Wedding planning is full of madness! Love starts it but expectations, politics, traditions and rebellion follows! The best thing we ever did was just carry on in our own sweet way, remembering who we were and what truly mattered.
The most important things for us were to keep it real, to just 'be us' on a massive day out and to have an eco friendly, ethical day that would share good vibes, some how help others and not create a tonne of waste.
We got married at an outdoor registry office in Devon where it was raining leaves and there weren't enough seats. It was organic and excellent. Afterwards, we went to a scout centre where we had a sand ceremony, speeches, open mic, homemade grub, music, fire and camping.
Here are just a few tips for an Eco Friendly Ethical Wedding and how to keep it real on your maddest day out.
- Choose a venue with a sustainable ethos or charitable cause and allow your money to make a difference. Weddings can be SO expensive, with the venue topping the charts, but by choosing somewhere such a community hall, you know that your money isn’t just going into someones pocket but to a great cause. The money we paid directly contributed to a fund for young people to travel and learn new skills. - Choose a dress from an ethical designer or a high street shop with a sustainable range. I got my dress from the Monsoon Artisan collection. It was less than £100 and was made from organic, fairly traded cotton and I will definitely be dying it and wearing it again. - Make your decorations yourself and use second hand, reused or recycled materials. My Mum and I made approximately 400 pompoms and strung them on hemp cord from my personal stash of threads. They were hung indoors and outdoors and most everywhere you could see. We used Jam Jars and Baked Bean Tins as vessels for flowers, second hand baskets from the charity shop for favours and munchies and our chocolate brownies were nestled in a wooden box I found outside someones house. If you do need to buy anything new just make sure it is reusable so you can enjoy it again, lend it out or sell it on.
- Do your own Flowers. Choose flowers from the current season, make your own bouquet and don't forget to hang it upside down and dry it after the big day. We went to 4 shops the day before the wedding and bought the flowers. The night before, Mum bunched the flowers together and wrapped the stems in hemp and they looked beautiful.
- Favours and Confetti. The best favours I found were seed packets and now nearly a year later I am getting weekly messages from friends and family who planted our wildflowers. it is such a magic way to keep the love alive. You could even make them yourself with homemade envelopes and by splitting a multipack of seeds. For confetti, we used dry lavender and rose petals and when there wasn't enough, everyone just scooped the leaves off the ground. You could use anything though, from petals dried from your favourite flowers that are out of season to dried herbs. Just steer clear of anything plastic based or paper as otherwise it is glorified littering.
- Enlist the help of Family and Friends as much as you can. We had a small army of helpers and we utilized all the wonderful skills of our loved ones. Many of them gifted us with treats for the day and their services which brought everyone together and meant so much more. For example, my Step Sister in law did my nails at The Beauty Boutique, my Step Mum is a retired chef and made lunch and my friend DJ El Barco did the music. We borrowed gazebos and play equipment and friends helped us set up and clear up. There was a real muck in feel, a communal festival vibe and it really added to the 'sharing' of the day.
- Choose artisan wedding rings and search for ethical brands if you're after special jewellery. We got our wooden rings from Etsy made with love by an artisan jeweller; TIAM Wood and my Mum gifted me a BomBangle. BomBangles are bracelets made from the salvaged metals of bombs dropped during the Vietnam war, with all proceeds allowing for the further removal of bombs and mines. Support small businesses and good causes wherever possible.
- Photography. We were super lucky to find to Katherine Newman. Last summer she was looking to find a couple who were planning an alternative styled wedding and we were hoping to find a photographer that fitted with our relaxed ethos. In return for free photography she has all the rights to the photos to share in her own marketing and to send to magazines and blogs wherever she sees fit. We love any kind of free trade/trade share and we would totally recommend considering this avenue for your photography ad indeed any part of your big day.
Give me a shout if you have questions! Our Wedding was Eco friendly, cost effective and a chilled festival full of freedom and love.
All Photos taken by Katherine Newman Photography.