Are you planning a wedding, where you want to go green down the aisle? Conscious soon to be brides are now wanting to ensure that their wedding planning is not only the happiest day of their lives, but is one with a balanced approach to waste, the carbon footprint and ethicality.
Many brides-to-be are growing increasingly aware of the environment we live in, as such they’re looking for sustainable alternatives to the traditional idea and the suppliers they use.
“Sustainable and eco-friendly weddings tend to have a real meaning” says wedding photographer Rebecca Searle, “thanks to the fact that so many of the little touches have wonderful stories attached to them. From local flower growers, who grow everything in their home garden, to jewellery makers, who have an ethical and heartfelt story behind every stone; brides-to-be are seeking more of those little touches to make their day even more special.”
We’ve shared some of the most sustainable ways to create more meaning on your special wedding day…
From second hand dresses to organic and ethically sourced materials, you don’t need to spend thousands on a wedding dress to feel like a million dollars wearing it.
Brands such as Minna, who craft each piece in a London studio using the highest quality silk and lace fabrics, mixed with genuine vintage and certified organic/fair trade fabrics. The Minna label has in a short time re-defined what ethical fashion should be. Environmentally friendly production, including local manufacturing and zero waste pattern cutting techniques, which are used for every garment.
And for those who really want to recycle and are less attached to owning a bespoke dress, online boutiques such as Still White, Sell my Wedding Dress and even eBay have some surprisingly good options. Whilst for those who prefer the shopping experience; Little Bridal Boutique in Oxford, offer the ultimate preloved shopping experience.
It’s important that your husband to be looks and feels just as good on your special day too. Brands such as Arthur & Henry are creators of organic, fairtrade and ethically made cotton shirts. They believe that every man needs a good shirt and so founded Arthur & Henry to provide ethical, men’s shirts, designed to look great.
Hiring suits and jackets is an equally sustainable affair, since it’s worn again and again. Or opt for a slightly more casual tweed piece, which your groom would happily wear as a lifetime garment, instead of a fancy dinner jacket.
Being ethical in the jewellery industry hasn’t always been easy. There is a long standing conflict towards the harvesting of diamonds and the mining of precious metals can be severely damaging to the environment. Not to mention the miners involved in the industry are often subject to inadequate health and safety conditions, as well as these sometimes even being small children.
When it comes to choosing the perfect engagement ring and when both human rights, environmental issues and fair-trade are of importance, the socially conscious bride-to-be could be wise to opt for something a little more personal when it comes to her engagement ring. Untold Jewellery create contemporary pieces using ethical and sustainable materials, each piece designed with a special story at heart. A recent proposer commissioned a piece for his future bride using a FairTrade gemstone, reclaimed diamonds and recycled gold due to her ethical nature.
Whilst blooms containing exotic flowers from around the world are a popular choice, conscious brides are now looking for something a little closer to home when it comes to their bouquet. Seeking out local growers in your area and opting for a seasonal bloom will have a much lesser impact on the environment. Plant Passion, based in Surrey Hills, are a classic example of sustainable floristry done well, with their founder Claire, who has been in horticulture for over 21 years. Her passion for plants is abundant and she loves helping brides to understand that there is a wonderful alternative to ‘flown in’ flowers.
Every bride wants to look and feel her best on her wedding day – and when it comes to hair and beauty, opting for eco brands is an obvious choice. When pre wedding styling is of the upmost importance to any special day, there are now so many more options when it comes to what you’re wearing on your skin, as you walk down the aisle. Natural make-up artist, Becky Crisp, uses a fusion of her favourite tried and tested natural brands, such as Ere Perez, Vapour and Inika Cosmetics to give brides their glow. She has even created natural beauty bridal packages for the ultimate bridal treat.
Braid & Bloom are an independent collaboration, offering hair packages that take the styling of your wedding even further. Fusing outdoor and nature inspired photography, with handmade floral crowns and braided boho hairstyling, how you look and feel on your wedding day doesn’t need to be compromised. They love using Green Peoples all natural ‘avocado & quinoa’ hair serum to tame luscious locks. (collaboration comprised of Treats4Hair, Wild Rose Hair Styling and Rebecca Searle Photography)
When it comes to the food, going local is always a wise choice. The less carbon footprint you can create for your special day, the better for the conscious couple and their guests. Eco Cuisine offer a fully sustainable catering service and seasonal menus. Using organic, free-range or traditionally reared produce from sustainable farming methods, they strive to be eco and wallet friendly too.
Another unique option, which is a nice touch for brides with a less strict venue, is to combine gifting and food with a bring-your-own style affair. The tables are laid, adorn with breads and antipastos, whilst guests are invited to bring along a dish or two. Creating an intimate ‘Thanksgiving feel’, this approach is a guaranteed way to add a special touch to a special day. Decorate your space with thrifty charity shop finds, antique market treasures and create an eclectic but bespoke feel.
Thanks to a booming health and wellness industry, there are now plenty of options for cakes to suit all sustainability palettes. Vegan baker, Sarah, handcrafts vegan cakes, with locally sourced ingredients from her home kitchen in Reading and they not only taste incredible, but are beautifully designed too.
Digital invites will save on trees and are a much more obvious eco friendly option, however if you’re more of a fan of traditional paper and going digital doesn’t quite cut it – or if you still want something traditional as a menu offering on your wedding day, then opt for a designer you love, but ask them to help you in your moral endeavours by using recycled paper. Aimee Willow Designs is a London based designer, who fuses ethicality into her work and designs websites too, in case a bridal site containing all of the details, without the trees, is more your focus.
An outdoors wooded scene could easily appeal to quite a lot of eco-chic brides and elopement is fast becoming a popular way to wed – which ticks a lot of the sustainability boxes.
However there are plenty of sustainable indoor options too. Farms that offer their venues to hire are a great choice to support local, especially if their farming principles are organic and ethically focused. South Farm in Cambridgeshire, offers a beautiful Farmhouse, set in idyllic organic gardens, who opt for local and sustainable suppliers a plenty.
For those wanting to bridge the gap between outdoors and in, Fforest Weddings offer just this. With farm, coast or quayside locations, each venue is intimate and immersed in nature, with plenty of indoors accommodation to celebrate with your guests.
Even eco educational attraction The Eden Project now offers wedding packages. You could get married in a rainforest biome, without having to board a flight to more tropical lands, teamed with locally sourced food and flowers.
For some, it’s important to avoid racking up those airmiles and hole up a little closer to home. With many newlyweds now keeping it local and turning to Airbnb to find a unique and romantic getaway, coupled with local experiences, which the site have now added to their repertoire.
But if your honeymoon is all you’ve been dreaming about and boarding a plane is a must, there are plenty of ways you can still opt to make a difference with your decision making.
Small things can all help your honeymoon feel a little more green, but for many newlyweds, the idea of an adventure together whilst giving back, is the perfect way to start your new life together. Voluntourism is becoming quite the trend for sustainable loving couples. And with options such as helping elephant conservation in Tanzania, to disadvantaged children in Nepal, then voluntourism could be the way to go.
Or perhaps something a little more back to nature? Back2Earth, a relatively new health retreat, coupled as a farm stay and animal sanctuary in NSW Australia, might just be the perfect place to getaway and give back all at the same time.
The little touches that make your day yours, are equally important…
Have the best pre wedding sleep – Don your Spacemask for a guaranteed deep and restful beauty sleep.
Sparkle and shine – For a little bit of sparkle, glitter with a conscience and opt for Eco glitter instead.
Don your crown – Bridal crowns can be made from foraged flowers, or even beautifully curated with positively charged crystals.
Biodegradable and beautiful – If you want your guests to throw confetti, opt for beautiful dried petals instead.
The gift that keeps on giving – Gift your guests favours that give back, with wild flower seeds to help the birds and the bees thrive
Wedding night bliss – And don’t forget your wedding night, treat yourself to some feel good lacey organic underwear.