Top Tips For An Eco Wedding

You may think that a wedding plays only a small part, but there are so many ways you can work towards having a more eco-friendly wedding. 

Our planet is fragile. And the decisions we are now making as a global population on plastic consumption, clean energy and other recycling initiatives will impact generations to come. You may think that a wedding plays only a small part, but there are so many ways you can work towards having a more eco-friendly wedding. 

After all, every step along the way counts, no matter how big or small. And so, we spoke to some of our favourite suppliers about some of the ways you can be more conscious on your wedding day…

Support Small & Local

Important in so many ways, shopping small and local is one of the main ways you can be more conscious in the run up to your wedding; a point which Ellie from Rose & Dandy is keen to raise. Indeed, mass-produced items have a greater propensity for manufacturing errors (and wastage)  and you can’t always guarantee that what you are buying is ethically produced.

Screenshot 2018-11-19 at 11.59.11Styling by Rose & Dandy. Photography by Lola Rose Photography

Shopping small and local lends itself to a more personal product and you can, nine times out of ten, get to know the person who is crafting your product; whether it be on social media or face to face.

Hand in hand with this is buying second-hand or even renting your decor. There are so many amazing event stylists and decor/furniture hire companies out there who have huge catalogues of items they can utilise to furnish and style your big day. Anthology Vintage Hire based in Essex UK, for example, are committed to up-cycling, recycling and breathing new life into old furniture. Amy and her team have hundreds of vintage chairs, beautiful old furniture (sofas, dressers, suitcases) and trestle tables, coffee tables and bars hand-made with reclaimed wood by her husband and father.

Lodge-Farm-Barns-Styled-Shoot-March-2018-40Rows of Anthology’s tables and chairs…beautiful. Photography: Kelsie Low

And if you do buy new, the girls from Bixby + Pine recommend that you only buy items that you can use again; either by yourselves at home/in your garden, or sell on to other brides or hire companies.

Bixby+Pine-PNW-WeddingPlannersAndDesigners_0998Recyclable planters for a Bixby + Pine wedding. Photography: Tonie Christine

Flowers

You may have thought that flowers were simple. They can be thrown away and they will decompose. But there are so many layers with flowers. And it all starts with choosing the right florist.

Kim from Borrowed & Blue Events is super passionate about flower waste, and again, it’s all about shopping small and local. And even better if your florist grows all or at least some of their own blooms; focusing on homegrown flowers and working to a seasonal pattern in growing and cutting. Having an appreciation for indigenous flowers and seasonal availability is key; your florist can help you understand what is available, and sustainable, for the time of year your wedding falls.

Wedding Photographer essex-22017-2Seasonal flowers by The Country Garden Flower Company. Photography: Greg Coltman

And say no to florist foam; it doesn’t decompose! Floral foam is an open cell plastic and many hazardous substances including formaldehyde smoke, phenol, carbon oxides cresols, xylenols, and sulfur dioxide. For humans, it may irritate the eyes, skin and respiratory tract…so imagine what it can do to wildlife. Most good florists will be trained in using other materials to create bouquets and other pieces for your wedding, so ensure you ask.

After your big day…donate your flowers so that someone else can enjoy them. Whether it be to a family or friend, or even to a local cafe or old peoples home. Flowers can last a good amount of time when treated properly, so don’t just bin them the morning after.

Compostables/Recyclables 

When it comes to tableware, most styling/decor companies will hire all your tableware to you. Or if you prefer, you could collect mismatched items from local charity shops. Or, if you don’t want to use/hire ceramic/wooden/metal tableware, then utilise compostable plates, utensils and cups instead. Don’t choose plastic alternatives.

Lodge-Farm-Barns-Styled-Shoot-March-2018-246Tableware from Harriets Table. Photography by Kelsie Low

When it comes to your invitations and other stationery, ensure you are using a small stationer who understands their supply chain, rather than using a mass produced outlet like Papier. Ask for their credentials…if they are focused on reducing waste, they’d be happy to tell you. For foiled stationery, be careful who you book with as not all foiled or metallic paper products can be recycled. The Golden Letter is a great example of a stationery studio who is focused on being as eco-friendly as possible – she utilises one of the only producers of recyclable foil available and uses a honeycomb packing system for all her invitations.

Screenshot 2018-11-19 at 11.57.06Stationery by The Golden Letter

As Ixchel Weddings explains, using small diamanté embellishments can further contribute to waste…those little blighters are made of plastic and as such, don’t decompose…and they are likely to be a choking hazard for small animals.

When it comes to papers, most are recyclable aside from some glitter card varieties, as they have a plastic substrate fixed to them to eliminate shedding. Even though they are more expensive opposed to normal envelopes and papers, seedable alternatives are beautiful and of course, decompose leaving pretty flowers in their place.

Some fast fire tips:

  1. No battery powered tealights – why? Because of their little batteries…easily ingestible and as they have a higher voltage than some other batteries, they can cause severe burns in the esophagus if swallowed! – Rose & Dandy
  2. When it comes to transport, if you are only a short walk from where you are getting ready to where you are getting married, walk. Save that five minute drive. And if it’s within your budget, hire a bus for your guests to go between venues/at the end of the day…it will save multiple cars on the road and eliminates drink driving risks! – Wed in The Wild
  3. Don’t waste money on favours that people wont use or forget about! We can’t count the amount of times that we’ve seen people leave favours which have been painstakingly made or sourced. – Ixchel Weddings
  4. Print/write your table plan and welcome sign on the same board – front and back. That way, you simply have to flip the board around when it comes to the wedding breakfast! – Wonderland Invites
  5. If you aren’t hiring your bridal party attire, ensure that your guys and gals feel their best in a dress/suit/outfit which they can wear again and again, even if they need altering after the wedding to be more suitable for other occasions. Not only will it reduce garment waste, but your bridal party will thank you if they love what they are wearing! – Wed in The Wild

Featured Image – Styled by Rose & Dandy, Photography by Lola Rose Photography

Lulworth Cove: A Wild Bride

Stunning, wild shoot on the clifftops of Lulworth Cove. Shearling coat and boots prevail…

When this delicious shoot landed in our inbox, we knew we had to share it with the world. It’s wild, romantic and, well…wild some more! From the flowing dresses, to the abundant flowers, the whole shoot is a perfect juxtaposition between the rugged landscape and the soft, romanticism of the bridal styling. And when something is shot so authentically, it’s hard not to fall in love hard. We could feel the emotion behind the camera and photographer, Elena Popa, tells us more…

“Dorset – and in particular Lulworth cove and the Jurassic Coast – has for a long while held a special place in my heart. Many happy memories stem from this corner of the world, not to mention I am a total sucker for a dramatic coastline, so naturally the day arrived when I decided I just had to shoot there. I’d already sourced a couple of dresses should the occasion arise – and I wanted to keep it quick and simple, so I contacted wonderful model Holly Drinkwater and super talented flower queen Elspeth Louise Flowers who were kind enough to say yes to this adventure.”

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Elena’s concept incorporated both her love for the location and her desire for adventurous weddings and elopements to become more of a thing in the UK.

“There’s nothing quite like tying the knot in the midst of an epic landscape like this and I wish UK laws could accommodate this for those who wish to marry in the wild.”

Elena chose two dresses in completely different styles. One, a simple white wrap dress from Asos – the neckline and sleeve combination being incredibly flattering. The other dress was the ethereal dusty pink Supernova gown from Needle and Thread. The look was complemented with a boho white tassel throw, brown shearling jacket and boots.

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We are complete suckers for abundant bouquets, and Elena is of the same mind…

“Oversize bouquets are the way to go and Elspeth truly outdid herself with this one – all the while using flowers that were still in season. I absolutely love the flower crown she created, in keeping with the autumnal vibes I was trying to incorporate in the shoot.”

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Of course, the biggest concern with the shoot was the unpredictable British weather; but Elena explains that Holly (the model) was such a trooper during the shoot! The wind was fierce but the team spent a good couple of hours shooting on the breathtaking clifftops surrounding Lulworth Cove, before returning to their cars for warmth. The flowers held together remarkably well in the windy conditions too – Elspeth, the florist, must have put them together with magic!

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We asked Elena, what her favourite aspect of the shoot was…

‘The simplicity of it – not having to worry about a huge production – and the way all the elements came together to provide the dramatic aesthetic I was striving for”

And we completely agree Elena…you and your team smashed it!

Supplier Love

Planning | Elena Popa Photography

Flowers | Elspeth Louise Flowers

Model | Holly Drinkwater

Dresses | Needle and Thread and ASOS

 

Seasonal Flowers: Considerations From The Experts

Seasonality and wedding flowers. Here’s some advice and considerations from the experts!

When it comes to choosing wedding flowers, seasonality isn’t always something which is considered. For many of us Pinterest and to some extent, Instagram, often conjure up multitudes of imagery which doesn’t truly illustrate which flowers are available in which season.  

Now here at Wed in The Wild we absolutely adore flowers…but we are no experts! However, we do have lots of super talented florist friends who are completely passionate about growing their own blooms and recommending the best in season florals to their lovely brides and grooms.

So what is ‘seasonality’? Well, it’s essentially what is in flower at different points of the year. We likely all know sunflowers appear in the summer, and that mistletoe makes an appearance in winter…but how much do we really understand the workings of our natural world?

Jess-Soper-Photography-JJ-25 (11)Flowers by The Country Garden Flower Company. Photography by Jess Soper

When it comes to seasonality Patrick, from the Country Garden Flower Company based in Essex, UK,  explains that some of his clients are keen gardeners or have experience with their parents or grandparents gardens and as such, have a general knowledge of what may or may not be available at a certain time of year. However, he goes on to explain that with “the average person being exposed to every flower, nearly, at more or less all year through in supermarkets/conventional florist shops, you cant really expect folk to know exactly whats in season”.

Living in a world where we can access most things we want, whenever we want, Morgan Howells from Fleur.ish (California, USA) explains that most of her customers are “not entirely informed as to whether or not their first pick flowers are in season”. It is her job, as with many other florists, to explain what flowers are in season and give possible substitutions that will be in season at the time of their clients event.

40684595_1802500589846955_2164492259658039296_oFlower Crown by Fleur.ish. Photography by Ariele Chapman

Caroline, of Fleur Provocateur (Somerset/Dorset, UK), encourages her clients to look out of their windows, and their car windows, a year before their weddings so that they understand what is naturally on offer; berries in the hedgerows, leaves on the ground, roses in gardens.

DHWphotography|NCC|IKE13Florals by Fleur Provocateur. Photography by DHW Photography

So, we guess it’s not always easy to tell when a particular bloom is in season?

Allison Schreck of Bramble Floral Design (Oregon, USA) explains that to the untrained eye, it is super tough to tell what season a bouquet or installation is from, especially when there are so many parameters…different counties, states, countries and continents all have different growing cycles so sometimes, it is really impossible to tell.

Lores-73Bouquet by Bramble Floral Design. Photography by Marci B

For Patrick, who grows and cuts all his own flowers, online planning tools have made it all the more difficult to manage client expectations. He goes on to explain that whilst a great tool for showcasing a couples leanings on general styling, “Pinterest descriptions are only as good as the person who uploads and has labelled the picture’. What Pinterest doesn’t account for is arrangements created by florists that have free access to blooms with season stretched availability, rather than what is naturally available to florists utilising their own homegrown blooms.

VOWphotoshootPhotosbyJim-0017Bouquet by Fleur Provocateur. Photography by Photos By Jim

Equally, Caroline goes on to say that Pinterest needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. It’s an “absolutely fantastic place to start for inspiration, but couples need to remember they are shopping without a price tag, and the many of photos are taken from styled shoots”. Pinterest has no seasonality reference point, and this is the role of your florist. 

31154313_1641756499254699_4887459138289795072_oBouquet by Fleur.ish. Photography by Ariele Chapman

It is so refreshing to hear the views of four very talented people who are so passionate about seasonality and so welcome to sharing their knowledge with their clients for the best possible outcome. To leave you with some parting comments, we asked each florist why they are so passionate about seasonality…

“My clients love a natural, elegant, slightly wild feel…they love Oregon and the PNW. The best way to honor those loves and to best showcase them is through seasonality! And also, because it enables me to buy local – supporting local, using things out of my garden, and avoiding crazy elaborate shipping situations.” Allison

Treasury-Ballroom-Wedding032Arch by Bramble Floral Design. Photography by Hazlewood Photo

“I love that the seasonality of flowers is constantly giving us designers a new pallette to create with! Mother Nature is a miracle and I am always looking forward to what beautiful bounty she has for me every week at the flower market. Flowers make people smile, feel loved, feel appreciated, feel special…I love that I get to share that with the world!” Morgan

“As a passionate gardener, using seasonal flowers is more appropriate and best! In the future when a bride looks at her photos, you should be able to tell what time of year the wedding was held, from looking at the flowers.” Caroline

Picked flowers on wooden surface ready for arrangingFreshly cut, by The Country Garden Flower Company

And the one that gets us every time…because, you know, we need to look after the bees!

“When you use seasonal flowers you are getting the best blooms that are flowering in their natural, unforced, time. When you get to grow and use these guys to bring to life some ones special day there is nothing better. A flower doing what its supposed to do, with added bonuses, usually scent. This is too often missing from forced imported counterparts but how much does this add to any flower. Another bonus is knowing just how many pollinators you’ve helped along the way; the garden is alive with bees and butterflies throughout Spring to Autumn. We even have neighbours that have taken up keeping bees knowing they will get well fed!” Patrick

Supplier Profiles:

Patrick – The Country Garden Flower Company (Essex, UK). Specialises in providing home grown and other British seasonal flowers to brides and and party throwers for their special days. Pushes design styles and concepts just that little bit further using flowers combined with a whole host of other materials in a wild but beautiful way – always up for a challenge!!

Website | Instagram

Morgan – Fleur.ish (California, USA). Has been in the industry for 25 years, and just as passionate about floral design today as she was when she was 15. She is as eclectic in life as she is in design, and she loves to create the unexpected, nay, the impossible! Her company thrives on our commitment to create happiness and cultivate kindness. “Floral Design with Humanity in Mind”  and they will take any opportunity to be good humans.

Website | Instagram

Allison – Bramble Floral Design (Oregon, USA). Values sustainable, low environmental impact practices. She cares about making your flowers feel like a part of the setting, like they’ve always been there and they belong there. She sees wedding flowers as the element that ties everything together and makes the whole wedding feel the way you want it to.

Website | Instagram

Caroline – Fleur Provocateur (Somerset/Dorset, UK). Established ten years ago as a leading flower design company in the South-West. Passionate about flowers, inspired by the countryside, and lead by professional design backgrounds.

Website | Instagram

Featured image by Greg Coltman Photography