These tips for a zero waste wedding can help you celebrate your special day, without harm to the planet or animals. And a simpler wedding is also more enjoyable, as what matters is how you felt on the day, not what you bought.
Many flowers used for wreaths, confetti and plantable cards (lilies, delphiniums, wildflowers) are toxic to pets so be aware of this if furry friends are nearby. Many trees (used for celebration planting) are toxic to horses). Only use pet-safe blooms and avoid toxic versions of petal confetti, only send plantable cards to pet-free homes. Also see where to buy sustainable flowers and grow your own organic wedding flowers.
- Modern Wedding is a beautiful book focused on nature-inspired seasonal weddings. The secret to planning a meaningful wedding is nothing to do with budget. It’s about a celebration to reflect a couple’s core values. This book covers the stationery and the dress, seating plans, food, drink, gifts and flowers. With emphasis on natural surroundings, seasonal flowers and minimalist ceremonies.
- Rather than pay a big hotel for your wedding venue, hire the grounds of a local monastery or convent. If there only a few of you, you may consider holding the wedding say in the grounds of a farm sanctuary, as long as your big day would not negatively affect residents.
- Make your wedding gift list zero waste. Or ask for guests to donate to your favourite small charity.
- Hire a local veggie or organic caterer. Ask them to donate leftovers to local shelters or food banks.
- See why you should avoid balloons and fire lanterns, terrible for wildlife all-round.
- Instead of hiring a big band, see if there are local acoustic buskers or talented musicians that would be more talented and willing to sing or play.
- Floral Angels (London) donates bouquets to care homes & hospices.
- Carefully consider, if thinking of having dogs at wedding, as many don’t like the noise and crowds. Dog’s Trust has tips on whether to do this.
- Beyond Skin offers luxury shoes and boots, handmade in Europe with sustainable materials and sent in luxury eco gift boxes. These are the alternative to designer shoes, and you can also find bridal shoes.
Zero Waste Wedding Invites
These zero waste wedding invitations prove that you don’t have to chop down a tree, just to invite someone to your wedding. You can buy nice wedding e-invites from Dayspring.
If sending plantable wildflower cards (that are composted after use to grow into wildflowers), remember that many wildflowers are toxic to pets, so only send to pet-free households.
Perfect Day Wedding Invite is an elegant palette of grey, white and recycled brown kraft card, with co-ordinating envelopes, and optional info cards, envelope liners and finishing touches, with optional ‘evening reception’ wording. Minimum order of 30 invites (or 20 for day and evening combined), with samples available.
Calligraphy Kraft Wedding Invite is printed on recycled card (rustic vintage) using unique hand-lettering for a crisp print finish.
Where to Buy or Sell Wedding Gowns
Zero waste wedding gowns are made from natural materials like organic cotton, linen or hemp. Although some women choose silk, know that silkworms are killed to make the material (and even some ‘peace or ahimsa silk’ leaves silkworms to die on the floor). Cupro is a better alternative, made from the cotton waste industry (it looks and feels just like real silk).
Most wedding gowns are also very expensive, especially to wear just for one day. A lot of zero waste wedding ideas involve hand-me-downs (wear your grandma’s wedding dress!). Others choose vintage gowns or just rent one. If you buy a wedding gown from a charity shop, support small local animal charity shops, not big charities that use profits to fund cruel animal testing or company cars (ie. most of the big medical charities).
- If buying new, Rolling in Roses (Yorkshire) offers handmade gowns with delicate features in a vegan alternative to silk, made from oranges! Each dress has a wrist loop to carry a train gracefully, and ribbon tabs (to tie up for dancing).
- Luna is a leading ethical wedding dress designer, all the fabrics are organic and vegan, such as English lace and vegan bamboo (see above re some ‘peace silk’). Highly skilled seamstresses transform the fabrics into unique dresses that are all made in Britain. Based in Yorkshire.
- Just buy a nice organic dress, and then you can wear it again and again. This organic cotton broderie dress by People Tree is really nice, and could be suitable for a wedding.
- Buy or sell pre-loved dresses at Still White.