There are a lot of scary ideas being thrown around nowadays – ‘global warming’, ‘holes in the ozone layer’, ‘melting polar ice caps’ – but the good thing about this is that it’s made us all a lot more environmentally conscious, and we’re always looking for new ways to be kind to our planet in our day-to-day lives. And what could be better than starting your new journey together by taking your first few carbon-free footsteps towards a better, greener tomorrow?
While it’s unfortunately not possible to have an entirely waste- and pollution-free wedding, we’ve put together a few of our favourite eco-friendly entertainment ideas to help get you on the right track – and have tons of fun while you’re at it!
1 Natural Confetti
High-demand and mass-production had resulted in a decline in using natural materials for confetti in favour of paper or synthetic products – but times are fast changing. More and more independent businesses are advertising their fully biodegradable confetti online – which comes as a relief to churches and other wedding venues, who no longer have to worry about finding tiny pieces of paper in the grass days later! Plus – what could be romantic than you and your new spouse being showered with real rose petals?
2 Roaming Band
Music is an essential element to any party – especially a wedding – but it’s hard to imagine a band playing without also imagining a stack of speakers connected by miles of cable. Hard, yes; impossible, no! A roaming band is generally made up of 100% acoustic musicians, so you don’t have to worry about the amps or PA system racking up a hefty electricity bill, or any tripping hazards sticking out the back of them. Plus, your guests will love the way the musicians roam around the tables, giving each of them an up-close-and-personal performance before they wander off again. Always remember to go local whenever possible to reduce those travel miles.
3 Vegan Food Truck
Meat-free is the latest fast food fad – there so many delicious alternatives to meat available which don’t contribute to intensive farming and other harmful activities. While not everyone enjoys soy or gets fanatical about falafel, you don’t have to look far to find delicious vegan burgers, hot dogs and tacos you can tuck into with a clear conscience! And from these same forward-thinking minds come such waste-eliminating ideas as a composting slot into which you can dispose of your used plant-based cutlery – you don’t even have to clean up!
4 Giant Lawn Games
If you’ve ever been to a village fete, you’ll be more than familiar with skittles, ring tosses, croquet – anything that involves hitting big bits of wood against other big bits of wood. And everyone always wants a go! So take your guests on a trip down memory lane and save the planet along the way with a good old game of giant Jenga made from sustainable materials – which is also a great way of keeping the kids occupied! And if you manage to get your hands on some pre-loved giant lawn games, all the better – just be wary of splinters.
5 Solo Harpist
Add a local harpist to the proceedings to bring an air of elegance and simplicity to your ceremony. A solo harpist usually requires no amplification, so other than transporting the harp to your venue, this option is virtually carbon-neutral. Furthermore, there’s only one of them to transport, giving a solo harpist an eco-friendly edge over other more traditional ensembles such as string quartets (though these are still usually acoustic).
6 Jam Jar Bar
Plastic cups and bottles will soon become a thing of the past – especially if you show your wedding guests how much more fun it can be to recycle old jam jars! For extra points, save jam jars of your own at home, or ask your guests to bring (and maybe even decorate!) their own – then just bring them back to the bar for a rinse and a refill. Depending on your venue’s rules and regulations, you could also consider using kegs behind the bar to house everything from beer and cider to rosé and cocktails – saving yourself a mountain of glass bottles to recycle afterwards.
7 Paperless Photo Booth
When you break the news to your guests that they won’t be taking home a little polaroid of themselves wearing a curly pink wig, they’re bound to be a little disappointed – until you tell them what you’ve got planned instead! A paperless photo booth (often referred to as a ‘magic mirror’) essentially works like a giant touch-screen tablet, allowing whoever is posing for a silly photo to drag all manner of hats, glasses and facial hair across to create a fun disguise – which can then be sent directly to their phone, wasting no paper whatsoever.
8 Biodiesel Disco
Old traditions die hard – but there’s no reason they can’t be given an environmentally-friendly update! If you simply must have a disco to make your dream marquee wedding come true, look into hiring one which uses power generated by biodiesel, a fuel made using, amongst other things, vegetable oil. That’ll bring a whole new meaning to the Grease mega-mix!
9 Succulent Decor & Favours
How can you have a wedding without flowers covering every available surface? By swapping them for potted plants and succulents, of course! Plan to source your greenery locally to reduce carbon emissions in that department, and opt for something both perennial and low maintenance that you can keep in a pot rather than throwing out – such as a lovely little cactus. These are almost never out of season, and require a fraction of the water and soil that traditional flowers require. And if you choose an interesting variety of shapes and styles of cactus, they can double up as party favours for your guests – meaning they get something fun to take home, and you don’t have to throw out all your decorations at the end (which would be whatever the cruelty-free equivalent of ‘killing two birds with one stone’ is).
10 Ethical Wedding Cake
The cake-cutting is as iconic as the bouquet-tossing – and one of the key photo ops for your shutterbug friends and family members! Some wedded eco-warriors like to forgo the cake completely, as it often goes uneaten – but if you make sure it’s as good for the earth as it is to eat, we’re sure your guests will find some room for a slice. Find a local cake baker (local to your wedding venue, that is, to cut down on ‘food miles’), and work through a checklist with them. Are the ingredients:
- Locally sourced? (‘food miles’ again)
- Vegan? (or, if you want to use hen’s eggs, are they free range?)
- Seasonal? (fruit always tastes nicer when it’s in season, and doesn’t need to be flown in from abroad)
- Fair trade? (it would be nice to know that your wedding has helped improve working conditions for farmers)
- Organic? (you don’t want to be serving up pesticides at your big day!)
Once all these boxes are ticked, you can cut your wedding cake without another worry or care.
THIS IS A GUEST FEATURE WRITTEN BY // Joe Hoten // Bands For Hire
Bands for Hire are a music agency providing live bands for every occasion. From function and wedding band hire to swing and jazz bands, we have picked the very best on offer. As a one stop entertainment agency, we also provide String quartets, Wedding Musicians and DJs for hire. Booking all of your entertainment through Bands For Hire can save you money, so email us if you’re looking for a package deal.