A Southend Barns autumn wedding inspiration shoot with Minna wedding dress, seasonal foliage and lanterns
Today’s Southend Barns autumn wedding inspiration shoot is bound to cheer up any ‘January blues’. Think soft glowing lights, trailing foliage in vibrant autumnal hues, jewel-toned seasonal flowers and ethereal bridal style evoking visions of Elven folk from a Tolkien novel.
This beautiful shoot was dreamt up by the rustic farm venue Southend Barns in Chichester and To Have and To Hire wedding stylists. The shoot aimed to showcase local and ethical wedding businesses which of course we always love to see. The styling was a celebration of autumn to reflect the beautiful textures, forms and colours it has to offer. Everything was perfectly captured by award-winning wedding photographer Kelly Hearn.
Kate and Aidan’s outdoor eco wedding with a hike to the venue, mountain biking, and cornflowers in beer bottles
Kate and Aidan’s outdoor eco wedding, set on Masson Farm in the rolling hills of Derbyshire, is truly inspiring. This biking, hiking and climbing loving couple had a personal vision for their wedding day, but rather than it being about bunting and flowers (though there is an abundance of both) their vision focused on ensuring their celebrations were sustainable and ethical.
The couple and their guests reached the wedding venue by cable car and a hike, before they were married in an outdoor ceremony. Afterwards the reception was held in a tipi that could only be accessed along a steep road which provided seclusion and created an intimate, relaxed atmosphere. Kate and Aidan’s relaxed outdoor eco wedding has been beautifully captured by TNWC recommended supplier Chris Scuffins Photography.
We caught up with Kate to shed some light on their ideas and explain the reasons behind the couple’s choices…
With Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve less than two months away what better time for a round-up of our favourite 16 ethical engagement rings. With those two days the most popular days in the whole year to get engaged, I imagine there are a lot of (slightly anxious) men and women out there with rings on their mind.
Why choose an ethical engagement ring?
There are all kinds of ways to propose these days, but it has never been easier to choose an ethical engagement ring. What do we mean by ‘ethical’? We are talking about engagement rings made from fair trade gold and silver, recycled gold and silver, and ethically sourced diamonds and other precious gems. In addition to this, many of our recommended wedding ring suppliers are offering more unusual creations using sea glass, lab grown eco diamonds, and sustainable wood (more on those below).
Whatever you choose, do not underestimate the impact made by your choice to propose with an ethical engagement ring. Now onto our top 16 of the most beautiful and unique ethical engagement rings, all available to buy from our recommended suppliers collections.
Modern Ethical Engagement Rings
The teardrop shape of this ethical solitaire diamond engagement ring gives it an interesting twist that will set you apart from the usual diamond engagement ring. Designed by Glasswing Jewellery on a dainty recycled gold band, this is one of my favourites. Buy it here.
Slade Fine Jewellery always come out with some beautiful designs, part modern but with a liberal sprinkling of Tolkein-esque elvish magic. We were particularly captured by this grey rosecut diamond set against that earthy yellow gold, which in this case is recycled eco gold. Buy it here.
The warmth from the rose gold and the ‘rubover’ setting of this solitaire ethical engagement ring from long-time fair trade gold and silver champions CRED Jewellery, create a modern but romantic feeling ring. Buy it here.
Best eco-chic and ethical engagement and wedding rings
For many the Christmas and New Year’s period will have been a particularly exciting one, having got engaged, and so whilst many of you may already have an engagement ring, we thought it a good moment to introduce the jewellery businesses we work with, all who have a strong ethical and eco-friendly commitment.
The above ring, from April Doubleday, has particular caught my eye, with its chic white enamel band, set with glittering Cubic Zironias. It is elegant and modern, but still retains that ‘hewn from the earth’ natural feel – I could almost believe it came from an oyster shell in a mermaid kingdom…
My main conclusion is that I don’t quite know how you’ll ever choose just one! You can find all our wedding ring suppliers in the Rings section of our directory.
Mahailia Jewellery Design
Bespoke wedding and engagement rings from the romantic, windswept Scottish coast (find out more).
Slade Fine Jewellery
Handmade engagement & wedding rings from 100% eco gold and silver (find out more).
Beautiful diamond & gemstone set antique and estate rings (find out more).
Sometimes it’s nice to take a step back from wedding planning, from all the lovely details and fun plans for this incredible celebration, and look at the deeper part of marriage. I think an important part of that is choosing where you buy your engagement and wedding rings from – of all the many items you purchase for your wedding, your rings will have one of the biggest environmental costs.
No one likes to be bombarded or overwhelmed with terrible statistics or facts about the environmental costs of something like a wedding ring, often it just makes you feel even more powerless to make a difference, but we can’t ignore that there are some pretty bad facts when it comes to conventional mining.
It seems I’m having a bit of a 1920s and 1930s inspired day on the blog today, following on from this morning’s glamorous wedding cake I get to introduce you to the stunning new collection from CRED Jewellery. The Penelope Collection from designer Annabel Panes was inspired by the cocktail drinking ladies of the 1920s and ’30s, in particular her own grandmother.
This fabulous 13-piece collection includes engagement rings, necklaces and earrings, all created from Fairtrade and Fairmined certified gold and each item set with ethically sourced gems. I particularly love the deep and rich colours of the gems used, especially the Amethyst.
Niki from CRED Jewellery told me “Annabel has taken the elegance and glamour of the 1930’s and applied a modern twist. The deep blues and reds of the precious stones are placed in delicate white gold settings that maximize their splendour and reflect the romantic elegance of the time.”
CRED Jewellery are one of the latest businesses to join The Natural Wedding Company jewellery, and after having a browse through their beautiful collection, I wanted to share my favourites with you all. For all those boys out there looking for an engagement ring to propose then keep your eyes peeled. Here are my favourites…
If you’re looking for something a bit different and unusual there is this beautiful Liana teal sapphire set vines engagement ring. The sapphire is ethically sourced from Malawi, and the band is made from Oro Verde™ 18ct yellow fairtrade gold. It is designed by celebrity jewellery designer Sophie Harley.
I love their Brilliant cut diamond stacker engagement ring because it’s similar to my own engagement ring. At its centre is single conflict-free fully traceable 0.10ct diamond and it’s available in both Fairtrade and Fairmined 18ct yellow gold and 18ct white gold, or in platinum from their partners Oro Verde™.