8 Tips to make your Wedding Day Greener
Small changes that make a difference on your big day
Your wedding day is set to be one of the biggest and best days of your life, but with high amounts of excess food, single use disposable items, it can also be one of the most wasteful days. While you may not be able to solve all environmental issues on your big day, taking a few extra eco-friendly steps can help and even inspire others to follow in your footsteps.
Choose Eco-Friendly or Digital Invites
Everyone loves the excitement of wedding that special wedding invitation or save the date, but have you thought about making that process greener? Finding wedding invitations printed on recycled paper or using other materials is becoming much easier as wedding vendors grow more environmentally aware. From recycled paper to upcycled fabric and even seed paper, a biodegradable material that grows into flowers when planted in a pot of soil. By using materials such as these, not only are you cutting down on waste, but also creating something unique that your guests will remember.
Digital invites are also becoming increasingly popular, especially for smaller weddings. When printers have minimum numbers, creating your own digital invitation is a great option and with zero waste. Websites such as Canva have multiple ready to use templates to create quick and easy invitations.
Be conscious of floral arrangements
Some may say that to create a fully sustainable wedding that you should forgo floral arrangements entirely – however we think it is important to find sustainable alternatives rather than just disregarding something that truly makes your wedding day special. Have a chat with your local florist and see if they can give you advice about what flowers are in season or that are grown in the local area. You should also have a conversation with your florist about what happens to your flowers after your special day – is there anyway of donating them to hospitals after you are finished with them? Some florists can even offer to take your flowers away and compost them appropriately when you’re done so make sure you see what options you have available.
On the day of your wedding, why not reuse your floral arrangements throughout the ceremony? Use your bridesmaids bouquets as decorations at your cake table or just your flower arrangements to create a photo wall moment!
Help reduce food waste
Historically, one of the most wasteful aspects of a wedding has been food. In 2007, Sainsbury’s disclosed that 10% of food, or the equivalent of £500 worth of food, ends up being thrown away on average. A third or more of the wedding cake was thrown away by 15% of couples! While times have changed since then, we ourselves see how much food goes to waste at weddings. When visiting a wedding venue, you should make sure to ask your wedding coordinator how your venue disposes of food waste. You should also ask how much of your menu can be made to use local produce.
There will always be leftovers from major events like weddings, and a buffet could seem like a simple option because it gives your guests options, but it can also result in a lot of food waste. You can be sure you’ll have just enough food for everyone who comes by hosting a a sit down meal.
Rent where you can
From backdrops to popcorn stands, here at Cork International Hotel we love seeing these creative and fun ways to make your wedding that extra bit special. However, when we see guests buying these items, knowing they will never be used again we can help but to think of the waste it causes to not only the environment but also your pocket! There are a number of fantastic vendors of all sorts of items that can be renting out for the day of your wedding meaning you won’t need to worry about getting it home or paying for the extra costs of keeping it.
Switch up your wedding favours
How often have you attended a wedding and walked away with a wedding favor that you are certain you would never use again? Ceremony favors are a wonderful way to express appreciation to your guests for joining you in your celebrations but these little gifts are frequently forgotten after the wedding. Here at Cork International Hotel, we have seen a lot of guests opting for a charitable donation as a wedding favour and are proving more & more popular. Why not choose a local charity to donate to or something close to your heart. Or if you want to stick with the environmental theme, why not give out seed wedding favours and encourage your guests to grow some greenery after the big event?
Support local businesses
Weddings are a big deal here for all involved on the big day. But have you considered getting as many local businesses involved in your special day as you can? From florists, to venues, to cake bakers, to bands & DJs, we can guarantee that is a vast amount of local businesses that can take part in your special day. Ask your wedding coordinator can they provide a list of local vendors and businesses they would recommend. By doing this, you are keeping money in the local economy.
Ditch the disposables
From plastic cutlery, paper napkins and even flipflops – we have seen a number of single use items being used for weddings. We know ourselves how many disposable items are thrown away at the end of the wedding day. We like to encourage all of our wedding couples to consider avoiding these items in exchange for reusable ones instead. Things like flipflops in the bathroom for your guests may seem like a good idea but how many people actually take them home and use them again? Skip the costs and waste of disposables!
Think about travel
There are so many different places that can offer you the perfect wedding. Whether it is in Ireland or abroad. However, if you jet off for your wedding the airmiles can add up. You and your guests will probably need to board a plane to travel to a far-off location, which has a significant impact on your carbon footprint.
But airplane travel isn’t the only one to consider. Why not host your ceremony and reception in the same venue to avoid travel costs for your guests. Why not offer a shuttle bus as well, meaning your guests won’t need to worry about travelling down to your venue.
These are just some of the many ways to make your wedding a little more sustainable. Cork International Hotel are taking steps to increasing our Green Initiatives this year in order to become even more sustainable and we hope you will join us on this journey.
Need help planning your special day? Contact our wedding coordinator today to discuss your wedding plans – Email us here.