Home Wedding Planning Tips Going green: How to organise an eco-friendly wedding in Europe?

Going green: How to organise an eco-friendly wedding in Europe?

In recent years, there has been a significant uptick in the trend of green weddings, a conscious choice to reduce the environmental impact that comes from saying “I do.” Couples across Europe are now taking a greener route to walk down the aisle. In this guide, we will delve into how you can plan an eco-friendly wedding, honouring not just your commitment to each other, but to the environment as well.

Why go for an eco-friendly wedding?

According to the IPCC’s 2021 report, the past decade was the hottest in 125,000 years, with a vast majority of the global warming being driven by human activities such as emissions from fossil fuels and deforestation. Furthermore, we are witnessing an increasing number of extreme weather events that are significantly impacting our environment and biodiversity. In this context, it becomes not just a choice, but a pressing necessity to adopt more sustainable lifestyles and reduce our carbon footprints. Opting for an eco-friendly wedding is a step in this direction, allowing couples to start their journey together on a note of responsibility and care for the planet.

The surge in the popularity of eco-friendly weddings can be traced back to a growing awareness and commitment to environmental sustainability, particularly among the younger generations. A survey conducted by The Knot in 2021 revealed that 70% of couples did or will incorporate eco-friendly elements into their weddings, reflecting a conscious shift towards sustainability.

It is indeed a celebration that is emblematic of the times, a testament to a couple’s commitment not only to each other but to the broader community and the environment. By choosing to have a green wedding, couples are opting to infuse deeper meaning and purpose into their special day, aligning their celebration with the values that are becoming increasingly central in our society today. It stands as a vibrant testimony to the love that is not just about a personal connection, but one that embraces a greater responsibility towards the earth and its future.

🏘️ Dream greener: handpicked venues and accommodations for your sustainable wedding

Historic venues with green credentials

Choosing a historic venue with green credentials means not only indulging in a place steeped in history, but also ensuring modern sustainable practices are at the forefront of your special day. Many historic venues across Europe have taken remarkable steps to reduce their environmental impact while preserving their rich heritage. From installing solar panels and wind turbines to using energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, these venues marry the old with the new, providing a backdrop that speaks of history while respecting the environment.

In the heart of many European cities, you will find historic buildings that have been meticulously renovated to meet today’s green standards. These spaces retain their original charm, yet offer all the modern amenities that an eco-conscious couple could wish for. The renovations often include the use of sustainable materials, energy-efficient lighting, and water conservation systems, allowing for a celebration that is both luxurious and eco-friendly. Moreover, many of these venues cultivate their own gardens, offering organically grown flowers and produce that can add a fresh and local touch to your wedding ceremony and reception.

There are a lot of wedding venues in Europe that promote their eco-friendly practices. Here are a few examples:

  • Châteauform’ La Cascina, Italy – Located in the Italian countryside, this venue encourages the use of local and seasonal products and has implemented measures to reduce its carbon footprint.
  • Tree Top Escape, UK – A very romantic destination wedding venue set in the treeline overlooking the rolling hills of North Devon.
  • Château de Vallery, France (photo) – Although not exclusively eco-friendly, this château offers options for green weddings, including organic menus and solutions for reducing waste.

Eco-friendly accommodations for your guests

As couples gravitate towards sustainability, the demand for eco-friendly accommodations has seen a significant rise. Hotels and lodges across Europe are answering this call by adopting green policies that focus on reducing waste, conserving energy, and utilizing sustainable materials. It isn’t rare to find accommodations offering rooms furnished with recycled or upcycled materials, serving organic breakfasts sourced from local farmers, and operating on renewable energy sources.

The initiatives go beyond just the infrastructural adjustments; these establishments often encourage guests to reuse towels and offer refill stations to reduce plastic usage. Thus, opting for green lodging means embracing a space where every detail is designed with environmental consciousness at its core, offering a stay that is both comfortable and kind to the planet.

🍲 Sustainably sourced feast: taking the farm-to-table route

Organic and locally sourced foods

A cornerstone of any memorable wedding feast is the quality and flavour of the food served. By opting for organic and locally sourced foods, you are not just guaranteeing a fresher, tastier meal, but also supporting local farmers and artisans. European regions are home to an array of distinct culinary traditions and a rich diversity of organic produce. Tapping into this bounty allows for a menu that is both delicious and deeply rooted in the locale’s culture, bringing a unique, personalised touch to your wedding feast. Moreover, locally sourced foods have a much lower carbon footprint, helping to reduce the environmental impact of your special event.

▶️ Read also: Incorporating Greek cuisine into your wedding menu

Celebrating the seasons: A menu aligned with nature

One of the remarkable benefits of choosing organic and locally sourced foods is the opportunity to create a menu that is in harmony with the seasons. This not only ensures the freshness of the ingredients but also offers a culinary experience that is attuned to the natural cycles, providing a deeper connection to the environment on your special day. Autumn weddings can feature hearty stews with root vegetables, while a summer celebration might highlight fresh salads with vibrant fruits and berries. Such a seasonal approach not only promises a feast rich in flavour and nutrients but also encourages sustainable agricultural practices, as it reduces the demand for out-of-season produce, which often involves harmful environmental practices.

Food safety and ethics: A meal you can trust

When you choose organic and locally sourced foods, you also choose safety and ethics. Organic farming avoids the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, promoting soil health and reducing pollution. Moreover, local producers often hold themselves to a high standard of ethical practices, providing fair wages and good working conditions for their employees. Thus, a locally sourced menu ensures a meal that is not just delightful to the palate, but also kind to the earth and its inhabitants, allowing you and your guests to enjoy the celebration with a clear conscience, knowing that every bite is a testament to responsible and ethical choices.

Vegan and vegetarian menus

A vegan wedding menu not only stands as a testament to ethical eating but also opens up a world of vibrant, flavourful culinary options that are sure to delight all your guests. Picture a starter of a colourful roasted vegetable salad adorned with edible flowers, followed by a main course of a hearty lentil loaf paired with a rich, umami mushroom gravy. Not forgetting dessert, where options such as a decadent vegan chocolate cake or a refreshing fruit sorbet await.

A simple search online will provide you with a multitude of recipes for these dishes, offering a guiding hand as you craft the perfect vegan menu for your big day. For example, you can find a delightful vegan chocolate cake recipe here or a refreshing fruit sorbet recipe here.

Vegetarian banquet: Celebrating diversity with ethical choices

When it comes to a vegetarian menu, the possibilities are equally abundant, offering a diverse array of dishes that are both delicious and kind to the planet. Imagine serving a luxurious truffle risotto or a colourful beetroot tart for starters, followed by a main course featuring a gourmet vegetable wellington that pays homage to the classic yet with a vegetarian twist. Desserts might include classics such as vegetarian-friendly cheesecake adorned with seasonal fruits.

You can delve into recipes such as a luxurious truffle risotto here or explore a vegetarian wellington recipe here. Crafting a vegetarian menu allows you to celebrate your special day with dishes that are both ethically sourced and wonderfully satisfying, proving that ethical choices can go hand in hand with a gourmet dining experience.

🎩 Dress and attire: making sustainable choices

When it comes to choosing the perfect outfits for your special day, sustainable fashion offers a way to look stunning while adhering to ethical and eco-friendly principles. Across Europe, numerous designers and brands are focusing on creating bridal and groom attire using organic, recycled, or upcycled materials, forging a path towards a more sustainable fashion industry. These creations are not only environmentally friendly but also carry a story of conscious creation, adding another layer of depth to your wedding ensemble.

Couples can explore options like dresses and suits made from organic cotton, hemp, or bamboo — materials that have a significantly lower environmental impact compared to traditional ones. Moreover, opting for a vintage or second-hand wedding dress is not only a sustainable choice, but can bring a touch of classic elegance and a story to your appearance. Bespoke designs using handed-down family garments can create a personal and unique look, bridging generations in a very tangible way and enriching your special day with a history of love and commitment.

To take your sustainable fashion approach a notch higher, consider collaborating with local artisans who adhere to the principles of slow fashion, crafting timeless pieces with meticulous attention to detail. These artisans often use locally sourced materials, promoting a cycle of sustainability and fostering local economies.

Additionally, considering accessories such as jewellery crafted from recycled or conflict-free materials can be a beautiful and ethical complement to your outfit. Many jewelers now offer options using recycled metals and conflict-free stones, helping you make choices that are aligned with your values. Even when it comes to shoes, there are brands offering beautiful options created with sustainable materials, allowing every element of your wedding attire to reflect a commitment to ethical and environmentally friendly choices, showcasing a holistic approach to sustainability on your special day.

🚘 Transportation choices for the eco-conscious couple

When planning transportation for a wedding, the environmental impact might not be the first thing on one’s mind. However, it’s an area where couples can make significant strides in reducing the carbon footprint of their special day. In Europe, where public transportation systems are often excellent, couples have the opportunity to leverage a range of eco-friendly transportation options.

Car-sharing services are increasingly becoming a popular choice, encouraging guests to travel together rather than in separate vehicles, reducing both traffic congestion and emissions. Moreover, renting a bus or a coach to transport guests between the venue and accommodations can be a convenient and eco-friendly solution.

Another innovative and green transportation choice is the use of electric vehicles (EVs). In cities like Amsterdam and Paris, there are services offering electric cars and taxis, promoting a cleaner, quieter, and more sustainable mode of transportation. Furthermore, in cities with bicycle-friendly infrastructure, offering the option to rent bikes can add a fun, casual, and eco-friendly touch to the event.

For the romantic couple, horse-drawn carriages offer a fairy-tale mode of transportation that is naturally eco-friendly. This not only adds a classic touch to your wedding but also ensures a pace that allows you to soak in the beauty of your surroundings, creating unforgettable memories as you travel in style.

Couples looking to make a bold statement can even look into hiring a fleet of electric scooters, a choice that marries fun and sustainability, allowing guests to move between venues in an environmentally conscious manner while adding a playful and modern touch to the event.

Blossom and bloom: crafting a sustainable backdrop

Decor: breathing life into your venue with eco-friendly materials

In recent years, the trend has shifted towards more sustainable decor choices that both beautify the venue and safeguard our planet. Couples are gravitating towards materials that are biodegradable, recycled, or reusable to craft the aesthetic backdrop of their dreams. Elements such as fabric drapes made from organic cotton, table settings adorned with bamboo cutlery and plates, and centerpieces featuring potted plants instead of cut flowers, not only add a unique touch but can also be reused or composted, mitigating waste.

Lighting is another avenue where couples can make sustainable choices, with options such as solar-powered fairy lights adding a twinkling charm to the evening without consuming excessive electricity. Moreover, utilizing the natural beauty of your venue can reduce the need for additional decorations. A beach, forest, or garden setting can provide a naturally beautiful backdrop, reducing the need for man-made decors and thus, lessening the event’s environmental footprint.

Flowers: nurturing nature while celebrating love

When it comes to choosing flowers for a wedding, the sustainable path involves selecting seasonal and locally sourced blooms. This approach not only supports local farmers but also ensures the freshness and vibrancy of the flowers gracing your event. Moreover, opting for organic flower farms can safeguard the environment from the adverse effects of pesticides and fertilizers commonly used in commercial flower cultivation.

Couples can take sustainability a step further by choosing living plants and flowers in pots, which can later be planted in gardens, offering a living memory of the special day. Another trending option is dried flower arrangements, which offer a timeless, rustic appeal and the benefit of longevity.

Furthermore, flower sharing is an emerging trend where flowers are reused in different events over a single weekend. This not only reduces waste but also helps couples save money while enjoying the beauty of fresh flowers at their wedding.

Planning an eco-friendly wedding in Europe is more than just a statement; it is a commitment to a sustainable future. As you embark on this new chapter, let your wedding be a reflection of the values you hold dear, nurturing not only your relationship but the environment as well.


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