Here’s part 2 of my top tips for a more sustainable ceremony. There are heaps of ways that you can reduce the impact of your special event on the environment, but every celebration is different, so if you want some specific advice, you’re welcome to get in touch.
Don’t be put off by thinking your efforts won’t make a difference – your actions are more powerful than you might think – they support the growth of green businesses, set a great example for the next generation and inspire other to make their own changes. Part 1 covered the ‘main bits’ (catering, venues and so on) and part 2 is all about the ‘extra bits’, after all, every little bit counts …
Local and seasonal are the watchwords. There are lots of small, independent cut flower growers springing up around the UK, so check out national listings like Flowers from the Farm for your nearest supplier. The quality and freshness will blow you away and most offer foam free arrangements, repurposed containers and biodegradeable twine. My Oxon/Northants favourites are: Ivy Dene Flower Farm, Minster Lovell, Brown Flowers, Wardington, Wilder flower Farm, Stow on the Wold and Willow Green Flower Farm, Evenley and Greenery Flowers, Middleton Cheney.
Plantable gifts for guests
Little gifts for guests to take home are a lovely way for friends and family to remember your special day. Give gifts that grow, like seeds or bulbs, or take it to the next level with tiny saplings. The UK needs to plant a whopping 1.5 billion trees to help reach its 2050 carbon target. Every one your guests plant gets us closer to reaching that goal.
Upcycled and pre-loved clothes
Special clothes don’t have to be new, just made to last. For little ones, try out these fantastic suppliers of gorgeous upcycled babywear. Buttons for Beans has a duvet collection and Peg baby clothes has hats and rompers made from upcycled t-shirts – genius!. For the grown ups, sites like Vestiaire offer pre-loved designer brands that are too beautiful to only wear once.
DIY styling and decor
Keep styling simple with greenery from the garden and locally grown cut flowers (see local blooms). Hire in tableware and decorations where you can rather than buying and recycling. The Cotswold Wedding Company hires paper lanterns in over 30 different colours, they look beautiful hung amongst the trees, paired with solar fairy lights for an enchanting outdoor ceremony.
There are some brilliant digital and eco conscious options for invitations and on-the-day stationery (orders of service, place cards and so on). Try Laura Likes for beautiful stationery made from plantable, seeded paper and look out for recycled paper and board products, natural inks and plastic free packaging.
Natural and recycled gifts
Sustainable gifts are a perfect way to celebrate the beginning of a new chapter. The most obvious choice is a carbon-combatting sapling to plant in the garden at home. Or try gorgeous recycled glassware from Nkuku I also love pressed flower keepsakes from Pressed Meadow – Patti creates the most beautiful prints and frames from foraged flowers, or blooms from your bouquet.
Bluebell Ceremonies – Creating beautiful, bespoke celebrations to celebrate the special moments in your life.
Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Northamptonshire and the Cotswolds.