Eco-friendly wedding food ideas

This week’s blog post is brought to you courtesy of Lara from Love from lila xx, a talented wedding cake supplier who services Surrey and beyond. In this post she discusses eco-friendly food ideas and how to incorporate them into your wedding day…

If you’re the kind of couple who are looking for an eco-friendly wedding, it can often seem as if there isn’t much choice when it comes to arranging your wedding food. Of course, there are plenty of ‘mainstream’ options out there, but once you start to look for requirements like plastic free and vegan friendly, things start to get a bit hazier.

So I’ve put together my best tips on finding the right eco-friendly wedding suppliers for you, from being clear about your requirements, to making choices that fit with them so it’s not wasted when people are full after dinner.

What are the most important ‘goals’ for your eco-friendly wedding?

As you likely know very well, when it comes to an eco-friendly wedding, and living an eco-conscious life, you often have to make sacrifices. For example, it’s quite easy to get hold of organic meat, but it probably isn’t local. Likewise, it’s easy to buy vegan chocolate now, but it may not have been part of an ethical supply chain.

Sitting down and thinking about the 3 most important goals that you and your partner have will really help you to identify some options when it comes to the food for your eco-friendly wedding.

Here are some of the different goals that I think people have in mind when thinking about food and their eco-friendly wedding:

  • Having a small carbon footprint – reducing meat consumption, using seasonal ingredients, sourcing food locally, reducing disposable waste, reducing plastic use, recycling, reduced food waste etc.
  • Having minimal environmental impact – using sustainably sourced or zero palm oil, organically produced, reduced meat and dairy use, avoiding foods with resource intense production processes.
  • Minimising impact on humans and/or exploitation – Fairtrade (or comparable) ingredients e.g. chocolate and sugar, responsibly sourced ingredients, UK grown or farmed products
  • Supporting local economies – made by local people, using local raw materials, who re-invest in their local communities.
  • Protecting animal welfare standards – meat and dairy products from RSPCA farm assured/free-range/outdoor bred (not reared)/organic sources, vegetarian, or vegan.
  • Avoiding chemicals and unhealthy ingredients – using organically sourced meat and vegetables, avoiding ingredients like hydrogenated and trans fats/refined grains and sugars/artificial sweeteners/food colouring/MSG.
  • Being plastic free – using wooden dowels, using recycled or recyclable tableware, using reusable tableware.

Making smart decisions for a stress-free eco-friendly wedding

By making a few smart decisions, or just doing things a little bit differently, it’s possible to achieve all of the goals from the list above, whilst having a fantastic party that feels as special as a wedding should. Here are some of my favourite tips when it comes to deciding on the food for an eco-friendly wedding:

  • Look for caterers, food trucks, drink suppliers and cake makers who specialise in the goals you have. There are certainly caterers out there who focus on reducing food miles and responsibly sourced ingredients, who have good connections to other eco-friendly wedding suppliers and may actively seek to reduce their carbon footprint.
  • Instead of thinking big when it comes to food, think small. Find a few key elements like local cuts of meat, or a lovely seasonal ingredient, and plan your food/menu around them. If you’re working with a caterer, they can build a menu that will showcase those ingredients. If you’re planning the catering yourself, see how you can create a buffet or DIY dinner using the elements you have.
  • Instead of purchasing disposable tableware like plates and cutlery, think about hiring the equipment from a local company. You could also hire linens and napkins, to avoid waste. When it comes to serving your food, a buffet or grazing table may be a better option for reducing waste than serving courses plated at a sit down meal. You can also ask your caterer to serve your cake as dessert, rather than a separate ‘course’ later, pairing it with some homemade sorbet or local fruits.
  • One company that I really love is Hedgerow Cordials. They travel to lots of food festivals every year, as well as weddings, where they serve their homemade cordials with prosecco, still or sparkling water. Their ingredients are sourced locally, foraged and/or come from local allotment surpluses. They’re not the only company of their type, but having tasted their drinks on numerous occasions, I know that they taste delicious!
  • If you’re hiring only local suppliers for your big day, you could opt for locally sourced and based hog roast companies, an ice cream bar with local ice creams, or a mobile bar sourcing local drinks.

For those wishing to dip their toes into the pool, it’s really easy to make just a few little swaps to achieve more of an eco-friendly wedding, without completely changing all of your plans! If you’re a super eco-conscious couple, there are lots of opportunities to make sure that even your food fits into an eco-friendly wedding. If you have any questions or other tips, please do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me via my website . Good luck and happy planning!

If you’d like to see the stunning cakes that Love from lila xx is known for, head to the Beautiful Bakes area at The South East Wedding Show to see her showcase wedding cake and try a sample for yourself. Take a look at the rest of the wonderful wedding suppliers and venues exhibiting at the show on 7-8 September. Tickets can be booked here.

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