How to have an eco-friendly wedding abroad

Reducing, recycling and reusing are the buzzwords for 2022 and beyond. In every walk of life, people are looking for ways of lowering their carbon footprint and being more sustainable. More and more couples are looking at ways to organise an eco-friendly, sustainable wedding without sacrificing on enjoyment. This is a little trickier when it comes to a wedding abroad, owing to the fact that you’ll most likely have to fly to your wedding destination, but it is certainly possible to minimise or offset your carbon footprint as part of the whole process.

Let’s take a look at some of the areas where you can make the most meaningful impact towards a truly sustainable, eco-friendly wedding.

Eco-friendly wedding invitations are a quick win when it comes to doing things more sustainably. Many printers now use recycled paper or alternative materials. An increasing number are starting to offer plantable seed paper invitations that can be placed in soil once used and bloom into wildflowers. Very cool! The majority of wedding invitations get thrown away after use, which is a huge waste of paper. So by sending out something that can be reused, especially something that can help the local environment after your wedding, then that can only be a good thing. 

Wedding Favours
Wedding favours are not as popular as they once were, partly because they just get discarded after the wedding, but if you do opt to include them as part of your big day then consider the environmental impact. There are many great ideas for eco-friendly wedding favours out there, using sustainable or even edible materials that your guests won’t want to (or can’t) throw away.

One cool idea for a beach wedding is to pick up some reused glass potion bottles from a vintage or second hand shop and fill them with sand from the beach where you got married. Imagine the look on your guest’s faces when you hand them a lovely little bottle filled with the sand they stood on to watch you tie the knot (highly recommended with the soft white sands of either Mexico or the Caribbean). And if getting married in Greece, a miniature bottle of Ouzo for guests to enjoy once back home always goes down well, and is relatively sustainable too!

When shopping for both engagement and wedding rings, opt for pre-loved and vintage varieties. This means sustainable wedding rings that haven’t had to mine additional resources from the earth in order to be made. You could also keep it in the family by proposing using a family heirloom, passed down through generations. Not only is this more eco-friendly, but it’s a lovely touch that will warm your partner’s heart. And if buying new, be sure to trace the origins of the diamonds or gemstones in the rings. Ask your jeweller where they source their items from, to be sure they haven’t originated from a conflict zone.

Food & Drink
Keeping it local and avoiding meat or fish are the best ways of minimising your carbon footprint when it comes to the food and drink. We offer wedding packages in some of the most renowned foodie destinations around the world, for example Italy, and our local wedding planners will be more than happy to tailor a food and drinks package sourced from the local area. Tuscany in particular will provide everything you could possibly need for an Italian wedding - great food, incredible wine and some of the most beautiful countryside scenery, not to mention great weather. 

Flowers & Decorations
Once again, choosing seasonal blooms that are grown locally is the name of the game when it comes to sustainable wedding flowers. Carnations, a flower synonymous with weddings, are native to Spain, so why not adorn your Spanish wedding ceremony with red carnations, the flower of passion and love? If you’d like to arrange for your wedding flowers to be composted after the ceremony and provide benefits to nature long after you’ve departed, speak to us about arranging this with your chosen venue.

Flying to a wedding is never going to be particularly environmentally friendly. However, aside from the above hints and tips, there are ways to bring down the impact of travelling by plane to a far flung destination. You could make a donation to Trees For Cities, a UK charity that plants trees in urban areas, to offset carbon emissions. Or if getting married in France, why not consider travelling to your wedding destination by train?

Hopefully we’ve given you some practical guidance on reducing your carbon footprint and having a more eco-friendly wedding with The Wedding Travel Company. Give us a shout to talk about other ways to do your bit for the planet on your wedding day.