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SUPPLIER FOCUS: Green Wedding Boutique
Today I'd like to extend a super warm welcome to the lovely Rachel over at the Green Wedding Boutique!
Rachel tells me that she was inspired to set up her wedding planning and styling service, based in and around Bristol, after struggling to find creative, inspiring and environmentally friendly decorations for her own wedding in 2013.
As a graduate of Glasgow School of Art, with a trained eye for design and a passion for nature and flowers Rachel is well placed to create uniquely individual finishing touches for natural and eco friendly weddings and events. Her aquired skills in floristy, photography, web design, graphics, illustration and animation means she can offer couples a comprehensive creative wedding styling service.
Rachel tells me there's no set menu and she has no set prices for her services - everything is totally bespoke, but here are a few ideas of what she can do to take a load of the busy bride:
Ethical, natural and eco wedding inspiration and ideas consultation.
Take a look at the images and see for yourself.
Rachel also has an Etsy shop where she sells some of her imaginative creations.
JEWELLERY: Wedding rings with a twist
We’ve noticed an emerging trend in rings where couples are increasingly looking for shaped wedding rings to fit alongside their diamond set engagement rings. Of course the lovely people at CRED have already come up with a fantastic new range to fit the bill perfectly.
It’s called the Ribbon Wish Collection designed by Annabel Panes, who’s created metal twists and curves in the wedding rings that perfectly embrace the engagement rings.
Twists in the rings, ethical diamonds, vintage style, encrusted curves and delicate diamond twists are all contemporary methods that Anabel has employed in her designs to pair engagement and wedding rings.
Of course, all Cred rings are made in yellow or white 18ct Fairtrade gold from Peru, or 100% recycled platinum. Another design of two embossed rings symbolising the eternal link of love pairs bride and groom eternally.
Take a look at the compete range on CRED’s website and be one of the first to tap into this great trend!
Cred Jewellery is an approved Green Union partner. The UK's original fair trade jeweller producing wedding & engagement rings that combine classic and contemporary styling with traceable ethical diamonds & Fair Trade metals to perfectly encapsulate your values & love. Unrivaled sourcing & intimate customer service create inspirational jewellery with a positive contribution to a fairer world.
SUPPLIER FOCUS: Making your wedding your own…
The lovely people at Little Cherry, the Eco Friendly party suppliers, have sent me this little article packed full of tips and ideas on how to make your wedding your own. And they’ve come up with some corkers! Over to you Little Cherry ...
We, at Little Cherry, have been supplying party goodies and catering products to brides, caterers and event organisers for a few years now and of all the things we’ve learned about designing the perfect wedding, the best tip we have is to MAKE IT YOUR OWN.
Any wedding should be, first and foremost, a true reflection of who you are as a couple. There are always new themes and ideas emerging, but what we suggest is that you don’t get hung up on what’s the latest hot trend but concentrate more on you and your partner’s personalities. As we all know, a wedding is an expensive business and there are some aspects that you just can’t get around! But not everything needs to cost a fortune; shop around, do your research, there are some fabulous free resources available online these days to help inspire you. It all goes back to making it all about you, sometimes it’s the small details that say the most!
Anything can be a display piece at a wedding and it doesn’t have to be done in a traditional way. For example, from dressing a vintage bike with fresh flowers to displaying a gorgeous pair of new shoes as your table centrepiece, there is no end to the possibilities. We’ve come across some lovely ideas along the way, and here are just a few which we think will inspire some amazingly personal touches for your wedding day.
Using nature as your inspiration is a great way of developing a style or theme that everyone will love. If you have a love of the great outdoors, let that be reflected by choosing eco-friendly products like our lovely compostible palm leaf plates and serving platters. More and more now, people are realising that when hosting any large event, there’s a lot of waste and there needn’t be. Use biodegradable products that look stylish and can be completely recycled afterwards ensuring your party doesn’t leave a mark on the environment.
Here at Little Cherry, we have a fantastic range of new products which would beautify any wedding - canapé dishes, floral skewers, wooden boats, paper pompoms in fabulous colours and lovely bunting to name but a few.
Thanks Little Cherry, great tips to give brides to be and grooms a head start as they embark on their wedding plans.
Little Cherry is a recommended Green Union supplier selling a wide range of stylish, natural and sustainable wedding reception supplies. They specialise in ethically sourced palm leaf plates and other natural, disposable tableware. Their eco-friendly tableware has been exclusively designed to be contemporary and elegant as well as fully disposable and biodegradable. They also sell cutlery, compostable cups and napkins for a one-stop-shop.
WEDDING VENUES: City Chic Sunbeam Studios in London
It may be a little off the beaten track - Barlby Road, W10 in London (my old stamping ground), but it’s got loads of elements that we adore - a unique space, blending Edwardian elegance (it’s the old Talbot car factory) with a modern aesthetic. What a combination!
A photographic studio by day - Mario Testino often shoots there - Sunbeam turns into a wedding and event venue in the evenings and at weekends.
What’s more there’s outside space with Main and Rootes Halls opening out onto a beautiful private garden - truly an urban oasis.
Sunbeam Studios is a recommended Green Union wedding supplier. Find more venues for your big day in our Wedding Directory.
Images: Huge thanks to Matt Priestley for these great images of Chloe and Ben's wedding taken in October 2013 at Sunbeam Studios.
MONDAY MENTION: Paper Tree Flowers
We've just been sent this adorable flower crown by the lovely Ann Marie at Paper Tree ... Isn't it just divine?
The flower crown will adorn the head of any pretty flower girl without getting too badly damaged even if she goes mad and dances the day away!
The crown is part of a range of wedding florals by Paper Tree which includes bouquets and long stem roses. The best thing about these gorgeous saa paper blooms is that they won't wilt if your wedding just happens to be on a sizzling hot summer's afternoon...
Paper Tree is a a recommended Green Union wedding supplier. They create unique and beautiful favours, decorations, gifts and stationery for weddings. The designs are all hand-crafted, eco-friendly and ethically produced. Paper Tree's flowers are made from Saa paper which is a sustainable resource as the tree naturally sheds its bark and can be made into a natural paper without destroying the tree.
Visit papertree.co.uk for more details of their lovely paper products.
Spring has sprung!
The sun is shining and spring has very definitely sprung and here at GU HQ we think this is the time when flowers are so expressive of our relief that winter is over and we have months of sun to look forward to.
Here are some lovely inspiring images of spring flowers from Saipua, one of the most original and natural florists I've ever stumbled on.
And I'm delighted to report a huge trend here in the UK for brides to choose British grown flowers for their weddings. We love British and we love brides to encourage and buy from local growers. You will find many of these dedicated flower people are also a part of a growing band of very talented floral designers, inspired by the likes of Saipua.
Go to the wedding directory to find out more about the British flowers growers we promote and follow our Pinterest board for the latest updates. Go to The British Flower Collective or just search #britishflowers for growers in the area you are getting married.
Oh, and don't forget to buy #britishflowers for mother's day.
Fall in love with Little Cherry
Who, do you ask, is Little Cherry?
Green is the new black. The evidence is everywhere from new technology to the vintage trend phenomenon. Reusing, recycling and upcycling are seen as standard and the planet’s wellbeing is at the forefront of everybody’s mind. Little Cherry is proud to have spotted the green revolution way back in its early days before becoming one of the nation’s top eco-friendly party suppliers. The idea of green living (and green partying) is something very close to Little Cherry’s heart, as is the small-change big-difference philosophy that has taken over in recent years.
This intended growth will be welcome news for those of you who, like Little Cherry, understand that what is good for the planet is good for its people. This simple hypothesis is the driving force behind the company’s continual efforts to source and supply the best, green products for magical white weddings and it is something they do exceptionally well. Their wonderful selection of ethically sourced, top quality party supplies demonstrates how they are ever-conscious about providing the best service to its customers and the best quality of life to its staff and suppliers. Similarly, Little Cherry’s commitment to keeping production close to the source of raw materials, as well as their commitment to ensure all manufacturing and transportation is low in emissions and cost sets them apart from other wedding supply companies. Owner Sandra Adar has described the company as “the perfect storm”, referring to how it helps the contemporary lifestyle and green philosophy work in perfect harmony to help both people and the planet.
Buy British Flowers for Valentines
If you're planning to give flowers for Valentines on Friday, then we beseech you - BUY BRITISH!
Just look at this gorgeous bunch of spring loveliness from Catkin Flowers.
If you want to send true love to your valentine, then turn your back on those stiff imported roses that cost the earth and buy some lovely British grown spring blooms from right down your way. There's a whole army of dedicated flower farmers in the UK who grow flowers all year round, giving you a fantastic choice of seasonal blooms.
Celebrations for World Inspired Tents
The team at World Inspired Tents is celebrating, yet again, for scooping the Wedding Industry Award’s Best Wedding Marquee Provider in the UK. What a scoop! This comes after winning their regional (West Country) heat back in November.
I’m not one for taking much notice of awards in general but these awards are voted for by the service provider’s very own customers, so we think we can take a fair bit of notice when couples vote for their favourite vendors.
Ed Wright, the owner, said they were “over the moon” to have made it against such strong competition, and to win the national title for the second time, is such a boost for his fantastic team. He said the team was overwhelmed by the number of customer votes and comments, but we’re not at all surprised because we know how dedicated the whole team is to making every couple’s wedding day that extra special.
2013 proved a much kinder year weather wise for all our Marquee and Tent suppliers and we hope 2014 will be another sultry and dry summer of green weddings.
For more information on their Giant Hat Kata tents go to www.worldinspiredtents.co.uk
Christmas proposals get ethical with ready-to-wear-rings
We know we shouldn't have favourites but sometimes we can't help it and Ingle & Rhode will become your favourite jeweller too when you set eyes on their new collection of ready-to-wear ethical engagement rings just launched this week.
This stunning new collection of 15 timeless engagement rings includes a range of styles spanning vintage, Art Deco, classic and contemporary made with certified Fairtrade or recycled gold and platinum, set with conflict-free diamonds from Canada and Australia and ethically sourced sapphires from Sri Lanka.
'Till now Ingle & Rhode has designed and made all it's exclusive jewellery to order but, due to many couples asking for ready-to-wear engagement rings, they thought it was high time they created a new collection of ready made rings so you can choose off the shelf, because, let's face it, when you want to go on bended knee spontaneously with ring in hand, the bespoke design process, which is still available of course, may not be for you.
So, if you're planning to pop the question, you can see the rings in all their glory at Ingle & Rhode's central London showroom, or buy your engagement ring directly off their website.
Tim Ingle, co-founder of Ingle & Rhode said of this new launch “We are very excited about the Ingle & Rhode Collection. While our bespoke business continues to go from strength to strength, we have always had clients come to us that would like to be able to choose a ready made ring, or who are unable to wait for a ring to be made to order. We've spent months designing and creating a collection that we believe will appeal to a very wide range of customers.”
And we think you should get online and visit www.ingleandrhode.co.uk/collection for more information about the new range and to see examples and videos of the exquisite designs before taking the plunge.
Welsh Green Gold!
We were over the moon to hear that Ceridwen Centre - Welsh Green Weddings to you and I - was awarded the GOLD AWARD for Sustainable Tourism at the biennial Carmarthenshire Tourism Awards ceremony held last Thursday 14th November at Stradey Park Hotel in Llanelli.
They sent us this picture of them proudly clasping the award (made of Welsh slate) for Sustainable Tourism.
They tell us they're thrilled, needless to say, because being green and sustainable is absolutely key to what they're about!
Massive congratulations to Simone and the the whole team (its very much a family affair) at Welsh Green Weddings. It's hugely deserved as we know they've worked incredibly hard to achieve everything they originally set out to do.
Oh, and by the way Ceridwen is a fabulous place to throw a green wedding!
Matara wins gold
Fabulous ethical and eco friendly wedding venue Matara recently told us, with huge pride, that they have been awarded a Living Gardens – Gold Award by the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, for the work they have been doing in their Gardens of Wellbeing.
They have been sowing heaps of nectar rich plants, so loved by bees and butterflies, in the Herb Garden; put up bird boxes throughout the gardens to encourage resident birds to nest there and they've left natural areas of twigs and logs to encourage slow worms to stay.
The award has been established by the Trust to reward garden owners who encourage wildlife into their gardens by growing plants that enrich the natural wildlife.
Matara’s Gardens of Wellbeing are open from Sundays to Thursdays between 1pm and 5pm. Guided tours and visits at other times are by appointment only (Tel: 01453 861050). Entry: £5.00 adults, £4.00 senior citizens/students, children 10 to 18 £3.00, under 10 free
However, if you choose to throw your wedding at Matara you will be able to share the gardens exclusively with your wedding guests. What a fabulous place to get married!
For more information go to matara.co.uk
Wedding yurt hire company reduces its carbon footprint...
The lovely people at Cheltenham Yurt Hire have just told us about their latest endeavour to be as carbon free as is possible for a tent company.
They have set up the Local Yurt Hire website to help their corner of the industry cut down on it's carbon footprint (which can mount up, when you think of the number of trucks, people and tents that have to be transported to wedding venues across the UK).
Will at Cheltenham Yurt Hire said "We're trying our best to reduce our carbon footprint; we ask couples, when booking with us, if they have checked whether there's not a yurt hire company nearer their wedding venue".
They recently compiled a map of all the yurt hire companies that they know about throughout the United Kingdom and have invited them all to put a note on their own websites to let potential customers know of any company that might be nearer. This way they hope the mileage they all cover may be reduced and it will also help to promote each other's businesses through a collaborative approach.
We think this is a amazing achievement and they definitely deserve an award for their innovative approach to business and their efforts to reduce their carbon footprint.
For more information on this carbon cutting initiative for yurt hire companies please go to the map.
Or contact Cheltenham Yurt Hire for more information on their own operating area.
Their tents are pretty amazing too! Take a look.
Glasswing Jewellery now in East sussex
Kate Pearse at Glasswing Jewellery recently told us that she is now settled with her jewelry workshop at the forest edge right in the very heart of the beautiful National South Downs Park in West Sussex. She says she has been totally blessed to have lived for the last ten years in Cornwall, a stunning, rugged and remote region in the UK, but is excited about a new environment and the inspiration it brings to her creative work.
Cornwall is where she collected most of the sea glass she uses in her jewellery, but following the big move, she is now the surrounded by a completely different countryside which continues to inform and inspire her lifestyle and work.
Kate and her family are passionate about getting out and exploring the countryside as often as possible and committed to promoting the protection of the environment. This, of course, is reflected in her workshop practice and the ethical jewellery she designs and produces which incorporates recycled metals and found materials.
Kate designs and creates wedding and engagement rings and will tailor them especially for you, even going so far as stamping a special message on the inside of the rings. Her wedding and committment sets made from one piece of recycled silver are going down a storm!
Her other jewellery includes sweet sea glass pendents that can make wonderful personalised thank you gifts for bridesmaids and mums. Although Kate is now in South East UK, she still works with brides countrywide and even as far afield as the US and Australia!
Shropshire Petals joins Green Union!
Today we're really excited to welcome Shropshire Petals as a Green Union partner.
Shropshire Petals grow and produce natural petal confetti on their Shropshire farm right here in the UK. They tell us that all of their petals are 100% natural, biodegradable and eco friendly which means that churches and venues love them as much as you couples do!
On their website they have a fantastic system which means that you can pick and mix your very own unique confetti mixture, choosing from Delphinium, Rose, Hydrangea and Cornflower petals in a variety of pretty colours. They say a lot of couples create a mix that matches or contrasts with their wedding theme. What a brilliant idea.
Go to their website for heaps more information and ideas.
Arabel Lebrusan's new collection of ethical and conflict free wedding rings
Fantastically creative award winning jewellery designer, and long time partner of Green Union, Arabel Lebrusan has just launched an exciting new collection of ethical wedding rings for couples with a conscience.
Arabel told us that the wedding bands have been inspired by both traditional and modern wedding symbolism and are made right here in the UK using mostly ethical resources.
The collection of six rings also includes the Beloved Ethical Diamond Wedding Ring, with a choice of one, three, five or eight diamonds, the Cherish Full Diamond Wedding Ring, a grain set, baroque-style band and the Promise Full Diamond Wedding Ring, a stunning channel set band. In-line with the big trend for more delicately sized wedding rings, the bands are available in a more slender 2mm width.
Arabel said: “As one of the first Fairtrade gold licencees I’m really excited about the launch of my new wonderfully charming and elegant wedding band collection, full of narrative and symbolism, which I’m proud to say has been made right here in the UK and produced using certified ethical resources.”
What’s not to love?
The jewelry collection will be available to purchase from the online boutique: www.arabellebrusan.com in May 2013.
For further information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The Story of an Ethical Wedding Ring
Lovely couple Lottie & Derek threw a stunning cliff-top wedding in Devon last Summer (they were lucky with the weather!) and fairtrade jewellers CRED have just launched a video featuring the wedding, Derek sharing their proposal story, and the background of their CRED wedding & engagement rings:
CRED Jewellery, the original pioneers in fairtrade jewellery, proudly boasts a totally transparent ethical supply chain. But you won't find anything in their of wedding and engagement ring collections that isn't gorgeous and up-to-the-minute in design terms.
For more information on CRED's credentials and their jewellery collections, check out their website.
Or search our wedding directory for more eco friendly engagement and wedding rings.
World Inspired award
Congratulations to the lovely people at World Inspired Tents who have, yet again, won The Wedding Industry Awards', Regional Wedding Marquee Provider category for the South West region for 2013! They are still holders of the national title of Best Marquee Provider for 2012, an accolade of which they are hugely proud.
Ed Wright said: “We are incredibly proud to be the current holders of the national award title for Best Marquee Provider, and to be announced as the regional winner for the second time just goes to show that we are maintaining the high level of customer service that we strive for.”
World Inspired Tents is a long-standing Green Union partner and we’re proud that our partners continue to maintain such high customer service and the success of each and every event that they supply as well as going that extra mile to support local producers and conserve our Planet's precious resources (World Inspired Tents are dedicated to their Tree Campaign). These are qualities that we look for in all the wedding services and suppliers that are listed in our Wedding Directory.
Don't you just adore these beautiful gold letters from POSH Graffiti
We've put together a Christmas greeting for you here using the letters, but of course we think you'll love to use these original, authentic letters created by Emily Readlett Bailey for your wedding decorations any time of the year.
Emily has always taken care to source sustainable materials and for many years has pioneered the concept of stylish design with an eco and ethical policy. The POSH Graffiti collection has been made by the same village rice farming community in Bali for 15 years where the farmers use this important secondary business to sustain their agriculture. The artisans use a local fast growing albizia wood (never toxic MDF) and each piece is unique. The Company has always emphasized quality over quantity resisting the lure of mass production in China.
Emily has been actively involved in tree planting in Bali over the years and this year she has been asked be work with an important sustainable rain forest management project in Borneo. More to come in 2013.
Trees of Tomorrow – in the Seeds of Today
Now that the leaves have been blown away by November’s storms, we are blessed with the beauty of the trees’ winter silhouettes. The gradually multiplying branches reaching skyward against a dwindling light is a poignant symbol of longevity and growth and all that is to come.
It was with this thought that Trees of Tomorrow, who supply little seedling wedding favours, was born. So we asked Margaret Fox to tell us a little more about her seedling company, now into its second year of providing these enchanting favours to couples wanting a more meaningful gift for their guests which, like their marriage, is all about the future. Over to you Margaret:
“We firmly believe that our Wedding Seedling Favours are the greenest gift there is and we focus exclusively on British native species:
Oak, of course, is a firm favourite being symbolic of strength and an essential feature of our British landscape, supporting thousands of other species as it grows and develops. The slender, graceful Silver Birch, whose little heart shaped leaves make it an obvious choice, is also very popular. Folklore tells us that babies’ cradles were made of birch due to its purifying qualities! One couple chose crab apple seedlings as the groom had proposed to the bride in an orchard!
There are also some species specially suited to winter weddings. The courageous Holly revels in winter while anticipating the spring; the Blue Spruce, whose evergreen needles appear in pairs symbolizing permanence in love, is ideally suited to Christmas weddings. Or, if you’d rather avoid a conifer, there is the brave Holm Oak, whose evergreen leaves, something between an oak and a holly, are very beautiful. So, whether you are guided in your choice by the traditional language of trees or choose a species with a special personal relevance, a unique wedding tree favour is guaranteed.
Jennie Hill's wedding photography
Jennie Hill contacted us a few weeks ago to tell us about her uniquely joyful photography style and we were totally smitten!
Based in Dorset and working as a wedding photographer in Dorset, Devon and Hampshire, Jennie Hill is a farmer's daughter born and bred in the West Country. This must be what makes her an expert on the beautiful light and landscapes that the hills and valleys of that part of the world evoke.
Her style seems to offer a quirky mix of soft country and vintage all rolled into one - quite a new look and thoroughly on trend, as far as we're concerned.
The Wholeleaf Co. - the smartest use (ever!) for fallen leaves…
Usually, at this time of the year the mere mention of ‘fallen leaves’ makes my heart drop because it usually means raking for hours on end, clearing the leaves in my the garden and piling them in the leaf bin for next year’s leaf mould supply.
This time The Wholeleaf Co’s fallen leaf plates and bowls brought a smile to my face as there was absolutely no raking involved! Just perfectly formed plates, bowls and platters ideal for green wedding celebrations.
The Wholeleaf Co’s fantastic Palm Leaf Plates are made from the naturally shed leaves of the Areca palm trees growing in the lush green forests of Southern India - a renewable material. All they do to turn the leaf into a plate, bowl or platter is wash it in locally sourced spring water and heat-press it into shape. That's it! They don't use any chemicals, resins, agents, glues or anything else just the leaf, the Wholeleaf and nothing but the leaf, and some water.
Sshh… wedding yurts – fabulous spaces in beautiful places
A common theme coming from some of our visitor enquiries about the fabulous yurts that we advertise on Green Union seems to be: ‘they look amazing but what actually is a yurt and how can I use it for my wedding?’
So we asked new kids in the directory Sshh… who are based in Brighton, to elaborate and this is what they told us:
"A yurt is a traditional structure originating in the high mountain steppes of central Asia, designed to be portable enough to be carried by yak (or truck in our case) to pretty much anywhere. The concertinaed lattice design is quick to set up while the beautiful roof ribs and their positioning actually act to streamline the yurt and protect it in the event of heavy winds and snowfall. Once the frame is up, the yurt is covered with a breathable canvas to keep out the rest of the weather and insulate the structure, while giving it a nice warm glow inside.
Yurts are a great alternative to the traditional marquee for your wedding; a beautiful and atmospheric space in which to celebrate with family, friends and guests. Our bespoke event and wedding Yurts feature higher walls than a standard Yurt, providing a spacious and light space, whilst retaining the warmth which Yurts are renowned for. A simple yet classic cream-coloured canvas forms the outer layer, with a traditional wooden interior that permits you to decorate to your own taste and style, all manufactured here in the UK. The specially designed hard floor is also raised off the ground so you can celebrate for as long as you like, regardless of the weather. It also means you can have a dining area, bar and dance floor all under one roof. The intrinsic wheel-like design of the yurt crown floods the space with natural light and the breathable cream canvas cover allows soft light to suffuse the space, creating a warm yet fresh environment.
The yurts can be podded together; this is simply done by joining one yurt to another to create different room-like spaces. It also provides the possibility of a larger space, as well as offering a variety of design options to suit your specific requirements. ”
What we also love about Sshh…Yurts is that their tents are made by British craftsmen using sustainable British timber and real cotton canvas right here in the UK, and their commitment to keeping their carbon footprint to a minimum is extremely high.
Ethical jubilee jewels fit for a Queen
CRED, the pioneer Fair Trade jewellery company that is constantly stepping up to the mark, is also bang on trend with their latest stunning Limited Edition Jubilee collection, launched yesterday.
We absolutely love this new range of jewellery, not only because it's a very wearable alternative to the 'commemorative mug' for stylistas, but the collection has design longevity and the individual pieces are definitely destined to become classic collectibles to hand down to the next generation without the risk of being damaged through use!
Inspired by British icons, and made from recycled silver, the set of three pieces includes a long-chain crown pendant and crown stud earrings, plus a statement ring set with stones in a choice of three pastels - colours that featured up and down the Spring/Summer 2012 catwalks.
Perfect either for everyday or occasion wear, and very affordable, we think these pieces would not only be a great alternative choice of affordable engagement pledge but also make ideal 'thank you' gifts for bridesmaids and mother-in-laws.
But they're only available until October 2012, so don't wait around, they will be gone in a jiffy!
For more information about this beautiful new collection, and to purchase an iconic heirloom, go to www.credjewellery.com.
A piece of 'wedding' cake!
When Lisa of Tricky Treats, who makes dreamy wedding cakes using only the very best local and organic ingredients, joined Green Union's wedding directory she let slip that she had recently got married. It sounded like an amazing affair so we asked her to tell us more. Over to you Lisa ...
"We got married on the 30th April 2011. It was a gorgeous sunny day with only a few drops of rain! The service was emotional but by the time we started singing ‘When I’m 64’ all the nerves had gone and we were well on our way to having a great party.
My beautiful dress was designed and made by Kirstie Macleod. It was the most dreamy outfit I have ever worn. Towards the end of the evening I put on my headdress made by my wonderful friend Steph of Feathersmith. Within the headdress she had also incorporated bit of lace from my dress and material from the bridesmaids dresses. I absolutely love it!
My husband has a small obsession with owls so as well as the classic English garden party theme we had a few owls thrown in the mix too. Every table had an owl name and picture painted by Tess and her Dad.
Eggscellent Easter wedding decor
Every year for the past 3 years we've had a fabulously warm and balmy Easter season overflowing with blossom, sunshine and the promise of new life. So we think it's got to be a perfect time to throw a wedding, with great opportunities for fresh Easter themed wedding decorations.
One of our favourite and creative decoration companies is POSH Graffiti by Emily Readett-Bayley, which has recently launched a new range of ornate painted eggs and other decorations.
For a burst of spring loveliness, hang on blossom boughs to make a wishing tree and use their signature hand carved painted letters to create a statement in your wedding venue.
For more ideas and to see their full range visit the POSH Graffiti website.
Get the Oscars look
The Oscars are over for another year and we were excited to see that the red carpet was awash with romantic white dresses - perfect wedding inspiration.
From Cameron Diaz’s strapless Gucci dress, Rooney Mara’s plunging Givenchy gown to Gwyneth Paltrow’s chic and minimal Tom Ford dress, all channeling the ethereal fairytale wedding look with clean cut lines.
This year's red carpet glamour reminded us of Sabina Motasem Brides' new Art Deco inspired collection which oozes the sophistication of both old and new Hollywood and proves beyond a doubt that eco is very definitely chic.
Go to www.motasem.co.uk for further information.
Arabel Lebrusan's ethical jewellery
We're delighted to say that Arabel Lebrusan, previously Creative Director of Leblas Jewellery, has re-emerged under her own label to offer couples the same iconic and uniquely ethical pieces (worn by the likes of Princess Letizia of Spain and Sienna and Savannnah Miller) that we had become familiar with. Arabel’s statement jewellery is a mix of delicate metal latticework and excellence of craftsmanship with ethics at its core.
One of the first licensees for Fairtrade and Fairmined gold, Arabel offers a great collection of ethical gold wedding and engagement rings, plus her renowned bespoke service. All her jewelry is made using Canadian diamonds, Fairtrade gemstones and Ecological Fairtrade and Fairmined gold.
Eco-chic wedding fair at the Green House hotel
We heard that during marriage week, which ends today, couples were being encouraged to focus on actively nurturing their relationships (something we feel strongly about) and it seems a natural extension for them to nurture the environment and their local communities too. So it seems fitting that on Sunday February 26, the Green House hotel is hosting an Alternative Wedding Fair showcasing the cream of environmentally friendly wedding suppliers, bringing inspiration to couples planning to wed in the South of England.
Inspiration for brides-to-be will fill the luxurious, award winning, four-star hotel in Bournemouth. Organic, fair-trade, recycled and vintage wedding wares from florists to photographers and everything in between will help couples to be considerate in their eco-chic wedding choices.
One of our favourite labels, the House of Tammam will be there to show off a selection of eco-couture wedding dresses for the chic bride who cares about ethics. A trailblazer of the eco-luxury movement, all Tammam wedding dresses are a perfect marriage of style, quality and sustainability. Lucy Tammam said she's really excited to be showing her eco-wedding dresses at the Green House along with so many fantastic sustainable suppliers at an amazing location.
It should be a great day for southern brides and grooms-to-be to find out how to include an ethical aspect to their wedding and it's a great opportunity for eco-friendly wedding vendors to reach a market outside London who might not know they exist.
Sarah Pavett, event manager of The Green House hotel, said: "As the UK's greenest hotel, we wanted to create an Alternative Wedding Fair to illustrate the many ways that couple can make sure the planet doesn't pay the price for their special day. A thoughtfully planned menu for the breakfast, organic wedding cake, recycled or FSC stationery and a vintage or even ethical wedding dress all gain eco-points."
WHAT? Alternative Wedding Fair
WHEN? Sunday February 26th
For further information regarding weddings at The Green House hotel, go to www.facebook.com/greenhousehotel
Fabulous ethical wedding ring offer - 30% discount!
CRED Jewellery are offering Green Union readers a fabulous 30% off their bestselling Fairtrade classic court wedding rings. The original and best, as the well known phrase goes!
Use voucher code GULOVES for 30% off CRED court wedding rings, meaning the prices start at just £196, why are you waiting!
CRED's court wedding ring comes in 18ct Fairtrade gold and you can choose either classic yellow gold or a more contemporary white gold in a Matt or Polished finish, allowing you to get the complimentary match for your engagement ring.
April eco wedding date in Devon - 20 to 23 April
Just got engaged?
Absolutely one of the best times of the year in Devon is April and at Coombe Farm it is just glorious. If the season is early then there will be some bluebells peeking out to smile at you in the woods, but even if they're not in full bloom, the woods are just beautiful with new leaves bursting out in all their intense greenery and dappled sunshine.
The last couple of years have seen April being warm and balmy in the West Country so it's worth snapping up this lovely eco friendly venue for your Spring wedding this year.
They have only one weekend left - 20 to 23 April 2012 so don't hesitate too long or the date will be gone in a flash!
For more information and prices please check out Coombe Farm's website www.combefarmwoods.co.uk
Wonderful eco friendly wedding yurts
If you're planning an outdoor wedding next year (or even in 2013) and you're still undecided about what sort of tents to use, then you should check out these lovely yurts, those stunning round wooden tents based on a Mongolian nomadic design, created by our lovely Devon friends over at Hooe's Yurts.
The great thing is that Amy and Max, who own and run Hooe's Yurts, recently got married themselves so they understand the excitement and importance of "the big day". They hire out beautifully decorated yurts for couples who want to throw a wedding with real wow factor and they absolutely love helping to make other peoples' weddings individual, romantic, exotic and unforgettable.
Amy is passionate about textiles and travels the world collecting items to lovingly decorate and furnish the yurts adding a unique touch to the interiors and making them really special. All the yurts are designed with traditional wood burners inside so they can be well heated which not only makes a dull summer's evening warm and cosy, but also means that spring and autumn weddings can be a real possibility.
World inspired wedding experience!
It’s that time of year, the summer is winding down and October is hot and sunny (!), which means World Inspired Tents is showing off their lovely Giant Hat tipis again.
We all know it’s tricky to visualise the teepees without ever being inside one, so seeing the tents in all their glorious canvas flesh is an absolute must! You will fall in love and won't be able contemplate any other type of tent or marquee for your wedding.
They’re planning to set up three Giant Hat tipis with the smaller Cirrus 40 tipi (often used as a service tent) and all the trimmings so you can really look at all the options.
At the open day you can meet their dedicated team, from office staff to crew members, so you will know exactly who you’re dealing with, but to make the most of your visit they suggest you contact the office to book an appointment on the day you plan to be there so that one of the team can make sure they’re available to talk tipis with you.
Make a date in your diary for World Inspired Tents open weekend at Darts Farm, Topsham, Nr Exeter on Saturday the 22nd of October and Sunday 23rd October.
Focus on Atelier Tammam at The Luxury Wedding Show
Here at GU HQ we're delighted to learn that Tammam, one of our favourite ethical wedding dress labels is to exhibit their Couture Range of wedding gowns at The Luxury Wedding Show in London later this month. This only goes to show how eco-luxe has hit the mainstream and become the norm for many couples getting wed today.
Since launching their couture range Tammam has attracted a celebrity following including the likes of Alicia Silverstone, Olivia Williams, Erin O’Connor and Rachel McDowell. Cited as one of the designers in the running for the royal wedding dress and described as “absolutely gorgeous” by Jason Gardiner, the Tammam couture collection is the new label of choice for discerning brides.
You can read more about Atelier Tammam on the show website
Green Union's Eco Chic Boutique stocks Tammam's diffusion range of wedding dresses.
The Luxury Wedding Show is to be held at The Saatchi Gallery, Kings Road in London on 22nd and 23rd October 2011.
Wedding Fair at Trafford Hall
Lovely new (to us) wedding venue, Trafford Hall, nestled in the countryside just outside Chester, are throwing their very first wedding fair this Thursday evening.
Trafford Hall is run and maintained by the National Communities Resource Centre - a notable charity. This year the Charity has been awarded Level 4 of the Green Dragon Standards for the centre's environmental management systems (EMS)and the centre has just celebrated its 20th anniversary.
The Hall is a magnificent grade 2 listed Georgian Manor house, situated in 14 acres of award winning gardens and surrounded by the beautiful Cheshire countryside, a perfect setting for your ethical wedding day celebrations.
The house offers a beautiful ballroom and glasshouse licensed for your wedding ceremony, plus a couple of other more intimate rooms for smaller weddings (the big wedding trend). The child friendly venue is surrounded by beautiful gardens and has 53 ensuite bedrooms to accommodate all your guests at very reasonable prices. What more could you wish for?
SAVE THE DATE.......
Thursday 8th September 2011
At Trafford Hall, - FREE entry and arrival drink.
View this magnificent venue set up for a wedding ceremony and reception. Take this opportunity to meet their experienced wedding team and and meet wedding suppliers including entertainment, vintage cars and beauty therapists.
If you cant'sake it to Trafford Hall tomorrow but you're planning to get wed around the Chester area then get in contact with Nicky Dutton to arrange a viewing, check availability and discuss your ideas and dreams. Tel: 01244 300246 or email email@example.com
With wedding receptions becoming more informal affairs - a huge future trend - we thought ingenious small catering business, Georgios Pizzas, could be the perfect choice for a fantastically fun gathering!
Georgios is a small Somerset based local business, launched in 2009 by their love for traditionally delicious organic sourdough based pizzas baked in a mobile wood fired pizza oven. The pizzas are made using locally produced Organic Shipton Mill flour and the sourdough process means that there is no yeast added to the bread, giving them a great bite which is far lighter than the western deep pan variety.
This is a unique pizza catering experience; they are happy to travel to weddings and parties, though South West based, and conscious of their carbon footprint, they say they do like to keep things as local as possible, sorry New York, London and Japan!
If you try them you are sure to find them as addictive and delicious as we have!
Kentish green wedding venue
If you're planning a wedding in Kent and looking for a uniquely eco-friendly wedding venue then take a trip The Pines Calyx. They're holding their Autumn Wedding Open Day on Sunday 30th October.
It's an exclusive and unique wedding venue set in St. Margaret’s Bay just North of Dover - one of our favourites.
Meet the team and some of Kent’s finest wedding professionals who will be exhibiting on the day.
Entry is free and open to all. Start the day with a complementary glass of Champagne on arrival and take your time to check out this wonderful space and chat with the lovely people who run this unique place.
The Pines Calyx is set in a wonderfully tranquil garden atop the famous White Cliffs. After you've had a look around the venue you could take a stroll around the beautiful garden, visit the tea room for refreshments and pop down to the Bay to admire the iconic Cliffs.
What? Wedding Open Day
Where? Pines Calyx, Beach Road, The Pines Garden, St. Margaret’s Bay, Kent, CT15 6DZ
When? Sunday 30th October 2011 from 11am to 4pm
Still yearning for a Pippa Middleton-style wedding dress without the McQueen price tag?
You may be interested to know that Bridal Path, a lovely bridal boutique in pretty and historic Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, has just taken delivery of Motasem Bridal’s two year bestseller, the Alaya dress with cap sleeves and puddle train that we mentioned here just a few weeks ago. The dress is a highly flattering, cowl neck bias-cut gown in a fabulous soft crepe silk with lots of weight to it, enough to make any bride feel like a princess on her special day.
And priced at £925 or £695 without cap sleeves and train, it’s very reasonable too.
We think the Alaya is the perfect dress for brides wanting something simple, classic and fantastic quality for the price. The gown is pictured above in Bridal Path’s window teamed with a pair of Rachel Simpson ‘Marilyn’ suede and satin bow shoes.
The Alaya dress was designed by Sabina Ali from London-based label, Motasem Bridal and is available with lace detail and a plunging backless cowl version. Motasem provides understated, vintage inspired wedding dresses to brides looking for simple and elegant wedding dresses.
Weddings, tents and gypsy caravan
Simone from Welsh Green Weddings sent us some lovely photos of the first two weddings held at their wonderful new licensed wedding venue at Penybanc Farm in Carmarthenshire.
Maggie and Steve were married there in May. It was an intimate family affair - Maggie originates from Guyana in South America so there was rather an exotic theme - a light green wedding with hot pinks, rum punch and colourful flowers - great contrast to the rolling green Welsh mountains!
The second wedding at the beginning of June was a larger event with a wonderful tent set on the platform overlooking the valley. They had beautiful sunny weather, a vegetarian reception, Chinese flying lanterns and a good time was had by all.
A wonderful idea - Welsh Green Weddings now have a beautifully restored authentic Romany caravan - perfect for the bride and groom on their wedding night, or a romantic break.
Welsh Green Weddings are offering 'Midweek Weddings' or 'Tea Party Weddings' for budget minded couples. To find out more go to their website or phone Simone on 01559 370517 for a chat.
World Inspired tree campaign
The fabulous tent company World Inspired Tents tells us that they have been working on a little idea for a while. It's an idea that Ed and Donna, founders of World Inspired have been determined to make happen since they started the company four years ago, but the seasons got busy, tents needed pitching and their little idea remained a seed for some time.
They've always told us that being green is very important to the company and they try as hard as they can to recycle all of their waste, to reduce fuel consumption, to use eco friendly materials where they can and last year they joined 1% for the planet.
Now the seed has grown into a sapling and, over a month ago, lots of little trees arrived at Ed and Donna’s home. They’ve planted them in the back garden and they're nurturing them carefully in preparation for giving them to everyone who books their tents this year.
The little saplings will arrive wrapped in hessian, with a string tie and a cool little personalised card hanging off them.
The season has started and they’ve already given out a handful of trees. They tell us that the response has been fantastic and just confirms why they’re doing this - to say thank you, to give a beautiful tree to celebrate a special day while also giving a little bit back to the environment.
So go ahead and book a tent, make a tree happy!
By the way if you're curious about the tents and how they are put up, then check out this video over on YouTube.
Matara's green weddings
There's a wonderfully eco venue in the middle of England called Matara which offers ethical couples heaps of lovely ideas for their weddings and we thought it time that they told us more about the Centre. So here it is, straight from the people in the know. Over to you, Alice:
Matara Weddings - Clothèd all in Green-O
At Matara, we have spent the last 15 years developing our Centre into a place which allows guests to celebrate their wedding very personally, confident that they are making vows in a setting behind which there are ecologically sound principles.
We believe in fresh, local, organic produce. As much as possible of the fruit and vegetables we serve are organic; our meat is sourced from a trusted local butcher. We try as much as possible to serve seasonal produce, cutting down the miles your food travels to ensure it is fresh, with the best possible taste. We are committed to serving fish that has been responsibly sourced and is sustainable, so that we protect future needs for everyone. Wherever possible, we source our butter locally; it tastes better, doesn't travel far, and we are helping the local economy. We offer local cheeses, with milk from local cows.
Pippa Middleton look-alike wedding dress
Sabina Ali sent us these lovely photos of one of her brides wearing the gorgeous Alaya crepe satin wedding dress from the Motasem range.
Just goes to show you can be a princess for a day too!
Royal wedding flags
As Royal wedding fever grips the nation and the world we'd like to make a little boast that some of our partners are thoroughly involved in the event.
Big Wave Flags, for instance, have had their complete stock of fabulous festival flags booked for the event. They'll be 'flying the flags' at Camp Royale on Clapham Common for the entire weekend! Apparently they will be flying at some other undisclosed locations too...
Big Wave Flags is a unique company that makes and rents festival flags for weddings and other events. They will either rent stock flags or will create bespoke beauties for those that have a specific colour theme not already in their portfolio.
Flags really are a spectacular and cost effective way to enliven a large space. The flying colours and movement of the flags will uplift the day and give the whole event a dynamically colourful flavour.
Find out more information on their website or contact Andrew on 01209 891819
Welsh green weddings
At last we have found an amazing venue in Wales for those that want to get wed the green way over the border. And what a venue it is, hosting wedding and civil partnership celebrations on their organic farm for those who want a truly rural, less commercialised, more individual green event.
Welsh Green Weddings in West Wales, is a small organic farm of forty acres tucked into the lush green Teifi Valley. They offer self-catered and/or catered accommodation for over forty people sleeping in three separate converted farm buildings plus additional sensitively managed spaces for camping and caravans. And there's a beautifully converted Old Dairy for small wedding receptions while larger receptions can be held in hired tents, yurts or marquees in the field close to the farmhouse.
An undiscovered gem of a venue nestling on the borders of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire. Although it sounds rather remote, it's actually only a mile from the A484 linking Carmarthen to Cardigan and the nearest railway station is in Carmarthen, only 12 miles away, just beyond the western end of the M4, so very easy to get to from far and wide.
Welsh Green Weddings is Vegetarian approved, being members of the Vegetarian Society Food and Drink Guild, and the farm is heated by a biomass boiler with solar powered hot water. The photos were taken on a gloriously sunny spring day last weekend - you can just imagine how lush it will be in the summer!
These wonderful people are incredibly flexible and are happy to do whatever you like, whatever the size or complexity of your big day.
Dream green weddings in Cornwall
There’s been a revolution in the world of weddings recently. Suddenly weddings are all about the bride and groom, and the way they choose to live and marry.
You’d think that this was always how it was meant to be, but in the past it didn’t usually work out that way.
The best day of your life was often all about the parents who were probably paying for it, Great Aunt Martha’s dislike of fancy food and not upsetting the vicar!
Thankfully things have changed and now it's very personal – weddings are more and more a reflection of the happy couple themselves - they’re romantic, they’re green, they’re fun.
Cornish Tipi Weddings captures the essence of eco-chic – riding the crest of this new wave of green Romantics with its very 21st century blend of sustainability, fun and glamour.
Their licensed wedding pavillion means it's the closest you'll get to an outdoor wedding ceremony in England and they’ll arrange the wedding of your dreams for 20 people or 220 people, with a matchless backdrop of woodland and sky, shimmering lake water and magical Cornish earth.
For more information about Cornish Tipi Weddings and Cornish Tipi Holidays (their tipi camping accommodation) go to their website www.cornishtipiholidays.co.uk, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01208 880781
"The ceremony took place in a clearing in the woods. Guests sat on hay bales and sipped champagne...The band was fantastic, the company even better and we finished it off sleeping in a tipi and waking to a fantastic day of fishing and swimming in the lake."
Celebrate Fair Trade Gold
With Fair Trade Fortnight just round the corner it seems the perfect time to tell you about the recent launch of the new Fair-trade Gold standard for jewellery. Its been a long time coming but now we're delighted to tell you it's become a reality.
February 14th 2011 marked the launch of Fair mined and Fair-trade gold, an exciting prospect for the jewellery industry, and one that we have long supported. Historically, gold mining has been a harsh and often unfair business for artisanal miners who are often left at the mercy of unfair supply chains making it difficult to get a fair price. Thanks to the new Fair-trade gold system, each stage of the gold mining process is monitored to ensure the money that the consumer spends will genuinely go back to those who worked to extract the gold from the earth.
To mark this positive development, one of our favourite jewellers, Leblas has just launched its latest collection of beautiful, timeless wedding bands for 2011. Each ring is made using fair trade white or yellow gold and conflict-free Canadian sourced diamonds. With rings starting from £220 right through to 18ct wedding bands, so whatever your budget, you can own a stunning wedding ring, safe in the knowledge that it has been responsibly and ethically mined.
The perfect bunch - seasonal wedding flowers
As the wedding planning season reaches fever pitch and the first signs of spring emerge with the sweetest snowdrops, we will be bringing you seasonal wedding flower advice from lovely Green Union partner and eco friendly wedding florist Julie Ballard. Over to you Julie:
SPRING WEDDING FLOWERS:
A jug of fresh flowers on a table does more than simply symbolise the hope that a new season, particularly spring, brings. It makes us feel good too. Many people notice how, when our environment changes with the seasons, it affects how we feel. This is a good time to treat yourself to something that won’t pile on the pounds but will lift your mood as much as chocolate does - and last so much longer! So, perhaps some tulips? With a little piece of natural fabric to tie?
If you are planning a spring wedding why not start by looking at flowers that will be available in the months ahead – British and locally grown wherever possible of course. We’re not talking about those flowers which are available all year round because they are flown half way round the world or more! Of course the recent bad weather has affected flower availability just as much as it has caused problems for vegetable growers, but the flowers are fast catching up with the season now. With some forethought, many beautiful displays can be created using just a few blooms with plenty of mixed foliage and other interesting ingredients.
Peace of green art
This picture by one of our new wedding photographers Emma Stoner was selected to be displayed on the 'Plinth of Peace' on Parliament Square last month. The photo was captured in the very place where it is displayed - opposite the Houses of Parliament.
Emma said 'The 'Peace of Art' image was taken at a spontaneous protest on the 2nd of July 2010, the date was initially given by the judge as the final date of eviction. After a day of uncertainty and unrest activists from the camp headed to the gates of Parliament with peace-flags, followed closely by a throng of press photographers and journalists. After hanging the flags on the gate, they blockaded the road to demand peace and draw further attention to their cause. This picture captures a joyful moment between a young couple living on the square and the euphoric mood of the protest after a dramatic day. Many of the protesters were arrested later that evening and Simon and Anita (pictured) served short-term prison sentences for their part in the action.'
Not only is Emma a talented wedding photographer but she believes wholeheartedly in putting her talent to good use too. And over the past year she has worked closely with the Greenpeace International picture desk, freelancing as both a picture editor and photographer. Alongside this Emma has completed several self-initiated projects further exploring issues of environmental concern and social interest. Most recently she journeyed to Ladakh, Kashmir, documenting the people affected by the devastating floods that hit this Himalayan region in August 2010.
As you can see Emma's true empathy with her subjects shines through and her photographs tell great stories whether they are about your very special and unique wedding day or about the grittier social issues that beset our planet.
For more information and to contact Emma phone: +447554934750 or Email: email@example.com
Ethical wedding trains liberated in London
Today St. Pancras International was the backdrop to Tammam's 2011 roving couture show. It's awesome glass ceiling drenched the luxury wedding gowns in natural light while long walkways and cascading stairs liberated the longest ethical wedding trains in London!
The perfectly cut, immaculately tailored, beautifully designed gowns are inspired by 1930's glamour with lovingly restored vintage lace matching beautifully with luxe peace silks and organic cottons in cuts that accentuate the body.
Hand made wedding dresses with traditional features include the 'Kate' dress, inspired by her majesty-to-be, and the eco-couture 'Josephine' gown which has been hand embroidered for almost 4 months using banana yarn.
Cutting edge eco luxury is hard to come by, but Tammam does it with a flair that fills the void between traditional designers and the ethical fashion set. No more need to compromise on style or ethics for your wedding day.
The Tammam made to order and pret a porter bridal collection will be available in our Eco Chic Boutique from the end of January.
Watch a clip of the show here.
Giant wedding yurt unveiled in Scotland
When Nathan of Red Kite Yurts called to tell me about his giant wedding yurt I was so excited! We've been thinking for a while now that Scotland is at last finding its very own Green Wedding movement and here is solid proof.
Until now our Scottish brides and grooms have been frustrated at the temptation all those wonderful eco friendly wedding suppliers south of the border listed in our wedding directory, and not being able to use them for their own weddings in Scotland. But now all that is about to change and Red Kite Yurts is leading the way with their giant wedding tent.
It's very hard to imagine a yurt big enough to hold 200 wedding guests until you stand inside this beautiful structure that is lovingly hand crafted in Scotland. But now you can go see it for yourself next weekend as, along with other trusted wedding services, Red Kite Yurts are hosting an open day to showcase their beautiful tent fully decorated and furnished for a wedding. Definitely worth popping along if you are in the area or still trying to find a unique wedding venue for your big day in Scotland.
If you're not in Scotland and still looking for that special wedding marquee or tent for your green wedding, visit our wedding directory where we have the very best list of eco friendly and ethical wedding tent providers in the UK.
A wedding that won’t cost the Earth ...
If you are as committed to a green way of life, as you are to each other, then naturally you will want to ensure that your wedding is truly Green!
And with the average wedding costing dearly in monetary value and the earth’s resources, there are lots of measures you can take to make sure your wedding day doesn’t go against all that you believe in. You'll be looking for a thoughtfully planned menu for your wedding breakfast, an organic wedding cake, recycled stationery and a vintage wedding dress which all gain eco-points, so choosing an eco chic wedding venue will top the bill. Look no further, The Green House Hotel is a must see ...
The Green House, Bournmouth's 'Small Hotel of the Year 2010', a stylish and modern eco-friendly four star boutique hotel, boasts about being one of the Greenest hotels in the UK with excellent service and luxurious accommodation.
Ethical diamonds are a girl's best friend - 15% discount!
Following Prince William's proposal to Kate Middleton with his mother's sapphire engagement ring, alternative gemstones will be all the rage for engagements in 2011, and we think ethical diamonds are a part of that alternative choice.
Brides determined to express their individual style and avoid conflict diamonds are demanding rings designed with Canadian traceable diamonds, synthetic diamonds and traceable coloured stones like sapphires, amethysts, emeralds and rubies.
The Leblas Ethical Jewellery boutique in Chelsea, London, who is offering all our readers a 15% discount on any purchase in their boutique, has a unique variety of gorgeous wedding, engagement, and commitment rings. They are committed to providing high quality design as well as upholding a clear ethical stance: making modern designed jewellery through sustainable practices.
Blooming Green wedding flowers
You might think that you can't find flowers in the UK with a tiny carbon footprint. Well that is just not true any more! Now it's getting easier to find local, seasonal flowers, in every shade and always 'green'.
Jen and Bek of Blooming Green have made it their business to produce and supply eco-friendly couples with wedding flowers boasting the lowest carbon footprint you can possibly imagine. Not only do they grow their flowers following organic principles and do their best to avoid using pesticides or weedkiller, but they also use biodegradable packaging and containers which can be reused or recycled. They don't use carbon guzzling heated greenhouses, but just a polytunnel for nurturing their seedlings before they go outdoors and to extend the British cut flower season.
Their bouquets of funky or country flowers, zingy colours, herbs and quirky foliage are sure to make you smile and as you can see from the photos, eco-friendly locally grown flowers doesn't have to mean dull. In fact the brighter the better as far as they are concerned!
What we love about Blooming Green is that they think a brilliant way to de-stress from wedding plans is to go to the farm and pick your very own wedding flowers yourself. In fact they may very well be the first flower farm to offer this option to brides and it's a great way to have dreamy, unique flowers on a budget.
They are in the process of planning open days, courses and other exciting things for 2011. Find out more at www.bloominggreenflowers.co.uk .
Natural winter wedding
Roland and Miranda Ballard, the powerhouse behind brilliant new ethical meat company, Muddy Boots, got married on one of the coldest days last winter and had the most amazing green wedding day. The wedding was everything that we so love to hear about so we asked Miranda to tell us more. Over to you Miranda ...
Saturday 16 January 2010 at Burford Church, Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire for the ceremony and then 30yds/next door at my parents’ home for the reception! My parents still live where my sister and I grew up and it’s right next to this stunning rural church. My sister Olivia and I have been planning our wedding since we were 3 and 6 years old because we would play in the church. It was nice, for a change, to be able to be the bride on my own wedding because, as little sister,
Ethical flower girl dresses coming soon ...
Isn't she just delicious?
Now we're delighted to tell you that we will be also be stocking Lucy's brand new bridesmaid and flower girl dresses too.
As with the wedding gowns, these new frocks will be made in Tammam's atelier in India under fair trade conditions using hand loomed organic cotton and silk fabrics.
These new children's dress designs will be available from January 2011. If you would like to be notified when we have them in stock please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll put you on the mailing list.
New ethical wedding dresses for 2011
For all you brides out there who've been waiting with bated breath for her new bridal range, we can finally give you a sneak preview of Lucy Tammam's latest ethical and fair trade wedding gowns for 2011.
Just launched at New York Fashion Week's Nolcha, the showcase for independent designers, this absolutely stunning new range, created using peace silk, antique lace and organic cotton, has gone down a storm across the pond.
We can't wait to be able to offer these beautiful dresses in our Eco Chic Boutique, but we are going to have to be patient.
The new wedding gown designs will be available from January 2011. If you would like to be notified when we have them in stock please email us at email@example.com and we'll put you on the mailing list.
Meantime we have new stock of Lucy's beautiful Abbie wedding dress in all sizes. Abbie is made using 100% organic fair trade cotton satin and comes with a golden peace silk sash.
Ethical jewellery shop opens in Philadelphia
As many of you may know, this spring our favourite stateside ethical jeweller, Bario Neal, started renovating an old skateboard shop to create their first store and open workshop. They have just let us know that the renovations are now complete and they had a grand opening of their brand new store last Saturday.
We were really sorry not to have been able to be there to celebrate on such a great occasion, but everyone here at GU HQ wish them every success in their new venture.
If you live nearby do pop along and see designers Anna Bario and Page Neal handcrafting beautiful jewelry with reclaimed precious metals and ethically-sourced stones using low-impact, environmentally conscious practices in Philadelphia.
For more information, contact Bario-Neal Jewelry at 215.454.2164 or visit their website bario-neal.com
Gorgeous Green Weddings in Wiltshire - at last!
We're absolutely delighted to announce that the long wait is over for Winkworth Farm's brand new green wedding venue. Set to throw open its doors at the beginning of August, Winkworth Farm is embarking on a new chapter in its life as a premier eco-friendly venue for weddings, offering the highest quality service that doesn’t cost the earth.
Set in over 220 acres of organic pastureland, Winkworth Farm strongly believes in supporting the local economy whilst using the latest green technology to reduce its Carbon footprint. The 12th century farmstead has been lovingly renovated by local builders and craftsmen to embrace its ancient past and introduce environmentally friendly modern technology.
No expense has been spared when considering the earth’s future and being green doesn’t mean sub standards here. Energy efficient heating and audio visual equipment has been deployed and even the hand dryers are green and locally sourced!
Not only are they good to the environment but they believe is being good to the community so for every wedding or event held a donation is made to Oxfam Unwrapped and the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institute.
Further details and a brochure can be downloaded from: www.winkworthfarm.com
Eco-chic flowers for Devon brides!
We were over the moon when Bristol based florists Bella & Fifi told us that they were launching a branch of their business in Devon. Of course there was a certain amount of partiality in the emotion since GU HQ is based right here in North Devon!
Now eco conscious couples planning to wed in Devon and Cornwall can be sure that they will be able to experience hand picked, sweet scented, locally grown blooms on their wedding day.
Bella & Fifi don’t just style seasonal, UK-sourced flowers; they’ll also grow them to order to guarantee the most beautiful, freshest blooms possible. It's an original concept in wedding flowers which we've been bashing on about for the last four years and which we think is taking off in a big way as it's part of the growing trend towards sustainable wedding planning. It makes a wedding day all the more personal and of course more eco-friendly too.
But as Bella & Fifi explain, "it's not just about being 'eco', 'beautiful' is just as important, after all, it's the one day when everything needs to look stunning. We're trying to show that green and gorgeous can go hand in hand."
Ethical pearls on sale!
Mai Pearls is throwing a sizzling summer sale for the next 72 hours so if you haven't already chosen the jewellery for your upcoming green wedding, take time out to search the pearl chest for fabulous bargains!
All the pearls used within the Mai Pearls collection are Chinese farmed freshwater pearls and each piece of jewellery is handmade by a small group of mainland Chinese women. Mai Pearls supports fair trade and local community initiatives. This means that they ensure their suppliers are paid fair wages for their work; working conditions are safe and of a good standard and no children are exploited.
Mai Pearls also gives 10% of it's profits to Operation Blessings, Chinese orphan care program.
For more information and to take advantage of this great summer offer go to www.maipearls.co.uk.
Giant tipi tents win popular vote
With festival fever in full swing, Glastonbury all but over and a sweltering summer to inspire, you'll be thinking about throwing your eco friendly wedding in a field next summer, so whatever else you do you will probably need to hire a tent (just in case it rains!).
Imagine having 200 wedding guests gathered in three Giant Hat Kåtas all joined together to create a single huge space. The sun is setting, the band is in full swing and people are grooving on the dance floor. Across the tent people are chatting at the bar whilst others linger by the open fire…yes… inside the tent! You can have a smaller Tipi tent for guests to chill out on bean bags and giant cushions. Then as the night draws to a close, your guests can retire to individual camping tents in a tipi village created for you across the field.
In the West Country the lovely people at World Inspired Tents hire these wonderful giant tipis, known as Kåtas, offering an exciting, visually stunning and practical alternative to the traditional marquee and they have an amazing selection of teepee style tents for weddings, festivals and other outdoor events. World Inspired Tents will work with you to create a venue that will amaze and wow your wedding guests, their tents allow your imagination to run wild.
What's more this eco-friendly marquee company has recently scooped the top prize at the West Country Wedding Awards. To win this coveted award they have to have gained a healthy vote from their existing customers. Proof, we think, that they are just the best tent company that we thought they were!
20% discount off ethical wedding & engagement rings
We're delighted to announce that Leblas Ethical Jewellery is offering GreenUnion visitors a 20% discount off all its ethical wedding and engagement rings until 31st July 2010. For more information and to take advantage of this offer go to their website www.leblas.com and quote promotional code “greenunion”.
You can choose from their unique collection of ethical wedding, engagement and commitment rings which are all made using only recycled 18ct white and yellow gold, traceable gemstones, and conflict-free diamonds. Every ring is made with traditional artistry and modern design.
With their 4 distinct band shapes: Almond, Together, Round, and Double Leblas carries a unique variety of beautiful diamond sets, such as “The Leaf Diamond Band” and “The Double Diamond” - this season’s hottest sellers.
Fair trade jewellery on show
We're celebrating the very first international collective show of the best designers in the emerging ethical jewellery movement.
ESSENCE, hosted by CRED, is a space set aside to showcase a group of designers who share the vision that sustainable products do not have to sacrifice design or quality and are committed to sourcing all their materials and managing their business in a way that is socially, environmentally and culturally responsible.
ESSENCE is part of the Treasure exhibition, a centrepiece for London Jewellery Week, and is showcasing leading ethical jewelry designers including GreenUnion partners April Doubleday, Leblas and CRED's own stunning designer collections made from Oro Verde Fair Trade gold and platinum, recycled silver plus a range of jewellery from 6 emerging student designers from London Metropolitan University. All these dedicated and committed ethical jewellers offer stunning bridal collections and prices start from just £20.
Organic and natural make up artist is back!
Make up artists who use only natural products are rare within the wedding and bridal market so we're extra pleased to welcome Laurie Sanders of Orglamic back to our Wedding Directory after maternity leave.
This unique organic make-up artistry service uses the finest cosmetics that will enhance your natural wedding beauty. Whether you have an idea in mind, or need inspiration Laurie can help you create the perfect look.
Laurie also offers make-up lessons for those brides who want to go it alone on their wedding day but need a little bit of advice on how to apply the most natural of make up products. For more information go ahead and contact Laurie at Orglamic to discuss your individual needs.
Phone: 07783 379 647
New ethical jeweller joins us!
Today we are delighted to welcome Ness Bird Jewellery to our Wedding Directory. Ness Bird, a jewelry maker based in Glastonbury, Somerset, carefully hand crafts fairtrade bespoke wedding and engagement rings.
Ness also produces the Finger Print Ring, a signature jewel. The ultimate in personal jewellery captures dynamic details of your loved one's fingerprint which creates the design of the ring. Ness only uses gold, silver and platinum sourced from socially and environmentally responsible mines.
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