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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.
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
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!
Owl prowls and badger watching excursions launched at Folly Farm
We're delighted to tell you today that wonderful award winning wedding venue, Folly Farm, has launched a new range of free wildlife excursions for wedding guests, from owl prowls to nighttime badger watching expeditions.
Director, Andrew Lund-Yates, told us: “Located at the heart of a stunning 250-acre reserve of wildflower meadows and ancient woodland, Folly Farm is surrounded by the wonders of nature.
And one of the main reasons couples are attracted to this special place is the romantic beauty of the environment, from its bird life and ancient gnarled oak trees to the dreamlike vistas over towards Chew Valley Lake.
Wedding guests are often keen to learn more about this incredible landscape and its biodiversity, so now we’re offering wildlife excursions guided by experts from Avon Wildlife Trust - everything from bat and bird spotting to owl prowls and badger watching.”
Red carpet glamour from Tammam
Doesn't she look stunning....
The fabulous coat dress Eleanor Tomlinson wore to the Esquire Summer Party last night was tailored in the UK by Atelier Tammam after being hand embroidered by their fair trade stitching team in India using traditional Nepalese Banana yarn. The coat fabric is a hand-loomed organic cotton, naturally dyed ochre, with a natural dye over print, then hand block printed by traditional Kalamkari artisans in Andhra Pradesh. The coat is lined with a hand loomed peace silk and hand finished.
Accessorised yesterday with Beyond Skin shoes, navy tights (how is it still cold enough for tights?!) and a navy sash belt also from Atelier Tammam.
Just one design from Tammam's large fashion collection, this coat dress would make a stunning and unusual wedding gown. It is available made to order or to hire from Atelier Tammam in London's Bloomsbury.
Vote for Eleanor as Best dressed at last nights party here.
Loveluxe revisited - 10 good reasons to throw an intimate wedding
Check out our latest green wedding planning advice column on the lovely Loveluxe Blog. This time we thought it would be good to mention the growing trend for more intimate weddings.
As wedding budgets get tighter we’re hearing from our partners that guest lists are shrinking and weddings of a more intimate nature are the big choice for eco savvy couples, so we thought we’d conjure up some chic tips for couples planning to throw a more intimate affair:
Get the whole story over at Loveluxe and celebrate the fact that your wedding is small but perfectly formed!
Westcountry wedding award scoop
We were thrilled to hear, last week, that the World Inspired Tents team has, yet again, scooped the accolade of Best Marquee Hire Provider at the 2013 Westcountry Wedding Awards. The awards are voted for by customers, so this one can’t be a better endorsement for the company.
Let’s hope for their sake, for the sake of all our Marquee & Tent suppliers and, of course, all you lovely couples planning to get married outdoors this year, that the weather is a little kinder.
If you are throwing a green wedding out of doors this year don't forget to warn your guests to come prepared and bring wet weather gear!
Green Union shares with Loveluxe
We're delighted to have been invited to share our green and eco-friendly wedding tips with the lovely readers of Loveluxe.com for the next few months.
Do pop over there and see for yourself what other brilliant ideas and tips the Loveluxe community have for you...
Posted in Green Wedding News
Event Flag Hire moves..
They tell us that they're really excited about the move as this means they have loads of space to make their new 2013 ranges... and there's lots to come, we believe, like this lovely silk blue ribbon flag being tested out by young Fred!
The Event Flag Hire Company designs, makes, hires and installs beautiful handmade flags, bunting and banners (including bespoke) to decorate natural green eco-friendly weddings.
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.
fforest weddings has a new website!
One of our ffavourite wedding venues, fforest has launched their brand new website, just in time for the New Year.
Take a dip into their gorgeous new website focusing entirely on the wonderfully unique, natural weddings they throw in this beautiful environment, and tell me you won't be tempted to throw your green nuptials there!
18th May 2013 wedding date available!
An update on our post last week about Welsh Green Weddings ...
They have just let us know that due to a cancellation they can offer the weekend of May 17th to 20th 2013 (wedding day Saturday 18th May) to another couple, so if you're still searching for the perfect place to tie the knot in an ethically green way in 2013, then the Ceridwen Centre in Carmarthenshire is worth considering.
Just email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01599 370517.
Luxury Bride Sample Sale 8 - 9 September, London
Have you heard about the Luxury Bride Sample Sale in London on the weekend of 8 and 9 September?
A two day sale event of luxury and ethical wedding dresses, shoes, accessories and underwear, including samples from the collections of two of London’s best kept secrets - hand crafted, ethereal couture bridal gowns from Tammam and luxuriously understated dresses with a quirky modern twist from Sabina Motasem.
They’re offering incredible discounts of up to 70% off and, with experienced wedding designers on hand to help you style and complete your look, it’s an event not to be missed!
Held at Atelier Tammam in Bloomsbury, you’ll find everything you need to complete your outfit under one roof, plus a selection of original vintage gowns from the Atelier’s collection – all with delicious cupcakes, guilt free nibbles and some bubbly thrown in.
So get along to Bloomsbury and pick up some wonderfully luxurious wedding bargains.
Location: Atelier Tammam, 5 Hastings Street, London WC1H 9PZ
Date: 8-9 September 2012 from 11:00 – 18:00
Sustainable wedding soiree
Last Friday we were delighted to attend the grand opening of Atelier Tammam, London's first ethically focused couture wedding studio and boutique. We had a lovely time at the soiree thrown by Lucy Tammam, the power behind the label.
The new Atelier Tammam is located on Hastings Street in Bloomsbury and close to Kings Cross and St. Pancras (so convenient for out of town brides). Dedicated to the same cause as the label, the rooms convey effortlessly stylish and exuberant ethical luxury with bamboo flooring, eco-friendly paints on the walls, English hand crafted rails and fabulously stylish energy saving light bulbs. It's only fitting that a bride should purchase a one of a kind dress in a one of a kind bridal boutique for their very special day!
We are so excited for Lucy who has worked tirelessly since 2007 to design and produce fashion forward bridal gowns and evening wear that is ethically produced, fairly traded, sustainable, vegetarian and environmentally friendly - not such an easy task. Here at GU HQ we all wish her the very best of luck in her new venture.
Atelier Tammam, 5 Hastings Street, Bloomsbury London WC1H 9PZ
For more information go to or to Tammam London. to make an appointment email email@example.com or phone 02076177512
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
Has the Kimberley Process been undermined?
The recent news, reported to us recently by Ingle & Rhode, that Zimbabwe will once again be included within the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme is hugely disappointing.
The Marange diamond fields in Zimbabwe contain the most significant find of diamonds the world has seen for many years. Since 2009 these diamonds had been refused Kimberley Process (KP) accreditation as a result of human rights abuses and alleged non-compliance with the KP certification requirements.
Eco Hero: Linda Moss
Congratulations to our great friend Linda Moss - author of Organic Places to Stay, who has been nominated by Greenhouse PR as their Eco-Hero for September.
"The reason why we love Linda is that she has been passionate about organic holidays for the last 12 years - working her socks off to produce a wonderful guide and website and never giving up - despite difficulties along the way. The outcome is a wonderful guide with truly wonderful organic places to stay" say the people at Greenhouse PR.
We wholeheartely agree with this statement and are delighted to see her efforts being recognised.
Check out her website which lists hundreds of fantastic places to stay in the UK and further afield, ranging from putting your own tent up in a field on a certified organic permaculture farm to a boutique hotel with an organic restaurant, the many options in between include an amazing variety of bed and breakfast and self catering accommodation too.
Perfect for planning your organic honeymoon.
Royal green wedding
It's what we'd all hoped and been waiting for - proof that the Royal wedding will, in every sense be a green affair.
News that Westminster Abbey is being decked out with an avenue of 20ft trees (all to be replanted at Highgrove when the celebrations are over), lining the aisle leading to the alter, makes our hearts sing with joy!
Much of the foliage will come from the royal estates and everything is to be English, natural, seasonal, ethical and as organic as possible. The resulting decorations are to be understated and elegant - we love it!
And we know that the wedding flowers will be full of meaning with the language of flowers and symbolism being key.
The trees in the Abbey will be six English field maples, symbolising humility and reserve, and two hornbeams, symbolising resilience. They will be in huge pots made by English craftsmen at Highgrove.
The seasonal flowers being used in the displays include Solomon's seal, brought from Sandringham, which symbolises confirmation of love; azaleas, the Chinese symbol of femininity; lilacs, which represent first love, and blossoms, signifying spiritual beauty. Other blooms being used include rhododendron, euphorbias, beech and wisteria, mostly from Windsor Great Park.
We can't wait to see it all on Friday and sense a huge trend for natural decor in 2012's green weddings.
Independent eco florists
A little bird has told us that two of our fabulous eco florists are to be listed in The Independent newspaper’s 50 Best Florists 2011 list this weekend!
If you want to read all about it make sure you buy The Independent this Saturday!
Penrhos wedding availability Spring/Summer 2011
Penrhos Court still has two wedding dates left in early 2011 so if you're still dithering about where to get wed this is the most amazing venue to choose - one of the greenest venues in our wedding directory, we highly recommend that you go visit and see what they can offer before these two rather good dates get snapped up.
The weekends of 23/24 April 2011 and 21/22 May 2011 are still available to book.
Penrhos is a great party house and is yours exclusively for your wedding. Licensed for civil ceremonies the whole event can unfold here. With 15 ensuite bedrooms you, your family and friends can stay one, two or three nights creating a magical weekend house party.
“All our guests captivated by the uniqueness of Penrhos. It is not just the idyllic setting however but the underlying ethos of the place that makes it so very special." Laura & Chris 2009
Green weddings on TV
Are you planning a wedding or civil partnership in 2011? Have you organised the wedding of your dreams?
WOULD YOU LIKE TO WIN A FANTASTIC HONEYMOON?
LIVING’S hit show ‘Four Weddings’ is coming back by popular demand next year and they are again looking for more couples to attend and score each other’s weddings. Each wedding will be scored on the venue, the food, the overall experience and of course, the dress. The couple that scores the highest will win the luxury honeymoon of their dreams!
This is a great opportunity to shout about how chic an ethical and natural wedding can be. Hurry they are casting now!
Royal Wedding Bells!
Did you hear that Prince William and long-term girlfriend Kate Middleton announced their engagement today!
Fantastic! You'll be in right royal company if you're planning to get wed next year, as today's exciting announcement says that Wills and Kate are getting married in the summer of 2011 and will announce the wedding date in due course.
Naturally we're wondering, here at GU HQ, and considering Wills Dad is particularly partial to anything organic or British, whether there will be any references to greener more eco friendly elements in the wedding preparations. At the very least we would expect to see the Royal couple employing great British businesses and producers - British design, British fabrics, British produce and supporting some fantastic traditional British skills, thus putting something back into our own economy.
As the Royal wedding plans unfold we will keep try and you up to date, especially highlighting anything that we think merits a special mention. Watch this space!
GreenUnion supports the Any Campaign
Through the grapevine we've just heard about a new campaign which we think deserves all the support it can get.
As couples planning eco friendly weddings across England know, one of the most frustrating things is not being able to choose a beautiful spot in a favourite location for their green weddings. If you've always dreamed of tying the knot in a bluebell glade or on top of a mountain, or anywhere else for that matter that does not have a licensed roof then don't hesitate to support this campaign.
ANY: Campaign to Legalise Marriage Anytime Anywhere - is a campaign to legalise marriage ceremonies to be able to take place at anytime, anywhere in the UK. Currently, in England, a wedding ceremony has to take place in a permanent structure between the hours of 8am and 6pm. The aim of 'The Any Campaign' is to enable Brides and Grooms to have the wedding of their dreams!
Congratulations to the organisers, photographers Tino&Pip. You have everyone at GreenUnion HQ's support.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
How should a wedding be celebrated? Part 2
If you didn't manage to find the programme on the BBC World Service that we mentioned yesterday, here's the link.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p008w7kl on iplayer. You'll find it 14 minutes into the programme.
Congratulations to Kate Smallwood for talking such sense!
How should a wedding be celebrated?
That's what the BBC is asking after the Reverend Giles Fraser, Canon Chancellor of St. Paul's gave his Thought for the Day on weddings during yesterday's Radio 4 Today programme. And what a furore it's created!
Sparked off by the excessive spend of the recent Clinton wedding, his comments that we've lost sight of the true meaning of marriage, have caused quite some discussion on the airwaves - see BBC Today.
Well here at GU HQ we think you should celebrate your wedding the way that's right for you and don't loose track of why you are getting married. After all this is one of the the most special days of your life where you are making a committment to one another to cherish each other for life. And no matter what pressures you have from family and friends, if you want to go away and tie the knot alone, then do it. Alternatively if you want to splash out and entertain everyone, and have the budget to do so (a crucial detail), then why not?
All we ask is that you consider how you do it - spend your money wisely, support local producers and businesses, encourage people to participate and consider your impact on the environment too.
The BBC World Service is going to discuss the ins and outs of weddings at 9pm tonight - might be worth a listen.
Wedding Tree Favours - sad farewell
We're mourning the loss of one of our favourite partners.
Wedding Tree Favours is closing its doors after three fabulous years of supplying hand grown tree saplings for so many eco friendly weddings!
Alan Waterman, originally a farmer, set up Wedding Tree Favours after his own daughter asked him to provide her with some tree saplings for wedding favours when she got married. Over the years he has collected and planted thousands of indigenous tree seeds and lovingly nurtured them to sapling stage, then sent them out to eco savvy couples who have used them as favours and gifts for weddings. The trees were all British Natives like Oak and Yew, or species like Walnut and Sweet Chestnut which were introduced to Britain hundreds of years ago. Alan estimates that they have sent out over 10,000 trees - now that's a huge leg up for the British countryside!
Alan is retiring and plans to do a bit of travelling. We reckon he deserves a well earned rest and wish him and his family all the best for the future.
If you still hope to give trees as a lasting reminder of your wedding day that will not only live way beyond your own lifetime, but also that of your children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, you can still buy saplings from Tree 2 My Door who supply saplings, seeds and trees for wedding gifts and favours.
Alan's story reminds me of a beautiful little book called The Man Who Planted Trees by Jean Giorno. Treat yourself or give it to your bridesmaids, best man, ushers and parents as a big thank you for all their love, help and support.
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.
A sustainable wedding gown
If you're not the sentimental type and don't plan on keeping your wedding dress for your daughter to wear on her own wedding day (it's so not going to happen!) then here's a truly extreme solution to the idea of recycling the wedding gown.
Researchers at England's Sheffield Hallam University, along with the fashion department, have designed an eco-friendly wedding dress that can be dissolved in water, according to a university press release.
So, what's more, you could save on your honeymoon wardrobe as the fabric dissolves transforming it into five more different fashion garments! Waste not, want not...
"The students wanted to challenge the notion that a wedding dress should only be used once and aimed to explore modern society's attitudes towards throwaway fashion," fashion lecturer Jane Blohm says in a press release.
"The project is a union between art and technology which explores the possibilities of using alternative materials for our clothing.
"The wedding gown is perhaps one of the most symbolic garments in [a woman's] wardrobe and represents the challenges of 'throwaway fashion.'"
In fact the dress is featured in an exhibition entitled A Sustainable Marriage - on until 16th May at the University's Furnival Gallery .
Win a luxury honeymoon!
LIVING TV's really popular hit show ‘Four Weddings’ is back and they are looking for more brides-to-be to attend and score each other’s weddings.
They are particularly looking for a couple planning to throw a green wedding sometime between May and November 2010 who would like to feature in the third series due out early in 2011.
The idea is that each wedding will be scored, by the other couples, on the venue, the food, the overall experience and of course, the dress. The couple that score the highest will win the luxury honeymoon of their dreams!
We think this is a great opportunity for couples choosing the eco friendly option to get the message out that there is another way to get wed, instead of plumping for that old cookie cutter wedding. What's more, if your wedding scores the highest out of the four then you will win a luxury honeymoon.
To find out more visit www.livingtv.co.uk/fourweddings
And if you are interested in taking part visit www.livingtv.co.uk/shows/four-weddings/apply-for-season-three or please call 020 7157 3596 or email email@example.com with your wedding date, phone number, wedding theme, a bit of info about you and your partner and anything else you think they should know.
Hurry they are casting now! Don't forget to tell them that you found out about the show from us here at GreenUnion.
Lots of luck!
Celebrate Earth Day!
Get out of the office, home or workplace, walk in the sunshine, look around you and smell the fresh spring air. Look at the flowers, listen to the birds.
Make a pledge to do just one thing today that will make a difference ...
Love our Abbie wedding dress!
Best selling wedding dress Abbie has been a rip roaring success and we can't help blowing our own trumpet for a change.
"My wedding dress arrived within 5 days of ordering it. I love love love it and just wanted to say thank you sooooo much for your amazing and personable service. You are amazing!" Meg Brooks
The Abbie wedding gown, designed in London by Lucy Tammam and made under fair trade conditions in India, was launched exclusively on GreenUnion last April and has proved to be a winning success. This simple but stylish of-the-peg wedding dress has been a great hit with eco-concious brides on a budget seeking a little bit of luxury.
Abbie is made in 100% fair trade certified cotton satin and lined in 100% organic hand loomed cotton lining. It's all finished off with a luxurious 100% wild peace silk gold sash. What's more it comes at a very affordable price of only £450.
Having sold so well, Abbie is currently only available from our Eco Chic Boutique in sizes 10 and 16, but if you too have fallen in love with the gown you can now pre-order the other sizes for May delivery.
Gold can't get fairer than this
Congratulations to Greg Valero and CRED!
Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International (FLO) and the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) have announced the long-awaited launch of the first international independent third-party certification for gold production.
The new Fairtrade and Fairmined standards will mean that millions of impoverished artisanal small-scale miners around the world will be able to receive independent certification and recognition for their efforts, bringing economic security to millions of families and their communities around the world.
Yesterday CRED told us "We have long recognised the value in knowing exactly where our gold comes from, the way it was mined and all the hands it has passed through. Along with our mining partners Oro Verde we have championed the cause of the artisanal miner and the Fair Trade approach that seeks to put control back in the hands of the producer and pay a Fair Price for their work."
Forever Green Wedding Fair
If you're planning to wed in Nottinghamshire then you might find some great ideas at Forever Green's Wedding Fair at the end of February.
Romantically surrounded by 70 acres of woodland, the show is set to be a special one. You'll find live wedding music, wedding fashion shows, bucks fizz on arrival and fantastic goodie bag give aways.
Plus all the advice you could need from a top range of wedding exhibitors who can help you create the perfect wedding day.
What? Wedding Fair
GU HQ hosted a tea party
We had a lovely afternoon here at GU HQ last Thursday when Rosie Parsons, a very talented wedding photographer, and Vicky of Vintage Teasets braved the deep Devon lanes to come and visit us right here at headquarters.
Its not often we get visitors here, we usually have to trek out to the big city to find our friends, so there was definitely a celebratory atmosphere. The GU kitchen produced a delicious polenta cake which went down a treat with fair trade tea.
Rosie snapped away for posterity, even insisting on recording a new portrait of me! Then after tea, we showed them around; they inspected the cutting garden, woods and veg patch and talked to the chickens before driving off into the early dusk making their way back to the big cities.
The ultimate vintage wedding dress
Who wouldn't want to wear a vintage wedding dress designed for Audrey Hepburn?
Lot 333, the ivory satin bridal gown designed for Audrey for her planned wedding to James Hanson in 1952 which never took place, is part of a collection of dresses worn by Audrey Hepburn, to be auctioned off in London on December 8 by Kerry Taylor Auctions.
Gorgeous engaged couple?
Very short notice!
Condé Nast BRIDES magazine is looking for a gorgeous engaged couple for a fun, cool fashion shoot in a central London studio this Friday 20th.
Only needed for 4 hours and I guarantee it will be a really fun day with great pictures for you to keep.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone her on 0207 152 3327 for more information.
Plese let them know that you came through GreenUnion.
CALLING ALL BRIDES-TO-BE!!
ARE YOU GETTING MARRIED BETWEEN SEPTEMBER 2009 – MARCH 2010?
WOULD YOU LIKE TO WIN A LUXURY HONEYMOON?
LIVING’S hit show ‘Four Weddings’ is back and they're looking for more brides-to-be to attend and score each other’s weddings. Each wedding will be scored on the venue, the food, the overall presentation and of course, the dress. The bride with the best day will win the luxury honeymoon of their dreams!
They are particularly keen to find a couple throwing a Green Wedding, so if you're planning to get wed or celebrate your civil partnership any time between September this year and March 2010 and fancy your chances give it a go!
For more info. visit www.livingtv.co.uk/fourweddings and download the application form.
Hurry they are casting now!
Posted in Green Wedding News
Are you throwing a Scottish green wedding?
Scottish Television's programme The Hour is looking for couples planning an eco wedding in Scotland this year.
The programme is a week nightly lifestyle magazine show presented by Stephen Jardine which transmits between 5 and 6 pm. They cover all aspects of modern living from Fashion, Health and Music to Cooking, Money and Films.
If you're interested in being filmed for an item about ethical weddings in the show and telling them all about your own green wedding plans, then get in touch with Abi Judge, the producer of the programme, at email@example.com or call her on 0141 300 3207.
Do tell her you heard about the programme from GreenUnion.
With 'wedding month' coming to fever pitch, and everyone talking nuptials, we're stoked to have been chosen for their prestigious green award by the online luxury lifestyle magazine, Hot Brands Cool Places.
They think we're just the best when it comes to doling out advice to couples planning chic and sustainable weddings. We're not objecting!
Posted in Green Wedding News
Is your wedding ring dirty?
With the wedding season getting well under the way, you're probably thinking about that little band of gold, the symbol of our marriage vows. But before you plump for that potent icon, you may want to know an itsy bit more about the true cost of dirty gold mining.
Watch No Dirty Gold campaigners, community members and jewellery retailers on the Sundance Channel's series, Ecotrip: the Real Cost of Living. Starting today, the series will air its "gold ring" episode chronicling the environmental and community impacts of gold mining.
Charity bride in the news
Our blogger bride Vicky's got so hooked on collecting vintage china from charity shops for her very ethical wedding in August, that she's hit the news in a bid to persuade other charity shoppers to sign up for Gift Aid to benefit the shops they buy in.
St Peter's Hospice shop in Chipping Sodbury says that Gift Aid scheme could potentially raise an extra £250,000 for the charity in its first year.
The initiative will enable the shops to raise an extra 28p on every £1 taken at the tills at no extra cost to customers and Julie Trinder, manager of both shops in Chipping Sodbury, said: "Our shops have been promoting the Gift Aid scheme for the past two weeks and so far over 3,000 people have signed up across the region.
Did you know that it costs £5.3 million every year to provide our specialist palliative care? By signing up to the Gift Aid scheme in St Peter's Hospice shops you could help them to raise much needed funds that go directly towards patient care.
Read the whole story in the Gazette.
Image from the Gazette shows shop manager Julie Trinder with Vicky. Vicky will be blogging here about her wedding plans in the forthcoming months.
Did you watch it?
If you watched Episode 7 of Its Not Easy Being Green last night you probably won't have heard anything you haven't already heard before but two things stood out for me:
The couple only had £5000 to spend and managed to enjoy a fabulous day dispelling the popular notion that you can only have a green wedding if you've got plenty of money in the pot.
The bride's comment at how surprised she was that she hadn't had to compromise on her dream of the perfect day to ensure that her wedding was a green one.
Go green weddings!
Return to Don't Tell the Bride
DEADLINE HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO MAY 2009
Are you dreaming of the perfect day? Is ‘the green wedding’ your favourite topic of conversation? Do you have hundreds of ideas but not hundreds of pounds? Do you think your man can pull off the ultimate wedding of your dreams?
If so then 'Don't Tell the Bride' is looking for a unique couple and has £12k to make your big day.
And in fine fettle after a spell away from the computer, the winter weather and the telephones.
We have to admit to having flown to South Africa for a spell of sunshine, to get away from it all, catch up with family and friends and also to meet some like minded people over there. We've been working non stop since the first GreenUnion seed was planted nearly 3 years ago and we've offset our trip by planting trees in South Africa. We're also about to embark on an exciting plan to collaborate with a great charity there called Trees for Schools.
Now we're back we have heaps of great stuff going on and we'll be keeping you in the picture as the weeks go by.
Happy New Year to all our readers and happy planning for those getting married in 2009!
Posted in Green Wedding News
Don't Tell the Bride
Are you dreaming of the perfect day?
DEADLINE IS FEBRUARY 2009
Want to be a TV star?
Here's an opportunity to star in an exciting new series for Living TV called ‘Four Weddings’. It follows four brides who attend and 'judge' each others wedding, giving every aspect of the day, from the food to the dress, a score. The bride with the highest score at the end wins an amazing honeymoon (though we haven't ascertained whether it's an eco friendly one).
Iona Mackenzie of Living TV is looking for brides that are getting married between January and July 2009 and are interested in taking part.
All you need to do is email Iona firstname.lastname@example.org for further information (all applicants must be over 18).
In the news again!
Lyndsay Dolan on Country Mix 106.8FM talked to us here today at GreenUnion HQ. On her programme Dublin's Talking she wanted to find out more about why people who choose to throw a green wedding and what sort of weddings they turn out to be. Naked on the beach wasn't one of them! We had a lovely chat and the music by Lisa Hannigan was magical.
French leave 2
GreenUnion is back in France again having just featured in a short film with French public TV company France 5. The programme is part of a series called 'Les Report-Terre' (Report Earth) where ten young reporters have travelled throughout Europe to discover and bring to light environmental issues and initiatives for sustainable development. In each European country, they've investigated a diverse range of environmental and ecological initiatives.
Of course they came to GreenUnion to find out more about our pioneering work in sustainable weddings and celebrations. They loved what they saw and say that the programme, Les Noces Vertes was been rated as one of the best they did. If you understand French, then enjoy - if you don't its still fun to watch.
Thank you to all our partners who gave up valuable time to assist in the filming. Tim & Angela Malyon of Coombe Farm, April Doubleday, Wendy Kauffman, Lynne Salvage of Maddy Sinclair, David Ames, Alison Court - Celebrant, Sally Humpries of Manic Organic, Jackie Brown - Celebrant and Georgie Faulkner-Bryant of Big Beautiful Bunting Co.
You can read about the September day we did the filming in French Leave.
Wrapit up differently
As wedding list retailer Wrapit leaves thousands of couples and their guests in the lurch after a long week of uncertainty, we believe its high time to rethink how your guests can safely spend their hard earned money on a meaningful wedding gift for life.
Well here's a beautiful idea - a marital bed made especially for you by a skilled UK designer from English Elm and lovingly crafted to make the most of the wood's natural features. An heirloom in the making.
This unique bed, along with two bedside tables and a bench, which is not shown, was made by furniture designer/maker David Ames at his North Devon studio especially for a client. It's been tailored to fit into their bedroom and designed to the right dimensions for the couple. The elm was sourced locally and every effort has been made to create the most eco friendly bedroom furniture possible.
An alternative to the ubiquitous wedding list is to commission a beautiful piece of furniture, a portrait, some textiles, ceramic tableware, anything that can be hand made. The craftsman or artist will create something unique to you which no one else will have. The beautifully crafted piece will last forever and outlive you, your children and your grandchildren. What could be more sustainable than that?
Illegal gold mining crisis
Gold prices have trebled over the last five years. As a result, mining corporations have found it worth moving into remote and sometimes unstable parts of the world. Sometimes, this attracts them into a previously unexplored area and leads to them encroaching onto the territory of artisanal miners, while at other times local people are attracted by the activity of the big company.
The result can be violent confrontations between mine security and illegal miners. Moreover, since illegal mining is unregulated, it is often carried out in extremely dangerous conditions – fatalities are not uncommon. At least six illegal miners, aged between 14 and 20, died at AngloGold Ashanti’s Obuasi mine in Ghana in the last month, officials have said.
Scrumptious berries win award!
Claire Rennie, founder and director of Berry Scrumptious told us: “We are delighted with this award. Winning a Great Taste Award recognizes the craft and dedication that goes into making superb food and drink. All our products are hand made and take a great deal of time and skill to prepare but the resulting taste and WOW factor our berries create makes that all worthwhile.”
Berry Scrumptious is a small, innovative company based on husband Ross’s family farm in Aberdeenshire. As well as running the soft fruit enterprise on the farm, Ross grows premium quality strawberries especially for Berry Scrumptious. Claire is the creative side of the partnership and together they provide the highest quality of product and service possible.
They say they are very lucky to live and work in a beautiful part of the British Isles. Their commute to work is all of two minutes and the view from the farm office window is of trees and fields – quite different from their earlier careers where Claire worked in marketing and Ross was a Chartered Accountant!
They're both passionate about growing fresh, natural produce and taking that from field to fork in as few steps as possible. That’s why they always prefer to use their own strawberries, where they can. As all their berries are picked and dipped to order, you can be sure they're freshest chocolate dipped strawberries, prepared especially for you.
Go on be a devil - try some!!
Are you planning an unusual green wedding?
Are you planning an unusual green or eco friendly wedding?
The BBC It's Not Easy Being Green are looking for a couple who would like to tell them all about their ethical wedding plans and feature in their new series to be aired early next year. We will be working with them so you will also benefit from all of GreenUnion's expertise and knowhow too.
If you are interested please get in touch with Rosie@GreenUnion.co.uk for more details.
Sample Sale Season Takes Off!
Not only has the wedding season taken off but so has the sample sale season. The very best of the bunch coming up is Fashion Made Fair.
Ethical, sustainable, fair trade and eco brands, showcasing their current collections, samples and past seasons stock direct to the public at special event prices of up to 80% off retail prices! The best pioneering ethical brands the UK has to offer will be there including our partners Enamore, a creative fashion label producing beautiful clothing, lingerie and accessories from organic and sustainable fabrics. Their collections are currently produced in the UK from the finest organic hemp, soya, cotton, silk and hand selected vintage fabrics. Enamore makes a delightful range of ethical wedding lingerie for all those eco chic brides planning to throw a green wedding. No excuse you can be green right down to your knickers on your wedding day!
This flagship event will also have an organic café and bar, complementary therapies, talks and workshops, films and childrens area with arts and crafts and face painting – so is much more than just a clothing sale!
Fashion Made Fair
Fair trade gold? World Fair Trade Day 10 May
Saturday 10 May 2008
When: Saturday 10 May
Midday - 2pm: fair trade stalls and information stands
2 - 3pm: Speaker event raising awareness of the social and environmental issues surrounding gold and diamonds (going beyond conflict or blood diamonds) and the route towards fair trade accreditation that Greg Valerio of Cred Jewellery has been spearheading. Greg will be talking about his experiences to date and what future he sees for fair trade gold and diamonds; he is likely to be joined by another key speaker from the fair trade world. A Q&A session will follow the presentation.
3 - 4.45pm: Ethical business networking session
Where: The Friends Meeting House, Ship Street, Brighton
Posted in Green Wedding News
Did you pay for your wedding day on a shoestring?
We've just had a challenging request from The Press Association who're looking for anyone who's wed on an extremely tight budget.
They're looking for women aged between 20 to 50 who celebrated their big day in style despite being restricted by a tight budget of £500 or less. If you managed this I think everyone in the world will want to know how!
If this sounds like you and you'd like to share your story with a national newspaper or women's magazine, do get in touch with Tanya, giving her a brief idea of how you threw your stylish wedding on a budget. She'd also like your telephone number and a recent photo. Don't forget to mention GreenUnion.
By the way, if you're chosen you will receive a fee for your time.
Want to know more about managing your wedding budget? Check out how to Get Started.
Real Food Festival
If you're in London this weekend and you love food, then the Real Food Festival at Earls Court is the place to be.
Raymond Blanc, Chef-Patron of Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons says, "In choosing our food we make a statement as to which consumer were are, whether we are responsible or not, ethical or not. We are now engaged in a process of reconnecting our food with our culture - and ethics will now drive our choice. Whether we are parent, employer, farmer, chef, industrialist etc each of us individually and collectively will have the responsibility to make better choices to create a better food chain. The Real Food Festival will definitely take us one step closer to discovering new and innovative propositions to our produce conundrums."
They promise incredible wines and drinks from small, unique producers, restaurants serving carefully sourced dishes and a comprehensive programme of entertaining and educational workshops where visitors will discover some of the best food and drink in the world…
And not only can you meet the people that reared the pigs, planted the carrots, milked the cows and crushed the grapes, you can taste their produce, learn about it, then buy it to take home.
So if you're wondering what seasonal food to serve your guests on your ethical wedding day, this is the place to start looking.
The Real Food Festival - 24th to 27th April, Earl's Court 1, London
International Downshifting Week
InterNational Downshifting Week starts tomorrow so "If you are looking for a little help to slow down your pace and enjoy life more, this is the place for you!" says Tracey Smith, Creator "Everybody can get involved and form a united and global movement that supports living and working more sustainably and strives for a proper work/life balance! "
Our ethos here at GreenUnion is very much in line with the Downshifting ethos, encouraging couples to re examine what they are doing and why and to always remember that the wedding day is more about celebrating their Union than about competing to throw the best party in the neighbourhood (of course there's no denying that a good party always goes down well too!).
You'll find that a lot of the information, when read and acted upon, in the context of planning your ethical wedding, will make a lot of sense. So if you think the whole idea of trying to 'green' your wedding is all too much, take a down shift in gear, a long walk in the park, have a cuddle with your loved one and remind yourselves why it is that you're getting married...
Posted in Green Wedding News
Enter our prize draw to win Organic Places to Stay...
Sign up for our newsletter today and we will enter you into a prize draw to win one of these five Organic Places to Stay books which we have to give away.
Organic Places to Stay, by Linda Moss, lists hundreds of wonderful places which have their own restaurants or offer delicious home cooked meals to guests. A few are certified organic, and others may have a certified organic kitchen garden, orchard or vineyard. Quite a few of them grow their own produce, some use wild or natural foods, and most will aim to use fresh local produce rather than imported food. At these places you'll find information about the availability of organic food - for example whether you can buy the farm's own organic produce, have an organic vegetable box delivered, or find organic produce in the local area. Fresh produce, local specialities, slow food, home baking, homemade products such as jam, juice, ice cream, yogurt, cheese, pasta, pasta sauce, olive oil, wine - you'll find all these and more ......
The book is a 'must have' bible for anyone planning a green wedding and looking for places to stay in the UK on their eco friendly honeymoon.
Our newsletter - GreenUnion Gossip, is packed, every month, full of news and ideas for great green weddings, so don't delay sign up to our e-newsletter now!
Offer ends 30 April 2008. We will notify the lucky winner after this date.
Awards all round!
We're delighted to have discovered that GreenUnion partner Conscious Elegance has walked away with the Environmental Agency/North Tyneside Business of the Year Award for 2007.
The judges decision was immediate and unanimous, due to the fact that Conscious Elegance is a completely green enterprise. The company strives for 100% sustainability, from the fabrics to the recycled packaging materials. No factories or sweatshops here and CE makes a point of sourcing from other small businesses, especially those that allow mums to earn an income while staying at home with their children. We like that!
Founder and designer, Lori Del Genis says, 'Conscious Elegance is all about making easy choices that have far-reaching effects. Being eco-conscious can also mean thinking outside of the corporate box. For example, we offer fabric choices for vegan brides who wish to support their values with a wedding dress that's every bit as gorgeous as they would see on the high street."
Creating a wedding that's true to you
Saturday 5th April - 1.30pm-5.30pm at the Friends Meeting House in Brigton.
"Wedding planning doesn't have to be stressful, it all depends on how you go about it." says Lesley Stratton-Hughes, of Getting Married Inside Out - GreenUnion's expert Life Coach.
So why not step away from the commercial world of celebrity style weddings and find out how to apply a very personal approach that will make you feel good!
Don't know where to start? Too much choice? Too many opinions and expectations? Is the whole thing just stressing you out? You'll love Lesley's workshop because it will help you to:
Simplify - break down the wedding planning process into easy manageable steps
Clarify - decide for yourself the elements you really want and discard what you don't need
Personalise - explore ways to express yourself so you feel connected to your day
Share - involve family and friends and all their talents and build a supportive, helpful team
Rationalise - Keep a healthy perspective so you remain composed, confident and in control
If you're stuck for ideas and looking for a source of inspiration, look no further than the Handmade Wedding Series just started over at Etsy. The folk there are partnering up with some super-talented guest bloggers and Etsy sellers to explore the world of weddings and bring you the best ideas and resources in handmade: everything from custom-designed dresses to decor that suites your style.
They're going to write about loads of useful stuff on how to bring handmade elements to your wedding, whether it’s by sharing ideas for making things or by highlighting some great handmade and vintage items on the site. So check them out from time to time, you'll be inspired!
Photo by julieincharge
Cornish green wedding fair
Pencarrow hosts funky green wedding fair this Sunday 9th March.
One of Cornwall’s most historic houses, Pencarrow in North Cornwall, will be the fairytale setting for a dazzling selection of bridal fashions and flowers this Sunday. For the first time in the county, there will be an area totally devoted to fabulous green and funky wedding ideas – Discover Cornish Weddings will be showcasing a hand-picked selection of carbon neutral suppliers, proving that originality and innovative ideas can sit happily with the glitz and glamour of that special day. Suppliers range from wedding dresses made out of pineapple fabrics, ethical jewellers, mini-tree favours and so on...
So if you're in Cornwall this weekend, or even thinking of throwing a Cornish green wedding, then take the opportunity this Sunday to visit the exhibition and stroll around the spectacular grounds of Pencarrow.
Sunday 9 March 10 am to 4.30 pm
Posted in Green Wedding News
Fair Trade vs. food miles
As Fairtrade Fortnight moves into its second week it raises the question on everyone's lips: how do we justify buying fair trade goods from the developing world when we should be cutting down on food or flower miles? I've found an interesting article written by Steve Brooks, the acting head of Oxfam Cymru, for the Western Mail, a Welsh paper.
His question is whether producing tropical fruits, vegetables, or flowers locally to cut down on food miles could result in a greater volume of emissions because of the energy requirements to maintain artificial conditions, i.e. greenhouses in the Northern Hemisphere. He points out that sourcing locally and giving back to the local economy, which is something we really believe in here at GreenUnion HQ, is certainly important, but fair trade products have their own associated benefits, like supporting social and economic development projects - schools, clinics, clean water supply and proper sanitation. Moreover it empowers people in the third world and helps them become independent from the ubiquitous 'aid' cycle which is so destructive to sub-Saharan lives.
Interestingly enough, Brooks argues that food transportation currently contributes relatively little to carbon dioxide emissions. He points out that if everyone in the United Kingdom switched one 100W light bulb to a low energy equivalent, CO² emissions would be reduced in one year by 4.7 times the amount saved by boycotting fresh fruit and vegetables from sub-Saharan Africa.
Go ahead, buy your Fairtrade flowers and feel good!
Read the whole article at icWales.
Posted in Green Wedding News
Observer Ethical Awards
With award season well underway and the Oscars being a huge success for Britain and British talent, we decided here at GreenUnion HQ that we want in on the act!
As you may know, the average wedding in the UK can create 14.5 tonnes of CO2 and GreenUnion is working really hard along with our partners to create awareness to reduce and offset this without compromising on style.
Easy peasy! And thanks a bundle.
Posted in Green Wedding News
Is chicken on the menu?
Good karma wishes
Changing the world is a huge task, so Jonny Knowles of Wishes in the Sky says the answer is to do it one corner at a time. And to prove a point he and 3 mates have embarked on the Good Karma Drive to raise £300,000 to build a school for street children in Northern India. The epic drive will also raise awareness of the incredible work the staff at St. Mary's School in Dharasalam are doing by bringing the great gift of education to impoverished communities in this region of Northern India.
Follow their journey - check out the fab website and view videos, photos and blogs of their adventures on the road to India. and don't just sit and stare, dig deep in your pockets this Christmas to make a difference in this particular corner.
Posted in Green Wedding News
Spend a moment in the rainforest this Christmas
Rainforests are in big trouble and their destruction is causing a quarter of the world's annual carbon emissions - more than the entire global emissions for planes, trains, automobiles and ships.
As part of their on-going efforts to protect the rainforests of the world, Rainforest Concern has produced a short film that we'd really like you to see. All the time and money that went into this film was donated for free by a number of Rainforest Concern's partners.
Every one of you can make a difference this Christmas so please take a moment to hear the message and, just as important, it would be a HUGE help if you could pass this on to everyone in your address book. They have a target of 5,000 downloads which they can achieve with your assistance......
In the time it takes you to watch this clip, 120 acres - that's 49 football pitches, of rainforest will be erased forever with the wealth of life that depends on that forest for its survival.
Don't let the rainforests fall silent...
Posted in Green Wedding News
Fashion Made Fair
For some great bargains on eco chic and ethical clothing, head over to the Fashion Made Fair sample sale at London's Old Truman Brewery this weekend.
Along with all the great bargains to be had from some of our favourites like Tam & Rob and Enamore, there's free drinks on Thursday and Friday evening courtesy of our partners Vintage Roots, DJs playing good tunes throughout the event and an opportunity for one lucky person to win an eco outfit worth over £200.
The Fashion Made Fair Christmas sample and stock sale runs from Thursday 13th to Sunday 15th December (Studio 95, Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, London E1).
Posted in Green Wedding News
Posted in Green Wedding News
Low carbon weddings
Apparently couples in the Sragen region of Java can only get married if they pay the price of planting five trees. Divorce is more expensive, costing twenty five trees!
Indonesia has been heavily criticised for its high rate of deforestation and district officials say the programme is aimed at combating global warming.
Be thankful that you still have a choice of how to green your own wedding here in the West!
Read the full story at the BBC.
Posted in Green Wedding News
It's our birthday!
It's our first birthday this week and we just can't help ourselves. We're going to send some wishes into the sky and pat ourselves on the back...
It looks FANTASTIC!!!! Wendy
I just came across your website and I love it!
I would like to tell you how much I like your website. Stephanie
It is really nice to see that you have got so many people together who do environmentally friendly things to make the wedding green. I found our wedding venue using your site, we will use this site again, to find more suppliers. Vineeta
Hi Green Union-ers! I just wanted to send a quick note to say congratulations on your great website - it's very cute and easy to use! Kristin
Your site is fabulous! It is so stylishly done - it's so vital that people get beyond the crunchy image of eco concerns! Miranda
Posted in Green Wedding News
Eco Design Christmas Fair
In London this weekend, wondering what to do and haven't started on your Christmas shopping yet? Here's a chance to browse a whole fair dedicated to ethically produced, green gifts. Don't just think hemp trousers and joss sticks. Admittedly there is a predictable selection of the usual fair trade tea, coffee and chocolate, but there will also be a huge selection of handmade goods which will make fabulous, individual, guilt-free gifts. Organic, recycled, non-toxic, fair trade, handmade, carbon-neutral, low-energy, food, fashion, accessories and lots, lots more.
2007 Be the Change Conference - The Sky's the Limit
In an age of looming climate chaos and chronic social injustice, it's time to set a new course. Join with some of the best thinkers and doers on the planet for 3 days discussing and designing the changes we all want to see in the world. Speakers include George Monbiot, Vandana Shiva, Bianca Jagger, Jonathon Porritt and the renowned Chinese environmentalist Professor C.S. Kiang (who will be on Radio 4's Start the Week next Monday at 9am).
The UK premiere of the powerful new documentary Dalai Lama Renaissance, narrated by Harrison Ford will be screened at the conference.
2007 Be The Change conference The Sky's The Limit, - dedicated to Anita Roddick - will be at London's Central Hall, Westminster, next week from 15-17 November 2007.
Posted in Green Wedding News
Eco friendly events
I went to the Showman's Show the other day and was so excited to find that event suppliers are becoming more savvy about the advantages of being eco friendly. As a wedding and event planner its been a frustrating journey trying to find suppliers and services who know and understand the advantages of making an effort to run their businesses in a more ethical manner. It seems now that the trend is gaining momentum and the penny has finally dropped.
Its actually quite easy, and this site proves it, to find an eco friendly dress maker, florist or cake maker, but when it comes to some of the other essential services we have to source for the average wedding or event, things get a lot trickier. Take generators, for instance. Now you wouldn't normally want to hear about this boring part of a planner's work load, but when you're organising an event in the middle of a field or on the top of a mountain and you don't have a generator, you don't have light or sound. And generators are all diesel powered, increasing the event's overall carbon footprint massively. Now all that is changing thanks to the efforts of some industrious engineers in Suffolk at Midas Productions. The generators are so new that they can't give me any images and they don't have a website yet, but trust me they are the business, running on Biodiesel EN14214 and super silenced, and I'm counting the days till they roll these out across the world. Go Midas!
Posted in Green Wedding News
If you're in London over the weekend take time out to visit the Designer Wedding Show in Battersea Park, Friday through Sunday. It's here that all the top wedding suppliers strut their stuff. You'll find a lot of very expensive products and, I admit, some of rather dubious origin and not all eco friendly, but you will also find some absolute indie gems. Exceptional and exquisitely small, but perfectly formed businesses that believe in supplying you with the very best they can offer. These businesses are passionate about their ethics and go that extra mile to make eco chic.
A couple of our favourite partners will be there and Samantha Freeman of Idyllic Days will be showcasing her vintage chinaware to die for. If you're thinking of throwing an English country garden party, fete or afternoon tea style wedding day (a great concept for a green wedding), then go and check out her gorgeous mix and match vintage tableware and accessories. As well as hiring you the china, she can also help you style your whole day with cotton bunting and flowers too. The height of recycling chic.
Blog action day
Today's the day - blog action day.
At Greenunion we're supporting Survival International today. Survival is the only international organisation supporting tribal peoples worldwide. It works for tribal peoples' rights in three complementary ways: education, advocacy and campaigns. They also offer tribal people themselves a platform to address the world and work closely with local indigenous organisations, focusing on tribal peoples who have the most to lose, usually those most recently in contact with the outside world.
Other charities we support on a regular basis are Oxfam and Rainforest Concern. You can also find countless charities to support via the Alternative Wedding List, the Green Gift List and Wedding List Giving.
Check them out, you're sure to find a charity that you'd like to reach out to.
Homophobic venues face loosing their licence
Did you know that in August a loophole in the Civil Partnership Act 2005 was closed thanks to the energetic campaigning of Gino Meriano, founder of Pink Weddings and civil rights campaigner. Approved wedding venues now face losing their licence if they refuse to conduct civil partnerships or discriminate on sexual orientation.
Originally venue owners and managers could apply for and be granted a license to hold Marriages or Civil Partnerships or both. By permitting venue management to choose not to hold Civil Partnerships, it meant many could openly discriminate while hiding behind their approved licence.
Gino said "The new guidance adopts my recommendation that an approved venue must not discriminate simply based on sexual orientation. If a venue is granted a licence and is found to discriminate against gay and lesbian couples they will have their license revoked. This should now close the loophole that any homophobic owners and managers were using to wriggle out of the legislation."
A spokesman for LACORS said "The Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007 require providers of goods, facilities and services to ensure that they are not treating their customers unfairly on the grounds of sexual orientation. If the holder of an approval is deemed by the Local Authority to discriminate on the grounds of the sexuality of the couple the Council reserves the right to revoke this approval."
This groundbreaking ruling means that homophobic suppliers should now be exposed, and if reported, will have their licence revoked making their venues unavailable to all couples, gay or straight. Here at GreenUnion we wholeheartedly welcome this ruling, ethical businesses do not discriminate.
BBC Yorkshire & Lincolnshire call for green weddings
The Cornish green wedding of a few weeks back has created quite a stir and the BBC's Inside Out for Yorkshire and Lincolnshire is searching for a couple planning to throw an eco chic wedding. There's a lot of interest in Yorkshire for all things green, in fact Yorkshire Brides is writing a feature on eco honeymoons next month, so Laura at Inside Out is searching for a couple who would be willing to divulge their green wedding plans for their marriage and follow their journey through to their ethical wedding day.
If you're getting married in Yorkshire or Lincolnshire and feel strongly about treading lightly on this planet here's your chance to show others how one of the most important days of you life can reflect your ethos. Contact Rosie at GreenUnion for more information.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
If you'd like to do something towards Breast Cancer Awareness Month then check out these sites for ideas.
The Brides Against Breast Cancer Project is a neat organisation is touring the US bringing top designer wedding dresses to the public at discounted prices with the proceeds going to the Making Memories Foundation.
In Australia check out the National Breast Cancer Foundation for ideas on how to raise funds this month.
Visit Breast Cancer Care to see what's happening in the UK or suggest your own fund raising day - eco chic brides could throw a hen party. Could be fun...
If you're already married donate your wedding dress to the cause.
Spread the word - help save lives.
RSA wedding showcase - 7th October
Throwing a green wedding or civil partnership celebration doesn't necessarily mean traipsing out to the country. On the contrary, eco savvy couples who opt for city chic will find there are many advantages to getting married in the capital. There's a growing list of venues, many set in wonderful buildings steeped in heritage and tradition, like The RSA, that take their ethical responsibilities very seriously and can boast published environmental best practice policies. The RSA proudly ranks 8/10 on our green gauge, as high as many of our rural venues. They're keen to support British food producers and cook seasonal menus.
The RSA is holding a wedding showcase next Sunday 7th October between 11.00 am and 2.00 pm when the team will be on hand to guide you around the house and answer any questions you might have.
There'll be complementary refreshments on the day and there's a prize draw for one lucky couple to win an intimate lunch for two in the Vaults Restaurant.
So if you're planning an eco chic wedding in the city, get along to the RSA next Sunday 7th October 2007 to see what how green your celebration could be in Central London.
Now here's a story to warm the heart
This weekend a couple from Cornwall in the West Country of England are planning to have as green a wedding as possible and it certainly isn't going to cost the earth. Russell and Alexia met at a series of Climate Change events so when they decided to marry it was only natural that they would throw an eco friendly wedding.
They say its a simpler way of doing it and keeps sight of the real meaning of marriage, which is love and the promise of your new future as husband and wife.
Invitations were sent online, any printing they've had done is by a local printer with vegetable dyes on recycled paper. Their rings are made locally of wood from a salvaged tree, the food has all be sourced within the area, the toast will be in Cornish sparkling wine, their outfits have been sourced from charity shops and adapted to their own styles by a talented seamstress, the guests are encouraged to car share and the reception is only a five minute walk from the church. Lexi's Mum has made some intriguing flowers out of saved plastic bags and collected spring blossom has been dried for the confetti. They have even decided to give their guests low energy light bulbs as wedding favours!
And best of all, the whole celebration will come in way below the average cost of getting married in the UK which is now estimated to be around £18,000.
Read the whole story by Louise Walter over on the BBC website.
Green wedding photography offer
Wedding photographer, Beth Beljon is looking for an environmentally conscious couple planning to throw and eco-friendly wedding. “We are looking for the most creative, authentic, green and organic wedding. It's simply beautiful to see more couples not only making a commitment of love to each but to the earth." says Beth who wants an opportunity to record such a happy occasion.
Beth will waive her shooting fee and donate six hours of photography time to the couple chosen from anywhere in the US or elsewhere (she has a secret hankering to shoot an English eco wedding!)
She stipulates that eco chic couples should be environmentally mindful in all aspects and details of their wedding including invitations, attire, location, flowers and food - no problems for all you GreenUnion regulars.
Beth Beljon is an established and published photographer who has covered weddings around the globe for nearly a decade. She provides stunning photography for modern and mindful couples and her photo journalistic style is elegant and graceful, capturing each event in a visually organic documentary.
The deadline for entries is 15 December 2007. The couple chosen will be announced through her website on 1 January 2008.
Contact Beth at email@example.com for more information.
Brand new ethical jeweller launches
We've teamed up with brand new ethical jeweller Ingle & Rhode and we give them our wholehearted support as they launch their range of beautiful, design-led eco jewellery, with its socially and environmentally responsible sourcing and production policies.
The launch of Ingle & Rhode is another step in the right direction for an industry fraught with exploitation and controversy and we welcome their efforts to reduce the three main problems facing the jewellery industry: human exploitation, conflict diamonds, and environmental damage. Through painstaking research, Ingle & Rhode have put together a supply chain that guarantees clients can trace the provenance of all metals and gemstones used.
Have you heard? A county judge in the US State of Iowa has struck down a ban on same-sex marriages as being unconstitutional. He has ruled that a law allowing marriage only between men and women violates the rights of due process and equal protection.
Same-sex couples are banned from marrying in 49 of the 50 US states and only the state of Massachusetts allows gay marriages.
Since we're for all things ethical we applaud his ruling and look forward to more US States following suit and joining with the UK to support civil partnerships. Read the full article on the BBC World News
Organic Fortnight 1 - 16 September
If you're planning a green wedding and wondering where to start looking, Organic Fortnight starts this weekend and runs from 1 - 16 September. Organised by the Soil Association which is the UK's largest organic certification body, Organic Fortnight is a celebration of all things organic by individuals, businesses and communities across Britain. Events are planned across the UK, so there's bound to be one near you.
The fortnight kicks off this weekend, 1 & 2 September, with the Organic Food Festival at Bristol Harbourside. And its not only food and drink on show here - there's music and entertainment, and a relaxation zone with skincare, massage and therapy, and CREATE where you can learn all about how to make your home more eco friendly. There's also a showcase of the top names in eco chic and organic fashion with a twice daily fashion show.
If you live too far north to contemplate Bristol then there's another Organic Food Festival in Glasgow on 13 & 14 October.
Find out what's going on in your area over the next fortnight, and seek out some wonderful suppliers and producers for your eco chic wedding by going to the Soil Association website.
Posted in Green Wedding News
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