TOP TIPS: A wedding planner in Cornwall tells you how to pick eco-conscious suppliers.
Updated: Jun 30
When people think of eco weddings, a lot of the time they think homemade, bohemian vibes with vegan food. You don't need to have a bohemian wedding to have an eco-conscious wedding. You CAN have a luxurious wedding all while ensuring the only thing left behind are memories and a stunning photo album.
I have put together some tips and tricks of how to keep your wedding as sustainable as possible, while not compromising on style. I have also showcased some of my favourite eco-conscious suppliers that can be found in Cornwall.
(All photos are not my own - they are from the suppliers websites which can be found by clicking on the image or their name within the paragraph.)
Wedding stationary uses a loooot of paper, but I completely understand why people would want it as it's such a beautiful part of the wedding, so when e-invite aren't an option have a look for a sustainable stationer.
Look for someone who uses recycled paper, eco inks which are usually made out of soy and someone who tries to reduce their waste as much as possible. Ask them about their packaging too, it's all well and good their stationary being eco-friendly but if they ship it in plastic I honestly don't see how that helps.
I love seeded paper as well, it's an invite and favour all in one, once the wedding is over with your guests can plant their invite and remember the day once it is long gone.
Laura Likes is one of my favourite stationers ever, she has definitely thought about the planet when creating her business, her green ethos is exceptional and her stationary designs are just out of this world.
You don't need to get married in a field to ensure you have an eco friendly wedding. A lot of venues are now ensuring they work and run their estates in a sustainable manner. For example; many places do not allow confetti unless it is biodegradable, the use of plastic straws has been frowned upon for a long time, but a lot of venues are now integrating it into their contracts and as for the grounds, wildflowers are being embraced to promote wildlife (and gorgeous photo shoots!).
Tredudwell Manor is a beautiful venue in Cornwall that has embraced it's green ethos. They could easily have said no and gone for the 'cheap option' when building their pavilion, but it is rated A in its energy efficiency, they only use an LED lighting system and ensure they are actively recycling.
My top tip for your flowers would absolutely be, to go local and seasonal. Ask the florist if they ship flowers over from other countries, or if they buy local. Try not to go with them if they do ship in and if they can't promise your favourite flower, perhaps you need to rethink the season you are getting married in? I know, I love peonies too... but unfortunately they are only available in the U.K in spring, so if you are absolutely set on having peonies, I recommend having a spring wedding to avoid having to ship flowers in.
The Cornish Cutting Garden, who is home to Beyond the Bloom grows all their flowers so everything is obviously very seasonal and it is all organically grown so supports the natural environment. They also avoid using flower foam, which is great, as it's basically just tightly compacted micro plastic...
Absolutely go with flower petals. It looks stunning when it falls, it's obviously biodegradable and it smells beautiful.
Keslowena are a Cornish based company that have four different colour combinations and can also provide biodegradable glitter. Who wouldn't want to sparkle all day long?
When it comes to the photographer you either have to trawl their website to try and find their green ethos, or ask them questions, don't be afraid, they will absolutely not mind. I'm not going to lie, there isn't much a photographer can do to be sustainable within their business, but there are a few things they can try, like reducing their site visits, recycling their equipment, using eco-conscious suppliers, so a few questions you could ask could be;
Where do you get your photos printed and do they have a green ethos?
How many photos do you get printed? (You honestly do not need all of your wedding photos printed out, but a few is definitely nice. Let's face it, you will probably get a photo album made anyway and I highly recommend getting one done where you don't have to get them printed out)
Would you class yourself as eco-conscious?
You can obviously pick a second hand dress, or ask your mum if you can reuse her. Although, if you want a new one, one that can be passed down through your family why not consider one made locally of organic silks?
Claire L Headdon hand makes all of her stunning dresses in her studio in Falmouth out of organic silks. She has a small collection of essentials which can then be customised to suit what you want, they could even be paired with one of her beautiful lace jackets or, you could have a dress made for you through her bespoke service. I'm not going to lie, I'm seriously considering renewing our vows (yes already, it has only been a year...) just so I can wear one of her dresses.
Like for your wedding dress there is always the option of second hand shoes, but if you are like me and love the feeling of a new pair, I would recommend getting a pair that would last as long as your love (CHEEESEY).
I love Sophia Webster shoes and I treated myself to a pair for my wedding as I believe if you invest in a pair of shoes, they definitely will not get sent to landfill, you're much more likely to look after them. Sophia Webster actually designed a collection at the beginning of the year called Renata. They used past seasons materials, reinvented them and reused them to reduce waste and create new shoes. They are gorgeous, up-cycled and would make the perfect pair of wedding shoes.
Do not buy, hire! I know it's so tempting to buy things when they are on sale, but what are you going to do with them after your wedding? You could always sell them on, in hope they will get a new lease of life, but hiring is also so much easier. They store it, deliver it and come and pick it up after.
Stargazey wedding decor hire have some beautiful options for your wedding day decor, whether you need tables and chairs, garden games, bunting, even down to the little things like vases, baskets and jugs.
For the favours I recommend something useable, or a donation to charity close to your heart. How many weddings have you been to where you have forgotten to take your favour home because it was a tiny box of chocolates? My brother didn't do favours at his wedding, his wife is polish and one of their traditions is to have a shot every time someone introduces themselves to you, or whenever someone says cheers, or just whenever really... so, he had 3 bottles of vodka for each table (YES! three!). My husband and I had recipe cards with the spices for each recipe attached to the front. What I'm trying to say is you don't have to be traditional, think out of the box, people are more likely to take them home and use them if they are something really different. You also don't have to get everyone one, how about one for each couple.
I personally love the idea of receiving a candle as a favour. Your guests will probably use it, it doesn't have to be a huge candle and you could choose your favourite scents to make personal. These lovely tins are by Beautifully Handcrafted, they smell gorgeous and their lovely little shop is just down the road from my house. All of the scents are somehow related to Cornwall, so if you have a connection to Cornwall it makes a lovely little gift.
Oh, the rings! There is always the option of 'reusing' a ring. Do you have a family heirloom that has been passed down to you? There is nothing more special than having a piece of family history on your finger.
If you aren't lucky enough to have your great grandma's ring look into ethical jewellery. It focusses on the origins of the materials used to make the product where the environment is protected but also where the workers are safe and get paid a fair wage.
Ethica Diamonds, who are based in Truro are a beautiful business and design stunning jewellery. They have plain bands, diamonds, engagement rings and you could even design your own, all while being ethical as their diamonds are all lab grown.
Look at this stunning marquise twist engagement ring!
Hiring buses for your guests is a great idea, to save worries about how everyone is going to get from the church to the venue. It also helps save the planet though, imagine how many cars on the road you are cutting down on. Win, win!
We're also really lucky to have the King Harry Coaches down in Cornwall, they have four vintage buses available to hire our and they always make the guests smile.
My tip for having sustainable catering is the same as my one for flowers, go local and seasonal. It avoids you shipping in expensive ingredients from half way around the world, but you also get to show off the amazing products around you. Cornwall for example, definitely make the most of asparagus season in spring. Are you getting married in Yorkshire? Make the most of rhubarb season in late winter. Or have a stunning cheese board if you're getting married in Somerset. Showcase the products from your local regions, be proud of where you are getting married from.
I really struggled to pick only one of my favourite catering companies, so I went with two... Avo Catering aim to use the wonderful produce the county has to offer, they are passionate about great food but also about the environment and using eco-friendly practices.
The second catering company that I just love is The Shellfish Pig (who also have Bango Kitchen in Penryn, if you haven't been, YOU MUST!). Their menus are inspired by sustainable Cornish shellfish and free range pork and it is always amazing. If you are looking for a food truck to supply your festival themed wedding these guys are a perfect choice.
I hope my tips and tricks on how to have an eco wedding have helped you with your planning, if you need any help or advice please feel free to email me at email@example.com.