Weddings are a wonderful celebration of love and commitment, but they can also be a significant source of waste. As more couples prioritise sustainability in their daily lives and their wedding plans, it’s essential for wedding venues to step up and increase their efforts as well. In 2023, there are many ways that venues can make changes to reduce their environmental impact and promote sustainable practices.
The Demand For Sustainability
As concerns about climate change and environmental sustainability continue to grow, many couples are looking for ways to reduce the carbon footprint of their wedding celebrations. In our 2023 Wedding Industry Report nearly 40-43% of couples surveyed in the UK and Ireland told us they would feel positive about a venue with a green policy. A huge 58% of couples surveyed in the UK report they are incorporating planet-saving elements into their celebrations. Among these eco-conscious couples, their key choices include sustainable or recycled confetti, upcycled decor pieces, eco-friendly wedding favours and electronic invitations instead of paper invitations to name a few.
Read more about how to plan a sustainable wedding in 2023.
Going Going Green
In celebration of the sixth annual Global Recycling Day on the 18th of March, we put together some ways your venue can make a positive impact and attract eco-conscious couples, along with quotes from our surveyed couples:
- Use sustainable materials for decor
Wedding decor can be a significant source of waste, from disposable centrepieces to single-use party favours like cheap sunglasses or flip-flops. Wedding venues can promote sustainability by offering couples a selection of reusable decor they have on-site or by using eco-friendly materials such as bamboo or recycled paper products instead of single-use plastic. They can also encourage couples to use upcycled decor, such as vintage table settings or repurposed signage. We’ve also put together some top tips for incorporating alternative, more sustainable decor in weddings if you are looking for inspiration.
“My venue offers the table décor all sorted and reused. Was definitely a factor in choosing them.”
- Partner with green-friendly vendors
Consider promoting sustainability by partnering with vendors who prioritise eco-friendly practices. For example, caterers can use locally sourced produce and ingredients and florists can use seasonal and locally grown flowers. When offering locally sourced food and drinks you’ll be supporting farmers in the community and reducing transportation emissions. This can also add a unique and personalised touch to the wedding experience.
“Having a sustainably sourced local menu is important to us as well as all our vendors. I hope to have all Irish-grown floristry also.”
- Reduce waste
One of the easiest and most effective ways to increase sustainability is to reduce waste and energy usage. Consider investing in solar panels or using alternative energy solutions to generate electricity for your venue. This will not only reduce your carbon footprint but can also save you money on energy bills in the long run. Encourage couples to choose more sustainable options, such as digital invitations, upcycled or recycled confetti, and hosting outdoor ceremonies or daytime weddings that require less artificial lighting.
“We are using locally sourced, in-season flowers that support Irish biodiversity. We are also interested in sustainable confetti that does not impact flora and fauna.”
- Provide recycling and composting options
Wedding venues can make it easy for couples and guests to reduce waste by providing recycling and composting options. Be sure to supply recycling bins throughout the venue and work with your waste management company to guarantee that it is disposed of in the most sustainable way possible. Instead of throwing away organic waste, implement a composting program. This can turn leftover food and other organic material into nutrient-rich soil that can be used to grow plants or donated to local gardens.
“We are using all upcycled decor, recyclable and sustainable materials, dried flowers from our home garden, and second-hand decorations instead of new.”
- Educate staff, couples and guests
Foster sustainability by educating couples and guests about the importance of sustainable practices. You can do this by providing resources on green wedding planning, sharing information about your own efforts, and encouraging guests to make sustainable choices throughout the wedding day. This can help create an eco-friendly culture and will inspire others to make greener choices.
“I’m borrowing décor and other items from friends and family who have been married. I hope to rent items as well rather than purchasing for just one day.”
Venues can play a significant role in promoting sustainability within the wedding industry. By taking steps to reduce waste, promote sustainable practices, and educate couples and guests, they can help create a more viable future for weddings. As we move into 2023 and beyond, it’s essential for wedding venues to work towards creating a more environmentally friendly industry.
Discover valuable insights into the wedding industry by reading our 2023 Wedding Industry Report. The report is compiled from the results of our Ultimate Survey, where over 2500 engaged couples in Ireland and the UK shared their experiences and challenges in wedding planning. It’s an essential read for anyone in the wedding industry who wants to stay informed about what couples are looking for and how the current climate has impacted wedding planning trends. Learn about the highs and lows of planning a wedding from the perspective of brides and grooms and gain a competitive edge in your business.