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Planning an eco wedding

Why to say ‘I do’ to a sustainable wedding at River Cottage HQ in Devon
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod
Threshing Barn at River Cottage HQ

This article first appeared in our International Women’s Day issue of My Green Pod Magazine, published 08 March 2024. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox

Lucy Edwards, wedding coordinator at River Cottage, is breaking the mould in the wedding industry and helping couples to go green when planning their big day.

Sustainability always takes centre stage at River Cottage HQ – whether we’re talking about the animals raised, the vegetables grown or the 100 acres of land that allow both privileges.

In all undertakings on this organic farm in the Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the team aims to inspire people to grow, source and cook food in ways that enhance their lives, increase their wellbeing and achieve a closer connection to natural, sustainable and ethical sources of food.

Weddings at River Cottage are no different; Lucy champions this same philosophy when welcoming couples to the heart of the farm to plan and celebrate their special day.

Stress-free planning

A wedding should be one of the best days of a person’s life, but so often the celebrations result in unnecessary plastic, wasted food and single-use items being discarded after the big day.

The industry is becoming more aware of these issues – and so are wedding couples.

This change is vital not only for the industry itself but for the future of people and the planet, too.

There’s a lot to think about in the run-up to the big day, meaning sustainability might not always be the most pressing concern.

River Cottage supports couples through every step – from setting the idyllic venue to planning a delicious seasonal menu – creating more time for couples to consider the impact of smaller details.
 

A wedding feast

River Cottage’s sensational seasonal food is of course a core draw to this unique eco-conscious venue.

With any wedding menu at River Cottage, the welfare of the animals raised is as high as it can be, vegetables are grown without any unnecessary chemicals and the soil and land surrounding both are full of wildlife and nutrients.

Any fish that feature on the menu will be sourced from small local boats, without trawling nets, to create minimal impact on the ocean.

River Cottage has a principle of SLOW – seasonal, local, organic and wild – food, which means that menus are formed around the season as well as the food you love.

This ethos allows produce to be sourced from the River Cottage gardens, neighbouring farms and the beautiful Devon countryside and coastlines, keeping the carbon footprint as low as possible.

River Cottage also specialises in showstopping vegan and vegetarian wedding menus.

ECO WEDDING TIPS
Here are River Cottage’s top tips for planning an eco-conscious wedding:

  • Choose a venue and suppliers that share your ethos, for example using recycled, organic or ethically sourced materials.
  • Choose local suppliers to reduce transport emissions.
  • For your favours, consider edible gifts, seeds for the garden or even plants, all packaged up in recyclable or compostable materials.
  • Keep confetti as natural as possible and ensure it is biodegradable.
  • Think about how any props or decorations can be reused after the big day; if you can’t make use of them yourself, donate or regift.
  • Consider pre-loved dresses, suits, jewellery, props and decorations.
  • Consider hiring rather than buying certain items.
  • Preserve your flowers – or consider dried to start with!
  • Keep your menu SLOW (seasonal, local, organic and wild).

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