Green Weddings

Make your wedding a special day for you and the planet.

1. Band of gold?

Try hunting for a unique ring in antique shops or at art student shows - Central St Martins has end-of-year exhibitions in June. Or seek out recycled gold or Fairtrade silver - just search online for suppliers.

For advice on buying conflict-free diamonds, see The Kimberley Process FAQs. For Fairtrade & Fairmined gold, recycled gold or platinum wedding rings, see our ethical jewellery information page.

2. Invitations and photos

Use recycled paper for wedding stationery - search for printing companies online, or try Recycled Paper. To save paper, you could design a website (or have one designed), and send an e-card to guests directing them to it.

Wedding photos can be easier to share if you go digital too - and you won't need to print out the less flattering snaps!

3. Giving

For eco-friendly wedding gifts, how about asking for a Friends of the Earth Shop voucher so you can choose your own home or garden products?

If you like the idea of generating your own clean energy, you could even ask for donations towards solar panels from our partner JoJu Solar.

4. The Dress

Check out vintage and retro shops. Alternatively search online for quality used outfits from Ebay or specialist sites such as The Dressmarket. Or you can buy from one of Oxfam's bridal wear shops. You could also consider borrowing from a friend.

Another option is to hire - ideal for bride, groom, ushers and childrens' outfits. For bridesmaids and page boys, buy something they can wear afterwards for parties - or invite them to wear their own favourite outfits. Of course, the bride can do the same!

After the big day, why not consider recycling your wedding dress or accessories. By donating anything from jewellery and tiaras, to clutch bags and bridesmaid dresses, you can support a fantastic scheme which helps brides in Malawi.

5. Drink

Buy organic wine for your guests and enjoy the revelry while nature benefits. Get a discount on wine, spirits, champagne, beer and soft drinks from our partner Vinceremos.

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6. Food

Source your food from Big Barn, which aims to reconnect people with local, seasonal and organic food production - and ask your caterer to do the same.

Invite guests to bring their own contributions to the meal - this can help keep costs down too. Hire crockery and glasses to avoid disposables, and recycle whatever you can, including bottles and cans.

7. Cake

Ask your cake-maker or local baker to use organic ingredients. Don't have a sweet tooth? How about something different like an organic cheese board with local fruit instead?

wedding party on London underground, green wedding
“It is important for both of us to have an environmentally-friendly wedding." Stefanie Schmiedel and Robert Gray from Brent travelled by tube on their wedding day.

8. Transport

Find a venue close to home to cut down on transport. Make a statement by turning up to your wedding in an electric car or horse-drawn carriage - or walk, or even cycle.

If you don't have the ceremony and reception at the same venue, encourage guests to share rides to the reception or provide a coach or bus.

If possible, include public transport details in your invitations, to encourage guests to consider leaving the car at home - and enjoy a few drinks.

9. Confetti

Biodegradable confetti is now easily available in the shops or online. How about asking guests to throw birdseed instead of confetti, so the birds get a treat?

10. Honeymoon

Think about romantic destinations you can visit, including in the UK, that won't clock up the air miles and have you worrying about adding to climate change.

There's a fantastic range of places you can visit by sea and train - including the USA, Egypt, Australia, Italy and Thailand.

See Seat61 to find out how to make your journey part of the adventure. Check out more ideas for green holidays.

Need more wedding inspiration?

Take a look at our eco-friendly wedding ideas on Pinterest.

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This article was originally published on 02 April 2014.

bride and groom wedding