ECO WEDDING INSPIRATION AND PHOTOGRAPHY COMPETITION

Finally can share the last out of my three wedding inspiration shoots (you can see the previous two HERE and HERE)! This time it's all about Eco-Chic wedding ideas - something I'm really passionate about. There is also a wedding photography competition involved - one lucky reader of Love My Dress wedding blog can win a digital full day wedding photography package worth £1400 - more about it at the end of this post ;-)

Living in London, I know that it’s hard to imagine putting eco practices to life, as most of the time the term ‘eco’ is associated with countryside. So, apart from eco wedding inspiration, one of the ideas behind this shoot is to show brides and couples that it is possible to use eco elements in planning and designing a city wedding, and make it stylish, chic and elegant at the same time. I collaborated with Mary Lee Herrington from Forever & Ever Events , who is a London based event & wedding planner with a quirky and sophisticated approach to wedding styling, and who has a little black book of the best eco-conscious wedding suppliers.

In the part of the world where I come from originally – the US –  you can see many beautifully planned weddings and events that have an eco-conscious spirit. To be “eco” in wedding planning means simply to have a sensitivity towards the environment – so, focus on re-using products (such as, vintage fashions), sourcing businesses and props that are based locally, and serving locally sourced organic foods (which, to be frank, will taste better anyway because it’s organic and seasonal!). Already readers of Love My Dress have an “eco” conscious spirit because of their love for vintage. Vintage is inherently environmentally friendly because you are essentially re-using and recycling.  And from a stylist’s perspective (and one who was also once a bride and therefore understands that brides want to be unique and original), I particularly love vintage.


In styling this shoot and wanting to inspire Love My Dress readers, I wanted to show vintage styles that are timeless, rather than dated. I carefully worked with The Vintage Table (
http://www.thevintagetable.co.uk) and displayed vintage crockery and linens that were chic and pretty.  Dasha and I also loved Kate Halfpenny collection of wedding dresses (http://www.halfpennylondon.com), which includes both her own designs and vintage dresses. Kate carefully sources vintage dresses that are timeless and classic!  Also eco-chic is Kate’s jewellery collection: she stocks vintage pieces as well as her own designs, which are handmade in the UK.  As for the all-important shoes, many brides these days will purchase shoes that they can re-use again after the wedding.  They may not realize this, but it is eco-friendly because you would be re-using them again and again. For this shoot, we used a pair of stylish heels from Emmy (http://www.emmyshoes.co.uk) and a style which can be worn with any cocktail dress after the wedding.

Not many couples realize that there are venues in the UK that are also environmentally friendly. One of them is RSA House (http://www.thersa.org/house), a venue in the heart of London, just a stone’s throw away from the Thames and Trafalgar Square.  As an eco-conscious venue, RSA House monitors its use of unnecessary energy and uses green energy providers and water management system.  Their in-house catering team also focuses on sourcing as many ingredients from within Britain as possible.

For flowers, I wanted to feature succulents, as bouquets made out of succulents will not only last for days and days following an event, but they are also cute as potted favors for guests.  Succulents also are the most low-maintenance of plants, so even those without green thumbs can take care of succulents!  The potted succulents are also a great way to dress a table by bunching them in different sizes and shapes.  Simply add a guests’ name tag to them and – voila! - you have just re-used table centerpieces as wedding favors!  The bouquet and succulents were provided by Hiden Floral Design (http://www.hidenfloraldesign.co.uk).

 

With catering for an eco-conscious wedding, the focus should be on locally sourced, organic foods.  This will also be better tasting food and your guests will be very happy (the biggest criticism that guests may have about a wedding usually centers on the food!).  But, as stylish people, we also want pretty food.  Have no fear, there are suppliers like Skye Cooks (http://www.skyecooks.co.uk), who specializes in organic catering and presents it beautifully, and Molly Bakes (http://www.mollybakes.co.uk), who also uses locally sourced ingredients and bakes the cutest little desserts.  Our wedding cake was provided by Anna Tyler Cakes (http://www.annatylercakes.co.uk), who also uses locally sourced ingredients for her cakes as well as organic ribbons to further pretty it up!  All of these suppliers provide modern and beautifully presented catering options that are also absolutely delectable. 

Many eco-conscious couples will opt not to use paper stationery for their weddings and will instead limit all their invitation information to a wedding website. However, once the wedding rolls around, you do still have to think about signage and place cards.  If you want to be environmentally friendly, it’s best to use a local stationer who also uses recycled paper. Coquette Paper & Press (http://www.coquettepaperandpress.com/), who is based in London, created small quirky signs for the dessert table that were all made from recycled paper and also made a personalized couple’s sign printed on recycled paper that was tied with natural raffia.
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The brains behind Coquette Paper & Press also happens to be a makeup and hair artist called Kate Taylor (
http://www.katetaylormakeup.co.uk).  Kate did the makeup and hair for the shoot using organic makeup and hair products.

I hope you get lots of ideas for planning your wedding and making it more green and eco friendly! 
If you would like to enter the competition to win full day wedding photography package worth £1400, please head over to Love My Dress for more details.

Would love to hear your thoughts and all the 'green' wedding ideas you have!


List of supplier involved in the shoot:

Photography: Dasha of Exhibit Emotions Photography (http://www.exhibitemotions.com)
Styling and planning: Mary Lee Herrington of Forever & Ever Events (
http://www.foreverandeverevents.com)
Event design, prop styling, dessert and buffet tables: Mary Lee Herrington of Forever & Ever Events (
http://www.foreverandeverevents.com)
Venue: RSA House (
http://www.thersa.org/house)
Dresses and jewellery: Kate Halfpenny (
http://www.halfpennylondon.com)
Crockery & linens hire: The Vintage Table (
http://www.thevintagetable.co.uk)
Catering: Skye Cooks (
http://www.skyecooks.co.uk)
Desserts: Molly Bakes (
http://www.mollybakes.co.uk)
Stationery: Coquette Paper & Press (
http://www.coquettepaperandpress.com/)
Makeup & hair: Kate Taylor (
http://www.katetaylormakeup.co.uk)
Flowers: Hiden Floral Design (
http://www.hidenfloraldesign.co.uk)
Shoes: Emmy (
http://www.emmyshoes.co.uk)
Wedding cake: Anna Tyler Cakes (http://www.annatylercakes.co.uk)
Model: Chloe Ruffel (http://www.modelmayhem.com/1451516)