Our fun & retro inspired wedding day
was focussed on being small & sustainable by keeping things local
(oh and eating at normal meal times)!
We had a total of fourteen guests (plus a couple of four legged guests) at our legal ceremony & then invited a few of our lovely neighbours to join us for a celebratory drink
back home in our garden afterwards.
All our photos were captured by the incredible Emma White from Coral & Stone Photography.
Keep reading to discover some sustainable wedding tips & ideas from a bride & photographer who is passionate about making the world of weddings more sustainable & reducing waste.
let's reduce waste at weddings...
For those of you who have followed my work for a while, you’ll know how passionate
I am about the ways we can all make weddings & the industry more sustainable
and kinder to the planet.
From teaming up with my Granny Rae back in the lockdowns to create our
preloved & up-cycled bridal wear collection – Anna Rae Bridal Wear.
To collaborating with other Nottingham based wedding suppliers to produce inspirational styled bridal photoshoots showcasing sustainable bridal fashion
- LOVE MY DRESS sustainable 70’s styled shoot.
While I don’t label myself as an ‘expert’ in the field of sustainability, I have always had an acute awareness by the amount of waste produced at weddings & the responsibility we all have to reduce the amount of waste for one day of air time. I am always looking at ways to inspire greener ideas for your special day.
This year I want to keep learning about sustainability in the wedding industry and look at ways I can become a more eco-friendly wedding supplier & help set an example to other suppliers & couples who are getting married. To kickstart the year, I'll be attending the Sustainable Wedding Summit 2024 – get your tickets here!
I do hope this blog post demonstrates that while keeping sustainability in the forefront of your mind, it certainly doesn’t mean you have to compromise on style & the overall aesthetics of your wedding day. Often when we make sustainable swaps & choices, it can also save us money as well as saving the planet.
Making your wedding bespoke & personal to your love story doesn’t have to cost the earth. So if I can inspire you to make just one eco-conscious swap for your wedding day, then I'll be super happy - even if it's just making your own confetti from collecting flower petals! (Sometimes it really is the small things).
GENERAL TIPS & TRICKS...
SECONDHAND BUT GRAND...
My wedding cremony dress & accessories were all secondhand & preloved. I also wore a pretty silk petticoat underneath my dress and that was upcycled from another garment by my Grannny. It goes back to the old saying of 'Something old & something borrowed' and it felt that bit more special knowing a loved one had taken the time to make it for me - it's something I will keep & cherish forever.
Not only this but I had a total of three sustainable wedding outfits that I wore throughout our wedding celebrations. I thrifted everything, so again just because you're shopping second hand it doesn't mean you can't be a bit 'EXTRA' and have a few fabulous looks that you love. Lots of the pieces I will keep and wear again and style differently so they get another wear in their post-wedding life.
I totally understand not everyone will want to rock the 'Retro' or 'Boho' wedding frock. But that still doesn't mean you can't purchase a preloved wedding dress to find the design of dress that reflects your style. If your inspiration is 'modern elegance' or 'minimalistic' or even 'total glamour', you can still find designer dresses you love on preloved wedding dress websites such as BRIDAL RELOVED & STILL WHITE just to name a few. Finding a local seamstress who can fit your gown to your figure can be all it takes to have the dress of your dreams.
For bridal accessories such as veils, shoes, handbags and hair accessories why not see if your friends or relatives have any items you can borrow. Charity shops are great for a spot of thrifting & there's also Depop & Vinted secondhand shopping apps which create a circular fashion movement to give clothes a new lease of life and avoid going into landfill.
The thing to keep in mind is most wedding dresses and bridal accessories will not get worn again after your wedding day. So before you splurge on an expensive dress or shoes that you're only going to wear once, why not think about saving some pennies as well as saving the planet?
ANNA'S CEREMONY OUTFIT BREAKDOWN
Dress - Vintage & from a charity shop - Sue Ryder Charity Shop £12.00
Boots - Preloved from Vinted £10.00
Handbag - Preloved from Vinted £8.00
Total Outfit Cost = £30.00
BRIDESbabes, BOUQUETS & BLOOMS...
Here are my wonderful bridesmaids & Grandma's Rae & Betty
pictured with their dried floral bouquets.
They both wore outfits they already had in their wardrobes and my Granny Rae even borrowed my vintage white shoes! They chose whites, blues and reds which became our colour scheme all from the gorgeous embroidery detail on my thrifted dress.
For my bridal bouquet & my bridesmaids bouquets I decided to go for dried flowers as I thought it would be lovely to keep them after and have them as a keepsake. I sourced these fabulous florals from Hidden Botanics who specialise in dried bouquets. These bouquets were one of their standard floral arrangements and I found the colours went perfectly with our colour scheme for our autumnal wedding. I purchased the beautiful blue silk ribbon from Bertie & Fred who specialise in natural silk dyes. It also counted as part of my 'something blue'.
Beautiful homegrown dahlias & seasonal blooms were all grown in my lovely friend Emma's garden. Not only did Emma grow us flowers for our table blooms, she also captured our special day as she is my friend and a fellow wedding photographer. She is so talented and it was her idea to dry petals to create confetti. I love working alongside Emma and she is also very passionate about keeping things local & sustainable and she has so many tips and tricks. We help each other out during wedding season and often second shoot for each other. So if you've chosen my 'second photographer option', you might be seeing this wonderful human!
Check out Emma's photography - Coral & Stone Photography
As freelancers, we're all about building lasting connections within the wedding community, so we can help & support one another through the busy wedding season. I could not do this job without the support of the local community of photographers that I'm lucky to
know & call my friends.
KEEPING IT LOCAL...
We kept things nice and local which meant our photos were taken in our village where we walk our dog everyday, which made the photos even more meaningful. We popped into the Framework Knitters Museum, which is one of my favourite meeting places and coffee spots in Ruddington. The staff are so warm & welcoming, The Splitscreen Coffee Co. provides barista quality coffee and to top it off, it's dog friendly!
Our table flowers were all home grown in my friends back garden and the day before the wedding we cut them fresh and arranged them into empty glass jars that I'd collected for a few months from cooking & jam jars. So we had some beautiful fresh blooms too. As we had our reception at our home, it meant we had some lovely flowers for the rest of the week and I also gifted the arrangements to our neighbours & family so they didn't get wasted.
THE CONFETTI BOMBING...
In the lead up to our wedding we asked our families to help collect flower petals from their gardens during the summer and we dried them out ahead of our wedding day & ended up with plenty of colourful confetti for our photos - it smelt incredible too. Sidenote we borrowed some wicker baskets to put all the confetti into and gave them back afterwards. So in total we paid £0 for our confetti - nature gifted it us for free!
THE PARTY FIT....
For my party outfit (we had a party in a local pub a couple of weeks later) I had a customised boiler suit created which was super fun. I also made sure I wore my Vinted boots & handbag again and had my dried flowers again....so this was a great way of creating another wedding outfit by re-wearing all my accessories! I got to play dress up once more and again everything was second hand and bespoke.
OUR LOVELY WEDDING SUPPLIERS:
PHOTOGRAPHER - EMMA WHITE FROM CORAL & STONE PHOTOGRAPHY
HAIR - SARAH FROM ROCK N ROLLER HAIR
FLORALS - HOME GROWN & DRIED HIDDEN BOTANICS
STYLING PROPS - CURIOUS MAGPIE STYLING
Boiler suit thrifted on Vinted & customised by Foundling Studio &
Dead Lavender Embroidery Sheffield based designers creating a rock n roll inspired party look!