Choosing music for your wedding is so important. It helps set the mood of your day and can make or break your evening party. Here are 5 tips to guide you through the process from music expert Nicola Holliday from Live Music North Ltd.
Get your venue booked before the band! If you are a muso it’s likely you already have a good idea of what music or entertainment you want at your wedding. You may already have had your fave act picked out for months! (If you have no idea or you are somewhere in between that’s ok too !) It’s crucial you have your venue booked first as there are some really key points a band needs to know. Space and power availability, inside or outside, any sound / volume limitations. You may have your heart set on a 7 piece funk soul band but if you book a hotel in a residential area with an 80db sound limiter it simply isn’t going to work and end in disappointment and faff!
Visualise, imagine the flow of your day. How do you want the day to feel? How do you want your guests to feel at different points in the day? We’ve all been at weddings that seem to drag on for all eternity with lots of awkward milling about, not knowing what’s going on or what to do. This will tell you where you might need some entertainment for your guests. If you are unsure what to have, get yourself to a few wedding fairs and see what’s out there. Chat to suppliers about options and then contact the ones that tickle your fancy for a chat about the possibilities. A great supplier is one that guides you through multiple options and how they could collaborate with others too.
Meet the act. This goes hand in hand with my next point too. As a business owner I LOVE having a good old chinwag with my clients. Getting to know them, what they envisage for their day – regardless of the stage they’re at in planning and booking. This could be in person or over zoom and gives you a chance to get a vibe for each other. Are you on the same wave length? Do you trust this person with entertaining your guests to the highest possible standards? Are they warm, friendly and professional from the word go? Trust your gut on this one, it will pay off.
See and hear your act perform live! This sounds obvious but you’d be amazed how many don’t. Now they may not have a public gig as such you can go to, but ask if they have live videos or are showcasing at any exhibitions or wedding fairs. How did you feel when you watched them? Where is this music going to occur in your day? Was it fun? Did they work the crowd? Did they create the perfect ambience or did they nail that perfect ‘entrance’ song? Do they live up to the spiel on their socials and website? The proof is in the pudding….. or the performance in this case!
Paperwork! The boring but really blooming important bit!
Make sure you have a contract, not just emails, a formal contract detailing the exact level of service you have discussed and make sure you have read it inside out! Ask questions and be 100% comfortable you can fulfil the terms of that contract as a client too. Most suppliers are happy to work directly with venues to take the stress off the couple but it’s your responsibility as a client to make sure that it’s possible to fulfil before signing. An experienced band will provide all the necessary info as part of the contract or rider. Believe me…turning up to a venue as a 6 piece band and realising you only have a 3×3 meter space to set up and play in makes for a very tight squeeze! The very expensive band you have booked and paid for just won’t be able to play to the best of their ability.
A few last words….
Get in there and book! Don’t faff about! If you have your venue and you’ve found a great supplier that feels right and you’d love to work with, get that deposit paid and lock ‘em in!
Traditionally you could book a band at around the 9 month mark but as most suppliers will tell you we are booking dates now that are 2 to 3 years ahead.
Cakes by Lottie McPhees, specialise in bespoke wedding cakes and celebration cakes. Owned and run by Lorraine Wiley-Kaunispaik, Lorraine has been in the wedding cake business for more than 15 years. Starting out from her dainty coffee shop in Gosforth where the name ‘Lottie McPhees’ was created.
The name came about when her husband Paul had a play around with some names within the family and so ‘Lottie’ came from her youngest daughter Charlotte, the ‘Mc’ came from her mums maiden name McLaughlin and then ‘Phee’ came from her eldest Pheobe…as so Lottie McPhees was created.
Based in Cramlington, Northumberland Lorraine specialises in luxury bespoke wedding cakes designed to suit her clients themes and colour. All Lorraines consultations work around her clients busy schedules and her cake samples are sent through the post once a month.
Every cake is handmade within Lorraine’s little garden bakery. Specialising in luxury bespoke naked, semi-naked, buttercream and fondant wedding cakes all her cakes are homemade sponge cakes. Each creation is also delivered to your venue and set up so you have no concerns about transporting your masterpiece! Here Lorraine talks about her designs.
‘For me, this seasons most popular designs have been buttercream, semi naked with amazing fresh flowers. It is my favourite combination for wedding cakes! I love working with couples to add own unique touches such as cake toppers, colour combinations or the addition of macaroons or a dessert bar. But the most important part remains the flavours that my clients want to serve their guests. Above all my clients want their wedding cake to taste amazing.
My most popular wedding cake flavours are Raspberry & White Chocolate, Strawberry & Prosecco and Toffee Caramel and Classic Victoria Sponge. If you can be more daring I can also recommend Pistachio & Rose Water, Pink Gin & Lemonade or Espresso & Baileys!
One venue on the doorstep of Cake by Lottie McPhees is Horton Grange Country House. This beauty was created for Sarah and Michael who had their wedding day at Horton Grange in May 2022. It featured classic buttercream Victoria Sponge with fresh flowers.
Is your calendar full with friends and family weddings? Maybe you are about to attend your first wedding. Do you know what to expect? Do you know about wedding etiquette? It can be daunting to attend these occasions and remember all the etiquettes and rules that come with them.
Whether it’s about who you can invite as your plus-one or forgetting to turn your phone on silent before the ceremony, there are a few things you might want to consider before heading into wedding season. Here are four Wedding Etiquettes that are highly relevant to weddings today.
STICK TO THE DRESS CODE
Some weddings might be relaxed. Some might be ultra-smart. Some may even be themed, so it’s important to choose an outfit that fits this particular occasion. If you’re not sure, a dress, skirt, or suit will probably hit the mark in terms of smartness. But, whatever you do, don’t wear white unless the bride requested it. Upstaging the bride is a wedding calamity and you don’t want that hanging your head for years to come. Stay away from the light ivories too!
Whatever the dress code or theme, a sophisticated dress will look great every time and make you look a million dollars without stealing the spotlight away from the bride.
REMEMBER TO RSVP
Weddings take months, even years of planning, so make it easier for the happy couple by RSVPing as soon as you know whether or not you can attend. They might want to use your invitation for someone else. They will also need to organise logistical details, like how many chairs or dinner servings they’ll need.
Whilst you’re RSVPing, make sure to read the plus one rule. It’s normally stated clearly on the invitation, but if you’re unsure ALWAYS contact the bride and groom!
MUTE YOUR PHONE
You don’t want to be the person whose ring tone interrupted the bride and groom’s first kiss. It’s not something you can ever come back from. Eliminate the risk and turn off your phone before the ceremony.
DON’T POST PHOTOS UNTIL YOU HAVE THE GO-AHEAD
We all want to snap the most memorable moments of the wedding, but sometimes our desperation to get the perfect shot can ruin other peoples’ experiences. Avoid falling into the aisle when snapping the first look of the beautiful bride. Don’t follow the photographer around and don’t ask for too many poses from the newlyweds – they have enough to think about.
Instead, try and capture candid, intimate, and silly moments. If you know the couple well, you might be able to snap some unflattering shots that are full of personality. Experiment with selfies, and angles, and don’t take yourself seriously.
With local Covid-19 restrictions coming into force at different times in different places, many couples are trying to future-proof their wedding plans as much as they can by opting for a small, intimate, outdoor wedding which adheres to social distancing rules — and the easiest way to do this is to have a humanist wedding at home in the garden.
Humanist wedding celebrant Caroline Lambie and bride Amie Beverley share their top tips for having an amazing outdoor wedding ceremony at home and how to make it a wonderful event to remember.
‘An intimate wedding ceremony can feel more meaningful and special than a big event. A lot of the ceremonies I’ve conducted in the past have been small, intimate ceremonies.
‘When you only invite the very closest people to you and it is a small space, the atmosphere can be electric. Also, your closest friends and family can really become a part of the ceremony rather than merely observers. It feels so good and everyone is so emotionally involved.’
1. Choose a humanist ceremony
‘What’s not to like?’ asks Amie. ‘Having an outdoor wedding and getting married in the garden with a humanist ceremony gave us the chance to really personalise every single detail – there were no rules to follow, no specific wording we needed to use, and we could decide the order in which things were done. The ceremony was so ‘us’ and we all thought it was so brilliant.’
In England and Wales, where humanist marriages are not yet legally recognised, there is no need to hold your ceremony at a licensed venue, which means you can have the wedding in your own back garden! Couples can register a marriage at the register office before or after your humanist wedding in order to make it legal but still have the kind of personalised humanist ceremony they really want.
In Northern Ireland and Jersey, humanist marriages conducted by Humanist Ceremonies celebrants are legally recognised, as are humanist ceremonies in Scotland. They can be held anywhere and do not have to take place in licensed premises.
Making an outside space or marquee feel intimate and special for your wedding can be fun. Amie says, ‘Think about items you have at home and how you might repurpose them to decorate your outside space. You don’t need to buy specific wedding decorations: we used things that we already had such as fairy lights, Christmas decorations, vases, and mirrors.’
How about having your outdoor wedding ceremony under a tree? It looks great, offers protection from the elements, and you can hang bunting from it — or drape pretty fabric from branches or a wedding arch.
You don’t have to opt for expensive hired chairs for your guests; picnic blankets, cushions, pouffes, or hay bales can work just as well — although older or less mobile guests might appreciate a chair, so it’s always worth having a few on standby.
3. Have an all-weather plan
Make sure you’ve prepared an all-weather plan ready to be put into action. You could consider putting up a gazebo or hiring a marquee or tepee just in case.
Amie says, ‘Although we were lucky with the weather, we did make sure we made plans on what to do if it was wet, cold, windy, or if there was a heatwave on the day.’
4. Symbolic gestures
There are many symbolic gestures that can be incorporated into a humanist wedding ceremony and, as the betrothed won’t need to socially distance from one another, this type of ritual should still be allowed whenever the ceremony is held.
A popular symbolic act is ‘sharing a Quaich’ – a two-handled loving cup. Two different liquids can be blended to symbolise the blending of the two of you. As this is a Scottish tradition, unsurprisingly, whisky and water is traditional but it can be gin and tonic, a cocktail, or even a blended tea.
Another symbolic gesture you can incorporate into a ceremony is lighting a unity candle. You each have a candle that represents you as an individual and you light a third candle which represents your life together going into the future.
Ordinarily, family members can be involved in symbolic acts such as a handfasting, but when social distancing measures are in place, these won’t be possible. Your humanist wedding celebrant will be able to advise what the latest guidelines permit.
5. Into the evening
As the light begins to fade, you’ll need some illumination. Amie says, ‘A thrifty, yet pretty option is to use jam jars with night light candles inside (they don’t have to be real ones, the battery-operated candles look just as pretty and are longer-lasting).’
Humanist wedding ceremonies are flexible and can incorporate a range of wedding traditions from around the world – and that includes the throwing of confetti.
Throwing confetti is a long-standing tradition, with guests showering the married couple with well wishes for the future. It also makes for stunning wedding photos!
Sanayar and Steve by Nikki van der Molen
Chloe and Josh by Alex Miller Photography
Choosing the right confetti can create endless creative opportunities for you to tell your unique, personal love story, and a humanist celebrant will always be able to help you devise the right device or secular ritual to tell your story.
For example, you might choose the colours of your favourite football team, colours that represent pride or gender confirmation, your favourite Harry Potter house, or the flag of the country where you were born. Blue and white confetti streaming down the photos can help bring a bit of Scotland – or Chelsea FC, if that’s more your speed – to a beautiful English dale, Jersey beach, or gorgeous civic building.
There are many websites selling biodegradable petals from flowers grown in the UK. They are eco-friendly, dye-free, natural and very pretty! Check out the choices available from flowerconfetti.uk, Confetti Direct, and Shropshire Petals.
A humanist ceremony can also help you to tell a story about a meeting of cultures or perspectives. That’s what a love story is all about, isn’t it? From the outfits you wear on the day to the readings of your family and friends read out, a humanist wedding is here to tell a story about you, your love, and the joy you feel in coming together as partners for life.
Imagine it now: your picture-perfect wedding. Every photo bursting with colour and personal touches that show the thought and care you have your relationship and the life together you are about to embark on.
Confetti is just one of the tools you can use to make that perfect wedding come to life, along with words, music, and a focus on you as individuals. Your wedding day begins as a blank canvas – think of your humanist celebrant as someone to help you bring your vision to life.
Gaming together is an excellent way to spend quality time with your loved one by adding common goals and excitement to your lives. When you’re gaming together, your purpose is mutual – to beat the game – which creates an environment that encourages trust, communication, and teamwork. These are all important factors when it comes to building long-lasting relationships, especially romantic ones. Video games can also help enhance other aspects of your relationship, including your emotional connection and friendship.
MAKE TIME FOR THESE SIX VIDEO GAMES IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP
1. IT TAKES TWO Game of the year winner for good reason – this game will make you laugh, cuss, and keep on trying. Meet the Book of Love, go on wild adventures with the contents of your toolbox, and battle the terrifying wasp army!
2. HEAVENLY BODIES When rebounding physics keep pulling you apart, you need to work together as cosmonauts keeping your space mission on track. This game is frustrating, joyful, and incredibly satisfying – seriously, getting the yellow asteroid ore was so hard we had to take a time out but when we made it we celebrated hard!
3. ARMY OF TWO Step up as your own heroes in this third person shooter that keeps you working together as you thwart enemies as T.W.O (Tactical Worldwide Operations). One of the first truly revolutionary co-ops, Army of Two’s three installments remains deadly.
4. DARK PICTURES ANTHOLOGY An unlikely group is thrown into an adventure together and you need to work together to decide how many of your party you’ll save. Annoyed by Brad or Conrad? Maybe they don’t need to survive!
5. UNRAVEL TWO Meet the Yarnies, limited by their own length, whose adventures are mischievously difficult. A seemingly straightforward platform game, you’re literally tied together as you lasso, swing, and drag each other to succeed.
6. LITTLE NIGHTMARES 2 Step up as returning protagonist Six and their ‘helper’ Mono. Be prepared to hand your controller back and forth as you travel from horror to horror in this dark tale where monsters lurk. Combine your wits, improve your stealth, and emerge from this nightmare victorious!
GAMING TOGETHER CAN GIVE YOU AN EDGE OVER OTHER COUPLES
It’s no secret that couples who share interests have stronger relationships. If you one, both – or even neither of you – is already a gamer, starting to game together in co-ops will give you an edge over other couples. It can deepen your bond with each other and bring you closer in ways that traditional date nights don’t accomplish.
According to a study conducted by Oxford University, playing video games with your partner is linked to better relationship satisfaction. The findings show that married couples who play as a team tend to be happier than those who don’t. This may be due to common goals and shared challenges, like in It Takes Two, that help bring partners closer together—an appealing trait for anyone who has played a cooperative online game.
A 2010 study from Brigham Young University found that couples were more positive toward each other after playing video games together. When someone was stuck on a puzzle or unable to get past an obstacle, their partner was more likely to help them out if they’d been working as partners instead of competitors.
STRANGE BRIGADE: AN OPPORTUNITY TO TAKE ON MUMMIES, GIANT SCORPIONS, AND MINOTAURS.
HOW VIDEO GAMES BENEFIT YOUR LOVE LIFE
Video games provide many benefits to gamers, including increased cognitive function and motor skills development. However, one of their most overlooked benefits is how they can improve a romantic relationship. Many recent studies show video games can increase empathy via two theories: first-person shooter games, which use graphics depicting realistic scenes to create an immersive experience for players; and prosocial games, which focus on building relationships with characters. Results from both types of experiments generally support arguments that playing either type of game has positive effects on empathy scores in terms of taking others’ perspectives and understanding others’ emotions.
GAMING TOGETHER GIVES YOU MORE REASONS TO TALK WITH EACH OTHER
If you’re in a long-distance relationship or just don’t have enough time to spend with each other every day, there are plenty of ways to make your time together or apart more connected. Teaming up for online games can unite you despite being miles apart. In addition to helping you maintain communication, playing games together can also be great for strengthening your bond.
GAMING TOGETHER KEEPS YOU ON TRACK, EVEN WHEN LIFE GETS IN THE WAY
Playing together is a great way to stay on track with each other and gives you an extra reason to look forward to your time together. Whether you just want to play a game once in a while or make it part of your routine, when you game together you stick together. Think of gaming like a classic dinner-and-a-movie date, except you switch direction with takeout and a gaming marathon.
TAKING CARE OF YOUR PARTNER THROUGH GAMING IS SWEET
Helping your partner reach a gaming goal, complete a level or finish a game is incredibly satisfying. You can achieve this with words and ideas, through in-game character help, or – if one of you has more practice – you can show your partner how to complete a tricky level.
While grabbing your partner’s controller isn’t always appreciated, learning how to support each other in difficult situations is a critical life skill. Many games place you in high-stress virtual scenarios and give you a chance to learn how each of you reacts, copes, and overcome. Chatting about the scenarios you encountered afterward helps you reinforce that connection positively and lastingly.
Completing a single-person game as a duo is so much more fun if you’re both invested in the story and adding encouragement, motivation, and problem-solving suggestions. Now double up the fun and try a co-op game where you work together in real-time to solve challenges.
SOLVE CHALLENGES AND THRIVE BY MAKING TIME FOR VIDEO GAMES IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP
PLAYING GAMES TOGETHER CAN STRENGTHEN ANY RELATIONSHIP
Even if you and your partner aren’t competitive, video games can bring you closer. According to scientists at Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany, playing games like Mario Kart increases a couple’s interaction reciprocity and helps couples get along better. Basically, spending time sharing fun activities gets you to connect with each other on a more intimate level—and that connection can last even after you turn off your console.
Online gaming together can bring you closer together and make your relationship stronger. You can make one or both partners’ hobbies into a shared activity, start gaming together, and deepen your relationship by taking on character roles. What once may have been just something to do may become an important part of your relationship that brings you closer together and makes you happier as a couple. Playing video games can help you improve your communication skills with each other and strengthen your relationships in ways you might not expect.
What motivates a couple to renew their wedding vows inevitably varies from couple to couple. Celebrant of the Year, humanist wedding celebrant Jane Blackman looks at the many and varied reasons for couples to renew their wedding vows.
Just as each couple’s relationship is totally unique, often their reasons for choosing to reaffirm their commitments to each other, are very personal and individual. That individuality is the perfect starting point for planning a vow renewal ceremony when I meet a couple and we begin to talk, to plan, and to create a bespoke ceremony for them.
First and foremost, the simplest, but the most powerful motivator for couples, is that they want to truly celebrate the strength of their love and their ongoing relationship – no matter how long or short their marriage so far.
Some couples arrange a vow renewal to mark a milestone wedding anniversary. Whilst any anniversary is absolutely appropriate, couples often choose to renew their promises to each other on a special anniversary such as their 5th (wood) 10th (tin), 20th (china), 25th (silver), 30th (pearl), 40th (ruby) or 50th (gold).
Other couples wish to use their ceremony to acknowledge and express gratitude that their relationship sits happily within an important group of people who mean so much to them and who contribute to their sense of fulfilment and contentment in life, therefore enhancing their marriage. They may choose to gather loved ones and close friends around them – reliving the fond memories of their wedding day – having everyone special to them together in a lovely place – a wonderful excuse for a personalised, memorable party – which includes and engages the most important people in the couple’s lives.
For some couples, the renewal of vows is to acknowledge that they have had significant challenges to cope with, and that as a result of the strength of their partnership, they have together overcome hardship. Perhaps there has been a period of significant illness to endure, or maybe a time of financial strain.
Whatever the difficulties experienced as a pair, celebrating getting through those tough times and the subsequent better times, is the perfect reason to hold a vow renewal celebration.
As well as celebrating the past and sharing gratitude for all that has been enjoyed and achieved together, a vow renewal is a wonderful opportunity to look forward as a pair, to times yet to come and to express hopes and aspirations for the future.
Some couples not only choose to reaffirm the promises that they made to each other on their original wedding day, but many decide to add to those original vows (or to state new promises altogether), writing and making further pledges, to acknowledge their maturing and changing relationship over time. In doing so, couples are able to celebrate the strength of their union and those successful elements of their partnership that have brought them to this point – promising to continue to do those things that bring continued joy and contentment.
A wedding vow renewal ceremony dedicates quality time to reflect on a relationship with a clear, meaningful purpose for that reflection. On every occasion when I’ve met with a couple to talk with them about their ‘story’ and their marriage so far, in preparation for their ceremony, they’ve reported thoroughly enjoying that part of the overall process; really benefiting from the opportunity to consider what makes them tick as a couple, what they continue to adore about each other and how they see their marriage moving forward into the future.
In my experience, a vow renewal can be an occasion full of much fun, laughter, and joy, as well as some very moving, life-affirming moments. So, what’s not to love about getting together with those people who make you happiest, to clap, cheer, and whoop together, to celebrate the continuing marriage of two human beings, who have chosen to stick together for life, because both continue to agree that each of them is still the perfect match for the other?
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Your wedding will be the most wonderful day of your life, but it’s also an opportunity to apply sustainable and eco-friendly practices just as you do in everyday life. There are so many great opportunities to add green credentials to your travel, food & decor decisions so that you avoid a hefty carbon footprint.
PLANNING A GREEN WEDDING
Regardless of how you decide to say I do, going green might be easier than you think. A few small steps of sustainability can make a big impact. We know there are many, many ways to be mindful of the planet as you go about your wedding planning. Creating a beautiful, sustainable wedding is very possible and you won’t have to sacrifice your vision or budget along the way.
YOUR EARTH-FRIENDLY WEDDING CAN BE BEAUTIFUL, MAGICAL … AND SUSTAINABLE
ECO-FRIENDLY JEWELRY & ACCESSORIES
When choosing your engagement ring and wedding bands, take a moment to consider where the stones and metals originated. Look for brands that specialize in conflict-free gems and support fair labor practices. we love this guide to eco-friendly wedding jewelry—and who doesn’t love looking at beautiful baubles?
What’s better than eco-friendly jewelry designers? Vintage. We love how vintage jewelry carries a story that becomes part of your own. If possible, start with family: family treasures and heirlooms will forever hold a special place in your heart. If that doesn’t work, try shopping estate sales and other vintage shops for that one-of-a-kind piece to symbolize your union.
WEDDING VENUE SELECTION
Perhaps the easiest way to make your wedding more eco-friendly is to select your venue wisely. The first element to consider is location: how can you minimize travel to & from the wedding location? Group transport and eco-transport options work well, especially if the majority of your guests are local.
Once you’ve decided on the city or area, look for a ceremony and reception site that prioritizes sustainability through operational efficiency, sourcing local supplies and ingredients, or prioritizing energy efficiency. An all-inclusive venue is ideal, reducing your need for extra vendors, decor, and most of the single-use elements of your sustainable wedding—such as linens, silverware, serving plates, and so on.
We love a venue with a lot of natural beauty and character built in. It makes for an incredibly unique wedding and will significantly reduce the amount of decor that you need to procure, reducing waste and costs. Some of our favorites are charming bed and breakfasts, sprawling private estates, lighthouses or windmills, secluded gardens, or a retreat nestled in the forest.
BOULDER CREEK BY WEDGEWOOD WEDDINGS
SUSTAINABLE WEDDING ATTIRE & ACCESSORIES
For brides: If wearing your mother’s wedding dress is off the table, that doesn’t mean you can’t go vintage with your wedding attire. While there are dozens of small vintage bridal boutiques online and around the world. One of our favorite shopping options is Etsy for a vintage gown. Even buying a once-worn wedding gown is 100% earth-approved and a natural wedding dress can be both unique and stunning. Try searching your favorite Facebook group, asking friends, and shopping online at stores like StillWhite or Vintageous! Alternatively, browse Azazie or RentTheRunway which both have a wedding concierge service.
For the wedding party: Rather than asking that everyone wear matching attire, consider choosing a color theme and giving them the freedom to choose their own outfit (with your approval, of course). This way your bridal party won’t have to spend money on a single-occasion dress and gives them the freedom to choose what’s most flattering to their body. Plus, it’s rather chic and very on-trend.
Alternatively, you can focus on making sure that the attire you choose doesn’t go to waste. encourage your bridal party to give their bridesmaid dresses to a nonprofit that donates prom dresses to kids who can’t afford them.
INVITATIONS & STATIONERY
Going green on your invitations and stationery is such a fun, easy way to customize your earth-friendly wedding. At InvitationsByWedgewood.com, we’re able to source planet-friendly suppliers and reduce wastage. You can also investigate using recycled paper or alternative materials for your invitations. You may like to support a stationary company that invests in eco-friendly practices like Paper Culture.
If you love material gifts and have been planning your registry for months, have no fear! A simple way to reduce waste is to register only for items that you’ll definitely use. Our friends at The Knot have a wonderful program that donates 3% of registry purchases to a charity of your choosing. Bonus points if you make sure that all gift wrap gets properly recycled or reused after your green wedding. It’s trendy for couples to say ‘save the gift wrap’ and receive naked gifts nowadays too. If you can live without tearing through all the wrapping paper, this could be your eco-friendly wedding choice.
If material gifts aren’t your thing, that’s okay too! We love alternative registry options such as contributing to your honeymoon fund, raising money for a charity, or asking that your guests plan a volunteer day on your behalf.
FLORAL AND FAUNA
Sometimes those beautiful, natural flowers that bring added color and beauty to your special day are less than earth-friendly. If you want fresh-cut blooms, work with your florist and consider seasonal flowers that are grown locally. This will reduce waste and support local farmers. Your florist can help you find the best options for your season and style.
If you want to shake things up, while still having the look of live florals, try potted plants such as palms, ferns, or orchids. Staged carefully, they can create a beautifully eclectic, bohemian style—and you can bring them home or gift them to guests after your celebration. This gorgeous locally-grown wedding used potted centerpieces and succulent buttonholes and looked fabulous. Some other fun alternatives include: sustainably sourced dried flowers, beautiful fake flowers, or fresh florals from your local farmers’ market.
When all is said and done, give careful consideration to how you dispose of your flowers. If you don’t bring them home, consider donating to a local charity or finding a farmer who will happily compost your wedding blooms. At Wedgewood Weddings, your team can do this for you and often give floral arrangements to local care homes on behalf of the couple celebrating. Try searching for local flower donation charities like Random Acts of Flowers which recycles flowers and delivers them to unwell individuals in healthcare facilities.
THE ORCHARD BY WEDGEWOOD WEDDINGS
DECORATIONS AND ECO-FRIENDLY WEDDING FAVORS
No matter how beautiful your venue is, you’re going to need some decor to set the backdrop for your ceremony and reception. The most commonly used elements (besides fresh flowers) are signs, centerpieces, mirrors, picture frames, and candles. Each of our venues can provide votives, mirrors, and lanterns as standard and you can be sure they are reused and recycled in keeping with earth-friendly best practices.
Consider using items that you already have at home, sourcing from local friends/family, thrift stores, or renting items that you can return after use. When all is said and done, try to find a home for every piece of decor. You might donate the leftover decorations to a local organization or try selling them on Facebook marketplace to other brides.
Keep in mind that while DIY projects can be incredibly fun and creative, sometimes they are more wasteful (and costly) than alternative options. We like to keep the DIY projects fun and either edible, reusable, or plantable! We recommend these DIY seed bomb wedding favors, cute little succulents that double as decor, and mini packages of fair trade coffee.
FOOD & DRINK
Start by serving appetizers, drinks, and dinner (or brunch) with reusable or recyclable materials. The simplest way to do this is via a full catering kitchen that will have serving ware that is fully sanitized and reused at each event. We also offer a choice of stylish china and glassware at all our venues so that you can find something that works with your green wedding theme.
Did you know a vegan/vegetarian menu is a great way to encourage guests to go green? You can choose an earth-friendly menu and many guests might not notice that traditional meat dishes are missing. We offer many, many delicious vegan and vegetarian menu options for a tasty wedding feast!
To take another route, you can give a gorgeous custom drinking glass to all guests as a wedding favor that can be pre-placed at each guest setting for the toast.
Reduce food waste by choosing alternative serving styles. An expertly prepared buffet can be just as glamorous as a plated dish but will ensure that guests only select the food they plan to eat. After dinner, get creative with your dessert options. We love cake pops, s’mores, and mini pies! These work well in addition to a mini wedding cake so that you can partake in your favorite cake-smashing traditions!
Are you secretly most excited about the honeymoon? If so, that’s awesome, it means you’re excited about some quality alone time with your special someone. Long-haul travel often comes with a large carbon footprint, so we’ve brainstormed ideas on how to minimize your impact while celebrating your nuptials.
The easiest way to go green is to stay close to home! If you live in an area of the country where adventure and nature surround you, consider a local getaway. Some of our favorite ideas are an eco-friendly spa or retreat center, rubbing elbows with locals in a small coastal town, or taking off on a week-long backpacking trip. If you do want to jet set, carbon offsetting is a great option – you can do this easily with most airlines. Another idea is working with local organizations like Treepeople who will plant a tree or manage the local environment on your behalf.
If that’s not your style, you can still travel in an eco-friendly way. Consider only visiting countries that prioritize sustainability—Costa Rica is a wonderful example—and search for accommodations or resorts that are committed to sustainability. Now more than ever, sustainable travel is accessible and doesn’t have to cramp your style one bit.