REAL WEDDING - The Low-Waste Ethical Wedding Of Mike And Chris, Captured By The Unbridled At Haldon Belvedere, Devon

29th July 2020


REAL WEDDING - The Low-Waste Ethical Wedding Of Mike And Chris, Captured By The Unbridled At Haldon Belvedere, Devon - confettiLet's be honest, 2020 hasn't given us all that much to smile about - but I challenge you to not look through the images of Mike and Chris' wedding from June 2019 without them putting a smile on your face! From Mike's infectious grin, Chris' heartfelt laughter and the purity of emotion during the ceremony, to the happiness of the guests and the beauty of the surroundings, there is SO much to love!

The couple married in their former home town of Exeter, before making the move all the way over to Atlanta in the USA. They met in 2017 when Chris, a Physicist, was working for Exeter University and Mike was a Manager for Lush Cosmetics. Mike proposed to Chris while they stood in the ocean at Exmouth Beach, and they spent 6 months planning their wedding.

They live as zero waste a lifestyle as possible and make conscious choices to support sustainable and ethical businesses, so it was natural that they would wish to bring this same ethos to their marriage celebrations, which as you'll see, they did so beautifully. Carla from The Unbridled was there to capture the day; Mike was once a photographer, so was instantly drawn to her gorgeous use of light and the mood she creates, and dubbed her "without hesitation...the best thing we paid for for our wedding". 

So without further ado, here they are!

The Venue

REAL WEDDING - The Low-Waste Ethical Wedding Of Mike And Chris, Captured By The Unbridled At Haldon Belvedere, DevonREAL WEDDING - The Low-Waste Ethical Wedding Of Mike And Chris, Captured By The Unbridled At Haldon Belvedere, Devon - ceremony spaceREAL WEDDING - The Low-Waste Ethical Wedding Of Mike And Chris, Captured By The Unbridled At Haldon Belvedere, Devon - apartmentREAL WEDDING - The Low-Waste Ethical Wedding Of Mike And Chris, Captured By The Unbridled At Haldon Belvedere, Devon - views
Haldon Belvedere is a unique intimate wedding venue, set high on a hill in the Haldon Forest and commanding outstanding panoramic views of the Devonshire countryside; this was an instant draw for them both.

The Grooms

REAL WEDDING - The Low-Waste Ethical Wedding Of Mike And Chris, Captured By The Unbridled At Haldon Belvedere, Devon - the groomsREAL WEDDING - The Low-Waste Ethical Wedding Of Mike And Chris, Captured By The Unbridled At Haldon Belvedere, Devon - groom prepREAL WEDDING - The Low-Waste Ethical Wedding Of Mike And Chris, Captured By The Unbridled At Haldon Belvedere, Devon - invitationREAL WEDDING - The Low-Waste Ethical Wedding Of Mike And Chris, Captured By The Unbridled At Haldon Belvedere, Devon - suitREAL WEDDING - The Low-Waste Ethical Wedding Of Mike And Chris, Captured By The Unbridled At Haldon Belvedere, Devon - shoesI've become a big fan of the relaxed atmosphere of couples getting ready together, which is what Mike and Chris did in the venue's self-contained apartment. They chose stylistically matching natural wool suits, one in blue and one in green, and accessorised differently to match their individual personalities.

The Ceremony

REAL WEDDING - The Low-Waste Ethical Wedding Of Mike And Chris, Captured By The Unbridled At Haldon Belvedere, Devon - vowsREAL WEDDING - The Low-Waste Ethical Wedding Of Mike And Chris, Captured By The Unbridled At Haldon Belvedere, Devon - ringsREAL WEDDING - The Low-Waste Ethical Wedding Of Mike And Chris, Captured By The Unbridled At Haldon Belvedere, Devon - first kissREAL WEDDING - The Low-Waste Ethical Wedding Of Mike And Chris, Captured By The Unbridled At Haldon Belvedere, Devon - just marriedFrom walking the aisle together, the exchange of vows and rings in front of their nearest and dearest, and the emotional declaration of marriage, to their return up the aisle as newlyweds...nothing. but. smiles!

The Drinks Reception

REAL WEDDING - The Low-Waste Ethical Wedding Of Mike And Chris, Captured By The Unbridled At Haldon Belvedere, Devon - drinks receptionREAL WEDDING - The Low-Waste Ethical Wedding Of Mike And Chris, Captured By The Unbridled At Haldon Belvedere, Devon - drinksREAL WEDDING - The Low-Waste Ethical Wedding Of Mike And Chris, Captured By The Unbridled At Haldon Belvedere, Devon - entertainmentThe drinks reception was held on the ground floor of the folly. Soft drinks were served in jam jars as the couple had lots already!

Chris heard local legend, Stripey, busking in Exeter city centre and asked him to play the guitar at the wedding. Michelle, a witch from Cornwall, did tarot and rune readings for the guests.

The Portraits

REAL WEDDING - The Low-Waste Ethical Wedding Of Mike And Chris, Captured By The Unbridled At Haldon Belvedere, Devon - couple portraitREAL WEDDING - The Low-Waste Ethical Wedding Of Mike And Chris, Captured By The Unbridled At Haldon Belvedere, Devon - couple portraitsREAL WEDDING - The Low-Waste Ethical Wedding Of Mike And Chris, Captured By The Unbridled At Haldon Belvedere, Devon - portraitREAL WEDDING - The Low-Waste Ethical Wedding Of Mike And Chris, Captured By The Unbridled At Haldon Belvedere, DevonREAL WEDDING - The Low-Waste Ethical Wedding Of Mike And Chris, Captured By The Unbridled At Haldon Belvedere, Devon - creative portraitREAL WEDDING - The Low-Waste Ethical Wedding Of Mike And Chris, Captured By The Unbridled At Haldon Belvedere, Devon - couple portraits

The Picnic

REAL WEDDING - The Low-Waste Ethical Wedding Of Mike And Chris, Captured By The Unbridled At Haldon Belvedere, Devon - picnicREAL WEDDING - The Low-Waste Ethical Wedding Of Mike And Chris, Captured By The Unbridled At Haldon Belvedere, Devon - vegan cateringREAL WEDDING - The Low-Waste Ethical Wedding Of Mike And Chris, Captured By The Unbridled At Haldon Belvedere, Devon - wedding breakfastFriends of the couple own a local, family-run plant-based business, the How On Earth Deli. They created a picnic-style feast that wowed all the non-vegans, too! In lieu of wedding favours Mike and Chris over-ordered and sent people home with baskets filled with food instead.

"Our idea was a picnic wedding and I got really lucky after months of searching to find 15 picnic baskets of various sizes in our local charity shops. We used rugs as our picnic blankets I did buy new plates from Bambu which was made out of bamboo and the cutlery both compostable."

The Cake

REAL WEDDING - The Low-Waste Ethical Wedding Of Mike And Chris, Captured By The Unbridled At Haldon Belvedere, Devon - Cherry Blossom Cakes wedding cakeHaving intended to forgo having a traditional wedding cake, with just a few weeks to go the couple changed their minds; fortunately, Cherry Blossom Cakes was able to create for them this gorgeous vegan elderflower cake, decorated with edible flower decorations.

The Exeter Portraits

REAL WEDDING - The Low-Waste Ethical Wedding Of Mike And Chris, Captured By The Unbridled At Haldon Belvedere, Devon - Exeter portraitREAL WEDDING - The Low-Waste Ethical Wedding Of Mike And Chris, Captured By The Unbridled At Haldon Belvedere, Devon - portraits REAL WEDDING - The Low-Waste Ethical Wedding Of Mike And Chris, Captured By The Unbridled At Haldon Belvedere, Devon - ExeterREAL WEDDING - The Low-Waste Ethical Wedding Of Mike And Chris, Captured By The Unbridled At Haldon Belvedere, Devon - Exeter celebrationsREAL WEDDING - The Low-Waste Ethical Wedding Of Mike And Chris, Captured By The Unbridled At Haldon Belvedere, DevonREAL WEDDING - The Low-Waste Ethical Wedding Of Mike And Chris, Captured By The Unbridled At Haldon Belvedere, DevonREAL WEDDING - The Low-Waste Ethical Wedding Of Mike And Chris, Captured By The Unbridled At Haldon Belvedere, DevonInstead of hosting a typical wedding reception, the couple and as many guests as wished to join them headed into Exeter city centre for more celebratory drinks. They managed to sneak away for a while to capture some final portraits in the city where they met.


Mike and Chris proved beyond doubt that a minimalist approach to wedding styling can still have maximum impact! The key inspirational points are:

  • Choose a venue where unusual interiors and/or epic views take care of your styling for you.
  • Use what you have, hire or scour charity shops for second-hand props.
  • If you're buying new, invest in quality attire that you'll wear again.
  • Flowers are not styling essentials (especially if you're budget-conscious, the seasonal availability just isn't right, and/or they just aren't your thing!).
  • Ensure food leftovers go to a good home, either with your guests or are redistributed by a charity (this could also apply to flowers if you have them).
  • Ensure that food-related waste is biodegradable/compostable.
  • Utilise existing local amenities and entertainment and take your reception on tour!

KEEP SCROLLING TO VIEW THE FULL GALLERY!

Credits

Venue: Haldon Belvedere 

Photographer: The Unbridled 

Catering: How On Earth Deli

Cake Designer: Cherry Blossom Cakes

 


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