Ideas for an Eco-Friendly Wedding

Weddings with a conscious are gaining momentum in 2019, as many couples begin to question our ‘throw away’ culture.  Princess Eugenie led the charge when her wedding to Jack Brooksbank was plastic free.  And concerns over climate change, along with the effect of high-profile documentaries like Blue Planet II, are contributing to a rise in people searching for ways to make their wedding eco-friendly.  Here, Tara Begi, wedding coordinator from Barton Grange Hotel near Preston, shares her ideas on how to reduce, reuse and recycle your way to a more sustainable wedding day.

“As with many aspects of modern life, weddings can be very wasteful occasions.  Beginning with the hundreds of invitations and cards exchanged (then soon discarded) and continuing when the room is decorated with cut flowers for just one day.  And what about the dresses that the bride and bridesmaids will only wear once?

“More and more, we’re finding couples feel informed and empowered about the environmental consequences of their decisions.  And there are some really easy ways to lessen the impact a wedding has on the environment.”

Stay and Source Local

Rather than travelling to an exotic location, finding a venue close to home will limit pollution from travel.  A venue that can host both ceremony and reception is even better as you and your guests will only have to make one journey.  For the happy couple, how about arriving in a traditional horse and carriage? Or a bicycle made for two?

Another way to reduce the carbon footprint of your wedding day is to choose local suppliers, which has the added bonus of boosting the local economy.

Opting for a menu made up of locally sourced, seasonal produce is something that Barton Grange Hotel does all year round – not only does this mean better quality food it’s kinder to the environment too.  Add some of the good English wines available or local Lancashire distillery gin cocktails, and it’s a win/win situation.

Simple Sustainable Swaps

Technology can play a huge part in reducing a wedding’s impact on the environment. Why not ditch paper invitations in favour of e-invites to reduce the amount of single-use paper. Even better would be to create a wedding website where you can share all kinds of useful information with guests – from photos to accommodation and table plans.

Opting for a pre-loved wedding dress or bridesmaid dresses and hiring suits are more sustainable ways to dress for your big day (and kinder on your pocket too).  Post-wedding, consider donating your dress to a charity will bring joy to another bride on her big day.

Other ideas include switching cut flowers with potted plants or a flower arch for a living-wall, both ensuring your floral décor thrives for years to come after your celebration.  And when it comes to favours, gifting seeds or plants rather than a throwaway token, means your wedding’s environmental legacy will live on for many years.  Or let the outdoors be the décor. Our gardens are a stunning backdrop of floral colour in the summer and ideal for wedding drinks – use the natural environment to dress the occasion.

Shower the happy couple with fresh rose petals rather than rice or paper confetti. And if you wish, swap the wedding favour for a local charity donation.

Reduce Plastic Waste

Plastic can creep into weddings in all kinds of ways, from packaging to straws and even hair and make-up products. Going totally plastic free could be tricky but getting creative, as well as finding suppliers who are already trying to reduce their plastic waste, is key.  Some ideas to reduce plastic waste include swapping plastic straws for paper, creating your own table décor from recycled jam jars and other preloved fabrics/materials, or doing your own hair and make-up using plastic-free products.  You could also ask guests not to give gifts, to avoid the plastic found in wrapping paper and packaging.


The Barton Grange Hotel is a lovingly restored manor house situated fifteen minutes North of Preston, Lancashire.  The family-run four-star hotel has 51 rooms and caters for weddings of all sizes.

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