Sustainable Wedding Awards
We founded the Sustainable Wedding Awards to recognise and reward businesses in the wedding industry for their commitment to sustainability. The awards are now closed for entries, finalists will be announced on Friday 2nd December. The virtual awards ceremony will take place On Thursday 26th January 2023.
Sustainable Wedding Awards 2022
We are excited to be launching the UK’s first national Sustainable Wedding Awards recognising the sustainable initiatives, advocacy and sheer hard work taking place across the UK’s wedding industry.
We celebrate the work and impact that businesses are doing to balance people, profit and planet. Championing those that are making progress in their sustainability journey and encouraging others around them to do the same.
As part of the awards, we will highlight the innovative ideas, stories and best practice shown by businesses and individuals, hoping to inspire other businesses to take action.
We invite businesses from all areas of the industry to apply. Winners will be recognised at our award ceremony in January.
Scroll down to read more about the categories, criteria and our judging panel.
The awards are open to anyone in the UK, working in the wedding industry that has been in business for a minimum of 12 months and have a publicly available Sustainability/Environmental Policy or declaration. All products, services and/or activities eligible should have taken place between April21-October22.
Each entry will be assessed against the general award criteria (above) in the category specific criteria (listed under each of the categories listed below).
In addition to the ten categories listed, the Judges will have the option of awarding a Judge’s Choice Award – A wild card award solely chosen by the Judges to a non-category winner whose business impressed the Judges so much that they felt recognition is deserved.
Recognising a business that is leading the way in reducing their carbon emissions, has a net zero target in place and can evidence positive progress towards their target. They should also be inspiring and influencing others to make a positive change, helping to reduce the industry’s overall emissions, both through business and wedding day carbon emissions.
Must provide proof of net zero pledge and their carbon footprint measurements for the previous year, along with evidence and details of reductions.
Celebrating an individual leading the way, that stands out for their passion for change in the wedding industry. This award will be presented to someone that has gone above and beyond to drive sustainable change, progressing social and/or environmental action, either within their business or in the wider community.
Must be able to show what positive impact you are having. How you are passionate about making change, are an inspiration to others, and have personally made an important difference to sustainability in the industry.
Recognising a business or individual that showcases sustainable, traditional techniques and design in their work. Being an advocate for quality products, designed with sustainability in mind. This is open to all businesses that provide a product, from flower farms, to jewellery makers and everything in between.
Must be able to explain why the product/technique is sustainable, what it replaces and the positive impact.
Recognising a business that has substantially reduced the amount of waste sent to landfill in the last 18 months through prevention, reuse and recycling, and consistently applies the waste hierarchy when making purchasing decisions. They should also be an advocate for reducing wedding day waste.
Must provide details of how you apply waste hierarchy and, evidence of the reductions in business waste sent to landfill and/or increases in waste sent for recycling and increased use of recycled/reused materials within the business.
Recognising a business or individual that has actively promoted biodiversity within the industry either directly on their own land, or indirectly by inspiring and impacting others.
Must provide evidence of how you have made an impact on biodiversity in the last 18 months and what change you have seen as a result.
Recognising a business or individual that is making progress towards removing single use from the world of weddings, and/or promoting and extending the life of products.
Must be able to explain why the product/service reduces single waste, and how it promotes a circular economy in the wedding industry.
Recognising a product or service that promotes sustainability – for example: reducing the carbon footprint of a wedding, replacing a single use product, or reducing wedding day waste.
Must be able to explain the swap, why the swap is better and what the impact is to people and planet.
Recognising a business or individual that is reducing food waste, putting in place waste prevention systems, measuring and monitoring waste and is committed to inspiring others in the industry to do the same.
Must be able to provide proof of reduction in food waste and what they do to champion waste prevention.
Enhancing sustainability in the supply chain. Recognising a business that is proactively updating their supply chain to ensure that they are working with like-minded, ethical and sustainable businesses.
Must be able to show evidence of changes to supply chain, with appropriate commentary on why changes have been made.
Recognising a business formed after October 2021, that has since made considerable progress in growing and developing with sustainability at their heart, balancing people, profit and planet.
Must provide evidence of business start date, as well as details on the progress made and positive impact on people and planet.
Who will be judging the awards?
All applications will be reviewed by the Sustainable Wedding Alliance team. We will check them against the eligibility criteria, and shortlist up to ten applications as finalists. The guest panel will then review the shortlisted applications, scoring each of the questions. The scores from each judge will then be added up to give each entry a final score The highest scoring applications will be the winners. The judges may also choose to highlight businesses or individuals that they feel deserved to be high commended, or receive a Judges’ Choice Award.
For a full list of the judges, please scroll down to the judges section on the Sustainable Wedding Awards page.
Can I nominate another business?
No. All applications must be made by the entrant. However, if you know of a business or individual that is doing awesome things please forward them a link to the awards an encourage them to apply.
Is there an entry fee?
No. The awards are supported by the Sustainable Wedding Alliance so there is no entry fee.
I don't know which category to enter
Please read the category descriptions and criteria to see which one(s) you think best describe your achievements. You are welcome to enter more than one category, but please complete a separate application form for each entry.
How will I know if I'm a finalist?
All shortlisted entrants will be contacted on or before 2nd December to confirm if they have been selected as a finalists.
When do I need to apply by?
All applications must be submitted by midnight on 18th November 2022. Any applications received after the deadline will not be accepted. We reserve the right to close applications early, or extend the deadline beyond the initial date, if required. If this is the case will ensure this is publicly communicated at least 48hours prior to the revised deadline.
Can I submit supporting documents?
Yes, you are welcome to include supporting documents in your application which you feel support your entry. For example, reports/fact sheets/links to relevant information.
Please note that we cannot guarantee that additional documents will be viewed in full by our judges, but any additional information provided will only serve to strengthen the entry. If providing multiple files, please condense them into one zipped folder.
Please be aware, we may contact you, and or your suppliers, or clients to confirm references and that activities included in your application have taken place as described.
How do I apply?
All applications should be made on the website via the application form.
We recommend that you write the body of your entry in a separate document and then copy and paste it into the form below, to prevent any of your entry being lost.
As part of the application please include a short video (no longer than 5 minutes) that includes why you are applying, what sustainability challenge you’re addressing and how you’re doing it.
Part completed application forms will not be accepted.
There will be an opportunity to attach supporting information, however please note the word count and limitations on the online form.
If you are not able to use the online application form for accessibility reasons, please email us.
Will I receive a shortlisted or winner badge?
Yes, all shortlisted finalists will be receive a digital badge to proudly display on your website or social media.
Winners will receive digital winner badges and certificates after the award ceremony.
When will the winners be announced?
All winners will be announced at the awards ceremony in January, with winners being publicly declared on our website within 7 days.
Can I ask for feedback if I don't win?
Yes, of course. Please email us with your name, company name and award category and we will reply within 10 working days with your application feedback.
Meet the Judges
We’re pleased to announce the judging panel for the first Sustainable Wedding Awards. They represent both the wedding industry and the world of sustainability.
Using the award criteria the judges will independently score each shortlisted application. Scores from each judge are added together to determine the winners in each category.
Avery & Brown
Russ is an eco entrepreneur, sustainable marketer, and CEO of purpose-driven brand consultancy Avery & Brown. Since launching in 2020, Avery & Brown is not only delivering impactful brand consultancy and creative marketing campaigns to sustainability-focused clients in the UK and Europe, but it is also making waves for the progress it has already made on its own regenerative business journey.
With over a decade’s experience of marketing sustainable brands, including six years in-house at two large corporate sustainability consultancies, Russ not only has a deep knowledge of sustainable and ethical marketing practices, but also of the sustainable and regenerative business movement as a whole. Russ regularly speaks at industry events, has been a guest on dozens of podcasts, and has written for publications including Director magazine.
Adam is the founder of Small99. Small99 breaks down the journey for micro and small businesses to net zero into a series of manageable, bite size steps to follow.
Having spent a decade working with and in small businesses, he understands the challenges owners have with limited resources and time. Most owners feel overwhelmed with the amount of information about net zero, and Small99 was founded to cut through all the noise. With 99% of the economy made up of small businesses, Small99 provides practical guidance on how they can reach net zero quickly and accelerate the transition to net zero. They have a goal to guide 1 million businesses to net zero by 2025.
Katherine Ann Byam
Where Ideas Launch
Katherine is a best-selling author, sustainability activist, coach and consultant for business resilience and sustainable change, partnering with leaders committed to a shared future.
A professional with 20+years change leadership experience in the FTSE Top 10, she started her consulting firm in 2019 to support sustainable development within SMEs. Katherine holds an MBA with distinction, specialising in innovation management as well as certificates in ESG, digital strategy, and sustainability management from established universities.
She’s the host of the internationally acclaimed Where Ideas Launch – Sustainable Innovation Podcast, ranked among the top 5% globally, achieving the top spot in 5 countries, and the top 10 in 19 separate charts.
Sian Conway-Wood is a brand and communications strategist, sustainability expert and bestselling author.
As the Founder of #EthicalHour, Sian has spent almost a decade building an influential network of over 70,000 changemakers who have helped shape the public conversation around sustainability – from influencing individual behaviour change, through to shaping national policy and turning the climate emergency into a mainstream media issue.
Sian was a UK Government Year of Green Action Ambassador in 2019, and was named the UK’s Sustainability Influencer of the Year in 2018 and 2020. She has won multiple awards for her business and social impact, and she is a regular media commentator on sustainability, conscious consumerism and greenwashing in print, radio and television around the world.
Abena is a Sustainable Events Producer and the Founder of Legacy Marketplace, a unique platform which helps event planners find truly sustainable suppliers for events and corporate gifting in one place.
Abena’s mission is to connect and empower anyone in the events industry who wants to create successful sustainable events and facilitate a positive change in the world. She supports and advises event professionals to run more sustainable events through project management, training, workshops, audits and bespoke advice. She is a Chartered Scientist with more than 20 years of experience of working in sustainability and her clients include the University of Oxford, Spotify and Formula E. When not obsessing about making events better, she can be found cycling in the countryside with her friends and family.
In September 2012 I decided it would be a ‘fun’ challenge to spend a year buying nothing new and dragged the rest of the family along for the ride. That year changed my life (cliche klaxon!) – not only how and where I shop, but how I see my place in the world. I learned that all of my actions make a difference, positive or negative, and that through getting informed, I could make different choices, create new habits, and have a more positive impact.
Fast forward seven years and that simple blog that started life as My Make Do and Mend Year, is now Sustainable(ish), a CIC on a mission to make sustainable living the norm, break down the mung-bean eating, yoghurt weaving stereotypes of ‘green living’ and empower easy, simple actions for all. The ethos at Sustainable(ish) is that no change is too small, and the focus is on progress not ‘eco-perfection’.
Guides for Brides
Alison Hargreaves has founded numerous successful wedding brands over the past 31 years and is the Director of Guides for Brides. She uses online data combined with industry insights from her extensive network to advise and inform wedding businesses aiming for fast growth in a competitive market.
Alison speaks at conferences and training events including The National Hotel Marketing Conference, National Wedding Show, Wedaway, NAWP, Bridelux Symposium, Goldman Sachs 10KSB.
Guides for Brides is a UK market leader in putting consumers in touch with wedding venues and suppliers. Their directory-based website is the go-to for couples and wedding planners and is supported with advice, inspiration and essential information from the most knowledgeable team in the wedding industry.
Green Union is all about eco, ethical and sustainable advice and inspiration for life and love! I host two blogs on the site, one wedding-related (how we began), and the other lifestyle-focused (featuring home, health, fashion, beauty and travel topics).
We also have a directory exclusively for conscious wedding professionals. I took over GU 3 years ago and run it alongside my wedding floral design business, which I’ve had for over a decade.
Together, this experience makes me well aware of the real-life challenges of the wedding industry, especially where sustainability is concerned. For me, it’s all about balance and celebrating any and all positive steps, so I’m absolutely delighted to be working with the Sustainable Wedding Alliance on these awards!
Hospitality and Food Service, WRAP
Lynsey is Sector Specialist within WRAP’s UK Hospitality and Food Service team delivering the bespoke campaign for the sector, Guardians of Grub part of the Courtauld Commitment 2030, and UK Food Waste Reduction Roadmap encouraging sites to Target Measure and Act on reducing wasted food. Having worked in the Hospitality and Food Service sector for over twenty years in operational roles across the sector including hotels, restaurants and contract catering, Lynsey’s passion is to support the sector on food waste reduction through effective operational practises that can be delivered by teams to protect profits and the planet.
Guardians of Grub includes free tools and learning to develop skills and implement changes at site to improve financial and environmental performance; critical to achieve the UK’s journey to Net Zero. Find out more by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting guardiansofgrub.com
Recycle My Wedding
Imogen has been a part of the Recycle My Wedding team since its launch in late 2020. With the aim of helping to reduce wedding waste, Recycle My Wedding is the sustainable sister of the number one wedding planning and advice resource, Rock My Wedding.
Covering all the latest and greatest wedding trends, Rock My Wedding offers advice on every aspect of wedding planning to guide you from engagement to the special day. Recycle My Wedding offers a platform for brides and grooms to buy and sell their wedding items knowing they are making a pro-planet choice.
As part of our sustainability promise, we’ve partnered with Trees For Life and have contributed to planting almost 3000 trees! Recycle My Wedding is your one-stop shop for a more sustainable wedding with everything from dresses and accessories to decor and more. There is something for everyone!
Having founded and run pebble, the sustainable living platform that spans a digital magazine, events and an online community, which reached over 5 million people, I’m the expert when it comes to spotting sustainable trends, consumer behaviour and brand strategies that avoid greenwashing and assisting brands in connecting with their employees and customers on shared values and issues, to build loyal and trusted relationships that deliver.
Georgina is also author of Is It Really Green? (DK Books), The Eco Conscious Travel Guide (Harper Collins) and 365 Ways To Save The Planet (DK Books) – Out April 2023.