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Our Top 10 Eco Valentine's Day Gift Guide featuring ethical British businesses // The Natural Wedding Company

Our 2017 Eco Valentine’s Day Gift Guide 

Samantha and I are sharing our favourite finds for a possible Eco Valentine’s Day gift for your loved one – women, men, and even a gift from your little ones. We’ve stuck to all UK based businesses and artisans, most of them small independent businesses. You’ll also find we’ve tried to include ideas across a span of costs, with only one true ‘blow the budget’ gift.

In putting together this guide we discovered that neither of us celebrate Valentine’s Day in a big way. I’m sure lots of people choose to celebrate their love and gratitude towards each other on a daily basis. But for those who are looking to give something special or just a token of their love, here are some ideas.

Personalised Valentine’s Biscuits

Personalised Valentine's Day biscuits // The Kitsch Hen // The Natural Wedding Company

The Kitsch Hen is run by a former TNWC Real Bride, Caroline (part one + part two of her wedding is not to be missed). Her iced biscuits are homemade from locally sourced ingredients, and all handstamped. We love this option because it can be personalised to a meaningful message – lyrics from ‘your’ song, a love quote from your favourite novel, or just a simple ‘I Love You’. A scrumptious Eco Valentine’s Day gift.

£12 for 6 personalised biscuits – Buy them here

You Are My Favourite Valentine’s Day Card

You Are My Favourite Valentine's Day card // Lucy Says I Do // The Natural Wedding Company

Our friend Lucy Says I Do always has a fab offering of Valentine’s Day cards, and we love this design. Short and sweet, perfect for anyone not wanting to give an overly mushy card full of text. Printed onto FSC approved card and with a brown kraft envelope it’s a great card for the eco-chic.

£3.25 – Buy it here

Fairtrade Gold Heart Ruby Ring

Fairtrade gold heart ruby ring // Shakti Ellenwood // The Natural Wedding Company

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What truly seasonal British Valentine's flowers looks like - hellebores, daffodils, primroses, snowdrops, violets // Flowers from Forage For // The Natural Wedding Company

I love roses, but garden grown and in season, not on Valentine’s Day. But what does a seasonal British Valentine’s bouquet look like? We asked Anne-Marie from Forage For to make us a Valentine’s floral creation – she is quite renown for her stunning floral designs.

So from one corner of Suffolk in a walled garden, this is what was seasonal this year – and it’s worth noting that this has been a particularly unusual year, with unseasonable weather resulting in quite an array of flowers.

The above floral heart features bellis daisies, witch hazel, primroses, hellebores, snowdrops, heather, daffodils, violets, violas, scabious, muscari, blossom and cow parsley (yes really). This crazy unusual weather means that Anne-Marie still has one cow parsley plant that’s hung on all winter and is still flowering. Incredible.

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Wild twiggy heart wreath with berries for Valentine's Day // By Lock Cottage Flowers // The Natural Wedding Company

Today it’s all about creating seasonal Valentine’s wreaths – I particularly love Alice’s wild and twiggy heart with its bright red berries. These could be used to decorate your door this weekend or the smaller heart wreath would make a great DIY project for a wedding.

In case you missed it, on Monday we shared how to create a hellebore moss winter wreath as part of a new blog series called Wreaths Throughout The Seasons with our friend Alice from Lock Cottage Flowers. We’re hoping to inspire you to start putting up seasonal wreaths on your front door or in your home at times other than just Christmas.

Over to Alice…

How to make a seasonal Valentine’s wreath

This first Valentine’s wreath is made from British parvifolia (small leafed eucalyptus – smells divine) and dried lavender which isn’t too visible here, but is very fragrant. These smaller wreaths are terrific for hanging on a small space in the kitchen, or hanging on a doorknob. For weddings they make terrific chairbacks.

I used heavy duty garden wire – the kind used for wall training roses – a coat hanger could be taken apart and used as well. Don’t worry if the heart is slightly wonky – this is preferable.

Learn how to make a heart-shaped eucalyptus and lavender wreath // By Lock Cottage Flowers // The Natural Wedding Company

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valentines_seasonal_british_flowers

Just 5 days until Valentine’s Day!  My plan today is to convince you to buy or ask for a bunch of beautiful, British grown flowers for Valentine’s Day this year. I had wanted to dedicate more time and promotion to this wonderful campaign that is happening, but a sweet baby is consuming oodles of my attention and time.

The main objective of my message is simple: Buy British flowers. There are so many wonderful flower farmers growing stunning, seasonal British flowers (yes, even in damp dark February!), and lots of florists who buy British grown blooms. Let’s support these fab small growers and businesses, push aside that bouquet of imported and rather stiff looking red roses, and celebrate this year with a bunch of something seasonal and grown with a whole lot of love.

Still not convinced that there are pretty seasonal blooms to be bought from Britain this Valentine’s? Well now I’m going to bombard you with a whole stream of pretty pictures of what these skilled flower farmers are growing right now. They include tulips, anemones, narcissi, snowdrops, iris, pussy willow and more!

(I’ve included links below each picture to the flower farmer/grower/florist who’s flowers they are, where they’re based – in case you’re local – and do visit their website as many of them delivery nationwide)

valentines_seasonal_british_flowers10
The Flower Mill Cornwall :: Cornwall

valentines_seasonal_british_flowers4
Cherfold Cottage Flowers :: Surrey/West Sussex

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Apple pie with heart shaped pastry decoration

Now you might be expecting the next of my TNWC Real Brides this morning, but due to my sister’s Uni workload this week she hasn’t been able to finish the lovely illustration that accompanies each blog post.  Instead, I will feature my next TNWC Real Bride tomorrow morning, so do check back!

I have been admittedly quite quiet on the blog this past week with regards to Valentine’s Day. There is so much out there in the way of ideas and inspiration, and if I’m quite honest we don’t really celebrate it in our house.

Heart shaped apple pie

I have been bombarded for the past couple of weeks with everything Valentine’s related, and I find it can get quite overwhelming this pressure to buy your loved one a token of your affection.  Does anyone else feel like that?  With everything so freely shared online, I then end up feeling a bit guilty that I didn’t do something as you see everyone else sharing their gestures of love and affection.

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spring wedding flower symbolism

With Valentine’s Day tomorrow I know I ought to be showering you all with romantic, heart-shaped, red rose inspired ideas.  I’m hoping that because you are here, reading this blog, you know that I like to try and go about things a bit differently.  I’m not hugely into Valentine’s Day and all the fuss that comes with it, so I was quite delighted when an email from Rachel at Catkin Flowers dropped into my inbox about the romanticism and language of flowers.

I shall hand you over to Rachel from Catkin Flowers

Since antiquity, flowers have accompanied us in every major event in life -birth, marriage, holidays, illness, and death and are intimately woven into our culture and traditions. 

Flower symbolism began with ancient religions where many flowers were originally linked to ancient deities and Medieval gardens were often created with both the symbolic meaning of flowers and spiritual symbolism in mind.  Even Shakespeare liked to use flowers and plants as images to illustrate his ideas.  Almost 200 different flowers, herbs, shrubs and trees are mentioned in his plays.  He mentions roses more than 100 times and lilies nearly 30 times.

the language of flowers

It was during the Victorian times that the use of the symbolic meaning of flowers to represent emotions was developed to a high degree.  Due to the strict protocol of the times, emotions, wishes and thoughts were not openly expressed between men and women. Instead, an elaborate language based on flower symbolism was developed.  Gifts of either single flowers or bouquets conveyed clear messages to the recipient.

So have red roses always been the flowers of love?

Valentine's Day red roses

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recycled paper origami heart decorations

I wish I could take credit for stumbling across they lovely origami hearts made from recycled paper, but it was the lovely Lizzie from Cornish Tipi Weddings who shared details of them and I just had to pass them onto you all.  These ones are made from colourful catalogue and magazine pages, and I love how they’re all hung from different coloured ribbons.

There is a full how-to guide telling you how to make these recycled origami hearts on the original post, and think they would look lovely hung somewhere at your wedding – or just as Lizzie from Cornish Tipi Weddings said, hung from the trees around their woodland wedding pavilion.

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