Why Scots are choosing ‘green’ weddings – and what they involve

Couples will be able to say “I do” to saving the planet while tying the knot thanks to a new enterprise offering bespoke eco-friendly wedding celebrations in Scotland.

Wednesday, 9th September 2020, 7:30 am
A nice day for a green wedding - a new organisation has been set up to help couples say 'I do' to saving the planet while pledging their vows to each other

The Elopement Society is the brainchild of Portobello-based photographer Solen Collet, who is passionate about supporting local businesses and minimising the environmental impact of special events.

Her new venture brings together a network of businesses and services in Edinburgh and the Lothians which have eco-friendly credentials and can cater for special events.

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It was an idea she had been working on for a couple of years but was spurred into action as the impact of the coronavirus pandemic took its toll on livelihoods everywhere and forced a step-change in activities that were previously taken for granted.

“I found it really hard to watch so many businesses I love and rely on for community struggle to stay afloat this year, but it has also been really inspiring to see how some have evolved,” she said.

“The event and hospitality industries are on hold but love isn’t.

“Weddings are really about human connection, and that doesn’t have to end with the story of the couple themselves.

“We want to show that you can create a really memorable, intimate and personal celebration – on any scale, once it’s allowed – locally and responsibly.

“All the businesses listed with the Elopement Society are run by individuals or families. We are just small enterprises working really hard to keep going and to keep offering something of quality.

“We wanted to forge ahead with launching this opportunity for us to work with our friends and neighbours, to show faith in what they do as a business community and to offer those looking to marry in the future something really great, fresh and exciting to look forward to.”

She says there are many elements of weddings and events where the environmental impact can be reduced.

“The Elopement Society suppliers are all conscious of this,” she said.

“For instance, the florists featured grow their own plants or get them locally, so work seasonally and sustainably.

“The bars, cafes and caterers also source their produce locally and are mindful of packaging waste, while we have a scratch baker who uses foraged, seasonal, local and organic produce.

“We also have a celebrant who is part of an organisation which has an orchard and plants a tree for each wedding ceremony she conducts.”

The Elopement Society’s first customers, Amy Briggs and fiance Paul Donegan, are due to tie the knot this Saturday in Leith.

The big day will be a much scaled-back version of the week-long extravaganza they had originally planned to take place in Italy in June, but which was cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Instead the ceremony will take place in the shared garden of their tenement flat in front of a handful of close friends and family, followed by food in a nearby restaurant.

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