Weddings are wonderful events, but they also typically produce a lot of waste. From canapes to the wedding breakfast, to evening food and copious amounts of sweet treats, there’s often far too much food at a wedding than can reasonably be eaten. At a typical celebration, you can expect around 10% of food to be wasted, but there are lots of ways to help reduce this number for your big day.

Naturally, you want your guests to feel welcome, but it’s important to not over-order to avoid excessive food waste. If you’re looking for tips to help incorporate sustainability into your wedding menu, read on.

Choose locally sourced ingredients

You’ll need to start booking your caterers around 9-12 months before your wedding, so take the time to look for companies who promote sustainable and eco-friendly practices. Seek out suppliers who use locally sourced produce and support local farmers, as this cuts out the carbon impact of transporting ingredients and also boosts your local economy.

Choose a smaller, local catering company which uses recyclable materials and seasonal produce to further boost the eco-friendly nature of your menu. Using dishes that make use of seasonal vegetables will also ensure your menu is as nutritious and as tasty as possible, as food that has been transported long distances is typically much lower in quality.

Here at Parklands we have changed the way we think about food, our community and how we look after this beautiful planet, and have developed our own delicious Vegan menu, with ingredients source for local farms and suppliers.

Opt for less meat

Meat production is a major contributor to carbon emissions, which cause massive damage to our planet. Even if you don’t want to offer an entirely plant-based menu, offering fewer meat options will go a long way to reduce the environmental impact of your menu.

Choosing locally produced meat dishes and sustainably sourced fish are the best choice if you feel the need to offer them, or you could experiment with high quality and sustainable vegan alternatives to reproduce traditional options such as burgers or hot dogs for your evening food.

Opt for organic alcohol

The global impact of alcohol production is often overlooked, but in fact choosing organic and sustainably produced beverages will have a huge impact on the overall sustainability of your wedding. Look for breweries that promote sustainable practices and use organic ingredients, and be sure to check your venue offers more sustainable wines and is keen on recycling glass bottles.

From using recycled glass to ingredients grown without pesticides, there’s plenty of eco-friendly alcohol brands to choose from. Many venues will buy-in specific types of alcohol for your wedding, so be sure to discuss this with them to ensure your beverages are as sustainable as possible.

Don’t over order

Many couples worry about not having enough food on their wedding day, but as a rule, people will eat less than you think – especially in the evening. Try to plan modestly, and stick to one or two dessert options and a limited evening buffet. Choosing food vans which cook to order for your guests is a great way to ensure no food is wasted, and encourage your guests to take anything left over home with them. With a few small changes, creating a more sustainable wedding menu is perfectly achievable.