Our Top Natural Wedding Inspiration and Ideas // The Natural Wedding Company

We have had an unexpected blogging break due to a new arrival, but as we hurtle towards the end of the year we have a lovely new series to share.

Over the years we have been lucky enough to feature the most beautiful, inspiring real weddings. All with their own individual touch of magic. They are full of eco-friendly details, vintage finds, homemade projects, and have family, friends, laughter and heart at the centre of them.

Our Real Wedding Favourites

We’ve called this mini series our Real Wedding Favourites. With so many weddings sitting in our blog archives we felt it a shame not to recap all the lovely wedding inspiration we have sitting there.

However, we soon discovered we have many favourites from each and every wedding featured. So this is more a collection of some of our favourite bits from our Real Weddings. Each and every wedding is so individual to the couple that any attempt to compare is pointless.

What Will We Be Sharing?

What will you find in our Real Wedding Favourites series? A collection of some of favourite bits from our Real Weddings grouped into 7 blog posts with different themes:

Our Top Natural Wedding Inspiration and Ideas // The Natural Wedding Company

Our Favourite Natural Wedding Styles

This includes our favourite wedding dresses, our favourite bride’s wedding hair style, our favourite groom style, our favourite bridesmaids style, and our favourite wedding accessories.

Read it here

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Freshly mined fairtrade gold for fairtrade gold wedding rings // April Doubleday // The Natural Wedding Company

We share a lot of pretty things here on our blog, like most working in the wedding industry. The wedding industry is big business and with that there can come a price, a price that we may not always consider. When we are investing so much money into certain aspects of our wedding day it can be worth taking a minute to open our eyes (and hearts) to the reality behind the items we purchase. Most of us are aware of issues that have arisen from diamond trade but have we ever considered the cost of gold?

In 2013 our friend and jewellery designer April Doubleday visited one of the few fairtrade/eco gold mines in Colombia. She took her son Jon and filmed their adventure, producing this 9 minute long film.

Fairtrade gold wedding rings // April Doubleday // The Natural Wedding Company

Where do your wedding rings come from?

Everyone should watch this short film before before buying your wedding rings. Let’s be open and honest about where these precious and symbolic love tokens come from. That means considering who mined the gold, how it was removed from the land, and the state the environment is left in.

In your next tea break we’d love you to watch April’s film and gaining an insight into the lives of those who mine the gold for our jewellery.

“Fairtrade and its standards offer miners a better choice and a way out of poverty” – April Doubleday.

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Why you should ignore everyone's wedding planning rules (including ours): An alternative guide to planning your wedding // The Natural Wedding Company

We felt it was about time that we put together our own alternative wedding planning guide, one that encourages and empowers you to create a wedding that reflects you as a couple. Many couples that stumble across our eco wedding directory and blog tell us they suddenly feel at home amidst the often crazy world of weddings.

“I felt I had an affinity with your blog that inspired me to be confident in creating a wedding day that was meaningful to us as a couple.”

Here are our top 10 tips to create an alternative wedding planning guide. Take what you want and leave the rest. We’re not here to tell you what to do or how to do it, we just want to empower you to make your own choices and create a wedding that reflects you.

1. Pinterest – The Bane Of A Newly Engaged’s Life?

Don’t get us wrong we really do love Pinterest (<< go see if you don’t believe us), we can get lost on it for hours and it really is a great source of inspiration. HOWEVER, please don’t let all the beautiful styled images freak you out and suddenly make you think you need to have things you hadn’t even considered. Use it as a tool for ideas and leave it at that, don’t get wrapped up in recreating every styled image you see. Unless of course DIY is your bag and you have the time to do it stress-free.

Wedding quote // Pinterest - The Bane Of A Newly Engaged's Life? // The Natural Wedding Company

2. Your Wedding Should Not Be Used As An Excuse To Spend Money You Don’t Have

Your wedding in not an excuse to spend more money than you have or are prepared to spend. Lots of couples will have a budget (in 2016 the average UK wedding cost – in our opinion an eye-watering – £25,000), but just because you set your budget at X amount doesn’t mean you need to find things to spend it all on.

Why not try working the opposite way. Start with no budget and by listing out the big things you’d love. Find out how much they cost, then list out your essentials and find out how much they cost. Add it all up. Finally, work out how much more you can, need or want to spend on your wedding. This might help you to focus on what you really want rather than just spending (or blowing) your budget.

It’s also worth accepting early on that (some of) your dreams will likely be dashed by “lack of money” (whether you are spending £2,500 or £25,000). Instead of feeling disheartened, see what you can dream up when you are forced to be creative and think outside the box, you might just get something even more wonderful.

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A guided tour of our eco wedding directory for newly engaged couples // The Natural Wedding Company

Hello and a massive congratulations to you if you are newly engaged. We know the festive period is a very popular time of year for people to pop the question, so if this is your first time here and you are just about to start your wedding planning journey we are delighted to welcome you to our pages.

We hope that throughout the next months or years we can help assist you with everything wedding planning related and offer great ideas on how to create an eco-chic wedding. This post is designed as a guide tour of all the wonderful things you can find here at The Natural Wedding Company.

Be sure to check back next week for our Alternative Guide to Wedding Planning. We’ll be sharing our honest thoughts and advice on how to really go about planning your wedding – we promise it doesn’t include 18 month check lists or encourage teeth whitening.

Who am I?

My name is Charlie – I’m the founder of TNWC and I’ve been running it for nearly 10 years.

You can find out more about the origins of TNWC and me here.

Welcome to our Guided Tour of our Eco Wedding Directory

You’ve got engaged and are still high on the excitement of committing to your love, and now begins the (sometimes) mammoth task of planning the wedding you want. It can all be a bit overwhelming, the wedding industry often provided a checklist of what you “need” to create a wedding day, but we like to put that aside and do it our own way.

If you’ve found us then it might be because you weren’t feeling any of the other wedding blogs and inspiration. There is so much quality information on our website just waiting to be discovered, so in the spirit of feeling overwhelmed, we’ve put together a sort of guided tour to our pages. Here’s what one bride had to say about us:

“I just wanted to say thank you for your gorgeous website. With the help of your directory we have sourced a great organic caterer and commissioned some beautiful recycled silver wedding rings. I’ve also got loads of great ideas from the site for DIY decorations and flowers, and I’m even planning to have a go at making my own wedding cakes. I’m not sure how I would have managed so far without your directory. More than that, you have made the process of wedding planning (which I was rather dreading) into something meaningful and even enjoyable.” Read more

Minna eco-chic wedding dress // Wedding Dress Budgeting // The Natural Wedding Company

When  I was asked for write a blog post with my tips and advice on wedding dress budgeting, I pretty much dismissed the invitation immediately because budgeting is not my strong point – or to be truthful, even something I’m vaguely good at. But this year I am trying to take up some challenges, even if they might seem small like compiling advice (eek) on budgeting.

TSB have put together a guide called Saving for your Wedding with some sound advice from fellow bloggers such as Annabel at Love My Dress and other industry suppliers. I’m not sure I’ve ever really written about budgeting, because let’s face it, I’m inclined to pretend budgets don’t exist! But once I got thinking on the topic, I realised I did have some advice (and experience) to share.

Sister Organics eco-chic wedding dress // Wedding Dress Budgeting Advice // The Natural Wedding Company

With Valentine’s Day on the horizon we are reminded everywhere about falling in love, that feeling that we all find so hard to describe or put our finger on, yet so many try to put into words. For me, falling in love with *the* dress for your wedding is a pretty similar experience.

I guess this is where my first piece of advice, or perhaps even a gently warning, stems from. In starting the search for your wedding dress, you are putting yourself out there to fall in love with a dress. It goes without saying that if you venture in boutiques or shops with wedding dresses priced out of your budget, you are risking falling in love with a dress that you might not be able to afford, or you will stretch your budget for – stretch, or (if like me) completely yank apart.

Sister Organics eco-chic wedding dress // The Natural Wedding Company

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Beekeepers engagement shoot - photography

Today the lovely Emma from TNWC business Freckle Photography  shares her wisdom on engagement shoots. Personally I think they’re the perfect opportunity to embrace the things you love to do together and take a moment out from the craziness of  wedding planning.

I’m sure these beautiful images featuring beekeepers, vintage railway lovers and camping couples will inspire you to plan something beautiful, fun and memorable to capture the essence of you as a couple.

Over to Emma…

Whilst planning my own wedding last year, I suddenly realised that the thought of being photographed all day terrified me! Not just because I spent my life behind the lens, but because I’m a normal girl with all the usual insecurities about my wobbly bits and the way my face scrunches up a bit too much when I’m really happy.

As for the boys, the idea of being obviously affectionate in ‘public’ and then being photographed can be equally as alarming.

Field engagement photoshoot - photography

What is an engagement shoot and why have one?

I’m sure this is a fairly normal reaction when planning a wedding, which is why I offer a photo shoot prior to the wedding. Sometimes called an ‘engagement shoot’ or a ‘pre-wedding shoot’, the aim is for you and your photographer to get to know one another, dispel any myths about having your photo taken and get some awesome and fun images in the process.

Engagement photoshoot - photography

Despite it being a bit daunting at first, I can tell you within minutes you will be enjoying yourselves. It’s a great excuse to have a bit of time out together, kiss more than you have all week and generally lark about!

Beach engagement photoshoot - photography

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Handmade wedding

You might remember that back in the late spring I featured Holly and Laurie’s beautiful picnic wedding that was full of creative handmade details, well today we’re lucky enough to have Holly back with us.  

Holly’s sharing her top ten tips and advice for a DIY wedding and I’m sure that her advice will provide invaluable to any of you brides- and grooms-to-be who are in the stages of planning a handmade wedding.

Over to Holly…

Brown card menus

1. Firstly (and probably most importantly) make sure you have a small army of friends and family who are willing and kind enough to help out and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

In his speech my husband Laurie described our friends as the ‘games makers’ of our wedding and they really were- we couldn’t have done it without them!

2. Make sure you have a willing fiancé.

Creating a handmade wedding isn’t a one person task, it will take up lots of your free time so make sure you work together.  My husband Laurie helped me out so much with all the handmade elements of our wedding – he put up with me spending hours reading wedding blogs and chugging away at my sewing machine, he also spent a whole weekend printing out and tying up invitations and made dozens of gorgeous paper flowers.

Seasonal wedding flowers

3. Spend some time gathering inspiration before you start.

There are so many ideas out there that it can feel a little overwhelming sometimes.  Spend some time gathering inspiration so you know the kind of wedding you want and you have an idea of how it will all tie together.  Pinterest is such a useful tool and it  is full of beautiful images and ideas.

There are also a few blogs I would recommend; The Natural Wedding Company for ideas and wonderful suppliers, Junkaholique for gorgeous vintage styling (and their wedding is one of the loveliest I’ve ever seen!), and Green Wedding Shoes for a dose of eco-friendly wedding loveliness from the USA.

Vintage picture frame wedding table plan

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