Going Green On Your Big Day – Eco Friendly Wedding Ideas

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Emily Doran Photography

Thankfully we are now all of a generation where we appreciate the world around us. We know we’re only getting this planet once and many of us want to do our best to care for it.  Your wedding day, as fun and as planned as it will be, is one area ripe for wastage. Unless you are careful, the day after your celebrations a truck full of discarded wedding paraphernalia can be rendered useless. If you care, don’t let this happen!

Going green and helping the world out doesn’t  have to mean giving up on your dream day. It simply means taking more time to think about where you can save on rubbish, what can be reused and recycled and most importantly, not become ‘stuff’ for the scrap heap once the band have played their final song.

Here are a few hints and ideas on helping your day be friendly to the environment:

(Image above: Emily Doran Photography)

botanical paperworks

The Invitations

Usually the automatic way of cutting down on tree cutting is to go digital by emailing your invites, save the dates and RSVPs. This however, does not work on all levels. Does your 92 year old great granny use email?! Thought not. Not everyone even uses the internet, so this is not always the most secure way of sending invites. Instead you should think about using recycled paper and cutting down on the size of your invites. A one piece folded design is an excellent way of eliminating the need for envelopes.

Online eco friendly stationer, Botanical Paperworks creates plantable invites! Yes, recycled paper invitations embedded with seeds – genius! Their designs are beautiful and green, double score!

The Clothing

Going down a greener route does not mean you have to forego style, particularly if you go for an authentic vintage style. Dirty Fabulous in Dublin specialise in original vintage wedding dresses ranging from the 1920’s onwards. This is also a sure way to guarantee you have a one of a kind piece – bonus! For the rest of your bridal party, choose bridesmaids dresses that will be worn again, and as for the gents, ask them to wear their own suits for a perfectly acceptable look.


Flowers cost a lot for wedding and are one of the biggest areas of waste. You could always go down the artificial route, and with brooch bouquets making such an impact at the minute this is a great choice. However, if you really want the real deal, try and source organic flowers. Organic flowers are grown naturally with no nasty pesticides being used and are better for the environment all round. When you are finished with them either give your guests an arrangement to take home or make sure they are headed for a compost heap. Potted plants also make beautiful table centres and gifts for your mums.


When it comes to your decorations, remember to throw out throwaway things! Try to use decorations that can be used again, such as chalkboards, jam jars, old china hidden away in your mum’s attic. You’ll find that reusing things will add a very personal touch to your day. If your mum hasn’t been saving the vintage china for you, there are loads of cool shops that offer vintage prop and china hire, such as Me Auld China in Dublin.


Wedding favours can be expensive and are lost on some guests. For an eco chic wedding, go for something real, such as seeds or donate money to your favourite charity in your guest’s name.


Image: Matt Drysdale

Food & Drink

If possible, choose food that can be sourced locally – your hotel or caterer will be able to advise you on this. Unfortunately there aren’t many vineyards in Ireland, but there are plenty of local breweries, so why not approach them and ask if you can use their brew as your signature drink on your big day! To cut down on waste, ask that reusable napkins are used if this is not standard practice.

Other ways to be greener on your wedding day:

Wedding rings

Do your parents have a heirloom ring they would like to pass on to you on your special day? If not you could always choose a chic antique ring, look in local jeweller, like Rhinestones in Dublin and online on sites like Etsy.

Car pooling

Could you arrange a car pooling system for your guests for the journey between the ceremony and reception? You could also make the journey truly memorable by laying on a big red bus!

Digital photography

Most photographers now use digital cameras, but think twice about leaving each guest a disposable camera as they are a great cause of waste. Instead, create a hashtag for your wedding on Instagram for all your media savvy guests to share and enjoy!

Have you come up with a unique eco-friendly element to your day? We’d love to hear about it – leave us a comment below!

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