As you all know here at Verry Kerry sustainability is at the forefront of everything that we do. Including weddings! Wouldn’t we all love for this most magical day to also be good for our planet and local communities? The Green Bride Guide states that the average wedding produces 400 lbs of garbage and 63 tons of CO2. With an estimated 2.5 million weddings per year, that is about 1 billion lbs of trash and as many emissions as approximately 4 people would produce in a year, in just one single day. Isn’t that just so unnecessary? Even though you might not want to be worrying about this on your wedding day there are some really simple steps that you can take to have a more sustainable wedding that also helps your local community! Basically, we have done the worrying for you. We have compiled a list of some simple steps that you can take to make sure that things are done ethically and sustainably without being too much of a hassle on your big day.
Wedding favours: The eco way
We all want to say that little thank you to our guests, and leave them with a memory that will make them smile. A lovely way to do that (whilst still staying sustainable and eco friendly) is by gifting a small succulent or other potted plant. You could also make a nice jam or condiment and put it in upcycled little jars or bake a little sweet treat together with your loved one. I recently went to a wedding where the couple had made the most incredible hot sauce. Everytime that I use it I think back to their beautiful day. How cute is that!?
Invitations and paper: Recycled and seed paper
I’ll be the first one to put my hands up and say that I love good stationary. I’m the type of person who likes going in to stationary shops. I know, I know, it’s weird. But the best thing is - you can still have beautiful invitations and place cards but keep it sustainable by using paper made from recycled materials. Seed paper is also an incredible option and did you know that it can even sprout if you plant it in soil? AMAZING. Or like in our Verry Kerry Fabric Notebooks: Elephant Poo Paper! Re-cycled and tree-free, doesn’t get much better!
Food: in season, local, organic & charities
Being a bit of a foodie, this is a big one for me! But there really are so many great ways to be eco friendly and sustainable yet still get great food at your wedding. Try to look for caterers that use not only organic and fairtrade products but also locally grown produce that is in season! You’ll get delicious food whilst also supporting local farmers. A great option is to put different delicious dishes on each table for your guests to help themselves from. It gets everyone mingling more, passing each other lovely delights and really coming together at the table with a much more relaxed wonderful vibe. And obviously Vegan and cruelty free is not only outrageously interesting and delicious, but thoughtful for our planet too.
And what about all those leftovers? If you can’t finish them yourselves, don’t let it all go to waste, try to find a local charity to give them to!
Drinks: in season, local, organic
The same goes for beverages- look for local vineyards and breweries to avoid having to fly things from across the globe. In the UK we have some incredible wineries but if on a budget you can even make your own Elderflower wine. Check out Lyme Bay Winery to find out how to make your own wine.
The Cake: vegan and organic
Whether you’ve envisioned it your whole life or you’ve only just started thinking about it now, wedding cakes have become like a centerpiece for the whole wedding. And of course you want it to be beautiful, delicious, and cruelty free. But how do we make it eco friendly? You may be seeing a common theme but I’m gonna say it again: In season, local and organic! They’re going to be your 3 best friends. And why not try a vegan cake whilst you’re at it? If you’re London based our friends over at Cupcakes and Shhht make beautiful bespoke vegan cakes that you should definitely check out.
Flowers: Local, Wild & Potted
What is a wedding without beautiful bouquets and floral arrangements? Our main piece of advice is to consider local florists and gardeners and maybe even choose potted plants over bouquets as your decoration. Most importantly though- don’t throw it all away! Let your guests bring them home (potential 2 birds with 1 stone as wedding favours) or find somewhere local to gift them to, maybe there’s a nursing home nearby that would love some flowers?
Ethical Bridal Attire: Sustainable materials and fair working conditions
This is the big one for us here at Verry Kerry. Making sure that what you wear doesn’t only make you feel beautiful but also makes you feel great about where your clothes come from. Our bridal kimonos are made with the best sustainable materials and we ensure that all workers involved in the production are treated fairly, with respect and appreciation.
The Dress: Local, bespoke designers
When choosing a wedding dress and all the clothing for your bridal party, try to research local bespoke designers and talk to them about the materials being used. If you live in and around London, look no further than the ultra talented Christina Sesay from Sesay Bridalwear. Not only can she create absolutely anything you could possibly dream up, with her over 25 years experience, she is also the nicest lady you'll ever meet. Her attention to detail, and impeccable skill across endless creative techniques is quite literally awe inspiring. And what's even more remarkable is how affordable she is, accommodating many budgets and time frames. If you have an idea in your head of your perfect wedding dress, give her a call - taking the stress out of the big day starts there!
Make up & Skin Care: Sustainable, Cruelty Free
There are so many great products out there these days so why not choose brands that are cruelty free and ethically & sustainably made? If you’re looking for great skincare then the lovely Sofia Latif has an incredible range of products. Our favourite is her signature face oil which would be perfect to apply the night before your wedding to nourish and hydrate your skin. She uses recyclable (and beautiful) packaging, the ethos is all about transparency so you know exactly what you’re putting on your skin AND they don’t test on animals. What’s not to love? You’d also be supporting a great small brand rather than buying from yet another huge, mainstream, eco destroying company. Another incredible option is Arbonne. They do beautiful Vegan, sustainable plant based Skin care & Make Up and have been making people happy for 40 years! They work on a franchise type basis so you’ll be helping individuals make a living while helping the environment and animals at the same time. Please contact Amy Bremner for more info :) If you have a professional Make Up Artist coming round to help you out on the day, then do some research into someone that use these types of products or talk to them about your desire to be eco-friendly. Am sure they would be happy to accomodate. And if not, ditch them!
Jewellery: recycled, vintage, fair working conditions
Now how can my bling be eco-friendly you might ask? There are plenty of jewellery designers out there who use recycled metals and gemstones and who value great working conditions across the board for everyone who’s part of the production. Also look for designers who can create beautiful bespoke jewellery suiting your every need. Like East London based jewellery designer Magpies Loot! You can also look for beautiful vintage rings! Who knows- maybe there’s a secret family heirloom hiding somewhere…
Hen do: Have just as fun nearby
Sometimes staying close to home can be just as amazing! And it also supports the economy of your own country and countrymen & women while reducing your carbon footprint at the same time. There are endless wonderful locations all over the UK where you can go. Feather Down have an amazing array of special Glamping sites all over the UK and are focussed on nature, the environment, the land and buying local. All things we need to support! If you are looking for something a little bit different that will connect you to you, and those around you, check out Rise & Shine. They offer alcohol and drug free retreat/festivals/raves that blow your mind and leave you feeling inspired and changed for the better. Incredible Dj’s, dancing in the woods, yoga, meditation, lake swimming and amazing vegan food and energy boosting natural drinks. From experience - everyone should try this! It’s WOW.
Whilst you’re having all the fun try avoiding plastic straws, plastic cups, plastic gimmicky type decorations that are packed in unnecessary plastic, and strive towards using reusable/paper materials wherever possible (no balloons/plastic bunting). There are so many paper decorations/confetti and fabric bunting available out there now, so it is very easy to achieve. You could even make your own games as unfortunately a lot of the store bought ones use plastic! And if you’re in need of those perfect matching hen party kimonos - you know where to look! ;)
I hope you’ve enjoyed our little guide to a more sustainable wedding. If you have other great ideas/suggestions we would love to hear them!