Top wedding planners reveal how to host a sustainable wedding

If you’re planning a wedding in 2020, prepare to see eco-friendly touches everywhere from the fashion and food to the transport and invitations. At Casablanca Hire, we predict sustainability to be one of 2020’s biggest wedding trends, and we’ve teamed with two top UK wedding planners to reveal how to incorporate these into your big day.

The surge of sustainable wedding requests

North West Wedding Planner of the year 2020, Charlotte Elise Dodd, has already noticed a surge in sustainable requests. She said: “There’s definitely been an increase in the number of couples looking to host a more environmentally friendly wedding.

She said: “It’s obviously been down to everyone being a lot more aware of how to be more eco-friendly and making the effort to do this. For example, paper straws coming into effect – straight away even when plastic straws were being fazed out we had couples asking us to make sure they were paper straws on the bar. I think the fact that there are alternatives now being made more readily-available that has definitely helped.”

How to cut back on costs – and carbon footprint

Abigail Lucy, a luxury events and wedding planner based in Cheshire has worked with high profile clients from all around the world and has some creative ideas for how to cut back on CO2 emissions on your wedding day.

She said: “Transportation is a massive factor. Since ‘Destination’ Weddings became popular our cO2 emissions have doubled, with couples now using multiple methods of transportation to get themselves and their guests to the wedding.”

So what are the alternative options, from walking to your wedding to rowing to the venue, Casablanca Hire can reveal the some creative trends.

Walking wedding

If you’re a bride who loves the great outdoors, you could swap your heels for some white Doc Martens and walk to your wedding. Imagine a wedding in the countryside where your wedding party meet at an arranged starting point and walk to the venue together on a warm summer’s day.

Row, row, row your boat 

Or, maybe you could ‘Row’ to your wedding if your venue is situated near a river or by a lake. However, we would suggest having someone is not attending the wedding do the rowing or you might have a very sweaty ‘father of the bride’.

Horse and carriage 

Horse and Carriages are another lovely option (dependent on the distance you have to travel).

Hop on the bus

Hiring a bus so all of your guests can travel together rather than in separate vehicles is an easy option that would help reduce pollution, or if you don’t have the budget set up car pooling for your guests to work out between themselves.

How to find an eco-friendly venue

Marquee and outdoor weddings are are great option for a sustainable wedding, as it reduces energy from electricity, gas, and water. If you’re lucky enough to own a large garden, or live near a beautiful countryside field, why not think about how you could create your own venue using the space. From eco-friendly furniture to tableware, there are plenty of products on the market to support your cause.

If that option isn’t for you, there are a growing number of wedding venues around the UK that are renowned for their eco-friendly ethos. To help you out, our wedding planners have shared some of their favourite and most requested spots with us.

Abigail’s top pick is River Cottage, located in Devon. She said: “One of my favourite sustainable venues is River Cottage. This gorgeous little spot sits within rolling hills of Devon and it is just adorable. The cottage has an organic kitchen with all produced on their 65 acres of farmland. Tipis and woodland yurts made from recycled materials have also become a popular option, and one I personally love.”

River Cottage

Charlotte- Elise recently planned a sustainable wedding for an all-vegan wedding party: “We’ve planned a wedding at fforest farm in Cardigan, South Wales before and this was an all-vegan wedding. Our clients were Vegan and so they wanted this offered as the wedding food for their guests. They had a Vegan lunch followed by a fully vegan wedding breakfast and all guests thoroughly enjoyed it.”

fforest Farm
Another venue to add to your list is The Wellbeing Farm in Lancashire. The farm has it’s own wind turbine which supplies clean energy to the area. They source all meat from local butcheries and any food waste they turn into fertiliser.
The Wellbeing Farm
Elmore Court in Gloucestershire is an exclusive use wedding venue who also come cater for those who care about the environment. Their specialist wedding reception area – The Gillyflower was built with rammed earth and timber from the estate, and Charlotte reveals that their in-house catering is amazing, with all food locally-sourced, as well as vegetables and herbs they grow in their garden.
Elmore Court

Putting a stop to paper

If you’re inviting a lot of guests, chances our you’ll be sending out some invitations in the post. But why waste paper when you can invite your guests in a sustainable way that makes a huge statement.

Here are some ideas.

Charlotte reveals: “We work with a lot of international clients and so we have had some clients use electronic invitations. There’s still something lovely about receiving an invitation through the door, so a lot of our suppliers, one being Dragonfly Couture only uses recyclable materials and encourages customers to recycle after use. We have also seen companies provide plantable wild flower invitations which have flower seeds in them and can be used by guests in their own garden. This is a really unique and thoughtful way to invite your guests.”
If you don’t fancy sending seeds, how about soy? Abigail said: “Recycled Soy Glass Candles with the details hand painted on the jar would be a lovely alternative. Or hand painted on recycled cloth. Alternatives like this requires a lot more time and effort than printed paper invitations but I think it’s fabulous when couples think outside the box. The more creative the more we love it.”

Ditch the plastic

Princess Eugenie famously went plastic free for her high-profile wedding in 2018, and now you can, too. It’s not as tough as you think if you plan in advance, as thanks to the growing awareness, there are plenty of natural alternatives to use instead.

Swap confetti for dried flower petals.  Not only will this avoid plastic packaging and be much more environmentally-friendly than synthetic confetti (which can contain plastic), but drying flower petals from your own garden to make your own confetti is also a lovely romantic touch.  Alternatively, for a more rustic touch you can ask your guests to throw bird seed instead, giving the local wildlife a treat, as well.

When it comes to the bar, water, soft drinks and cordial often come in single-use plastic bottles, which as we know can take hundreds of years to biodegrade.  Keep your bar plastic-free by providing glassware,refillable water jugs and glass-bottled mixers.  Keep your bar and wedding straw-free to avoid adding to ocean plastic pollution.

Balloons, bunting and photo booth props can all contain plastics, so consider your decor carefully to avoid unnecessary plastic waste.  There are lots of natural, reusable or recyclable decorations to choose from including flowers, candles and fairy lights.

Empty jam jars and drinks bottles can make great vases or candle holders, and pebbles work well for place names. And finally, if you’re thinking of having table favours, a handmade gift such as homemade fudge, jam or sloe gin can provide a thoughtful plastic-free momento and is also a fun way to rope family and friends in your wedding preparations.