Thinking of hosting a plastic free wedding? Here are some tips and ideas from our ten years of wedding hosting.
The Royal Wedding highlighted the importance of eco freindly weddings, and especially the use of plastic that is in a wedding – from plastic straws, to plastic confetti, even plastic in some of the dresses.
If you’re planning a plastic-free wedding celebration like Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank, here are a few tips to get you started…
Last week, Princess Eugenie married Jack Brooksbank and there was much talk of their plastic-free celebration. Princess Eugenie is an advocate for environmental issues and ambassador of ocean plastic organisation Project 0 – said that the couple were planning for their wedding day to be plastic-free like their home. If anyone has tried to be palstic free in their homes, I can tell you its hard work – plastic creeps into and is wrapped around so many products, but big respect for making their home plastic free.
Did you know that the average wedding day generates an estimated 500 lbs of waste and 20 tonnes of CO2? (stats taken from Vows & Venues)
The wedding starts with your hen party, so tell your friends your plans in good time. Plastic can be found in hen parties from plastic cups, to silly straws, to decorations and clothes. Ask if these can be reduced by planning ahead, and the use of paper and recycled items used instead.
Planning your Wedding – tell your wedding specialists about your plans to ensure that they to can look into their use of plastic and how to offer replacements e.g. plastic free straws, or glass hire instead of plastic cups for the bar, eco compost bin bags e.t.c. Talk to your wedding invitation designer too as even the wedding invtiations may otherwise arrive wrapped in plastic. Decorations could also arrive wrapped in bubble wrap – another source of plastic.
Your Costumes – The wedding dress might be one of the most talked about aspects of your special day, but did you know it can also be a hidden source of plastic? Watch out for synthetic, plastic-based materials such as polyester and embellishments such as sequins, and instead choose a beautiful dress made from a natural fibre such as certified organic silk. For men, choose silk ties and suits made of a natural fibre like wool and avoid synthetic linings. There is a resurgence for tailored wool jackets and linen shirts, so dress up in a traditional outfit that you can keep forever. The same applies to bridesmaids and ushers!
Beauty products are a hidden source of plastic, from wrapping to micro beads in scrubs e.t.c. We advocate the use of natural beauty products where possible, especially as we have learnt alot from our work in Wellbeing. There are so many amazing products out there made by small companies and people with a passion, that are natural and good for you too. Look at this article by Emma Henderson in The Independent for plastic free beauty products.
Here at Poundon House we advocate the use of natural confetti. This rots down, and unlike paper, is better for the envrinonment on which it falls, as often it is thrown on the lawns where it can’t be collected. It is best to source this natural confetti from places that grow the flowers themselves e.g. Shropshire Petals, and when placing an order, request limited use of plastic. Another lovely idea is to use bird seeds, which when falling on the grass, will also makes the birds happy.
Flowers – Employ a local florist who will buy the flowers locally and hopefully avoid the use of cellophane. Alternatively, why not try growing your own or decorate your venue with potted plants or herbs instead? Potted plants can be given away after the wedding as thank you gifts or you can re-plant them in your garden as a constant floral reminder of your special day.
Catering – The food and drink at your wedding is a major part of the celebrations, and is also an area where you need to discuss with your chosen caterer and the venue in advance as to their use of plastic. Ask your caterers to hire in glasses and not to use plastic cups. Avoid the use of cocktail sticks and straws which are often made from plastic. If you really do need to use straws, ask for bio-degradable ones. Ask if your caterers can use plastic free bin bags and Ecover washing up liquid if you can stretch to making your wedding day more environmentlaly friendly as well as reduced plastic use. If your caterers are hiring in plates e.t.c. request that they do not arrive wrapped in plastic.Water bottles on the table to be either tap water in jugs or if you do want mineral water request glass bottles which can then be recycled. Here at Poundon House we offer recycling to all our suppliers working on our weddings, and encourage the use of waste food composting too. Try to buy local food from suppliers who will not provide the food wrapped in plastic. Your caterers should be buying in bulk from markets and hopefully paper boxes will be used which can then be recycled.
Decorations can be fun and plastic free. We love it when our couples are inspired by the gardens and the countryside and go for a rustic look, like the hessian and lavendar above.
Thank-you favours can also be environmentally friendly and plastic free. There is nothing more beautiful than a home made favour – whether they are seeds to plant, james & chutneys made, the thought that goes into these will make them even more special for your guests – Pinterest is a great resource for ideas.