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SUPPLIER FOCUS: A unique way to give to Charity
We've just come across another brilliant way for couples to help a charity of their choosing as part of their wedding celebrations...
When I first heard about Make-a-Donation, I wondered where the catch was, but Rosa explained it so well to me that I thought she should tell you all about it in her own words:
"Who are we?
What is so special about us?
It’s our wonderful business partners that pay the fees for the charities, so that they can raise even more money. Businesses can then upload their vouchers onto our website, and these are rewarded to our donors and fundraisers for their generosity.
Our charity wedding gift list:
The beauty of our gift list is that couples can support ANY charity they want - be it a national charity or a local cause close to their hearts, they just need to let us know who it is and that charity will get it! ALL the donations will go directly to their charity, cutting out any unnecessary pre-wedding hassle!
What’s more - when one of their guests donates to their list, we will reward them with MaD points, which they can then redeem for vouchers on our site. So couples will be able to give back to their guests at the same time!
It’s completely free to create and takes just a few simple steps to be on the way to the ultimate ethical wedding!"
Thanks Rosa, we think this is a great way to make sure that your wedding guests' generosity goes directly and effectively to the charity of your choosing. Check out their dedicated wedding page to easily get started.
Make-a-Donation is an approved Green Union partner. They offer a unique charity gift list for the ultimate ethical wedding. Choose a charity close to your heart and they will ensure that 100% of your guests' donations get there. It's free to use and easy to set up. Plus they reward your guests for every donation, with the chance to redeem exclusive vouchers!
Top green wedding trends for 2014/15 - five of the best
All images emmastonerweddings.com
Whatever you decide ...
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!
Perfect celebration partners
Today, we're absolutely delighted to welcome Jan Shillito of Celebration Ceremonies to let us into the secrets of how to avoid the pitfall of cookie cutter ceremonies and truly express your own personal values on your wedding day. Over to you Jan...
Do you, Green Union Reader take us, Celebration Ceremonies to be your partner in creating your unique ethical wedding?
When you imagine your perfect wedding day, like any other bride, you want it to be special. Whether it has traditional elements or a contemporary twist; whether it’s a small, simple affair or a larger gathering; or vintage glamour or shabby-chic style, it’s your day.
The difference is that you want your ethical values to be an integral part of the make-up of your day, whether that be sourcing locally produced or organic food or having a re-cycled or a hired wedding dress.
But it doesn’t have to stop there...
All the fun of the green wedding fair
Very short notice, but Trafford Hall has just let us know about their wedding fair being held this weekend. It should be fun and will give you some great ideas if you're looking for a venue in Cheshire and some green wedding inspiration.
A magnificent Grade 2 listed building set in 14 acres of beautiful organically managed gardens, Trafford Hall is home to the National Communities Resource Centre, a registered charity offering training and support to those living and working in low-income areas across the UK to develop their skills, confidence and capacity to tackle problems and reverse poor conditions. Using Trafford Hall's facilities for your wedding can make a vital contribution to the charitable work undertaken there.
So why not go along and find out if you fancy throwing your own eco friendly wedding at this fabulous venue.
Where: Trafford Hall, Ince Lane, Wimbolds Trafford, Chester CH2 4JP
Free entry and arrival drink
For more information go to Trafford Hall's website
Eco friendly wedding transport
Here's a fabulous idea for couples looking for ways to keep their carbon footprint down on their wedding day.
Travelling in style from home to church or registry office, and on to your reception, in this immaculate cycle rickshaw by Wedding Cycles will make your day truly exceptional. Not only will it bring a smile to your face but the sight of you on your way to your wedding will make people en route turn and stare!
And Alison, who rides the pedicab, points out that since the rickshaw only uses pedal power she can guarantee no hike in prices due to rising fuel costs! The rickshaw is a really affordable way to get to the church on time, with celebration ribbons and a 'Getting Married' sign all included in the very reasonable price.
For more information and to find out where they cycle, go to the Wedding Cycles website or call Alison on 07783730901.
Wedding tent open day in North Wales
With the wedding planning season well under way we are hearing about heaps of open days and wedding events taking place over the next few months. So now's the time to seize the opportunity of checking out some fabulous green wedding suppliers who may be just the ticket for your own eco chic wedding.
The lovely Welsh tent people at Event in a Tent are holding an open day at the end of March and are inviting everyone planning an outdoor wedding in that neck of the woods, which includes North Wales, Cheshire and the North West of England, to go along and join them. It's a great opportunity to pick up inspiration and see for yourselves how their stunning range of tipis, which are available for hire, can be decked out for your big day. They are fabulous for weddings and parties as well as corporate events.
They tell us that there'll also be a number of selected wedding suppliers on hand to inspire you, so there should be lots of ideas and information for you to store away for your own big day planning.
WHAT? Event in a Tent Open Day
WHERE? Chirk Castle, North Wales, LL14 5AF
WHEN? Friday 23rd March, 3pm - 7pm; Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th March, 11am - 6pm
For more information visit their website or give them a call on 01978 853559
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!
Win a luxury honeymoon
FOUR WEDDINGS IS BACK!
Sky Living’s hit show ‘Four Weddings’ is back and, as before, they are looking for brides/grooms-to-be to attend and score each other’s weddings for a chance to win a luxury honeymoon.
So if you are throwing a wedding or civil partnership or an alternative wedding ceremony like a pagan wedding, or a green and eco-friendly wedding in 2011 then the production team would love to speak to you.
Get in touch today!
firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 020 715 73803
For more information check out their website
Green wedding open day
If you're planning an eco friendly wedding in Kent and still open to your wedding venue choice then take yourself along to The Pines Calyx this weekend. It's an exclusive and unique wedding venue set in St. Margaret’s Bay just North of Dover - one of our favourites.
They're holding a wedding open day this Sunday 27th March.
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 Bucks Fizz 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 27th March 2011 from 11am to 4pm
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.
Winter wedding inspiration
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!
Green fingered wedding - part 2
Leann updates us on the run up to her eco friendly wedding ...
Four weeks to go! What happened to July?
The feeling that there isn’t time to get everything done is mounting and worry is beginning to set-in, have we paid for everything? How many people have we forgotten to invite? Do all the suppliers still have what we like? It’s quite hard to stick to the ethical ideals when last minute jobs come-up, the temptation is to do the first or easiest thing that comes to mind to get it done but then you know that you’ll feel bad on the day with the niggling feeling that something wasn’t right.
The dress is finally hanging in the wardrobe! My Nan’s wedding dress from 1952 features prominently against the new hemp/silk fabric and looks much nicer after a gentle wash and line dry; we forgot how many people smoked back in ’52 and were really surprised when the fabric revealed itself as a beautiful ivory instead of a dingy taupe!
Matt’s outfit has been a tad more troublesome though. We’ve been frustrated at the lack of choices for eco-conscious menswear. The options for women’s’ clothing is really very good (almost everything from tie-dye vests to sharp designer tailoring and can be found if you search hard) but looking at the menswear options on most sites, you would think that men wore nothing but T-shirts, boxer shorts and socks! We finally discovered British company Quail by Mail, whose selection of well tailored but not too formal shirts hit the right note and Matt is smiling again.
70 metres (yes 70!) of home-made bunting made from salvaged calico, fabric remnants and old clothes now sits in our spare bedroom on a huge roll amid the increasing boxes of organic wine, recycled napkins and tombola prizes (yep, that’s right!) We decided that we should go the whole hog with the village fete idea and have a tombola stall to raise some money for the venue. All of the prizes are ethical in some way (organic chocolate, recycled stationary and notebooks, hemp and fair-trade cotton clothing and energy saving gadgets) so while our guests have some fun they also get a look at a whole range of ethical products. We even managed to pick up some recycled raffle tickets. LoveLula liked the idea and kindly donated a prize which they sent over with my last order of Elysambre and Lavera make-up (I’ve now completed the make-up switch over, including face masks and cleansers!).
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.
La Vie en Vert
La Vie Est Un Voyage (pronounced: la vi a ter vwayaj), meaning ‘Life is a journey’ is a new ethical wedding planning service in Derby run by Clarisse Elysée who is making it her business to promote an eco-friendly angle to elegant weddings.
Imagine a beautiful outdoor, summer wedding surrounded by the natural environment … Clarisse said: “What’s great about green stylish weddings is that, not only can they accommodate most budgets, but creative options are almost endless. The reception could take place in a farmhouse, country house, green hotel, to name but a few”.
Her most memorable wedding so far? A wedding in Martinique in September 2009, where she assisted the couple with the overall wedding planning. Although the label ‘green’ wasn’t officially tagged on the wedding invitations which Clarisse had designed and crafted as her gift to the couple - it had most of the characteristics of a stylish green wedding. From the reception venue, a picturesque tree and flower farm, to the locally sourced food (meat and vegetarian), drinks, flowers – ‘one of my tasks, as the wedding planner, was to collect the in-season hibiscus from the nearby flower farm', to the reception venue being located just a few miles away from the church. The wedding celebration, a lovely day-time garden party, was attended by approximately 100 delighted guests, mainly local natives.
Clarisse has now brought her green wedding planning expertise to the UK, specifically the Midlands, and to celebrate the new wedding season in style, she is offering GreenUnion visitors special prices on all three of her wedding packages: Comprehensive, Basic and Flexible. The offer is valid until end of May 2010.
To find out more get in touch by email Clarisse@lavieestunvoyage.com or phone Clarisse on 01332 258 377. Please quote ‘Green Union’ when contacting Clarisse at La Vie Est Un Voyage to take advantage of this offer.
Posted in Green Wedding Wedding Planning
Fabulous Richmond wedding venue
The Bingham is the bees knees! Another fabulous city chic wedding venue boasting impressive eco credentials, we just love it.
Imagine entertaining friends and family as you sip champagne on an expansive terrace, watch the sunset over a stunning river vista with your loved ones and dance the night away by flickering candlelight in one of the most stylish settings.
A unique Georgian townhouse hotel in Richmond and once the residence of poets, the Bingham offers an alluring mix of old glamour and contemporary chic. The aura is distinctly warm the Bingham offers an idyllic, riverside environment perfect for weddings and civil partnerships.
Arrive by boat, or vintage Rolls Royce; Devour champagne, cocktails and canapés in the riverside garden or on the covered and heated terrace; Dine on exquisite award winning seasonal and local Modern British Cuisine, or chill out over a BBQ; Have a DJ spin some tunes or have your guests spin to a Ceilidh. Whatever your choice a Bingham wedding will be unique and truly memorable.
Organic Wedding Venues
Wedding planning takes off with a vengeance now the summer's over and we've got a glittering collection of ethical wedding venues listed right here for you to choose from.
Our fans trust us to find out-of-the-ordinary, quirky, beautiful and dedicated venues across Britain where you can get married or throw a house party or celebration.
We particularly support venues that work to preserve their heritage and buildings, support local growers and producers, work hard to conserve energy and also involve themselves in their local communities.
We've taken the hard work out of finding just the right place and there's something for every occasion and budget in our list of eco friendly venues.
Planning: Where to Begin?
One question that is certain to come up pretty early on in the wedding planning process is “where do I start?”. Whether you are planning a green wedding or not, the details all seem to hinge on each other - deciding on a venue leads to caterer discussions and then photographers and so on. For us, we decided that the ultimate must-haves in a wedding site were an outdoor venue, and a place that would accommodate our eco-wedding.
So, early on, we learned another very important lesson in green wedding planning: be flexible.
We have find an amazing venue, Edgefield McMenamins, and though it’s not on the train line, it will allow for everyone who attends to stay in the adjoining hotel (minimizing the driving around). They have local food and alcohol options, and most importantly we can have the wedding outside.
The choice of a venue has implications for many of the eco-aspects of a wedding, so be sure to ask questions if you are planning a green wedding. Where do they get their food? (This may be less of an issue in the UK, but here in Oregon while we have local food options, you have to seek them out, and they aren’t necessarily the norm.) What types of transportation are available to get to the venue? Do they recycle? Use recycled paper products (or better yet, not use paper products)? While it’s easy to get overwhelmed, for us it was important to remember what our priorities were and be flexible.
Posted by Kerry - Blogger Bride
What is an Interfaith wedding?
While you plot and plan, try on dresses and taste delicious organic locally produced food and cakes, preparing for your big green wedding day, it's sometimes easy to loose the plot, forgetting the true reason for taking this journey.
Janette Blakemore of Sacred Life, an Interfaith Celebrant, has put some thought into the subject and here's her very sound advice about the whole wedding thing. Over to you Janette...
HOW TO CREATE A WEDDING CEREMONY THAT TRULY REFLECTS YOUR VALUES & BELIEFS
To the spirit, relationships are the perfect vehicle to help us walk back into the experience of love, wholeness and unity together.
You are thinking about having a Green Wedding because you know that how you choose to spend your resources effects us all and that sustainability matters.
You also know that sustainability in a loving relationship has nothing to do with whether your wedding chair covers match the serviettes!
Lovely Green Wedding Event
If you're up in Yorkshire next weekend make time to go along to the Lovely Green Wedding Event at Norristhorpe. There'll be heaps of fun and frolics, and of course a celebration of green and local wedding ideas.
Be warned! If you’re used to the usual wedding fair conveyor belt, go prepared for something refreshingly different. There's an action packed timetable. From hay rides, pints of Black Sheep beer, an eco-couture showcase, organic make-overs and a range of Yorkshire’s finest green wedding innovators, the day is all about proving your wedding can be green but with bags of style. Forget the Jesus sandals and lentils, they’re talking full on sophisticated fun and glamour!
When: Sunday 19 October from 1 pm 'till 4 pm
To make a ticket reservation please contact Olivia Brabbs on 07779345819 or Claire Ellis on 07778 653501 or e-mail email@example.com
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.
Most civil ceremonies
I'm often getting emails from eco chic couples wanting to get married outside and asking whether I know of anywhere that this is possible. So I thought it was time to give you all the bad news - you just can't get married, or have your civil partnership ceremony, under god's blue sky either in England or Wales. The law will not allow it, you can only get wed in a venue which has a license to hold civil ceremonies and the license stipulates that there has to be a roof over your head. Stupid I know, but true, especially when we all know that you can marry anywhere you like in Scotland!
The General Register office for England and Wales website will give you all the information you need and direct you to your local register office for more information. You can also get information about getting hitched in Scotland here, and Northern Ireland here.
The compensation for not being able to have a ceremony in the great outdoors is that some venues have bent over backwards to make your wedding or civil partnership a day to remember. We have some fabulous eco friendly venues on GreenUnion. There are historic houses, seaside resorts, farms, contemporary green buildings and even city vaults and they're all run by the nicest people in the world! So before you go anywhere else do check out our partner pages and be inspired.
Have a guilt free carbon neutral wedding
Going carbon neutral is no easy task. Carbon neutral is defined as emitting no carbon dioxide into the atmosphere which, let's face it, is well nigh impossible when throwing a large event such as a wedding.
How do you calculate the cooking of the food for your reception, the miles driven by your guests, the electricity used for your bridemaids' hairdryers and the best man's trip across town to collect his suit? What about the disco with flashing lights, the champagne shipped from France, and so on?
Now help is at hand through Offset Your Wedding which has been set up by Combat Climate Change to make offsetting a wedding as easy as possible. They've done all the hard work for you by taking into account the sometimes endless factors that go into your wedding day.
Posted in Green Wedding Wedding Planning
How do you plan a low budget eco chic wedding?
Terry emailed GreenUnion the other day not knowing how to start planning his green wedding. He tells me that his budget is £1,500 - I think this must be a record low budget! If he can stick to this amount we'd love to feature the wedding on GreenUnion to prove to all those sceptics out there that going green really can be light on your wallet too.
Now, while we can't give him detailed information as we charge a fee for this service, here are some tips for Terry and every one of you out there in the same boat. Terry met Kelli on the internet and she's still in the States where she lives at present, so its all down to him!
Posted in Green Wedding Wedding Planning
Creating your authentic wedding
GreenUnion's own expert life coach Lesley Stratton-Hughes is holding another of her creative and rewarding workshops this Saturday 13 October in Brighton, UK.
'Creating Your Authentic Wedding' is all about making wedding planning personal, positive and fun. She says wedding planning doesn't have to be stressful and it all depends on how you go about it. So take a step away from the commercial world of celebrity style weddings and let Lesley help you find out how to apply a very personal approach that will make you feel good.
Tickets cost £10 inclusive of tea/coffee and home made cakes, for more information and to reserve your place you can call Lesley on 01273 239869, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
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