Planning an eco friendly wedding can be simpler than you think! Especially when there are so many wonderful, mindful, sustainable suppliers in the UK.
Back in February I started planning a sustainable styled photoshoot, to showcase some of the amazing eco conscious suppliers based in West Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire. Unfortunately, lockdown meant that we weren’t able to go ahead as planned in April, but I wasn’t going to let all the planning go to waste! Fast forward to June, and with restrictions being lifted, we were excited to join together (socially distanced of course) at Sheepdrove Organic Farm.
If you haven’t heard of Sheepdrove Organic Farm, and you’re looking for a flexible, sustainable venue then read my venue spotlight on them, but be warned… prepare to fall in love with it!
Sustainable Floral Installations
The sustainable floral installation arranged by Skylark Flower Company, included:
- Foliage – beech, wedding cake tree, eucalyptus, cotoneaster, ivy, clematis and moss
- Flowers – Ammi majus, foxgloves, ranunculus, anemones, hogweed, epilobium, delphiniums, sweetpea, campanula, larkspur, feverfew, nigella, acroclinium, scabiosa, mallow, Gaura’s bride and poppy seed heads
- Grasses – Cock’s foot, Briza maxima, Squirrel Tail’s and Bunny Tail’s
The DIY floral elements also included some of the above plus achillea, sweet william, astrantia and clary sage.
Skylark offer carefully curated DIY flower buckets that include a minimum of 65 stems of beautiful, high quality seasonal flowers as part of their ‘Style You Own’ option. They also offer ‘Bouquets & Buckets’ meaning they take care of the more challenging arrangements, such as the bridal bouquets, boutonnieres or larger installations. Your wedding planner, family or friends would decorate all other areas for the wedding using their DIY buckets of blooms. Alternatively, they also offer more bespoke wedding flower styling, where they would arrange and style all your wedding day blooms.
If you want to find out more about Skylark Flower Company, check out our interview with them here.
Sustainable Wedding Stationery
Like many of us over the last year or so, Laura of Lulabee Weddings fell in love with the more natural materials used in stationery. The feel of handmade paper with its beautiful hand torn edges paired with rustic silk ribbon invokes a sense of romance.
In this shoot Laura created a full stationery suite showcasing the earthy textures of this beautiful material. The handmade paper is made from 100% cotton rags.
The invitation suite was lovingly made by hand. Starting with the paper being hand pressed, through to it being hand-fed through Lulabee’s printer and assembled in her home studio.
The silk ribbon is a soft mauve colour, which ties in beautifully with the June flowering blooms at Sheepdrove Organic Farm. It’s made by fair trade companies in India, working with the Sari industry, encouraging women to earn a decent living, the rescued fabric remnants from the production of Saris are used.
Hire Props and Decor
Lulabee Weddings also have a fantastic array of beautiful props for you to decorate your venue.
What is so great about the way Laura works, is that all her props are repurposed and used again and again. Almost all of the props have had a previous life, now living their best life as part of beautifully styled weddings. A particular favourite and new hire prop for 2020 is an old French wooden wheelbarrow, which Laura sourced locally through a virtual brocante market on Instagram. The beauty of these props is they can all be dressed to tie in with different wedding colours and styles, and will always lend themselves to a venue in a beautiful rural setting like Sheepdrove Organic Farm.
Canapés and Catering
Quintin Catering are committed to using local and sustainable suppliers including local butchers and free range egg farms. Based just 10 minutes from Sheepdrove Organic Farm, with staff all living near by, he’s certainly the most local, sustainable choice.
We asked Jake, the owner and Head Chef, to make us four plates of his favourite canapés that showcase sustainable ingredients. He did not disappoint!
These mouth watering canapés include:
- Honey and mustard glazed mini sausages
- Oak smoked salmon, mascarpone, cucumber cups and nigella seeds
- Whipped goats cheese with fig jam en-croute
- Mozzarella, sun-blushed tomato wrapped in Italian parma ham.
Beautiful Vegan Brownie Bites
These amazing vegan brownies are from the lovely Sammy at Little Vegan Bake Box. Plain, Biscoff and Chocolate orange brownies.
Little Vegan Bake Box was set up by Sammy after she couldn’t find a bakery that could make tasty vegan brownies as an alternative to a wedding cake for her wedding.
It’s not just the tasty treats that they’ve thought about, it’s the packing and ingredients too! All their bake box packaging can be widely recycled kerbside. They also source as many ingredients as possible locally, keeping food miles and carbon footprint as low as it can be.
“Sustainability is something I really care about so that future generations of people and animals can live in a safe and happy environment. Being a sustainable business makes me feel like I’m setting a good example to my daughter to respect our earth.” Sammy, Little Vegan Bake Box
Handmade Wooden Details
All the beautiful, hand-turned wooden details were made by Liz, of Love HeartWood. Love HeartWood was founded on sustainable values. All wood Liz uses comes from one of two sources. The green, or fresh, timber comes from sustainably managed local sources whilst the recycled wood comes from other woodworker’s waste streams. She also exclusively uses native British grown timber and minimises waste by using off cuts from larger items to make smaller ones.. even the sawdust is used as pet bedding!
We absolutely love the children’s peg doll craft kit, wedding activity pack, and place name. Proving that you don’t have to resort to plastic toys or games to keep children entertained at the table. Even the pencils are made from recycled newspaper. The peg doll is handmade from local, recycled Beech wood the Pipkinds are completely natural too!
In this photo you can see the children’s peg doll craft kit, painted peg doll favour and coaster (which can be personalised).
Pre-loved Wedding Dresses
There are many reasons to consider a pre-loved wedding dress for your big day, the planet, the cost, individuality, and of course the story. Buying a pre-loved, secondhand, vintage or antique dress has an emotionally history of it’s own.
In this photo, Ella models one of the beautiful dresses available from Bridal Reloved. An ivory, A line chiffon dress by Diane Harbridge (on sale here). Due to COVID restrictions, Ella did her own hair and make up, she’s a beauty therapist (you can find her at Ella’s Beauty).
Bridal Reloved in Wallingford has a fantastic selection of pre-owned designer wedding dresses.
If you’re recently married, or perhaps you got married some time ago and are thinking of selling your wedding dress, we recommend getting in touch with Bridal Reloved, or check out their website, Sell my Dress page.
And the beautiful photos?
All photos in the post were taken by Rachel Mullins Photography. She’s such a joy to work with, and makes everyone feel at ease whether they’re in front of the camera or not. Based on the border of West Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire, she’s also a great choice for couples that want to keep supplier miles to a minimum.