The world around us is changing and sustainability has become a prominent consideration in our daily lives. Using our Keep Cups and reusable produce bags to avoid single-use plastic is an everyday practice. But somehow when the word ‘wedding’ gets involved our mindfulness and initiatives are often swept out the door in order to achieve the dream day. Here at Nudo we want you to know that ‘sustainable’ and ‘wedding’ can be used in the same sentence! So clear your conscience and get planning! Read on for some amazing things you can weave into your day to make sure the best day of your life is also a great one for the environment.
Select an environmentally conscious venue
We know your first thoughts when selecting your venue head straight to the appearance and style. It is the backdrop for one of the most important days of your life after all! But a great venue shouldn’t make you compromise on your ethical and sustainable considerations. So it definitely pays to ask the question of what they have implemented to reduce their carbon footprint. What is their waste control like and do they use sustainable cleaning and bathroom products? The more this question is prompted the more venues will feel the push to change to recycled toilet paper or solar panel energy. You- the couples- hold the power to shape the venue market, so use your power for good! A sustainable venue we love is The Wool Mill who runs on solar power energy and uses recycled and sustainable bathroom products. These small things go a long way in our books!
Request locally grown florals
Flowers can have huge carbon footprints by the time they make it into your hands on your wedding day. The reality is that flowers are only able to be grown in certain climates, usually closer to the equator where the temperature is just right and they have the perfect amount of rainfall and sunlight. This leads to a huge market for international transportation within the flower industry. So the rose in your bouquet has traveled far more than you in 2020! Flower farms are also known to heavily use neurotoxic pesticides and because they don’t go in our mouths the legislation on pesticides is a lot looser. They have really harmful effects on the health of the farmers and also on the environment as run-off chemicals often end up in waterways. Ensuring your florist is prioritising local flowers means that they are less likely to buy large amounts of internationally sourced flowers and the carbon footprint on your flowers that day is far lower.
While you’re chatting to your florist it’s also great to ask if they use floral foam. Foam has been used largely in the floristry industry as the base of many designs because it can be molded into any shape. It has its benefits- when soaked in water it also acts as a hydration source for flowers so that they stay looking beautiful all day. But the reality is this foam always ends up in landfills and cannot be used again. It’s also made of harmful chemicals that aren’t great for those who handle it especially, when soaked in water. So a foam-free florist is a great way to keep your gorgeous flowers sustainable!
Now our last note on flowers is to think about how to get the most out of them on your day. There are many ways you can re-purpose and re-use your florals. If you are having your ceremony and reception at the same venue (like at this epic venue Gather & Tailor!) then you are lucky enough to be able to re-purpose your ceremony flowers! After all your show-stopping ceremony backdrop deserves to be seen all day and not abandoned once the ceremony is over! So why not move that epic installation to be a highlight feature of your dance floor? Talk about the perfect photo destination! Now when the wedding is over one thing we really encourage is prompting your guests to take home florals. Your venue doesn’t need them after all and once your wedding is over, whatever is left will likely go into the bin (a green bin if your venue is a sustainable one!). But why allow that to happen when your guests could take home a special piece of your day. If you’re lucky enough to have an epic on the day coordinator, ask them if they can start to pre-bundle flowers for guests around 30 minutes before your wedding ends. By this time everyone will be so busy dancing they won’t notice! That way as your guests leave they can grab a stunning pre-wrapped bouquet just for them! So special.
Keep your outfit ethical
Let’s be honest, the best fashion is always a nod to the past. So why not consider a timeless vintage piece for your wedding day. Whether it be your glam outfit of choice, accessories, or a vintage wedding band, this is an amazing way to keep your fashion sustainable. If vintage isn’t your thing another sustainable option is purchasing a second-hand item. They are often worn for one day after all. Now please wipe the idea of a dress from an Op-Shop from your mind (unless that is your thing and if so go for it!) Second-hand purchasing has come a long way. If you’ve had your eye on an amazing designer piece that is slightly out of your price range, purchasing second hand could bring it well within the reach of your budget and also keep your conscience clean! We absolutely love Still White and their range of beautiful pre-loved designer pieces. This doesn’t just stop with you and your partner, if you are having a bridal party consider this for everyone! Plus if they are covering the cost I’m so they will welcome the lower price tag of a hired piece with welcome arms! There are also plenty of ethical designer brands that focus on zero waste and sustainable fabrics, so if your heart is set on something new and just for you, then this is a great road to go down.
Avoid single-use decor
Decor is a wonderful way to transform your wedding space! But it’s unlikely you will be able to re-use the 150 acrylic custom drink stirrers or photo-op balloon arch. We can do better! So consider ways in which you can be more sustainable with your decor. A great way to do this is to use hire companies. There are so many amazing companies that have carefully curated collections of stunning hire items that have the privilege of being used over and over. Not just bought for one event and stored in the shed for the next 15 years. Hiring can cover not only vases and candle holders but furniture as well! Some hire companies we love are The Small Things Co and Place Settings. Also, we can’t fail to mention our friends over at Bangin Hangins! Their sustainable and re-usable installations pack the prettiest punch we ever did see and are an amazing and ethical way to create an unforgettable install at your wedding.
Also if you have your heart set on confetti for your ceremony make sure it is environmentally friendly and bio-degradable. The impact your plastic confetti has on the environment as it blows away and into waterways is extremely harmful. So ensure you make the smarter choice! Check out Eco Confetti for their fully biodegradable confetti options.
Re-think your wedding favours
When you select your wedding favours (also known as bomboniere), making sure they are something your guests will actually use is a really important factor in keeping your wedding sustainable. While it’s important that you choose something that represents you both as a couple, if your guests are going to throw out their personalised coaster as soon as they get home then it was probably not only a waste of your money, but also not a sustainable choice. So before you panic, there are so many great options out there! The first is a baked treat. Who doesn’t love a donut from the donut wall to eat in the Uber post-wedding on the way home? Plus chances are if you can’t eat it, someone on your table will gladly eat it for you! Zero packaging and zero waste! Perhaps you don’t have a sweet tooth (these people do exist!), then why not consider the gift of giving back. What better way to celebrate the luck you have of finding your forever person, by using the money you would have spent on favours to donate to a special charity. One of the best feelings is knowing you’ve helped someone in need! Plus I’m sure your guests will not miss their acrylic cut place card and will be happier knowing that money went somewhere it can do good and not contribute to landfill.
The idea of sourcing locally doesn’t just stop with your flowers. Consider this with all elements for your wedding! Align yourself with a caterer that sources local and seasonal ingredients. Ensuring their ingredients are sourced locally shows that they not only support local farming but also ensure their ingredients have a lower carbon footprint as they pass through fewer hands to get to your plate! Not to mention the freshness! We absolutely love Fourside Events and their ethos of working with hand-selected local growers and suppliers for all of their produce.
Local also extends to your wedding location. While the idea of a destination wedding can sound oh so appealing, have you considered the impact of travel? Asking 50-100 of your loved ones to hop on a plane to Bali isn’t the most eco-friendly option. Plus it’s a whole lot of effort! Keeping your wedding destination local is a far more sustainable option and also a lot easier on your guests wallets!
You’ve done the first step! You’re considering small ways to reduce your wedding’s carbon footprint, so well done! We know it can seem daunting but these are all easy things you can consider weaving into your wonderful wedding. While we know that it’s hard to make sure every single element of your wedding is eco-friendly, the most important thing is remaining thoughtful.
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Nudo acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to the land. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and to Elders both past, present and emerging.
Nudo is a dynamic team of planners and designers (and shoulders to lean on), effortlessly guiding you through your wedding journey step by step. Taking the time to understand your vision and what matters most, whilst also taking care of the million small (and sometimes tedious) details that you don’t have the time for. And when the day comes, we bring it all together to create the kind of experience your guests will rave about for years.
If you’re looking for a wedding planner and stylist in Melbourne and would love a team of dreamers and doers on your side to guide you through the journey step by step, drinking glasses of bubbles, and making wedding planning fun, then head to our contact page to chat to one of our friendly team.