Your wedding day is perhaps the one day where you can be truly selfish and plan everything around what makes you and your partner happy. However, historically weddings have a reputation for leaving a large carbon footprint, when travel from your guests, food waste and other less-than-sustainable practices are all taken into account. If you’re looking to have an eco-friendly wedding, keep reading!

In recent times we are seeing an increase in the number of couples who are considering an eco-friendly celebration, or who are simply trying to minimise their impact on the environment when tying the knot. At Chalk, sustainability is at our core and we prioritise eco-friendly decisions wherever possible within our business operations. If you are looking to implement more sustainable practices on your big day, then here are some of our favourite ideas for you to consider: 

Choose an Eco-Friendly Wedding Venue

The simplest way to ensure you’re planning an eco-friendly wedding is to opt for a local and sustainable venue. You don’t need to sacrifice luxury to ensure your venue is environmentally friendly, you just need to look for a venue that prioritises sustainability as much as you do. 

Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do at Chalk Barn – we are completely off-grid, meaning no mains electric, gas, oil or water. Our roof-mounted 22kw solar panel system generates the electricity to power our events, and our on-site wood pellet boiler runs our heating and hot water. All our water comes from the farm supply, filtered through the chalk aquifers. We are as sustainable as we can possibly be, and always looking for new ways to help maintain our beautiful environment. 

Support Local with Food Choices

You already have enough on your plate (pun intended) having to balance dietary requirements and fussy guests, but putting in the extra effort when selecting your menus can really make an impact on the environment. The easiest way to have eco-friendly food is to look for a caterer who values the importance of local, sustainable and seasonal ingredients. 

Ask your caterers about incorporating organic and pesticide-free ingredients where possible. If you want to really reduce the carbon-footprint of your big day, you can discuss the idea of having an entirely vegetarian or vegan menu – there are some amazing plant-based options available which will wow even your most carnivorous guests! 

Leftover food can make weddings incredibly wasteful. Ideally, you want to serve plated meals as buffets usually result in higher amount of food waste. However, if a buffet is the right fit for your wedding breakfast you can discuss with your caterers ways of saving or donating any food left at the end of the day. 

At Chalk, we cater to a variety of dietary requirements and work with local, sustainable partners who share our values. If you’re planning an eco-friendly wedding, get in touch.

Hire or Buy Second Hand for an Eco-Friendly Wedding

The most effortless way to ensure a gorgeous and sustainable day is to book a naturally beautiful venue that requires little decor. A venue with plenty of light and stunning views will need very little adding to make it the setting you always dreamt of.

We may be biased, but Chalk Barn fits the bill perfectly. Complete with magical glass doors that open out to the jaw-dropping organic farmland of Wiltshire and an eco-friendly recycled wood roof interior, our venue provides a venue backdrop that needs little decor to look stunning.

However, when decor is required or desired, we recommend trying to hire or buy secondhand instead of buying new. We love the idea of venue styling with companies such as Love with Letters who can add a personal stamp to your wedding day, take the stress out of your hands and make sure you are keeping to sustainable practices through hiring instead of buying.

Think Carefully about Flowers

Traditionally, a lot of cut flowers are used in a wedding, from the bouquets to centrepieces. However, as beautiful as they are, cut flowers are not great for the environment. Instead, consider using potted plants such as roses or trees that can be redistributed after your wedding – they make lovely ‘thank you’ gifts which can be treasured long after the day is over. 

If your big day must include cut flowers, then we recommend opting for seasonal flowers that can be grown locally as opposed to out-of-season blooms that need to be flown in from abroad.

Another great alternative is to use long-lasting dried flowers – these can also make wonderful keepsake gifts, or can be used as a wedding favour to your guests as they leave.

Reduce Stationary for an Eco-Friendly Wedding

Wedding stationery can be a lovely touch to your wedding day, but is not the best option environmentally, and will ultimately end up being discarded. Many couples are opting to digitise their stationery and go paper-free, using specialist online wedding stationery websites to send invites, collect RSVP’s and take menu choices. 

One really easy step is to remove the postal RSVP.  Asking your guests to respond via text, email or website will not only save postage costs but will also reduce the impact on the environment. A shared menu alongside your table plan is another great way to reduce the amount of paper stationery on your big day. 

Consider the Environmental Impact of Your Honeymoon

The environmental impact of your wedding can go beyond just the day itself. When booking your dream honeymoon, train travel has a smaller impact on the environment than air travel, so why not consider a luxury train experience? And when browsing hotels, look for accommodation that has a strong emphasis on being environmentally friendly. 

Additionally, when you are on honeymoon, you can opt for activities that contribute towards the environment such as charity visits, local wildlife parks or even a beach clean-up. 

Eco-Friendly Finishing Touches

The small details matter, to you and the environment. From non-toxic candles to biodegradable confetti, make sure to continue your sustainable practices through every detail of your big day. You can even look for biodegradable glitter!

Forgo favours that will ultimately be left behind or discarded, instead opt for a consumable favour such as personalised biscuit or packet of sweets. Most of your guests will thank you for the midnight snack opposed to something with your wedding date on it that can’t be repurposed. If you wish to make a really meaningful impact with your favours, why not make a charitable donation in your guest names? 

If you are looking to plan an environmentally friendly wedding, we have availability in 2023 and 2024. To book a tour of our beautiful sustainable wedding venue and to discuss your plans in depth then contact us to book a viewing