sugar cane. Not only are you using tableware that will fully biodegrade in a commercial landfill, but the product itself looks great on a gourmet buffet table!
Food is a big part of your wedding ceremony, and you certainly do not have to sacrifice great taste and quality for something healthier and more eco-friendly. Try working with a local catering company that uses locally-sourced produce. This will keep the food high quality with guaranteed freshness. You could also work with a baker using locally-sourced dairy products such as eggs. Using a local supplier not only brings you fantastic food but also uses less fuel in transportation!
Even before your wedding, you could be wasting a lot of resources. Sending wedding invitations involves using a lot of paper products, which could be avoided by instead using new services such as Paperless Wedding. Paperless Wedding allows you to send personalised, digital wedding invitations online that completely avoids the unnecessary use of paper! If going completely paperless isn’t for you, you could try using recycled paper instead for your invitations. You could also use recycled paper for place cards at your ceremony.
There are some amazing florists across the UK offering only locally-sourced flowers that have been grown without the use of chemicals or pesticides. For example, Botanika, based in Sussex, offers seasonal and locally grown flowers. If the flower you want isn’t in season, they can source them from other fair trade farms. These flowers will be much fresher and vibrant, and using local businesses avoids flowers grown using socially irresponsible methods of farming.
You don’t have to throw the flowers away after the celebration either! You can donate them to charities that work with refugees, women, cancer patients, or the elderly, for example. There are a number of companies that facilitate this as such a small gesture can make a world of difference for those who need it.
You can still style your wedding exactly how you want without breaking the budget, or the environment! Try using recycled paper decorations that can be easily reused and recycled – Paper Tree is a great company that provides decor made from recycled and FSC paper. Keep your confetti biodegradable, too, as it often ends up in running streams and other wildlife habitats.
In terms of wedding favours, look for local coffeehouses that can offer bags of coffee beans, or locally-sourced chocolate. Some even like to give potted succulents or saplings, or biodegradable seed packets, for a plantable wedding favour! DIY wedding favours are always a favourite – put homemade jam into re-usable glass jars, for example.
And of course, the photographer can be eco-friendly! I mentioned before some of the ways that I run my business sustainably, offering environmentally conscious clients the best possible package to suit their personal needs whilst having as little impact on the planet as possible. When looking for an environmentally-conscious wedding photographer, consider:
- The wedding albums they use. Are they made using local suppliers? This reduces the carbon footprint left from transportation.
- How they send you the final photos. Do they keep them online, or send them physically? I provide clients with a password-protected area online, where they can access all the final photos from their wedding day without the need for unnecessary packaging and transport.
- How they ship you your wedding album. I ship my Folio Wedding Albums using UPS’s carbon neutral service, to keep impact as minimised as possible!