Eco weddings are right on trend, and with good reason. Us humans need to do everything we can to reduce our impact on our environment, to reduce waste, and save energy. Eco weddings are a great way to celebrate your future together and reduce your special day’s environmental impact. An eco friendly wedding might even save you money as well!
Sustainable weddings that don’t cost the Earth
In our second article on green weddings, we focus on eco wedding entertainment for your drinks reception, wedding meal and wedding reception party. (You can read the first article on eco friendly wedding ceremonies right here.)
Eco friendly wedding entertainment
Music is the ultimate eco-friendly wedding entertainment!
- Music and songs get ‘reused’ every time they are played, with no need to manufacture or build anything new except a unique performance.
- Musicians play their instruments for years, often decades, and restored vintage amplification and mics are in high demand for their warm sound.
- Classical instruments often improve with age and can command amazing prices; the highest amount paid for a Stradivarius violin made in the early 1700s was £9.5 million! (2)
- Some instruments are made from natural or recycled materials (see our article on making steel pans from oil drums!) (link)
- Sound has no carbon footprint; one note is simply replaced by another leaving no residue except pleasure!
Eco-friendly weddings: your mantra for your special day
We loved this mantra for an eco wedding from eco ambassador Kate Arnell:
- Do we really need it?
- Can we hire or borrow it?
- What is it made from?
- Where will it end up?
To which we’d add:
- Does it require power?
- Where does it come from?
- What is its overall impact/carbon footprint?
Powering your sustainable wedding
It takes a lot of energy to power a wedding, from the energy required to cook your meal to the amplification for your wedding party band. Acoustic musicians don’t require amplification so don’t use electricity as a ‘powered’ band does. Equally, a ceilidh band and caller will probably use less energy than a electric guitar-based covers band.
Many of our superb global music acts that offer both performances and interactive sessions, so guests can be entertained whilst you have photos taken or during the meal, and also dance the night away too. Remember, active guests are warm guests, so you can probably turn the heating down a notch too!
And finally, if your venue has a sound limiter device to stop your band playing too loud, that’s good too. Less volume = less power usage, and no risk of sound pollution disturbing the local community or wildlife.
Where does your wedding entertainment come from?
One of the major impacts your wedding will have on the environment is the travel of guests and entertainers to your venue. So, reduce this by holding ceremony and reception in the same location (or within walking distance), and booking local bands and musicians who are close to your venue.
Wedding entertainment: hire once, use many!
Many wedding reception party bands can split into smaller, acoustic line-ups that are great for your drinks reception or music during your meal. Then, they are joined by the rest of the band for your evening party. So you’re not asking three different sets of performers to come, and transporting just one set of kit, which saves on car and van journeys.
Weddings: hire not buy
When you hire anything, from a wedding suit to a venue, you’re effectively reusing existing resources, which lowers your impact hugely. Just think of the environmental impact if every bride had a new marquee, new cutlery, new lighting, new wedding car (let alone a new hotel!). Reusing something is always more energy efficient than recycling it. Look for marquee companies that have a policy of what happens to a marquee at the end of its hiring life, or caterers that ensure leftover food is suitably recycled too.
Reuse, recycle or up-cycle
Look for other opportunities yourself to reuse, recycle or up-cycle, such as home-made bunting from old scraps of material, candle holders from washed jam jars, home-made wedding favours in gauze bags made from old net curtains, flowers and foliage from family gardens. Friends and family usually love to help with this stuff to, which lowers the burden on you both time-wise and financially.)
Use recycled paper wherever possible, especially for invites and place markets. Having said that, one of our favourite ideas is place markers which are edible cookies with the name piped on – tasty!
Eco wedding days the easy way
Let’s have a closer look at your eco options for three key parts of your wedding day:
- Drinks reception (during photographs)
- Wedding breakfast / meal
- Evening wedding reception /wedding party
Drink reception entertainment
It’s easy to be eco at this point if you just remember one thing; people want to talk! They’ve sat quietly through your ceremony, and now really want to talk to people they haven’t seen for ages. So, the last thing you need is loud music for them to talk over! An acoustic duo or trio are ideal at this point, or a solo musician such as a cocktail pianist, providing gentle ambient music for a relaxing and enjoyable atmosphere. To be really eco, hire a venue with a piano, to reuse existing resources!
Wedding meal entertainment
Not every wedding needs entertainment during the meal, and it’s an easy way to reduce the power usage simply by not having any at all! Our experience is that people will talk and enjoy themselves just as much whether there’s music or not. For an eco-friendly entertainment option that’s not music-based, hire a table top magician who tours the tables performing tricks with whatever is to hand (and some cars of course). Look for a digital caricaturist who draws on an iPad and guests can download their picture, saving paper and ink.
Or, you can spring a surprise mid-meal with a performance by a dance troupe who also get folks up and moving about such as a Brazilian salsa band or an African dance troupe. It’s great fun to watch or join in, and kids love it, saving on the need to provide them with separate entertainment in another room.
Wedding reception party
Your evening party is a chance for everyone to get together and have some fun celebrating with you both. How you achieve that is entirely your choice. If you want a full-on wedding band with light show and DJ in the evening, got for it! Consider venues that use a sustainable energy source, or hire a green power generator for your marquee that runs on biofuel.
Your evening wedding entertainment doesn’t have to be powered to be powerful. (Think Ed Sheeran!)
- A big band or swing band will sound magnificent with minimal amplification and delight guests of all ages.
- The same often applies to our swing bands and salsa bands, with the added joy of beautifully costumed singers and dancers.
- A talented four piece covers band can sound like a much bigger line-up with a little technical wizardry and some clever playing, reducing their carbon footprint for travel, etc.
- Visually stunning bands reduce the need for extra decorations
- DJs with state of the art LED lighting rigs reduce their power consumption considerably
Foreign honeymoons can really raise the carbon footprint of your wedding. So why not bring the exotic to your wedding instead, with a suitable theme and matching music, food and decor. At Matters Musical, we’ve musicians from around the world who now live in the UK ready and waiting to infuse your weddings with the sounds of the Caribbean, the culture of the Far East, an African adventure or an Americana bonanza!
And there’s more…
We did an awful lot of research for these articles, and discover load of terrific ideas for eco weddings that we just didn’t have space to include. We’ve listed these below – enjoy!
Planning your eco wedding entertainment?
Call us – we‘re happy to help with suggestions, ides and advice on the most eco-friendly innovation and engaging entertainers and musicians on our books.