Sustainable Wedding Summit 2024
Thursday 1st February at BMA House, London
Forget greenwashing and trendy buzzwords. This summit was about real impact, equipping wedding professionals with actionable strategies to reduce their carbon footprint, forge ethical partnerships with like-minded professionals, and craft unforgettable experiences that respect people and planet. It was an epic day and one that we’re so excited to bring back in 2025!
Sustainable Wedding Summit
“The Sustainable Wedding Summit was a game-changer! Actionable insights, expert speakers, and a supportive community – I left overflowing with inspiration and practical steps to improve my business. Can’t wait for next year!”
“Being a member of the Sustainable Wedding Alliance is one of the best decisions I’ve made within my sustainable wedding business. I found that this is the only community that welcomes you with no judgement, full of knowledge, amazing like-minded fellow suppliers, great learning materials and an accreditation system that truly makes you think about how your business operates and what can be done to make it kinder to the planet. All this under the brilliant support of Michelle, Em and the rest of the team, who are so generous with their time and knowledge, supporting you with any enquiries and you never feel left behind.
Joining the yearly summit is just the essence of what the SWA offers. Fun, enthusiastic, knowledgeable, kind, friendly, thought provoking and a solution focused community, that breaks down the jargon and makes things accessible for all. Thank you a ton (not in Carbon!) “
Make a pledge
Small actions really do add up to make a big difference. At the Summit we asked attendees to make a pledge to help make our world a better place. Because together, our simple actions can make a big difference – cliché as that may sound.
We’ve signed up to Do Nation and are asking everyone to make a simple pledge. Whether you want to try cycling to work, eating seasonably or moving your money – there’s something for everyone.
Will you join us and make a pledge?
Let’s see how much change we can create together!
Thank you to our partners…
The Sustainable Wedding Summit is supported by businesses across the industry, without who this event just wouldn’t be possible.
Thank you to BMA House, The Venue Experts
Happily Ever After…and Beyond: Building a Sustainable Wedding Industry
With the average carbon footprint of a wedding in the UK being more than the average yearly footprint of a couple, we need to look at ways to make the industry more sustainable, helping couples to make more environmentally friendly choices. But what does that mean in practice for our businesses? In this session, we heard from businesses across the industry that are leading the way, they shared their experiences and insights from their journeys.
The panel included:
- Anselm Guise, Elmore Court Estate
- Celia Gaze, The Wellbeing Farm
- Clare Clark, Company of Cooks
- Kate Atkinson, Bridal Reloved
Hosted by Jen Gale, Sustainable(ish)
“We don’t need a handful of people doing sustainability perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.”
The Wedding Industry Reimagined: Embracing Challenges, Building Sustainable Solutions
This session was an interactive one, discussing the challenges faced by different parts of the industry. Attendees joined together to work with other businesses in their area of of the industry and talked openly about the challenges they’re facing, what solutions they had found and what the next steps would be. The session was facilitated by Sustainable Wedding Alliance members.
Net Zero: Decoding the Buzzword, Driving Business Transformation
Net Zero is the latest buzzword in the realm of climate action, but scientists say it’s key to keeping us safe from disaster. It essentially means ensuring that any human-produced greenhouse gas emissions are removed from the atmosphere through technological or natural means. 19 countries and the EU have adopted a Net Zero target, with deadlines ranging from 2030 to 2050.
In this session we heard from representatives that work directly with businesses, large and small to measure, reduce and remove GHGs.
The panel were:
- Adam Bastock, Small99
- Adam Oskwarek, Zopeful
- Andrew Griffiths, PlanetMark
Unfortunately, Lynsey Penny from Guardians of Grub wasn’t able to join us at the event, so Michelle Miles joined us instead to bring the perspective of a small business within the wedding industry.
Hosted by Jen Gale, Sustainable(ish)
Fuel Your Mind and Network Over Plant-Based Lunch
Lunch was equal parts thought-provoking and delicious. We dived into the latest dilemmas explored on the popular podcast “Another Day, Another Dilemma” as they recorded live at the venue! We witnessed lively discussions with new connections, attendees expanding their professional circles, and refuelling their minds and bodies for the rest of the day.
Refresh, Reconnect, Recharge: Gearing Up for the Afternoon
After a stimulating morning and a delicious refuel with our plant-based lunch, everyone came together for a mindful recharge before diving into the afternoon’s exciting sessions.
Social Sustainability: Galvanise your Community to Take Action for Climate and Nature
Does the responsibility lie on governments, businesses, or individuals to solve our climate and ecological crises? A hugely misplaced question – given that the three are so strongly dependent on each other. Businesses and governments are made up of people, and without their engagement, any progress will be limited.
In this session we heard from Hermione Taylor, the Founder and CEO of Do Nation, an online pledge platform dedicated to engaging communities in action for climate and nature, largely focused on workplace engagement. We heard about why she started Do Nation, her insights into wellbeing at work, and practical advice on what you can do to inspire those around you to take positive actions, for both people and planet.
The afternoon workshops were designed to turn inspiration into perspiration, with distinct action-packed sessions to equip attendees with the tangible tools and strategies they needed. We dived into crafting ethical marketing campaigns, built collaborative supplier networks and created carbon reduction plans.
Recharge & Reconnect
After putting your learnings into practice in the workshops, we quenched our thirst for knowledge and networked as our energy replenished during a quick afternoon break.
Beyond Greenwashing: Authentically Communicating your Sustainable Difference
In this session, we unlocked the secrets to ethical and impactful marketing for your sustainable wedding business. Forget greenwashing! We learnt how to truly stand out and attract couples who resonate with your values by communicating your sustainable practices with transparency and confidence. We discovered how to go beyond greenwashing and communicate your sustainable difference with confidence and clarity. Together, we can revolutionise the wedding industry and pave the way for greener celebrations!
The panel were:
- Pamela Rae-Welsh, Worsley Creative Services
- Stacey Ferguson-Czersovski, The Venue Experts
- Kate Beavis, Magpie Wedding
Hosted by Michelle Miles, Sustainable Wedding Alliance
Next Steps, No Regrets: Actionable Takeaways for a Sustainable Wedding Industry
As the sun was setting on this inspiring summit, we gathered one last time, dived deeper into the actionable gems we’d unearthed throughout the day, translated our newfound knowledge into concrete plans for business or personal practices. We’ll shared tips, resources, and strategies to turn “ideas” into “I do’s”. With attendees leave this session not with regrets, but with a roadmap to pave the way for a truly sustainable future for the industry, ready to celebrate the change makers at this evening’s awards ceremony.