How To Have a More Sustainable, Eco-Friendly Wedding

Written by Caitlin Hoare
Image by Photos by Zoe.
Forget something blue, how about something green? Sustainable weddings are on the rise!

It’s no secret that basic search terms such as ‘eco’ and ‘green’ wedding have increased exponentially over the past couple of years as we all become more conscious about how we travel, consume food, and fashion, and how we can implement these ethical choices throughout all areas of our lives. Weddings are no exception! They can be incredibly wasteful and create a huge amount of CO2 so it’s no wonder couples are becoming more concerned about their carbon footprint than ever before.

Of course there’s a way to go but we’re delighted to welcome Sophie from Kinkell Byre to share her tips on how you could do your big day in a stylish, but mindful way.

Sustainable Wedding Options

Your Wedding Venue

Your choice of venue will have the biggest impact on the carbon footprint of your special day. Instead of jetting off to far flung shores, choosing a wedding venue that’s closer to home and reducing your travelling distance is an effective eco-conscious decision. As is booking a wedding venue that has everything you need on site; a space for your ceremony, wedding breakfast and reception all in one location, ideally with suitable guest accommodation nearby.

Do your research and choose a venue that already has a focus on sustainability. How are they making changes to their practices, to ensure that their environmental impact is minimised wherever possible? Tools such as Coco’s handy Venue Finder is a great start. Filter by selecting ‘Eco’ under Venue Type and see what results come up – you may be surprised!

Have you also considered finding a way to give back to the planet as part of your celebration? There are lots of initiatives where you can plant trees to offset your carbon – doing this can provide wonderful, long-lasting memories and you can always revisit ‘your’ woodland to see it grow!

Wedding Catering Options

With 10% of food going to waste at every wedding, it’s worth finding a caterer who cares about their environmental impact. Choosing suppliers local to your venue is a step in the right direction. With the rise of plant-based eating and the reduction of single-use materials ever-present, there is a clear shift towards couples selecting local, natural products for their big day. Check whether your caterer favours fresh, local produce and enquire whether they hire in crockery and cutlery or use single-use plastic.

Consider what happens to the leftover food, can this be donated instead of thrown in the rubbish at the end of the day? We love Lazy Sunday Catering and Wild Rover – Catering, they offer the most amazing local produce delivered in exceptional ways for your wedding meal.

Wedding Drinks and Bar Options

Instead of bringing in truck-loads of supplies and additional staff, here at Kinkell Byre we have a preferred bar supplier on site, Event Bars, St Andrews. We would encourage you to research similar eco-conscious businesses for your wedding. Consider whether they can offer a great selection of keg beer which means less glass and can waste, and who primarily use local suppliers for their beer and spirits.

Some of our couples have previously chosen local cider or beer for their ‘fizz’ option as Scotland is completely self-sufficient in cider apples and hops meaning there is less environmental impact with this option. Opting for British wine also hugely cuts down transport miles and in turn supports smaller, independent businesses. At Kinkell Byre we have some incredible suppliers in the local area, such as the award-winning Cairn O’ Mohr winery.

Your Wedding Flowers

Florists, too, have seen a rise in requests for more sustainable flower options. Although flowers are an integral part of your wedding decor, sadly they can often be wasted. The key to being as eco-friendly as possible when it comes to your floral decorations is to source your blooms locally and reduce the use of foam in the designs (or don’t use any at all!).

Instead of choosing the flowers you want first, consider what is in season when your wedding is taking place. Go big with greenery and berries in the winter and daffodils and tulips in the spring! Choose a florist who grows their own flowers, or buys from local, sustainable flower farms.

One way to reduce waste or at least gain maximum effect and minimal impact environmentally is to reuse the arrangements and move them between the various venue spaces throughout your wedding day. Don’t forget to gift them to your guests but another option could be to go for planted designs, this way they can be a much longer lasting gift, and can be planted to be enjoyed long after the wedding is over. Local care homes also appreciate donations of larger floral arrangements to brighten up their communal spaces and spread some joy.

Sustainable bridal style

From sustainable British brands to dress rentals and resale sites, wedding dress shopping has suddenly got very interesting! Brides are now opting for ethically made, contemporary designs made from luxury natural materials, or even bridal separates which can be mixed and matched and incorporated into wardrobes for years to come.

Although not for everyone, considering it takes around 9,000 litres of water to make one wedding dress the well-known ‘something borrowed’ tradition doesn’t seem so stuffy after all! Hiring or purchasing a pre-loved outfit is the most eco-friendly approach you can have.

For the gents, hiring suits and accessories is also an eco-conscious and not to mention cost-effective solution, especially if the men are going for traditional Scottish attire which they often do at weddings hosted here at Kinkell Byre. Check out Recycle My WeddingBridal Reloved, and Brides Do Good for some eco, and budget-friendly wedding inspiration.


The obvious option to cut down on unnecessary waste is to go digital and send e-invites to your guests. However, we can’t deny that stationery does have a charm and creativity which can also tie in beautifully with your décor on the day. When choosing your stationery provider look for one that has eco credentials and green options. Check your printers are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), select recyclable paper, foils, glitter, and other materials with a little reminder to pop them in the correct bin when they are finished with them. Or you could spread seeds of love with plantable invitations – these are a beautiful way to set the tone for your eco wedding and provide a lasting natural keepsake.

Venue Décor and wedding Favours

Many venues such as ours already provide a beautiful natural backdrop with stylish interiors and atmospheric lighting, meaning couples don’t necessarily need much additional decoration. We encourage couples to use recycled materials for their signage and table plan, or look for companies that hire out décor items and vintage props. Recycle, reclaim, reuse! Dress your tables with recycled bottles as candle holders, craft place names from natural materials such as wood slices from an old branch, or edible treats that double up as favours for your guests.

Pinterest is full of lots of amazing eco-friendly options when it comes to favour ideas, such as a wildflower bomb, packets of seeds of your favourite plant or miniature pots of local honey. Consider replacing the traditional guest book with a household item or recycled material such as driftwood for your guests to sign. You can then place it somewhere at home or in the garden where you can appreciate it for days and years to come.

Other wedding Suppliers

There are so many quality wedding suppliers in our area, and certainly yours too – you just have to seek them out! When choosing local small businesses, you are also cutting out unnecessary delivery mileage. Many of our suppliers also source their goods and materials from other local businesses too – our recommended cake suppliers purchase flour from the local mills and eggs from nearby farmers (or neighbours with pet chickens).

Photographers who visit regularly can always recommend the best settings for stunning pictures at our venue because they know us and the area so well. Making the most of the opportunities that are available locally is a great starting point for all couples embarking on their wedding planning journey. Venues will often have a list of suppliers in the local area and are also more than happy to offer their recommendations – think local, seasonal and green!

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