Our Green Wedding: A Case Study
Lisa and her husband-to-be wanted a smallish, non-traditional wedding both because of the costs involved and just because they wanted to keep things low-key and low stress. A major consideration for them was also the wastefulness they associated with big weddings. They knew they didn't want to buy unnecessary things and tried to use secondhand or borrowed items where they could.
Lisa and Steve got married in a registry office and had a party at home. Instead of invitations they just sent emails or made phone calls.
Lisa said: “We organised most things pretty last minute, to be honest, but on the day everything was perfect. We didn't send invites as it's a total waste of paper. They just get thrown away.”
One of the decadent hen parties that are increasingly popular these days definitely wasn’t on the agenda for Lisa. “It is just not me and I definitely didn't want to fly somewhere like lots of people do now”, she explained. So what did they do?
“Well, me and two friends just went out for the day basically. We went to a secondhand market in the morning and had a browse and it was near the sea so we had fish and chips for lunch on the beach. In the afternoon we went back to mine and did manicures and each other’s hair and then went out for happy hour cocktails. We all had nail and hair stuff at home so we didn't need to buy anything and we made face masks from avocados and a scrub from oats that I had in the kitchen. We had a fantastic time and we didn't need to go abroad or buy lots of plastic accessories, which was a big bonus for me!"
Lisa and her fiancee, Steve, definitely didn’t want to waste a lot on flowers. "People get so many flowers for weddings and then they just get wasted and we wanted to avoid that. We picked a few flowers from mum's garden for decorations," Lisa said.
She continued: “We had the little party in the evening at my mum’s house too as she has a bit more space and a garden. We put a few flowers round the house in glasses and vases that we borrowed and got from charity shops. It looked really nice.
“We all mucked in to clean mum’s house from top to bottom – not that it was dirty, but she wanted it to be as nice as possible for the day."
Lisa told us about her wedding-wear: “Steve wore a suit he already had and I got a dress from a vintage shop. It was 50s-style with spots and a red petticoat. I wanted to make sure that I got something that I could wear loads of times, rather than something I would just wear once.
“My best friend who was bridesmaid got a vintage dress as well. They weren’t matching or anything like that but that’s fine. We made corsages (with my mum’s guidance and some help from the internet!) from the flowers from her garden."
After the ceremony, Lisa and her small wedding party went to an Italian restaurant in the city.She told us: “After the meal, on the evening, we had a party for about 40 back at my mum’s. We baked and decorated cupcakes instead of a wedding cake so everyone could take one home and people brought a little something along too. We didn't want to waste lots of food, so we were careful not to over-cater and we encouraged people to take home the leftovers.”
Lisa says the wedding cost her and her fiancé less than £1,000 and they feel they did it in as waste-free a way as possible. She says: “It was perfect for us and I wouldn’t have enjoyed it any more if I had spent more money or had brand new things instead of secondhand. Keeping things simple was the best thing about it.”