June 30, 2009

Low Impact Wedding Series - Ceremony

low_impact_wedding_ceremony.jpgIn the beginning we talked about having a sunrise wedding. Doesn't that sound so auspicious and romantic? But then we thought about the details - all the guests would have to arrive in the dark and you'd have to get dressed and ready at four in the morning!

So instead, we had a morning wedding ceremony starting at 9:00 am. The wedding breakfast followed at about 10:30 AM and lasted until about 1:30 pm. The real party for the wedding was the rehearsal dinner and we invited all the wedding guests to a BBQ at the ceremony location the night before.

Ceremony Area - The ceremony was held with the shelter as a back drop. It worked out perfectly because the front had a peek that served as a beautiful frame for the alter.

Ceremony Music - Again we’re thinking eco friendly, so canned music with speakers was out. We have a friend who plays the cello and that just seemed perfect. He agreed and we asked that he pick the procession and recession. He actually composed the music and gave it to us a wedding present. The walk in was “Look, Isn’t She Pretty” and the walk out was “Okay, We’re Done, You Can Go Now”. I left the titles out of the program, but they make me smile. Our cellist friend was gratis.

Ceremony Officiant - The groom’s family is Catholic and mine is, well... a little bit of this and that. I have never been baptized and had no intention of joining the Catholic church so we were extremely lucky.

It was really important to the groom that Father Terry do the ceremony and Father Terry is one of the most open hearted and open minded priests I have met. He agreed to marry us “in the Bride’s place of worship” which I decided was to be outside and he did a wonderful job. He basically read the ceremony we came up with and we gave $100 to the church as his payment. Search for officiants and celebrants in our wedding directory.

Total Cost = $100

You can get more ideas on how to conduct your wedding ceremony and the legalities of getting married in the UK by going to our advice pages.

Posted in Green Wedding Celebrants & Blessings , Natural Nuptials

June 26, 2009

Late Availability Venue Offer

coombe-house.jpgGrab it while you can!

Snap up one of these really special deals from Coombe Farm & Woodlands Trust in Devon, a most amazing wedding venue:

August Special Offer
Saturday 15 August Wedding Venue hire for 70 people now only £2,000 (normally £2,500) or you can choose an Intimate Wedding for 20 people in the farmhouse which is only a snip at £950! To be booked along with 7 nights farmhouse self catering accommodation for up to 20 people from Friday 14 August to Friday 21st August 2009 at 20% discount - now only £2,700 (normally £3,376).

September Special Offers
Late availability wedding dates for intimate wedding weekends in the main farmhouse for up to 20 people:

Saturday 6th September Wedding Venue hire now only £950
To be booked along with self catering farmhouse accommodation from Friday 5th September to Sunday 7th September 2009 now only £1,438 for 14 people, or £1,797 for 20 people.

Saturday 26th September Wedding Venue hire now only £950
To be booked along with self catering farmhouse accommodation from Friday 25th September to Sunday 27th September 2009 now only £1,217 for 14 people, or £1,521 for 20 people.


Posted in Green Wedding Special Offers , Venues

June 23, 2009

Getting married soon?

Are you getting married within the next 4 weeks?

If so, Laura would like to talk to you about a magazine feature in the Sunday Telegraph Stella magazine about British weddings. They are looking for a couple who are planning an eco wedding and would be happy to have a Sunday Telegraph photographer capture an image of their day.

Please get in touch with laura@talktothepress.com and please tell her that you heard about this from us here at GreenUnion.

You will need to be willing to have photos of your big day published in the Sunday Telegraph magazine and be available for a quick phone interview too.

Posted in Green Wedding Natural Nuptials , Press

June 19, 2009

Sparkly Things: More on wedding jewelry

kerry_mark_sm.jpgThere are oh so many jewelry options to consider, and that can be more than a little overwhelming.

Starting with the engagement ring - I knew I did not want a diamond, and I ideally wanted an entirely already-in-existence, i.e. not brand new, ring. Mark was extremely fortunate that his Dad had been holding onto a Star Ruby gold ring that his Grandfather had passed down - and Star Rubies are purple, my favorite color! We spent some time looking into the option - using the gold (way more than I would need in a ring, since it was a man’s ring) to make our wedding bands, resetting the Ruby in an entirely new setting or making a necklace instead of a ring out of the stone.

It took some convincing to get what we wanted. The jeweler insisted on showing us all the brand new settings they had before pulling out a box of “vintage” settings, essentially waiting to be recycled. We found the perfect setting for the stone, and avoided the environmental costs associated with refining the metals for a new ring in the end. Overcoming the generalizations that you won’t be happy without a diamond, and definitely won’t enjoy having a “previously used” ring can be rough…

For my wedding jewelry I faced the same dilemma, in that I know I want certain things, but also know I want to stick to my low impact wedding resolutions. Borrowing earrings and a necklace from my sister might be the answer, though I won’t have them after the wedding, which for purely sentimental reasons is a factor.

Our wedding rings
are the next jewelry item to address. We like the idea of having matching bands, but the chances of finding ones we like that match are slim in the vintage ring market. We’ve also pondered going the artisan route and having them made for us by a local jeweler, but face the same metal costs there. Buying new through a conventional jeweler would be the most cost effective option it seems (surprisingly!), but despite our budget we’ll probably choose not to go that route given the true costs of traditionally mined and processed metals. Here’s hoping we run into perfect, similar, previously used wedding bands at a local vintage jewelry shop!

Posted by Kerry - Blogger Bride

Posted in Green Wedding Blogger Brides , Natural Nuptials

June 16, 2009

Stock up on soy wax candles

soy_candles.jpgIf you're wondering wondering about stocking up on soy wax candles for your candlit wedding in the winter and want to know more about them and see them in the flesh then get along to the Eco Design Summer Fairs in London. Our partners Hapi Bean Soy Candles will be there.

Jo at Hapi Bean can show you how they burn and tell you all about how gorgeous her candles are. Unlike many soy wax candles where the soy beans are NOT sourced from deforested Rain Forest land. Hapi Beans candle wax is made from soybeans that are sourced from US farmers with long established farmlands free from pesticides, herbicides and they are GM free.

Hapi Bean's 100% unscented soy wax tealights and candles are hand made in the UK, they burn amazingly cleanly, leaving no soot residue. They offer traditional tealights and glass tealights, with more styles on the way.

Hapi Bean also creates gorgeous vintage china and glass candles exclusively for our own Eco Chic Boutique and will soon be offering a refill service.

Click here to buy vintage tea cup candles.

Posted in Green Wedding Decorations & Details , Events

June 15, 2009

Blissful bride


[source: People]

What an inspiration! Barack and Michelle Obama, who were married in 1992, are great role models for couples everywhere. Not only do they appear to have had the chicest wedding, but they have mutual respect and genuine affection for each other which is abundantly clear in this relaxed wedding portrait which sits on the Obamas’ living room mantel.

If you're planning your wedding, don't let the main reason for your marriage get lost. Of course it's lovely to have perfect wedding plans, beautiful invitations, a gorgeous venue, all your guests dressed to the nines, generous wedding gifts, the bridal gown of your dreams, a slap up wedding breakfast, horse and carriage, bridesmaids and a wonderful honeymoon. But the most important thing of all is your love and respect for one another, nothing else matters...

Posted in Green Wedding Natural Nuptials

June 12, 2009

Small screen stars

berrys.jpgBerry Scrumptious, talented and dedicated creators of delicious chocolate dipped strawberry wedding favours, are stars of the small screen this week with an appearance on BBC2’s Working Lunch.

They're showing off their new raspberry flavoured chocolate range. Take a look on the BBC i Player here. The feature starts 6 minutes in.

Apart from their gorgeous chocolate strawberries which make inspired wedding favours and a very original idea for alternative wedding cakes, the new raspberry flavoured chocolate is a great present for Father’s Day (next Sunday for all those who have forgotten!).

You can buy online at Berry Scrumptious' own online shop.

Have a great weekend!

Posted in Green Wedding Caterers, Food & Drink

June 11, 2009

Fantastic jewellery prize draw competition!

In partnership with leading Fair Trade Jeweller, CRED, we're giving you the chance to win this beautiful silver ring worth £70.00.


Moody, morose skies and wintery coastlines are captured in this elegant and contemporary recycled silver, satin finished ring. The sensitive and sculptural design evokes the power of the waves through its free flowing form.

The ring, designed by Laura Strand, is part of CRED's Graduate Collection featuring the work of four designers who were winners of their Responsible Jewellery Design Competition which was set to the students of Central St Martin's in London.

For a chance to win this gorgeous and uniquely designed recycled silver ring worth £70.00 all you need to do is answer the following two questions correctly:

1. What principal chemical is used in the processing of gold from large scale mining?

2. What principal chemical is used in the processing of gold from small scale mining?

Competition closes midnight GMT 13th July 2009. By entering this competition you agree to be bound by our competition terms & conditions.

Read more

Posted in Green Wedding Giveaways , Jewellery

It's booked!!

summer_roses.jpgAfter much umm-ing and ahh-ing, a dinner tasting and a good look around, (actually twice!) we have finally booked our wedding venue! We have gone for something a little different for the day, well actually two days, this decision was reached for a number of reasons some of them eco centered.

Weddings have a tendency of getting big, growing in fact right before your eyes, becoming all consuming, but if you're concerned by the basic waste, money and miles this will effect, have you considered doing a two date affair?

Basically we are having a very small ceremony and dinner, it looks like 14 of us on a Wednesday, and then a cheap and cheerful party the following Saturday, 'two do’s' you say, surely that can’t be very eco, that’s just extravagance no? Well no, we hope.

This has two main outcomes for us. Intimacy and affordability. But will also, I hope, keep it eco centered.

So the ceremony, with our very nearest and dearest family and friends, parents, best man, etc. means that afterwards, for the wedding breakfast, we can eat at one table, enjoy really good local food in a beautiful private dining room, the same room in which we will earlier have been married, and we can all stay over in the same place keeping travel miles low. Intimate, relaxed and personal. One room to decorate, 14 mouths to feed, no going to or fro!

Read more

Posted in Green Wedding Blogger Brides , Natural Nuptials , Venues

June 09, 2009

Low Impact Wedding Series - Flowers

bridal_bouquet.jpgBecause I am a florist my flowers were very important to me and, in keeping with a Green wedding I didn’t want any imported chemically laden flowers. So I decided to use flowers and foliage from my mother and mother in-law’s gardens. I also picked many of the flowers out of obliging road side ditches. Well really my mother and aunt did most of the picking.

Bridal Bouquet: I picked the flowers for my bouquet and the flower shop I worked for put them together. My grandmother’s name was Fern so I made sure lots of ferns were in my bouquet. There were also purple clematis, white floribunda roses, a weed I've heard called pancake weed and a type of purple wild campanula. My florist friends did add green hydrangea that was probably imported, but I didn't ask and I knew they created the bouquet for me and that made it special.

Bridesmaids Bouquets: I made my bridesmaids' bouquets and the groom’s buttonhole the morning before the wedding. Each bridesmaid's bouquet was a little different. My sister, the forester, had green maple seedheads in hers,the friend I played in the forest with as a kid, had wild ginger and my tattooed friend had zebra grass for her wild side.

I have a very strong rule that if you don’t have a lapel you don’t get a boutonnière. So the only guy who got a flower was the groom. His was several white floribunda rose blossoms. I didn’t have flowers for our parents or anyone else.

Table Centres: I made all the center pieces for the reception. I used antique vases and bowls from my mother's china cabinet. Half the tables had a vintage vase with an arrangement of mixed flowers and half had three glass vases each with one kind of foliage. But with hindsight I don’t recommend doing your own flowers. It took about three hours right before the rehearsal dinner started for me to get them all put together. Luckily there was a very nice janitor at the hall who helped me clean up or I would have been late!

The total cost of the flowers was $00.00

Get more flower inspiration in our blog pages.

Posted in Green Wedding Flowers , Natural Nuptials

June 01, 2009

The Purest Jewellery in the World

We're absolutely delighted, this month, to have partnered with CRED, the original fair trade jewellers with a passion for beauty fashioned from fair trade and environmentally responsible materials. It is simply the purest jewellery in the world.

And to give you more of an insight we asked Greg Valerio, founder of CRED, to tell us a bit more about how his company ticks. Over to you Greg ...


Jewellery that leaves an environmental legacy

Buying jewellery is the most personal purchase one ever makes. What you wear speaks to the world of what is intimately valuable to you. It is a timeless purchase that should reflect the values you aspire to; personal expression, freedom of choice, social and environmental well-being and exquisite beauty. CRED is the fair trade jeweller who understands these values as we have been pioneering ethical and environmentally responsible jewellery since 1996. For us the inherent beauty and value of jewellery rests not only in its exquisite design but also in the social and environmental footprint it leaves. This we believe is what beauty is all about and we have found that our customers share these important values.

Read more

Posted in Green Wedding Giveaways , Jewellery

Low Impact Wedding Series - What to wear?

It was important to me that only natural fibers were used in the wedding party's clothing. This turned into a huge hassle. Eventually I revoked that rule. Between the mothers having difficulty and my bridesmaids complaining I told them to pick something they wanted to wear and just not tell me what it was made from.


WEDDING DRESS: I knew I wanted a really simple, not very formal wedding dress since the wedding was going to be outside in the morning. It also had to have straps. I work outside and no matter how much sunscreen I put on I was going to have a tank top tan line. I spent a lot of time searching eBay. I bought 5 different wedding dresses and really loved two of them. The one I wore for the wedding was 100% silk, it fit perfectly and didn't need a stitch of alteration. I resold the dresses I didn't want on eBay and I actually turned a profit. The cost for my dress was $88 including shipping.

Read more

Posted in Green Wedding Dresses & Gowns , Grooms , Natural Nuptials , Shoes & Accessories

GreenUnion - a searchable database of green wedding services, products, tips and advice