Small nation, big green heart – a visit to the Welsh Green Weddings Fair
You may recall a couple of weeks ago I told you about a wedding fair that was being held at Welsh Green Weddings, one of our beautiful TNWC wedding venues. Although I was unable to attend the day, lucky for us the lovely Nik from Little House in Town did go and today I get to share what she found with you all.
Back in July, Nik shared her experiences at the Catkin cut flower workshop (she was the lucky TNWC competition winner) and I’m delighted to have her back guest posting.
Grab a cup of something warm and enjoy. Over to Nik:
If you’re a bride-to-be living in Wales, then you are one lucky lady. This tiny nation may hold only 5% of the UK population, but it certainly knows how to send a message, loud and clear. One such message was firmly delivered last weekend, as local green wedding suppliers convened on a field in rural Carmarthanshire for the Welsh Green Weddings Fair.
The small but sweet event really showcased the opportunities and choice available to Welsh brides who are keen to keep their day as natural, sustainable and eco-friendly as possible.
The hosts, Welsh Green Weddings, made everyone feel right at home in their magnificent, custom-built, organic flax tipi – allowing us to wander around their beautiful yurt accommodation, licensed wedding venue and grounds at will; and providing delicious homemade canapés and fair-trade refreshments (this wedding business is thirsty work!).
Swooning over a gigantic cheese tower centrepiece, constructed using wheels of Caws organic cheeses, I realised my other half was AWOL. He wasn’t hard to find, he too was swooning: over a restored 1963 VW Campervan – pride and joy of ON-BB, a husband and wife team offering a unique interpretation of the ‘old, new, borrowed and blue’ custom.
With ‘BB’ the camper providing your ‘borrowed and blue’, the ‘old and new’ are cleverly combined in a beautiful handmade quilt, which incorporates a small piece of treasured fabric: be it a fragment of a beloved t-shirt or a swatch of your wedding dress.
It was encouraging to hear the response the suppliers were receiving from the local community – chatting with Belle of Belle’s Bakes, she told me how her business had gone from strength-to-strength over the last six months, after she identified a gap in the market for ‘cakes with a conscience’ that also cater for those with specific dietary requirements.
Herself a Coeliac’s sufferer, and a former health food shop worker, Belle understands only too well the difficulties in sourcing delicious food for your big day that can be enjoyed by everyone. As she puts it: “I don’t like to think of anyone missing out on a little indulgence.” As such, her entire range is gluten-, dairy- and wheat-free, with vegan/vegetarian options also available.
Using organic, fair-trade and locally sourced ingredients (even if it means manically driving round the local farms in desperate search of fresh free-range eggs) and biodegradable packaging, her individually wrapped brownies and heart-shaped tarts are the perfect green wedding favours (and I can tell you first-hand that they taste amazing!).
I could really go on all day talking about the approachable, friendly, smiling people that I met, who clearly have a real commitment and passion for providing products and services that have minimal environmental impact. Other notable suppliers include The Vintage Tea Party Co., who hire a large range of crockery and props to dress-up your big day and Pen-lon Cottage Brewery, locally produced handmade ales with no chemical use or additives.
Many thanks to Simone and her family team at Welsh Green Weddings for welcoming me along to Penybanc Farm, their stunning rural wedding venue retreat. Their commitment to the environment is utterly outstanding – with no job too small to warrant their attention, right down to the soy wax tealights twinkling in the tipi and the solar powered bedside lamps in their yurts.
If you’re planning an eco-wedding in Wales, a trip to see Simone should be top of your list of priorities.
Nik Ibberson is a freelance writer and proof reader, who leads a simple but happy life on the beautiful Pembrokeshire coast. Her personal blog, Little House In Town is a place for all things ethical, sustainable, handmade and seaside-y.
Images: Nik Ibberson
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