What are the best eco friendly wedding venues?

I’m pleased to say that we’re now spoilt in the UK for fantastic eco friendly, sustainable wedding venues, and it’s likely that’s there is one near you. Which is great as staying close to home, or close to the majority of your guests, is a great way to reduce the carbon footprint of your wedding.

There are venues for every style and shape of wedding, from eco luxe farm retreats to grand country homes. We’ve picked out a few of our favourites.

 

What is an eco friendly venue?

To truly be an eco-friendly wedding venue, they must be committed to reducing their impact on the environment and have sustainable, ethical practices in place. For example, they should ensure that they not only reduce or eliminate waste, that their suppliers and clients do too.  Now that doesn’t mean that as a couple you will be expected to manage the waste produced by your wedding, but it does mean that the venue will work with you or your wedding planner, to ensure that waste is recycled, composted or reused and not sent to landfill.

The aim for an eco friendly venue is to run off grid, harnessing energy from the world around us – solar, water, wind and earth.  Some will be purpose built using sustainable building materials, and other will have their own onsite bore hole to provide water, but all will have a range of policies that help them to be as sustainable as possible.

 

Bore Place, Kent

Hidden away in the beautiful Kent countryside, this charming, historic Jacobean manor house is the ultimate rural retreat. The house is surrounded by pretty gardens, 500 acres of rolling green fields and ancient woodlands.

As you’re in the garden of England, it makes sense to enjoy the outdoor surrounding. Bore Place are really flexible and work with couples to design the flow of their wedding day to best suit them. They have several licences spaces, including The Hide in Bore Place Garden, the Large Barn, the Drawing Room and The Studio, which seat between 50 and 100 guests.

If you’d like to stay overnight, they can sleep up to 50 people across three properties, the manor house, old stable and small barn.

Eco Wedding Planning

Photo by Che Birch Hayes Photography

What makes it an eco venue?

Bore Place has been a centre of sustainability and green living since the 1970s, with profits from weddings being put back into the estate.

  • They generate their own sustainable energy through a wind turbine, and solar panels and heat their water using woodchip collected from the estate.
  • The actively promote and protect the bio diversity across the gardens and wider estate, managing it organically.
  • The recycle or compost the majority of waste and ensure that food and drink is sourced locally, or grown in their own organically-managed market garden.

boreplace.org/weddings

Chalk Barn, Wiltshire

Built in 2017, Chalk Barn is a purpose-built barn, with sustainable style at it’s heart, that prides itself on offering contemporary barn weddings without compromising on luxury.

The large contemporary barn is licensed for civil ceremonies, as is the garden arbour with views that stretch for miles across the Wiltshire countryside. Inside the barn can seat 150 for both the ceremony dining, rising to 200 for an evening reception.

Currently guests can also chose to stay onsite in the either the shepherd huts or bell tents and from mid 2021 they will also be able to accommodate guests in the newly converted stable rooms.

Chalk Barn rebranded in 2021, it was previously known as Casterley Barn.

Eco Wedding Planning

Photo by Lydia Stamps Photography

What makes it an eco venue?
  • Chalk Barn generates it’s power from roof-mounted solar panels with under-floor and water heating is provided by an on-site biomass boiler.
  • The onsite licensed bar is stocked with local ales and organic wines, and approved caterers source food locally and ethically.
  • The barn is part of the Rushall Organics Estate, one of the first organic farms in the country. The core principles of the farm – sustainability, legacy and integrity – have been consistently carried through the development of Chalk Barn.

atchalk.co.uk

 

Elmore Court, Gloucester

Elmore Court has a fabulous reputation and is well known as an award winning wedding venue. The shining star at Elmore is without doubt the country house and gardens that date back to around 1580. But Elmore isn’t just about the quintessential English glamour, you’ll also find plenty of contemporary cool.

They can host licensed ceremonies in a range of spaces, both indoors and out for up to 200 people, with an evening reception for double that. Now that’s what I call a party!

In the grounds of the house, you’ll find The Gillyflower, a sustainable, purpose built reception venue, complete with sound proofing – perfect for those long evening parties, dancing the night away!

They have accommodation available in the Coach House and Main House, sleeping up to 45 people in total.

Sustainable Wedding Venue

Photo by Gary Nunn Photography

What makes it an eco venue?
  • The Gillyflower is built sustainably using traditional methods, designed in a contemporary way. It’s definitely one of a kind! It’s walls are made from Rammed Earth and timber sourced from the Estate woodlands. It has a meadow roof that blend seamlessly with the surrounding fields and stunning windows that frame the views over the English countryside.
  • Using wood from the Estate woodland they have a year round supply of fuel. Elmore is heated entirely using a carbon neutral Biomass boiler for both their heating and hot water. Did you know that the carbon dioxide emitted from burning the wood in a biomass is the same amount that was absorbed during the trees life, making it a 100% carbon neutral source of heat.
  • They use a local renewable company to supply their electricity, with the majority of house lights have been converted to LED lamps.
  • Plastic ban switching where possible to reusable products, including reusable glass water bottles filled from their filtered Whole World Water system.

elmorecourt.com

 

Sheepdrove Organic Farm, Berkshire

Tucked away on the Berkshire Oxfordshire border (in an area of outstanding natural beauty), Sheepdrove is set amongst four square miles of Organic farmland.

The Oak Room has a cathedral-like vaulted ceiling, whilst the Beech Room is light and airy, both licensed for civil ceremonies, seating between 50 and 150 guests. All rooms within the eco centre have been designed with acoustics in mind. The Oak Room is perfect for live music – whether it’s a string quartet during your drinks reception, or a big band for the evening reception.

The galleried dining room is bathed in natural light and seats up to 140 guests across two levels, with views out to the surrounding landscape. Brides and Grooms love to enter the dining room via the spectacular spiral staircase for a grand entrance. On the ground floor, there are floor to ceiling windows and doors that open out to onto the Physic garden terrace and tree lined courtyard.

Walking through the Physic garden you’re surrounded by aroma and colour. Hidden away at the back of the garden is a unique amphitheatre, a fantastic spot for a blessing, or for guests to relax in the midday sun. There is also a beautiful lake, complete with a jetty and boathouse, perfect for those romantic, newlywed shoots.

Sustainable Wedding Venue Berkshire

Photo by Chris Kemp Photography

What makes it an eco venue?
  • Sheepdrove believe that everyone should make an effort to use more renewable and clean energy where it’s possible. They are committed to being fully carbon neutral through their use of environmentally friendly energy – wind and solar power (900 solar panels to be precise!)
  • Energy efficient natural air ventilation system reduces need for cooling
  • Sustainable green building design with Douglas Fir timber frame, rammed chalk wall and Western Red Cedar shingles.
  • In the bathrooms you’ll find cubicles made from recyecled toothpaste tubes and CDs, along with waterless urinals in the gents and water saving taps.
  • They serve their own spring water in glass, reusable bottles and guests sit comfortably on recycled paper chairs.
  • They recycle their waste water through a unique reedbed system, with their recycled water lake supporting bird, fish and invertebrate populations
  • It is genuinely a venue with sustainability at its heart, and a love for all life on earth.

sheepdrove.com/weddings

 

The Wellbeing Farm, Lancashire

The Wellbeing Farm based in Lancashire (BL7 0BY) is a bespoke wedding venue with a difference, set in spectacular countryside. It was transformed from a neglected hill farm in 2013 into the perfect venue for couples looking for a wedding day that is unique, fun-filled and completely magical.

The rustic barn and wedding pavilion are the ultimate romantic setting to say “I do” and the farm’s bow-tie-wearing llamas, alpacas and flat cap-wearing donkeys join in the celebrations too – making it an unforgettable day!

The venue has two stunning wedding houses, one even has its own lake and is the perfect setting for getting ready in the morning and for the wedding night. The venue’s three bars, including the famous horse trailer ‘Bar O’Llama serve everything from vintage cocktails to a fabulous selection of gins. While the beautiful woodland, mature gardens, llama boudoir, tennis court, tipi, firepit and garden games ensure guests have endless entertainment.

The venue holds up to 300 guests and embeds wellbeing to help make planning a wedding as stress free as possible with their Wedding Coordinators on hand to guide couples every step of the day. The team even won UK Wedding Events Team of the Year at the National Wedding Industry Awards.

Eco Wedding Venue

Photo by Martyn Hand Photography

What makes it an eco venue?
  • They generate the electricity needed for the Farm from their very own wind turbine
  • All the meat used for their Weddings and Events comes from their own family business, Whiteheads Butchers – in fact, the lamb they rear is brought up in the fields next door! It’s THAT close!
  • They grow their own herbs and edible flowers for their menu
  • They have a Prop Store which allows couples to use as many props inside as possible, encouraging reusing and recycling. This also saves the couple buying a lot of decor, saving time, money, resources and petrol miles!
  • They reuse and recycle as much as possible, and aim to eradicate single-use plastic in the business by 2025 – they even have their own eco / sustainability website with a pledge to be one of the most sustainable green and carbon-neutral venues in the UK and includes a green wedding package!

thewellbeingfarm.co.uk

 

South Farm, Cambridgeshire

A beautiful, family owned farm near Royston, Cambridgeshire. It’s an inclusive, flexible venue that has a lot of offer.

There are lots of spaces to choose from when you get married at South Farm, both inside and out.  A pretty little summerhouse set in beautiful gardens, is perfect for idyllic outdoor weddings, seating up to 140 guests. Whilst the grand Tudor Barn (also seats 140), framed by ancient elm beams and high ceilings, makes for a dramatic start to a wedding ceremony.  For smaller numbers (up to 35) the Drawing Room in the country-house, with its roaring fire is perfect for intimate winter weddings, whilst the rustic Old Dairy (seats up to 100) and delightful Horse Barn are simply stunning all year round.

The family care deeply about the environment, looking after their part of the world is a big priority for them, ensuring that generations to come can enjoy their wonderful countryside home.

Eco Wedding Venue

Photo by Sarah Elliott Photography

What makes it an eco venue?
  • From field to fork – our organic smallholding supplies nearly all our vegetables, herbs, fruit, eggs and some of our pork whatever the season.  We source other produce locally, buying organic, fair-trade and Rainforest Alliance products when possible
  • Over the years they have created diverse wildlife habitats and planted over 1000 indigenous hardwood trees, heritage orchards and kilometres of hedgerow, with pretty wildflower meadows provide essential food and homes for bees and other wildlife.
  • Energy is provided by 100% renewable sources, with low energy lighting and alliances
  • Food and cooking oil waste is collected by Olleco and converted into bio-diesel, bio-methane, electricity, heat and organic fertiliser

south-farm.co.uk

What are the best eco venues for small weddings or elopements?

If you’re planning a small, intimate wedding, or looking to elope just the go of you, then a couple of the above venues would work for you. We’d also recommend looking at the Millbrook Estate in North Devon, who specialise in elopement wedding packages for couples and up to 4 guests in their beautiful Summer House, which despite its name is perfect for ceremonies year round. Inside there is an inviting fireplace, complete with roaring log fire. It doesn’t get much more romantic that that!

 

If you’re a sustainable venue and would like to be featured, or you have recently got married an amazing eco venue, we’d love to hear from you. Drop us an email and let us know.

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