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Eco-friendly Wedding Guide

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Your wedding day will probably be one of the most important days of your life and making sure you tie the knot at the perfectly planned wedding that represents you both is important. Choosing a theme that isn’t too tricky can test the organising skills. Some may think an eco-friendly wedding is in the too hard basket, but we have put together a guide that shows you it can be done.

The Invitations Some would say that sending invites via email is the most eco-friendly way to do it. But there is something about snail mail invites and save-the-dates cards that keeps it traditional. In order to stick to this, keep an eye out for stores or suppliers that offer recycled paper products and vegetable-based inks. Reducing the number of inserts in invites can also be another step towards an eco wedding.

The dresses When thinking eco friendly dress, first pops to mind is a pre-loved dress, this could be a dress passed down through the family from your grandmother to your mother. Alterations to the dress to make it more in style can be done too. If your mums dress is out of the question, shopping at second hand wedding dress stores can be the next step. But if you prefer to wear a brand new dress, try find a designer that uses sustainable fabrics, like silk or hemp, and organic cotton. Doing the same for the bridesmaids dresses can also be fun.

The catering Food is the centre of most celebrations, and choosing the eco path does not mean you have to sacrifice what you love to eat. When you’re budgeting or looking for a venue, keep in mind that organic foods may cost a bit more. Sourcing locally-grown products can keep the cost down too. When bought directly from growers, food needs less time in the fridge and less packaging to stay fresh!

The venue As we know, choosing the venue should be the first step to organising the wedding around. One of the best eco-friendly venues is outdoors. New Zealand’s gorgeous vineyards and gardens are an example of this. But outdoor ceremonies don’t always work for everyone, especially those wanting to tie the knot in winter. In terms of being energy efficient, choose a venue with plenty of sunlight so avoid using lights.

Whether you want to completely plan your wedding, head-to-toe, with the motivation of being eco-friendly, or if you just want aspects of the day to cover this, anything is possible. Just keep in mind the season you want to marry in order to find the perfect venue, and the rest will fall into place.

Favour Ideas For Your Wedding Day

Favour boxes by Bespoke by Harlow Garland. Image by  Adelina Photography

Favour boxes by Bespoke by Harlow Garland. Image by Adelina Photography

Many couples opt to give each of their guests a wedding favour as a memento of the special day. Here are some of our favourite wedding favour ideas that you can easily create.

Mini Potted Plant

Mini potted plants are a great choice for your wedding favours that can also double as a place card! When choosing a plant, succulents are perfect option because they are easy for your guests to care for once home. Opt for small pots that coordinate well with your wedding colours and tie around a ribbon to add a card with each guests name.

Fresh Flowers

Fresh flowers are the perfect favour option for a Spring wedding – and also double as a gorgeous piece of décor! Display bunches in metal buckets on a tiered stand next to your doorway. Once your wedding comes to an end, invite guests to take a bunch of the blooms as they are leaving.

Personalised Chocolate Bar

Personalised chocolate bars make for a wedding favour that everyone is sure to love. Choose your favourite store bought chocolate bars and personalise them by rewrapping them in paper that coordinates with your wedding theme and colours. Tie ribbon or twine around each one and add a piece of card with the bride and grooms name and the wedding date – here you could even also write a short message to each guest!

Candle

Candles are a thoughtful wedding favour that is sure to last well after your wedding. Choose one scent or a variety and if you are making your own, put them into containers that suit your theme – whether this is a mason jar or teacup.

Jar Condiments

If you and your partner are the foodie type, then jarred condiments are the perfect wedding favour idea. As they are simple to make in bulk, opt for your favourite jams, pickles and chutneys. Add labels with what is inside and personalise with each guests name!

Mini Wedding Cakes

For something slightly different than the traditional tiered wedding cake, opt for mini wedding cakes as your favour. Put the cakes into individual boxes and decorate them to coordinate with your wedding. This is also a great budget option.

Candy Station

Candy stations are becoming increasingly popular for wedding favours. Have a table with a variety of sweets where your guests can pick and choose their favourites and then put into bags to take home with them. For something extra, have your bags personalised with the bride and grooms names and the wedding date.

Tips For Choosing Your Wedding Colour Scheme

For many couples choosing a colour scheme for your wedding day can be a very important decision. If you are going to have a specific colour scheme for your wedding it is best to decide on this early in your wedding planning process to help make other important decisions easier, such as choosing your flowers and designing your invitations. Follow our suggestions to help with choosing the perfect colour scheme for your wedding day.

Get Inspired

Firstly it is good to get some inspiration so you can understand what colours you like and what colours you don’t like for a wedding palette. Pinterest is the perfect place for this, as well as wedding magazines or even old wedding albums of family and friends.

Consider The Season

Depending on what season your wedding is in you may want to bring it into your colour scheme. For an Autumn wedding you may want to opt to use deep reds or oranges in your colour scheme, or for a Summer wedding you may want to choose colours that are more bright, such as yellows and pinks.

Creating A Mood

Another important aspect you may want to think about when choosing your colour scheme is whether there is there a certain mood you want to convey through your colour scheme? If you want to create a lot of drama, opt for a jewel-toned palette. To enhance the romantic atmosphere go for reds or shades of pinks.

Look At A Colour Wheel

If you are having difficulty with what colours go well together have a look at a colour wheel. Typically, the colours on opposite sides of the colour wheel will go well together, for example, coral and turquoise look gorgeous together.

Accent Colours

Some people choose to complete their colour scheme by adding in one or two accent colours. For example, you may want to add accents of soft orange yellow to your hues of pastel pink colour scheme. This can help add more dimension to your chosen colour scheme.

Be Creative

Be creative when choosing your colour scheme. Don’t be afraid to add a pop of metallic to your favourite hue. Gold, copper and silver are becoming increasingly popular and can add an element of glam to your day. It is also fun and modern to introduce an unexpected colour pairing, such as combining a bright fuchsia with indigo. Whatever you choose remember that you do not need to follow any rules - choose a colour scheme that you love!

If you're still stuck or need any advice, don't hesitate to call or email one of our wonderfully talented planner/stylists to help!

Wedding Centrepiece Inspiration

Effective centrepieces on the tables at your wedding reception can completely tie together the style and theme of your wedding. Whether you want centrepieces that are traditional or more quirky, here are some of out favourite ideas.

Flowers

Typically couples opt for arrays of flower bouquets for their centrepieces. Ensure your flower centrepieces use the same or some of the same flower to your bridal and bridesmaids bouquet to keep the style cohesive. For an extra touch of detail, use vases that fit with your style and theme. For a summer wedding, take a look at our Seasonal Summer Flower Guide.

Greenery

If you are on a budget, greenery can create the impact as flowers but for a lot less money. For a rustic wedding, opt for balls of moss surrounded in leaves.

Candles

Candles are a great way to create a romantic atmosphere. For added drama, use a variety of candles at different heights and widths. Or, you may want to opt for floating tea light candles in glass bowls of water.

Candelabras

Having a candelabra as your centrepiece can add a large level of elegance as well as romance to your wedding. For added sophistication, opt for gold candles and drape the candelabra with diamonds.

Lanterns

Similar to candles, lanterns are a great way to create a romantic atmosphere and can add a great quirky element of style to your wedding – the perfect option for a rustic style wedding.

Branches

Branches and twigs can be accessorised to suit many different wedding styles. For a more glamorous wedding, use silver or gold painted twigs and drape them with strings of diamonds. For something more rustic, lie branches horizontally down the table and add accents of flowers.

Tea Cups

Tea cups and a teapots make a great addition to a vintage styled wedding. Have them act as vases by putting short flowers in them. You may want to keep these flowers simple to ensure you don’t take away from the charm of the tea cups and teapots.

Desserts

Shy away from the traditional dessert course and opt for a dessert centrepiece on each table. You may want vases of pinwheel lollipops that coordinate with your colour theme, a tower of cup cakes, vases just full of candy, or even different flavoured cakes for each table.

Games

Make your reception more fun and carefree by having a different game on each table as the centrepiece. Jenga, Connect Four and Chess are all great game options.

It's All About the Cheese Course

by Harlow Garland

by Harlow Garland

Harlow Garland

Harlow Garland

When looking at the veritable plethora of wedding cake options, couples are inundated with decisions - will we do one cake or several? Cupcakes or Croquembouche? What about pies? What about take-home individual cakes? If we get one big cake, what flavour do we want? Do we do the tradtional fruit cake layer or give it a miss? Tiered? Layered? Naked? - it's all enough to turn you off cake altogether and so with that in mind, we go off cake and onto cheese.

Initially an odd premise, but over the last few years a more common occurrence at weddings is, the cheese cake. No, we're not talking about cream cheese and marscapone, nor the frozen dessert kind but rather the more literal definition - multiple complementary cheeses of different sizes, stacked to resemble a wedding cake and then styled to suit.

This is fantastic for the society wedding or for those with a more savoury palate and tends to replace the wedding cake and the cheese course in one all-in-one delicious and beautifully presented, edible masterpiece. The decoration can be as simple or elaborate as you wish - whether that means a simple halo of foliage or the addition of a single flower like we've opted for in this particular case or a dramatic display of seasonal fruit, nuts, twigs and berries to create a veritable cornucopia of decadence - which is what we love to do.

This one is a collection of incredible cheeses sourced from Sabato who are a gourmet deli in Auckland and who know their cheese. If you're going to opt for a cheese cake, it's important that you're choosing to buy from someone who understands cheese, who knows which cheeses complement each oher, which cheese will stand up to being out of the fridge a while and which will be most suitable for stacking at each level.

They should also be able to suggest what accompaniments will enhance and complement your chosen cheeses both from a decorative aspect and flavour aspect with chutneys, condiments, cured meats, fruit and nuts all part and parcel with the cheese selection.

Pricing goes by weight, number of layers and of course which cheeses you choose - a wise old aged cheddar will be more expensive that a newborn edam, so it's important to go in to visit the Cheesemonger, (sample the cheeses) and talk budget. It's quite fortuitous that there generally aren't any set prices - there can be and Sabato for example does mention several but because of the completely bespoke nature of the cheese cake, it can be as cost effective or wildly indulgent as you choose it to be.