The wedding march from white to green has started in earnest as increased climate awareness has altered how couples plan for their big day, influencing everything from decorations to dishes.
A top hotel says that climate-conscious couples are focusing on sustainability and locality like never before and rejecting less eco-friendly wedding traditions in the process.
“Gone are the days of excess and waste, as today’s brides and grooms become more conscious of reducing their impact on the environment when it comes to their wedding celebrations,” said Michelle Wells, events manager of the luxury five-star hotel Culloden Estate and Spa.
“From the menu planning stages, where locally sourced food is a key consideration, to holding the wedding in the hotel to reduce the need for transport – the demand for more sustainable options continues to grow.”
When it comes to the finer details Ms. Wells says the traditional tiered wedding cake, once a staple of all nuptials, is no longer a must-have as requests for individual cupcakes increase to minimise waste.
“Not only is the carbon footprint of the food a key consideration, but so too is the menu itself. In the interest of saving paper, couples are choosing to do away with printed menus, putting them online instead. They will often create their own website for this and send invitations electronically rather than by email,” says Ms. Wells.
“Reuse and biodiversity are top of mind when choosing decorations.
“High tree table centrepieces and artificial flowers, that can be repurposed or reused, are increasing in popularity. In recent years, recycled options, such as glass bottles, are being used as vases and wooden pallets for welcome signs.
“Wildflowers are being used for both table arrangements and bridal bouquets and confetti is being swapped out with the biodegradable option of dried flower petals. Plus, wedding guests are receiving environmentally friendly favours in the form of wild seed packets and bee bombs.”
“However, many are opting against the traditional wedding favour altogether, choosing instead to reduce waste and to donate to a charity on behalf of their guests.”
Katie Jackson who is events manager at Ballygally Castle, another Hastings Hotels property, echoes Ms. Wells when she sums up the more eco-conscious choices couples are opting for as they celebrate their big day at Ballygally.
“More are asking about the source of our food, digital invitations are replacing print ones, favours are more sustainable and many want to find ways to cut down on transport and car usage by having everyone in the one place.”
As the Culloden Estate and Spa launches its new wedding packages Niall Burns, General Manager of the hotel, says they are a response to the growing demand for sustainability and personalisation in every aspect of the celebration.
“The new offerings aim to create a basis from which we can tailor and adjust packages to each specific need, be it having the ceremony in the hotel rather than a church or choosing locally sourced seasonal produce, which is at the heart of our culinary ethos.”
Wedding packages at The Culloden Estate & Spa start from £85.00 per person. For more details or to arrange a wedding consultation, you can contact + 44 (0) 28 9042 3010 or email the team on [email protected].
The only member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World in Northern Ireland, the Culloden Estate and Spa is part of Hastings Hotels, Northern Ireland’s premier hotel group.
Standing on the forested slopes of the Holywood hills, overlooking Belfast Lough and the glorious County Antrim coastline, the hotel has entertained lots of celebrity couples including Victoria and David Beckham and Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas.
Founded over fifty years ago, the Hastings portfolio has six luxurious hotels across Northern Ireland.