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  • Writer's pictureKatharine Snowden

Green Glamour: Tips for Planning a Sustainable Luxury Marquee Wedding

Updated: Jan 27

It's no secret that we're all adopting more eco-friendly lifestyles and shopping habits. According to McKinsey & Co, a whopping 75% of millennials and 66% of everyone else, are giving sustainability the nod when they're splashing the cash. This green mindset isn't skipping a beat when it comes to tying the knot. According to the Sustainable Wedding Alliance, 98% of couples are factoring in sustainability when planning their big day. 


Bar chart from the sustainable wedding alliance showing that 98% of couples say that sustainability was very important to them when planning their wedding.

In 2024 eco-friendly weddings are the in thing. Sustainability has snagged the number one spot on the wedding trend charts. Wedding planners and conscious couples are making it a mission to bring in those green vibes on their special day. At Peacock and Bow pole and canvas marquee hire, we're high-key committed to pushing those eco-friendly vibes in the world of luxury marquee weddings and events. So, in this read, we're spilling the tea on how you can pull off a sustainable marquee wedding without compromising on style.


Hay bales form a ring of seating around a fire pit. In the background a Peacock and Bow pole and canvas marquee glows with festoon lights as dusk sets in.

The eco-friendly marquee advantage

Beautiful as banquet halls, hotels, castles and historic houses are, these traditional wedding venues do come with some environmental issues. The set up of permanent venues, including heating, cooling, and lighting systems, adds up to a hefty carbon footprint. And, these permanent venues’ reliance on conventional energy sources just makes things worse. Marquees however, soak up the natural light and let the breeze roll in, reducing the need for artificial lighting and climate control systems, making them a more environmentally friendly event space.


Traditional venues take a lot of landscaping and irrigation to keep things looking neat and tidy, which can be a bit of a water draining affair, contributing to water consumption. Marquees can pop up in locations where natural landscapes are preserved, saving water for the win.


Marquees also provide the opportunity to bring in sustainability more easily. For instance, they can be designed to make use of renewable energy sources, integrate eco-friendly materials and cut down on waste during events.


Choosing the right sustainable marquee wedding location

Choosing an eco-friendly venue for your marquee weddings can be a game changer. Here are some suggestions for venues with minimal environmental impact.


  • Public parks provide the perfect natural vibes for a marquee wedding. They’ve usually got paths and bathroom facilities, so you may not need extra structures. Parks also promote biodiversity and serve those instagrammable scenic views

  • Lush greenery galore! Botanical gardens are the dream for couples who dig plant life. With well-kept landscapes, they're a beautiful backdrop for your ceremony and reception

  • For the eco-warrior couple, choose a venue that's all about saving the environment. Nature reserves or conservation areas often have rules in place to keep the local ecosystem thriving

  • Private estates and farms are versatile and give you the exclusivity your big day deserves. Pick a spot with eco-friendly principles. Sustainable farms might even  provide their own fresh produce for a farm to table dining experience

  • Beaches and coastal areas offer killer views for days and a relaxed atmosphere. Sand between your toes, anyone?

  • Sip and celebrate in style, vineyards and wineries in scenic rural spots are not only picturesque but are often hot on sustainable and organic farming practices

  • Urban and intimate, community gardens are tucked away treasures. And as an added bonus you get to support local gardening initiatives and community loveliness

  • Rooftop gardens bring a chic and eco-friendly twist for city dwelling nearly-weds. Serving skyline views while showing off urban greening initiatives

  • Get wild with your wedding! Venues in wildlife sanctuaries support conservation efforts and immerse your guests in a nature experience like no other. Just ensure it doesn’t go all London Zoo Lates 🐯🍾🐧

  • Many historic gardens or estates have embraced sustainable practices providing old-world charm with a green twist

  • Keep it casual and rustic. Campsites and retreats have the outdoor facilities you need, plus you can sprinkle in nature-centric elements for that extra flair

  • Green event spaces are specifically designed for sustainability. Look for venues with green certifications or eco-friendly building practices to level up your green wedding game


 

Tip - When picking a green venue for your marquee wedding, chat with the venue team to make sure your event vibes with their eco-goals. Also, think about ease of access, amenities and how they handle waste.

 

A Peacock and Bow pole and canvas marquee glows against the night sky as it stands in the grounds of a country house.
Photo credit - Kate Lowe Photography

Sustainable marquee options

We're stoked to partner with Wills Marquees, these masters craft our chic pole and canvas tents without any nasty PVC. Choosing PVC-free options reduces our marquee's impact on the planet. 


Our canvas, from the legendary British Millerain (the fabric wizards behind Belstaff and Barbour), is made from natural fibres. Biodegradable, renewable, and way better for the environment than the synthetic stuff. All British Millerain cotton comes from Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) approved suppliers. BCI helps farmers practise sustainable farming, making workplaces fairer, keeping soil healthy, saving water and ditching harmful pesticides.


The beautiful wooden poles that hold up our stunning canopies are made from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood, which means it comes from responsibly managed forests. FSC certification is a big shout to sustainable forestry practices and biodiversity conservation. 🌳


Stylish and sustainable decor

Fresh flowers are gorgeous for weddings, but they can be heavy on the environment. For eco-friendly blooms, go local with a florist using British grown flowers and sustainable practices. Over 80% of cut flowers in the UK come from the Netherlands, creating 10 times the CO2 of British-grown bouquets. Choosing seasonal, British grown flowers makes a crucial carbon-saving impact and supports local ecosystems with less water and pesticides.



Not into cut flowers? Try these sustainable marquee decor alternatives.


  • Living potted plants make unique centrepieces that guests can take home

  • Dried flowers are trendy, beautiful, last longer and are eco-friendly

  • Foliage like ferns, eucalyptus, and ivy adds greenery and texture and can be easily sourced from local garden centres or markets

  • Succulents are low-maintenance and make great take-home gifts

  • Opt for paper flowers or chains made from recycled materials

  • Set the mood with sustainable candles, soy or beeswax are great choices.

  • Choose LED lights for energy efficiency

  • Embrace solar powered lights for daytime charging and evening illumination

  • Battery-powered lights provide flexibility and using rechargeable batteries cuts waste

Inside a Peacock and Bow pole and canvas marquee a flower ring is dressed with folliage, flowers and eco friendly recycled paper chains.

Renewable energy marquee solutions

Marquee weddings need more than just the power of love to keep the beats pumping and food sizzling, but it is possible to integrate renewable energy sources, such as solar panels and wind turbines to power the wedding festivities.


Ditch the diesel by choosing a generator that uses HVO fuel, which is an ultra low emission, fossil fuel free, renewable alternative to diesel, made from recycled vegetable fats. 


Additionally, solar panels and advanced battery storage deliver clean energy to your luxury marquee wedding. Solar panels can be set up out of sight from the pole and canvas tents and are connected to power storage units. These bad boys are perfectly reliable, even in the unpredictable British weather.


Catering consciously with farm-to-table and zero-waste

Picking a wedding caterer who's all about local, organic and seasonal ingredients is a killer move for making your big day eco-friendly. Zero-waste wedding meals are where it's at, think compostable or reusable dinnerware to keep the green credentials flying. You can hire some gorgeous crockery and dinnerware that gets used over and over again, making it a super sustainable choice. If your theme is more festival-style and disposable is a must, go with dinnerware made from bamboo and recycled materials.


Inside a Peacock and Bow pole and canvas marquee a trestle table is dressed with reusable dinnerware and British grown seasonal flowers, reducing the carbon footprint of the wedding.

Here are some extra tips for conscious catering.


  1. Linen napkins and tablecloths are way more elegant than paper and totally reusable

  2. Going buffet or family-style brings those chilled out communal vibes and cuts down on food waste as people can take only as much as they want. If plated meals are your thing, team up with your caterer to carefully plan portion sizes and keep waste to a minimum

  3. When crafting your menu, go for the seasonal and locally sourced goods. It's not just good for the planet, it's a shoutout to the local farmers who make it happen

Waste management and recycling

Check out these savvy tips to slash waste at your boujee marquee wedding or event.


  • Say goodbye to the landfill! Partner up with cool organisations like Event Cycle to give your leftover wedding decor a second life. Festival wedding hay bales? They'll hook up a local city farm. Those adorable mini chalkboards for table numbers? Event Cycle will make sure kids at the local children’s centre make good use of them

  • Make waste disposal a breeze. Set up recycling and composting stations that are Insta-worthy. Make sure guests know what’s what by labelling up the bins and putting up signs to show them how to flex their eco muscles

  • Oops, too much nosh? No worries! Be a hero and donate that extra deliciousness to a local shelter or food bank. As long as it’s been handled and stored properly, many organisations are eager to take your food excess


Sustainable stationery and wedding favours

There are now plenty of options for eco-friendly wedding invitations. Wedding websites store all the important information in one easy to access place and they won’t fall off the fridge and get lost. They’ll save on stamps too! Wedding stationery, like menus and schedules can be printed on recycled materials using non toxic vegetable based inks.


Sustainable decor and stationary options for weddings and events including soy candles, lined napkins and hand painted table signs

Wedding favours don't have to contribute to waste and can be something guests will cherish forever or consume there and then. Think edible, practical, eco friendly and won't get left behind. Ditch the tat with some of these sustainable ideas.


  • Lovely Lollypops - Who doesn’t love a lollypop? There are so many options with many suppliers offering a bespoke lolly that matches your style, theme or stationery

  • Beautiful brownie bites (my own personal kryptonite!) Whether it’s double chocolate, raspberry and white chocolate or biscoff, you just can’t beat a brownie. Ask your local bakery if they can make you a wedding day batch, or order online from a brownie postal services

  • Make sure no one feels rumbly in their tumbly with little jars of honey, complete with honey dippers

  • Shake things up with cocktail kits. Keep the party alive long after the dance floor shuts down

  • Macarons, the chic French classics are a tasty little treat that can come in any colour to match your wedding style

Transportation considerations

In terms of getting you to the church on time and then getting you out of there again, you can't get more eco friendly than a horse and cart, just picture the fairytale scene, it could be your very own Kate and Will moment!


When it comes to transporting your guests. Having your ceremony and reception in a stunning pole and canvas marquee is a green thumbs up because everything is happening in the same place. Check out our ceremony tents if you like this idea. But, If you do need to transport your guests from one place to another, do it in sustainable style by laying on a bio diesel or electric coach. Not only does it save the planet, but it also minimises the risk of traffic and your guests getting lost!


A Peacock and Bow pole and canvas marquee decorated with environmentally friendly LED fairy lights and recycled paper lanterns. A bride and groom celebrate as they are lifted into the air by their wedding guests.

Materials matter

Hosting a luxury marquee wedding or event can totally hit those sustainability goals, but the eco-friendly impact depends on how the marquee is constructed, set up and decked out and how the big day rolls. If you're a couple or event planner with that green mindset, it's all about making conscious choices at every step of the journey. From materials to decorations, you've got the power to throw a sensational event that's easy on the planet.


If you would like to discuss your sustainable marquee wedding ideas with us and find out how we can make those green dreams a reality, get in touch today, we’re always ready for a chat.

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