Sustainable luxury wedding ideas
Today’s sustainable luxury wedding ideas are brought to you by Green Heart – my sister co which offers creative shoot days for wedding photographers.
Wanna see how we styled one of my fave venues, Kelmarsh Hall, with an abundant but earth-friendly look?
Grab your fave beverage (you’ll need a big one with all this eye candy) and settle in.
A special home
Kelmarsh Hall effortlessly strikes that hard-to-pull-off balance between elegance and homeliness. And I wanted the styling to look as though it could be a normal part of the setting. So all the team’s thinking was based on ‘what would the owner of this house do?’.
Lucky for us, Kelmarsh’s most famous owner was Nancy Lancaster, a 20th-century tastemaker and the owner of Colefax & Fowler. Handy! We guessed, on special days, that Nancy would add décor to enhance the venue; adding something striking and elegant but also relaxed and undone.
And with Kelmarsh being renowned for its gorgeous gardens, we figured fabulous floral features would be a must. So we took a lot of guidance from the Kelmarsh gardens.
Sustainable luxury wedding ideas
Let’s be honest, it’s a lot of nature’s resources for one day. But luxury isn’t inherently wasteful. So showing how it can be done in a mindful way was a biggie.
I supported small businesses and local suppliers as far as possible. (There’s some great talent in Northamptonshire!) Ecologi planted a tree for everyone involved to offset the impact of travel. Carefully chosen papers and ribbons played a part. Flowers came from local growers rather than being imported and flown. And everything was carefully rehomed afterwards.
There’s so much you can do. But it needs to be an integral part of the plans right from the beginning – ‘cos you can’t choose a specific flower and expect to find it at your local flower farm!
Responsibly sourced florals
Kelmarsh Hall is renowned for its gardens so we brought the gardens into the house. Pretty much literally with foraged foliage and borrowed potted plants!
Trees and potted plants provided the scale, and then we chose delicate and free-flowing flower varieties for femininity, structure without stiffness, and movement.
The colours were neutral greens, whites and creams with a pop of bright yellow just for fun. And because birds love to drop seeds in random places, you’ll also spot the odd splash of bright pink or deep purple for extra interest. (Love nature’s imperfection!)
Tracey, the florist, worked super hard to source sustainably. She foraged for foliage, hired trees, bought potted plants which were later planted in the venue’s gardens, and flowers came from local growers and were later returned to the ground. And no floral foam in sight.
First up was a statement front entrance to give a taste of what’s to come. And then a fulsome feature fireplace which would make a fabulous backdrop for any part of a wedding – ceremony, dinner, photos, cake cutting …
The tablescape was beautiful – but far from practical! You could easily scale back the moss and expose the bare table/linen underneath. Or make it even more decadent with trailing foliage and flowers down the table sides.
With the flowers being such a big feature, we kept everything else simple.
We used classic white crockery, white and gold cutlery, and gold-rimmed glassware for the place settings. And that was layered with thick but soft linen napkins. And candlelight added the finishing touch.
The cake was deceivingly simple with a white-on-white stencilled pattern. This was displayed on a cream sideboard – and surrounded with more flowers!
The stationery (with thick deckled-edge matte paper) was also subtle but the informal deckled edge and textured paper stocks kept it engaging. We chose recycled and recyclable papers. And the ribbons were a mix of organic bamboo and animal-friendly silks; hand-dyed with natural dyes like lilac, ivy and privet leaves. The seating plan, created from recycled wine bottles with labels and single flower stems, added a playful element.
Because one needs to sit in style. On a wedding day, this could be used for relaxed family photos during the day – and a luxury ‘selfie-sofa’ in the evening.
Elegant and individual outfits
Tom wore a smart black DJ with a subtle buttonhole. Quite the contemporary classic. And very James Bond.
Olivia started off the shoot rocking cute pale pink PJs (because what you wear while you’re getting ready will be forever immortalised in your wedding photos!) …
And then out came ‘Odessa’ by Claire Pettibone – a pretty dress with a boho feel. The dress was embellished with flowers, in shades of pale green and warm ivory, which picked up on the strong floral element to the styling. Her hair was styled in a posh ponytail with playful pearl pins for a whimsical feel. And makeup was fresh and radiant.
Real love and genuine expressions
Tom and Olivia, are professional models. But they’re also a real couple. So they brought camera-confidence along with all the love.
Is that enough sustainable luxury wedding ideas for you?
Hopefully, you’ll find this post useful if you’re planning a classic, relaxed, countryside wedding and want to be eco-friendly about it.
Looking for more Kelmarsh Hall wedding ideas? I’ve got you covered.
Concept, planning & production: Green Heart Workshops
On the day management: Vivienne May Weddings
Venue: Kelmarsh Hall
Styling: Nerissa Eve
Chairs, sofa & napkins: Options Great Hire
Florals: Once Upon A Time
Stationery: Jenna Claire Stationery
Ribbons: Laik Style
Cake: The Greenhouse Cakerie
Bridal lingerie: Ophelia Liberty
Groomswear: Scotneys of London Road
Hair and makeup: Alison Jenner Hair
Hair accessories: Miss Clemmie
Model couple: Tom & Olivia, One Soul Two Models