Being a small business with sustainability at its core, we were absolutely delighted when wedding photographer Emma Shaw reached out to us and asked if we would like to provide the jewellery for a beautiful sustainable wedding shoot she was planning. The aim of the photoshoot was to show that an eco-friendly wedding doesn’t neccessarily have to mean rustic and vintage, but instead can be high end with the wow factor, with every single supplier being kinder to our planet.
Emma partnered with an incredible range of suppliers based in the UK to showcase some of the amazing environmentally friendly options available for all aspects of a wedding, from invitations to wedding dresses. Not only are the photos stunning, but the message they convey is one we are very much behind. You don’t need to compromise on quality or aesthetics to have a wedding that is beautiful!
We have put this blog together to share more information about the suppliers photographed in this wonderful shoot, and also to share some of Emma’s tips on how to have a more environmentally friendly wedding. So, lets get into a few of the things you can do to make your wedding more eco-friendly!
One of the biggest things to consider when planning your wedding is of course, the venue! When thinking about finding a sustainable wedding venue, one thing to consider is the location and how far it requires you and your guests to travel. Travelling half way round the world for your wedding day is obviously going to have a much higher carbon footprint then travelling within your county, so if you have sustainability in mind, the closer your venue the better. Finding a venue that can host both the wedding and the reception is also a winner, cutting down travel in between locations. It’s also worth investigating whether your venue has sustainability policy in place, whether that be using renewable energy or using local suppliers, there’s many amazing eco friendly credentials to consider!
The venue used in Emma’s shoot was the beautiful Willow Grange Farm in Oxfordshire. On their website they say “We aim to create a sustainable venue, and have always farmed the land with a strong sense of responsibility to maintain the biodiversity of the countryside around us. The farm is part of an environmental stewardship scheme which provides the best possible habitat for native plants, insects and animals.” The shoot also featured the wonderful celebrant Jemma from lovejemma, she offers couples the choice to have a beautifully bespoke ceremony, meaning you can celebrate your marriage in the most unique and personal way to you. A celebrant is a great option if you want something a little different from a traditional ceremony, and it also means you can get married in so many more locations.
For any advice on finding your sustainable wedding venue or just any wedding planning advice, this shoot also worked with the brilliant Green Soul Weddings. They offer bitesize sustainable wedding inspiration, advice & reassurance when you need it most!
Now onto another huge aspect of the wedding, the dress. A wedding dress is what makes the bride FEEL like a bride and will probably be the most important garment she will wear in her life. However, spending thousands on a dress that you’re going to wear ONCE? There’s nothing sustainable about that. Renting your dress and wedding outfits is a great way to cut costs and avoid a beautiful dress only being worn once. Another good option is to shop second hand, there’s nothing wrong with getting a preloved wedding dress and prolonging the life of a beautiful piece of clothing. If you’re buying something new, particularly for bridesmaids or groomsmen, it’s definitely worth investing in a quality piece that will last and be able to be worn again.
Emma’s shoot features a beautiful wedding gown by Ivy and Gold Bridal, a wedding dress exchange business. Brides take in their preloved wedding dresses and bridal designers ex-samples and are sold on to a new bride for a fraction of the price, meaning these dresses can be loved time and time again. A far more affordable and sustainable way of getting the dress of your dreams!
Bridesmaid dresses can also be expensive, and often only worn once. This shoot features bridesmaids dresses from Rewritten Bridesmaids, a business ran by two women who challenge the fast fashion industry by designing and creating bridesmaids dresses in London that are made to last, meaning you can continue to wear your bridesmaids dress at other occasions, nights out and whenever else you’d like! They use recycled and sustainable fabrics and are a founding member of the Sustainability Fashion Accelerator. The shoot also features a beautifully customised veil by Hannah Cummings Embroidery. You can work with Hannah on a bespoke embroidered veil to wear on the day and then keep forever as a treasured keepsake, such a lovely way to embrace slow fashion and genuine craftsmanship on your wedding.
So, the dresses are sorted and now it’s time to get glam! You might not think that sustainability comes into play when booking a hair and make up artist but it’s definitely worth asking about their use of cruelty free products and eco friendly practices when considering booking someone. Using someone that uses fully sustainable, refillable and cruelty free or vegan make up is the way to go. This shoot featured HMUA’s Sophie Louise and Ruby Grace, who both are very mindful when choosing their products, taking advantage of recycling programmes, aerosol alternatives and using cruelty free brands such as Charlotte Tilbury.
You can also make kinder choices with your accessories by investing in high quality pieces you can keep forever. The stunning headpiece and statement earring the girls are wearing are from Victoria Louise, an accessories designer that created a modern floral headpiece using hairpins and vintage sustainable millinery roses. All her pieces are made to last and she uses eco friendly packaging made from recycled paper and cotton.
So the bridal party are looking beautiful, now its time for the flowers! A huge part of any wedding and a huge part of this shoot, the photographs feature three floral sustainable suppliers for the bouquets, decoration and confetti. It might seem strange sourcing a sustainable florist, after all, flowers are just flowers, right?
But there are a few things you can consider when choosing where to get your wedding day blooms. Choosing seasonal flowers that are grown locally is your best option to reduce your carbon footprint and it’s worth checking if your florist uses floral foam, as this plastic stuff can be especially harmful and toxic to animals and our environment once broken down. Dried flowers and plants are also a great sustainable option for flowers if you fancy doing something a little different!
For bouquets, Emma sourced Rose and Thorns, a florist local to the venue that is proudly foam free and uses flowers grown in Britain. The stunning floral installations in the reception room are by Floral Roots, a tiny florist shop in Bristol who specialise in fresh and dried flowers. they have recently invested in their own meadow of flowers, meaning they can grow their flowers themselves!
Did you also know that confetti can be a big polluter to our environment? Luckily, there are plenty of biodegradable options meaning that you won’t leave your venue littered in plastic! This shoot featured Adamapple, a brilliant business specialising in dried flower confetti and flowers. Biodegradable, natural and beautiful, what’s not to love!?
Now for the decorations themselves, the little touches that will really bring your venue to life! There are so many unique and eco friendly ways to jazz up your wedding, sometimes you just have to think a little out of the box. This shoot features styling, props and signage from The Blissful Bride a brilliant sustainable business that allows you to rent all the things you need to make your wedding beautiful. The wedding industry creates so much waste each year, so it makes so much sense to rent your props and decorations, meaning you don’t have to worry about how to dispose of or store everything after the big day, and it makes it cheaper too! The shoot also featured an epic fabric installation by Mia Sylvia, her fabrics are made in the UK, dyed with recycled dyes and completely biodegradable, and what a show stopping backdrop they make for a sustainable wedding.
You can even set the tone for the wedding before it even begins, with beautiful invites and stationary. Featured in this shoot is gorgeous stationary by Ellie and Liv Weddings. a business that has a core value in sustainability, using biodegradable materials and ethical processes to create invites and wedding stationary that is completely unique to you. Little details like this are what will make your day feel really special and add a really personal touch.
So your wedding is looking beautiful, time to talk about the food! When considering sustainability it’s best to find a caterer that uses ethically sourced, local and seasonal cuisine. Food waste can be a huge issue at weddings, so it’s also better to go for a plated dinner to avoid the potential waste of a buffet. This shoot features a menu by Hall & Co. Event Designers, an event planner that offer a brilliant dining service, offering local and seasonal food that is perfect for a sustainable wedding.
Then of course, there’s the CAKE. This shoot features an elegant wedding cake by The Iced Vegan and vegan food is of course, the most sustainable. The Iced Vegan proves that vegan cake can be just as good as regular, I think even from seeing the photographs you can tell how good this vegan masterpiece would taste! The Iced Vegan uses a green energy provider, sources its ingredients mindfully to reduce their carbon footprint and recycles as much as possible. These are all things to look for when choosing who’s going to make your all important wedding cake.
Of course we couldn’t talk about sustainable weddings without mentioning lab-grown diamonds and stones! We may be biased, but having lab-grown diamond or stone means you know exactly where your gem has come from. It’s origin can be traced right back to the seed – so you know that your diamond hasn’t contributed to any exploitation, pollution or damage caused by the diamond mining industry. It will also save you a lot of money too, with lab diamond being 30 – 40% cheaper than mined – meaning you’ll have more to spend on the wedding!
We’ve been pioneers in the lab-grown stone industry for the past 11 years, offering our patented Ethica Diamond lab-grown moissanite and the highest quality lab-grown diamonds. We truly care about educating our customers and spreading the word about sustainability and kindness in the jewellery industry – one that is inclusive of everyone and all budgets. Read more about the sustainability and ethics on Our Stones and Environmental Ethos pages.
A wedding has to start with a proposal, and so why not start off with an engagement ring that is kind to our people and our planet?
Like we said at the start, we are SO humbled to have been in a part of such a wonderful photo shoot, and want say a huge thank you to Emma from Emma Shaw Photography. I’m sure you will agree that the photo’s are absolutely beautiful! There’s not right or wrong way to have a green wedding, and any little changes you can make will really make a big difference. Whether you do one of these tips or all of them, it’s going to go a long way and really help to support our amazing small sustainable businesses.
For anyone local to Cornwall we also have a blog about The Guide To The Ultimate Cornish Wedding, featuring lots of brilliant Cornish wedding suppliers.