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From the blog

Ethical Weddings


This year I’m getting married. I can’t quite believe I’m saying this – time is passing way too quickly! As we all know, weddings can be very expensive. The dress, the suit, the cake, invites, flowers, the venue, decorations… it all adds up. Most of the people at Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT) are very artsy and creative, so I’ve had a lot of ideas suggested since my engagement on how to save money by doing most of the work myself and I thought I would share this via my blog post in order to help anyone else with planning their wedding! So here goes:

Save the Dates and Invites

Once you have picked your special day, you may wish to send Save the Dates to your friends and family. I decided to make my own Save the Dates using an idea I found on Pinterest.

I started off with a long piece of card which I folded into thirds. I then decorated the card and added a line that said ‘Selina and Andy are tying the knot’. After this I put a hole at either end of the card and threaded some string through, so that when you pull both ends of the card the strings ties a knot in the middle. There are plenty of different ideas on the internet so take a look and give one of them a go!

 (Photo from

The Venue

Picking a venue is not an easy task. One option that would support a local green community project is having your reception at The Green Backyard. The Green Backyard is a community project, based in the centre of Peterborough and is run entirely by volunteers, who transformed the once derelict site into a community garden that is open to everyone. The Green Backyard isn’t taking bookings for weddings quite at the moment, but it is something they are looking to do in the future, so keep an eye on their website!

The Dress

My dress was purchased from The shop I used was based in Leicester, but they’re all over the UK. The dresses they stock are from cancelled orders, discontinuations and unused samples. The dresses are beautiful and I can’t wait to show mine off. An alternative option would be to purchase your dress from a charity shop.

Decorations and other bits and pieces

Instead of a set meal for our guests, we’re planning afternoon tea, including sandwiches, cakes and scones. Our reception venue are sorting the food, but we are in charge of getting the cake stands, so for the past year I have been scouring the local charity shops and I have managed to purchase some great bargains, whilst supporting charities that are close to my heart. I also purchased tea cups to fill with petals and flowers to use as table decorations.

To add more of a DIY touch, you could make your own bunting and confetti. Visit where you can find plenty of ideas.

Finally, instead of wedding favours, on our guest’s behalf we have decided to donate money to a charity that means a lot to me and my partner. If you purchase place cards from Macmillan Cancer Support you can get ones with pins or flower seeds for your guests. These wedding favours are a great way to say thank you to your guests and raise money for Macmillan. There are other charities that do similar things so, if you have a charity in mind, make sure you have a look at their website.

 (A lovely idea for a place for guests to put your wedding cards using a suitcase from a charity shop and some handmade bunting)

That’s all my tips! If you’re getting married, or if you know someone who needs some ideas for their wedding then I hope this helped!

Selina West is PECT's Office Manager and Company Administrator.