Ethical and green wedding planning
Ethical and green wedding venues
The fairytale castle, the flowery bower, the grand stately home, the ramshackle barn...
Once you've said ‘yes', it's not long before you're deciding where to say ‘I do'.
At the best of times, finding the perfect venue to make those vows and celebrate with friends and family is not an easy task.
You have to consider capacity, debate distances between ceremony venue and reception or venue and home, have back-up plans for poor weather, give a thumbs up to the food, and of course love the look and feel of the place.
But if you're one of the ever-growing numbers of green brides and grooms hoping to tie the ethical knot, the list doesn't end there. You're also on the hunt for that elusive eco-factor - the venue that cares.
So how can you find a venue with a conscience?
When it comes to the crunch, it could be about any number of things but it comes down to what's important to you. We're going to take a peek at a few possibles though the options are limited only by your imagination...
The charity choice
If you're looking for a venue that's giving something back why not consider one of the many charity-owned venues for hire across the UK. The price you pay for the hire of the hall can go towards the work of that particular charity.
There's no need to suffer for your attack of altruism either. Many of these buildings are stunningly beautiful and make a perfect backdrop for your wedding.
The green machine
This well bio- fuelled machine is an eco-build extraordinaire. Powered by renewable energy, preferably generated on site via a wind turbine and solar panels, insulated to within an inch of its life, collecting and reusing grey water, recycling, re-using and composting as a matter of course, growing their own organic fruit and veg, and patronising local suppliers, you name it, these venues have got it. And don't even dream of leaving your towel out to be washed every day!
The more you support this type of venue (currently the exception rather than the rule), the more others will have to follow suit, encouraging change throughout the industry.
The romantic ruin
The romance of decay... The old theatre that has soaked up generations of tears and laughter, but is now on its last crumbling legs, the battered barn, timbers that have stood for centuries, now seemingly unloved and uncared for...
In a similar way to the charity option, your fun money can help to restore a building to its former glory, and your happy event gives it its raison d'etre. You reap the romance of a candlelit ruin, friendly ghosts watching from the rafters, and future generations get to enjoy the building brought back to life as a theatre or community hall perhaps.
Just make sure you've had your health and safety checks done before choosing a romantic ruin!
The great outdoors
A risky one this, especially in the UK, but if you really want to get back to nature, why not pack hampers full of organic and fair trade goodies (and brollies) and head out into the countryside with a select few guests who are on your wavelength. You could take one of Britain's scenic railways to get to your destination so if the clouds make good their threat you can always celebrate on the train!
The shell of dreams
Your local village hall (supporting upkeep of community amenities), a barn in the middle of nowhere, a yurt, a marquee, your own home (if it's big enough!)...
You choose the shell and then fill it to suit your ethical tastes. Bric a brac from charity shops to decorate the tables, flowers grown by your mum and dad and your friends, pine cones collected from the nearby woods, organic candles in every corner, an organic catering company to take care of the food - or go ‘pot luck' and ask everyone to bring a dish for a buffet, an acoustic set by a local band.
This venue is your blank canvas, you are free to paint on it in any shade of green that takes your fancy!
Any other suggestions? Tell us what you're looking for, or what you went for in our Ethical Weddings Forum.