Being able to re-use elements of your wedding outfit is one of the features I am most proud of with my bridal wear. I thought I would write a post on some more wedding ideas for keeping elements reusable and sustainable. Here’s a few ideas to help you skip the stuff which will only be used once.
Flowers: Here in the South West we have a great list of local flower farmers who all supply cut flowers, the flowers won’t have travelled far and also keeps your wedding completely in season. Dahlias and roses are a great option for late summer and autumn weddings or tulips, peonies and sweet peas for spring and early summer weddings. Hellebores are also beautiful in winter bouquets and potted late winter flowers can look lovely on tables. Try drying or pressing a few at home after the wedding. (Flowers pictured by Kokutan, Totnes, photo: Katie McCullough Photography)
(Image below: Tamsyn Morgans, via Pintrest)
Fairy lights: Who doesn’t love fairy lights. They are not expensive and can 100% be bought out again for parties, Christmas or just keep a few up in your home all year round. We used fairy lights during our wedding and they get brought out through the year, I am just about to use them again for my daughters birthday party, but I also think they look lovely up in the kitchen for dinner parties.
Home made bunting: Use scraps of leftover material to create your own unique homemade bunting. This is something else that can totally be used at home and for parties.
Old books: Add height to tables with stacks of books. They look lovely at home after the wedding and are a perfect companion for a cosy Sunday afternoon on the sofa. (Image below: Foiled and Pressed via Pinterest)
Vintage bottles: So easy to find online and look lovely with a few cut flowers in along the tables. They are also beautiful in the home after the wedding, or to give a bunch of flowers in as a gift. (Photo below by Christophe Bourgeois at Coombe Trenchard).
Favours: I’m sure most of us will have watched Escape to the Chateau where Angel finds vintage napkins and embroiders guests initials onto them so they can be taken home afterwards. I love this idea and also waving them in the air which is a French tradition as the bride and groom enter the wedding breakfast celebration - what a lovely photo opportunity too. Another idea is bottles of wild flower seed, something lovely for your guests to plant at home and continue to enjoy.
Rugs: To add some colour to the spot where you say your vows, distinguish the spot with a lovely rug and then use it in your home interior after the big day. (Photo below: Gail Lava via Pinterest).
Trees: Add a couple of trees outside the church and then again at the reception, how lovely to be able to plant them at home afterwards. (Photo below: Katie McCullough Photography).
Frames for table plans: Hand written table plans by someone you love are meaningful but also look lovely in a large frame. For this one I used a large zinc frame from Nkuku.com, and now have it at home for one of our wedding portraits. Smaller frames could also be used for table names. (Photo below by Christophe Bourgeois).
Invitations: I know to some it may seem not very personable to send out email invites, however it can also be a little more time and cost efficient. Another sustainable option is to work with a local print shop or stationary designer and get your invites printed on recycled paper or even flower seed paper.
Venue: Choosing a venue that already has plenty of character will mean you can tone down the decorations as venues can often speak for themselves. Below are some photos of a venue that does just that, Coombe Trenchard in Devon. (Photo below by Christophe Bourgeois).
Bridal and Groom Parties
Wedding Dresses: Separates and gowns that can be dyed and worn again! Look no further that Katie Woods Bridal. (Pictured below by Katie McCullough Photography).
Bridal Accessories: Try using pieces you think you will have an opportunity to wear again, such as jewellery, shoes and hair pieces. (Necklaces and hoops above and below by Yume in Ashburton, Photo by Katie McCullough Photography).
Keeping warm: Another option for weddings during cooler months is to have something warm to pop on if you get a little chilly as the sun sets. Loose knit jumpers or a vintage jacket can look great over a bridal gown, and I am sure they will give you ample use after the wedding. (Photos by Katie McCullough Photography)
Veils: These can be a tricky one, maybe see if there is one in the family which can be re-used or choose one you can one day possibly pass down. Going for a veil that is also slightly off the floor makes it not only so much easier to wear and walk around in, but will also help save it from getting damaged. They still look great in photos as will float nicely behind you when you move.
Bridesmaids dresses: Maybe give them a colour or colour palette you would like to stick to and let them find something that they feel comfortable in, they will be sure to wear them again. Check out Ebay too as often bridesmaids dresses can be bought second hand after only been worn once. By adding flowers to their hair will also help stand them out as bridesmaids. (Photo below BHLDN Weddings, via Pinterest).
(Photo below, One Fab Day via Pinterest).
Flower girl dresses: I mean what little girl isn’t going to want to pop on her flower girl dress on again even if it is to dress up as a princess. My daughter and god daughter had matching dresses I had made for them from a floral cotton and linen fabric in the hope they don’t grow too quick and can get a couple of wears out of them again. There are also small British brands such as www.littlecottonclothes.com who design beautiful, children’s clothes that can be warn for the wedding and easily again afterwards, they have great sustainable credentials too. (Photo below by Christophe Bourgeois at Come Trenchard).
(Photo below from Little Cotton Clothes)
Groomsmen: This is a fairly easy one, go down the hire route or find suits that can easily be worn again (my husband wears his best man and grooms suits multiple times, in fact I think they are the only suits he owns). Another idea is to stick to a certain tie, we just asked the men in our wedding to wear liberty print tie we bought them, (apart from my dad who forgot his… he was on a mission though to locate sparkling water so I guess he can be forgiven). (Photo below by Christophe Bourgeois).
Please find below a selection of photographs that should also offer some inspiration to help keep your wedding as reusable and sustainable as possible, enjoy! (Photos by Katie McCullough Photography, dresses by Katie Woods Bridal and Jewellery by Yume).
I hope this helps, I love to chat through ideas so if I can help in any way please do get in touch.