HOW TO KEEP YOUR WEDDING WILD

Choose socially responsible rings

When choosing your engagement and wedding rings, ask your jeweller about the origins of your gemstones and the conditions in which the metals have been mined. Some diamonds, known as ‘conflict diamonds’ are used to finance wars, while some precious metals are mined by destroying nature-rich habitats.

You might consider reusing or recycling existing rings, purchasing wooden rings or perhaps even foregoing rings altogether and opting for matching tattoos.

Choose low impact invitations

Create invitations that are printed on recycled paper or use alternative materials like upcycled fabrics, leather and wood. Some stationers commit to planting native trees or support rewilding charities. Seed paper is a biodegradable material that sprouts into flowers when planted in a pot of soil.

Be conscious of floral arrangements

There is no doubt that flowers are beautiful but be aware of their journey to your wedding. Most flowers are flown thousands of miles and are grown using harmful chemicals. Talk to a good Scottish flower grower or florist to ensure your flowers are produced and delivered with a lower carbon footprint. Some growers sell dried flower arrangements, which can be donated or reused elsewhere. More here.

Rent, don't buy

Single-use anything is generally not good for the environment so think about renting before buying items such as glasses, table linens, napkins and venue decorations.

Travel

Travel is normally the largest component of a wedding’s carbon footprint. You can make a big difference by encouraging your guests to car-share, hire an electric car and/or use public transport. Flying may be unavoidable for those living overseas, in which case why not ask those guests to consider offsetting their carbon with an additional contribution to Rewild an Acre?

Food

Look for caterers who focus on local, sustainable and seasonal cuisine. Ask about the farmers and producers that they work with, as well as how and where they source meats and seafood. The more local the source, the less carbon-footprint from long distance transportation.

If it’s fitting, consider serving a fully vegetarian meal for a lower environmental impact. That doesn’t mean sacrificing taste, but plant-based meals consume fewer resources to produce and avoid concerns over animal welfare standards.

The same goes for wine. Look for organic and/or local wines – surprisingly perhaps, there is a good range of Scottish wines! Remember too, that single-serve packaging creates more waste, so consider pouring from bigger, glass bottles like magnums that you can easily reuse or recycle.

Reduce food waste

Any large event will create leftovers but buffet meals are a huge offender. Opt for plated meals to avoid excess food and waste, and if you do go for a buffet, speak to your caterer about saving leftovers. You may be able to donate extra food to a local food bank or homeless shelter, but you’ll want all the details ahead of time to ensure it’s all properly packed and ready to go.

Avoid single-use plastic

The volume of plastic waste finding its way into our rivers and seas is well documented. Avoid plastic water bottles – ideally use tap water and provide large glass jugs. For nibbles, fill glass jars with homemade granola and nuts and if you’re supplying welcome or take-home bags, choose paper or tote and avoid plastic.

Choose a honeymoon with impact

An eco-friendly honeymoon needn’t mean a tent on a windswept moor. There is an increasing array of fabulous honeymoon ideas that focus on sustainability or positive local impact. Look for accommodation that takes their environmental and social responsibility seriously. In some cases, just like with your wedding venue, the accommodation provider might be committed to rewilding. Alladale Wilderness Reserve is one such example in Scotland, or Samara Game Reserve in South Africa, or for something unique, think about the Route of Parks in South America.

Check out the European Safari Company or The Long Run for some inspiring (and romantic) destinations and experiences.