Your wedding will be one of the biggest and most important days of your life, but the legacy it leaves behind should be one of happy memories, rather than discarded decorations!
If you're looking to minimise the impact of your event on the planet, you'll need a venue that aligns with your goals and plays its part in reducing the environmental impact of the day. Luckily, saying "I do" to a more sustainable day doesn't mean sacrificing any of your vision for your event: we've put together a selection of the top venues in London that tie the knot between sustainability and style.
The Barbican is one of the most unique wedding venues in the city, and its sustainability policies go hand in hand with its impressive appearance. The venue has introduced a zero-waste-to-landfill policy, and is removing all single-use plastics from its operations and consumables. The conservatory is also home to a wide selection of plants, and with a wedding reception in this stunning space, you’ve got a unique and ready-made backdrop without needing to bring in single-use decorations or lavish flower arrangements.
The Barbican uses 100% renewable energy throughout, and has installed a building management system to control their lighting, heating and ventilation systems to cut down on wasted energy. It's also recently installed 6 electric car charging points so that you’ll certainly get to the church on time! It’s no wonder The Barbican won the Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Award 2022 at London Tourism Awards in 2022 - they really are at the top table when it comes to green credentials!
Capacity: 150 reception
A marriage of stately elegance and sustainable commitments, The Queen’s House in Greenwich is a crowning jewel when it comes to sustainability. All energy powering the venue is sourced from nuclear power, all lights are LED and sensor-reactive, and the venue measures water usage carefully.
In a true collaborative spirit, the venue puts an emphasis on suppliers working towards the same goals, and all suppliers must provide their sustainability policy before being brought on board with the venue. And while the venue feels like it's outside of the hustle and bustle of central London, good public transport connections and on-site charging points for electric vehicles makes getting here a royal breeze. Plus, with rolling lawns backing onto Greenwich park, the photo opportunities are truly jaw-dropping - talk about a green backdrop!
Capacity: 150 reception
Alongside its unbeatable location, The National Gallery makes a stellar choice for a wedding ceremony or reception, offering a backdrop that’s as green as it is gilded! With countless works of art surrounding your reception, it's sure to be a spectacular, memorable day, but the appeal doesn't stop there. This venue and receptions are a partnership made in heaven, with all of the energy used to power events coming from 100% clean renewable sources, making your big day have a small impact.
The venue is also committed to improving its record, with plans afoot to conduct a foot-printing analysis of its goods and services, and the transport associated with its operations. There's already a zero waste policy in place, made up of six recycling streams, including converting coffee grounds to sustainable biofuels - you could say that the gallery's wedded to the idea of reducing its impact on the planet!
Location: Trafalgar Square
Capacity: 450 reception
Stationers’ Hall offers a secret green haven in the heart of the City, ideal both for wedding receptions, and for London’s wildlife (the garden has a specific focus on pollinators). Bringing together tradition (the venue dates from 1673) and forward-thinking innovation (water waste is reduced with low-flow toilets and taps, and much of the building has proximity-activated lighting), this venue demonstrates how to tie the knot between preserving the past and protecting the future.
Following a recent renovation, the hall has repurposed as much material as possible, including reusing and repurposing wooden flooring and doors, and using unearthed paving elsewhere in the building. Importantly, the venue also has a responsible visitor policy to make attendees aware of their role in looking after the environment at events - which offers an ideal opportunity to leave a lasting legacy for guests with your wedding!
Location: St Paul's
Capacity: 200 reception
Home to the Royal Society of Art, RSA House is brushing up on its sustainability practices, with its efforts to use only green energy suppliers and send only 1% of waste to landfill earning it an internationally recognised Green Mark accreditation. Despite being a Grade I-listed venue, it’s bringing the venue into the new age, with upcycled furniture and carpets made from recycled fishing nets, as well as LED lighting throughout the building.
They’re also cooking up a sustainability storm in the kitchen, with all food waste converted to energy, and waste oil turned into biodiesel, so you can ensure there will be minimum wastage produced by your wedding. It's the perfect venue to give guests a taste of greener practices, alongside a seriously beautiful backdrop for your special day.
Capacity: 220 reception
If you've met your match in one of these venues, get in touch today to make your green dreams come true. With the help of the venues' own policies, you'll be well on your way to a truly green wedding - and to living sustainably ever after!
If you're looking for other sustainable event venues, browse our other picks below, or check out our Sustainability Hub for more content and guidance on building sustainable objectives into your event.
Jessamy channels her passion for sustainability and cultural events into shining a spotlight on innovation and inspiration in the events world, and heading up Hire Space's sustainability committee.