It’s not unusual to be eco-conscious these days, and increasing numbers of couples are thinking about the impact their wedding might have on the environment.
As well as creating an environmentally-friendly wedding using sustainable suppliers, organic products and a green venue, being eco-aware when you tie the knot can also create a fabulous theme that looks stunning, is right on-trend and gives your guests plenty of food for thought.
Whether you want your day to be green from start to finish, or you’re looking for just a couple of eco-elements to give the wedding an ethical twist, these 10 inspirational ideas provide a great starting point.
Forget sweet wrappers and cellophane gift bags: an eco-favour is much better for the planet, particularly if you’re having a big wedding and providing favours for hundreds of guests. You could try a DIY idea, like re-using glass jars and filling them with homemade jam, or try a supplier like Wild Flower Favours where you can buy plantable seeded favours that will eventually become fabulous flowers like daisies, snapdragons and poppies.
Contact Wild Flower Favours for more details: www.wildflower-favours.co.uk
Eco-fashion is thriving in the UK and if you want to make the biggest sustainable statement of all, a green gown is the way to do it. We’re not talking about wearing an emerald-coloured frock of course: this exquisite Kathryn dress, from Sanyukta Shrestha’s Wallis Simpson-inspired “Wallis in Love” SS13 collection, is made from organic cotton lace carefully sourced, hand spun and weaved in Nepal.
Contact Sanyukta Shrestha for more details: www.sanyuktashrestha.com
If you’re worried about your wedding’s carbon footprint, look into the green credentials of your venue. As well as a bespoke, seasonal wedding breakfast (captured here by Neale James Photography), sourced from the venue’s orchards, kitchen gardens and organic farm, Sheepdrove in Berkshire minimises its environmental impact by using recycled, renewable and local materials, as well as reduced water consumption. And according to the venue’s manager, Sheepdrove is always trying to be even greener!
Contact Sheepdrove for more details: www.sheepdrove.com
Eating a seasonal wedding breakfast menu, sourced locally, is a great way to boost the local economy and lower the environmental impact of your wedding. Andrew at Salad Days Events believes that “buying locally is a vital luxury, allowing caterers like ourselves to source delicious seasonal ingredients to produce fantastic tasting dishes”. Salad Days combines an “informal rustic approach” with a delicious modern banquet for wedding parties.
Contact Salad Days Events for more information: www.saladdaysonline.com
Using a local, organic bakery for your wedding cake, cupcakes or favours is a great move if you want to invest in the local economy and serve a delicious, organic treat on your wedding day. The Organic Cupcake Co in Todmorden, Lancashire, is a home bakery using local organic ingredients and free range eggs for its creations, which include the “Cupcake in a Crock” — a cupcake baked in a jar and topped with delicious buttercream.
Contact The Organic Cupcake Co for more details: www.theorganiccupcakeco.com
In keeping with a green theme, source a florist that grows their own produce, and makes the most of seasonal, indigenous foliage and flowers. Winner of a hitched.co.uk Breakthrough Award in 2012, Jay Archer grows her own herbs for arrangements and loves “foraging in the hedgerows”. Anything she can’t grow, she sources from wholesalers who supply local, British and internationally grown produce, and she scours boutiques, markets and antique shops for quirky vessels and props, “upcycling” wherever possible.
Contact Jay Archer Floral Design for more details: www.jayarcherfloraldesign.com
Best Foot Forward
Walking to the wedding is a great choice if you want to be truly eco-friendly. Choose a church and/or venue close to home and get ready to pound the pavement in all your finery! A pair of comfortable shoes are a must (you can always change into killer heels when you arrive) — and if you love being the centre of attention, you might find that local people will line your route to cheer you on.
Finnish designer Minna Hepburn describes her products as “Eco Luxe” and as well as a stunning range of ethical bridal dresses made with sustainable fabrics, she also designs gorgeous bridal accessories including hair bands made with vintage fabrics and buttons, a unique jacket produced with lace selvage (a by-product of lace manufacturing) and a luxurious shawl created using vintage lace, silks, cashmere wool, buttons, beads and leather.
Contact Minna for more details: www.minna.co.uk
As well as choosing an eco-friendly wedding dress, keep your bridesmaids on message by kitting them out in vintage bridesmaid dresses. A real trend at the moment is for your bridesmaids to wear the same colour in contrasting styles, so this gives you great scope for mixing and matching pieces from eBay, charity shops and vintage boutiques. If you know a dressmaker for alterations, their skills may come in handy.
If you just want to give your day a simple, eco-friendly touch, how about making your own eco-friendly confetti? Real petals are the best bet, so collect fallen blossoms and flowers during spring/summer and dry them out at home ahead of the big day (they look great presented to guests in little organza bags). Or you could recycle an old, romantic book that you won’t read again by buying a heart hole punch and giving your confetti extra meaning.