Real ethical weddings

Marissa-Catherine & Tom's green wedding

Marissa-Catherine & Tom

The couple: Marissa-Catherine & Tom
Wedding date: 14 June 2008
Venue and location: Siobhan Davies Studios
Budget: £16,000 (not including honeymoon)

What inspired you to have an ethical wedding?
I try to live my life in a way that is as sensitive to the environment as possible, so it was completely natural for Tom & I to strive for a wedding that was as un-polluting and ethical as possible.

What was the most difficult part about organising an ethical wedding?
Probably keeping to the budget. Getting married in London and not compromising on the ethical beliefs can make it tricky. But imagination, knowing ‘what is important' and not buying into all the fluff helped us not to go overboard - too much.

The only disagreement Tom & I had was over the gift lift. Tom didn't want a list but I wanted one because I didn't want a load of stuff we wouldn't need and to end up freecycling most of it.

In the end we had ethical lists from The Lazy Environmentalist and Ecocentric

What was the most fun bit?

Marissa-Catherine & Tom's green wedding

The best bit had to be the wedding dress. I chose Lucy Tammam, an eco designer and dress maker to make a dress I designed. The result was a stunning gown made out of organic silks and vintage petticoats.

I was determined to have an ‘eco dress' because I wanted to prove that my dress could be glamorous, classically beautifully, made from quality materials and still tick all the ethical boxes.

Lucy was a joy to work with and I would absolutely recommend her to anyone thinking of getting a dress made for them.

And of course I had to get a pair of Beyond Skin shoes to go with the dress. They are the most stunning, classic, well fitting shoes I have ever worn - and ethical and vegan too, naturally!

But really I loved every minute of it!

What are your 5 top tips for brides and grooms planning an ethical wedding?

Organic wedding cake
  • Believe in what you are doing. Others may tut tut but know what you want and know that you want it for the right reasons.
  • Keep everything simple. A big philosophy for our wedding was elegant, simple and classic but with an interesting edge. Extra ‘wedding' accessories didn't interest us. Instead we paid for amazing local and organic food, a stunning venue and sweet local seasonal flowers. In the end it was the guests that made the event.
  • Pay attention to the food. We wanted a really foody wedding and it really paid off with so many guests commenting on how delicious the food was and being surprised by the quality. Although our caterers, Rocket Food were not strictly organic caterers they were very happy to serve up as much organic and local food as possible.

    My mum also made an organic vegan red fruit cake - which was an absolute treat.

  • Delegate. People kept telling me how relaxed I was, but this was because I completely trusted my caterer, florist and bridesmaids and I didn't mind asking people to help out.
  • Get everyone dancing. If people dance it means they had a good time!
  • Bonus tip: spend some time together and smile. It'll make the day.