Brides say 'I do' to green weddings

Updated: 2007-04-11 11:16

Ecologically minded couples in Britain are starting to go for a wedding with as little environmental impact as possible.[JANIE BARRETT/The Sun Herald]

LONDON: Here comes the bride, all dressed in - green.

White weddings might have been the dream of fashionable brides of old. But the trendiest weddings in Britain are now at least metaphorically green as couples seek to reduce the impact of their nuptials on the environment.

That means everything from recycled wedding dresses and guests arriving by bicycle, to home-grown flowers and locally produced food for the wedding buffet.

"A year ago there was nothing green at wedding shows. I was really struggling to get the message across that green weddings are about "eco-chic", not lentils and hessian," said green wedding planner Ruth Culver.

"Now specialist venues, products and services are being launched every week."

Liz Hurley might have hoped to set new fashion standards with her lavish jetset wedding last month.

But her celebrations broke all the "green" wedding rules, and were dubbed "Liz Hurley's big fat not-so green wedding" by The Independent, which pored over every opulent detail to determine its environmental impact.

The wedding, which flew in dozens of guests to India from Britain for a series of parties, produced an estimated 200 tonnes of carbon emissions - more than the average couple produces in a decade, according to researchers.

Bride-to-be Libby Smit will do her bit to make up for this on her wedding day in Northern Ireland this summer.

"We are using the parish church that is literally around the corner," Smit, 30, said. "On the morning of the wedding, the bridesmaids and I are going to be walking to the church."


It's not just the ceremonies that are environmentally aware. Guests are getting into the spirit with their gifts.

After charity gift-lists raised millions of pounds over Christmas, environmental groups WWF and Friends of the Earth have launched similar services for weddings.

Guests can donate to charities on behalf of newly weds, making up to 20,000 pounds ($NZ55,555) a month for green and ethical causes, according to

"A lot of people seem to feel that when they are making a big commitment to each other they would like to do some good as well," said Nicola Baird, campaigner for Friends of the Earth.

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