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Top tips for a natural wedding

Go au naturel on W-day with tips from Louise Moon, the author of The Natural Wedding Book

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The Natural Wedding Book

We love the personal recommendations and reviews from travel guru and publisher Alastair Sawday, so we’re super-excited about the latest book offering from the team, especially since it’s all about our fave topic – weddings! The Natural Wedding Book, by Louise Moon, holds all sorts of clever eco-chic tips between its pretty covers, and has a foreword from green diva Jo Wood, founder of Jo Wood Organics. She says, “You want your wedding day to be the best day of your life, so why not plan it with an organic, eco and ethical conscience?” We couldn’t agree more, so we asked author and green wedding stylist Louise for her exclusive top tips for a naturally chic day.

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1. Base your wedding style on the seasons
“Personalise your day with seasonal elements: natural fabrics such as cool linen or wool knits, local strawberries, or a bouquet of cornflowers you have tied yourself.  For timely themes, think country garden, autumn colours, summer sun, winter chill, spring blossom, village fête…”

2. Choose a naturally romantic setting
“For those who love being outdoors, there can be no better place to marry than in a garden or wood, or on a sandy beach. Riverbanks, arboretums and lakes all make wonderful settings, while marrying under a beautiful ancient tree is intimate and romantic.” (Remember, though, that in England and Wales, you’ll need to have a legal ceremony first before a blessing outdoors.)

3. Create a one-off gown
“Go vintage, taking inspiration from classic 20th century weddings like Grace Kelly and Prince Rainer, Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson or Yoko Ono and John Lennon. And look online for wonderful vintage designer dress patterns to make your own.”

4. Be brave with your bling
“Use broken jewellery to make something new such as a tiara or bouquet, or use oversized vintage earrings as brooches.”

5. Make your own invitations
“For a simple way to craft your own invitations, invest in some antique wooden printing stamps. Use letters of varying sizes and typefaces to create a simple but fashionable design.”

6. Grow your own big-day blooms
“Even if you are a novice gardener it’s relatively easy to grow your own flowers to cut and arrange in vases or raise plants and herbs to display in their pots. Glean ideas from open gardens and plant nurseries. If you are planning a year ahead, see what’s in bloom the month you are marrying; friends may have established plants in their garden or be happy to plant some for you.”

7. Fit your food to the seasons
“Planning your menu around seasonal foods is the most environmentally friendly choice for your wedding. Farmers’ markets are brilliant places to buy directly from local growers and suppliers; you’ll find everything from wonderfully flavoured organic vegetables to handmade macaroons. Make a beeline for small artisan makers who take pride in the food they create.”

8. Style your day the natural way
“Fruits, flowers and foliage can all be used to style a wedding day. Collect pebbles, leaves and twigs. By using objects from nature, sourced locally, you can be sure that your trimmings will biodegrade and can be returned to their environment.”

You’ll find more fab, eco-friendly styling tips in The Natural Wedding Book, including ideas for your ceremony, venue, decorations, dress, menu, cake and pampering treats which show that a gorgeous, memorable day needn’t cost the earth.

Plus, Y&YW readers can now receive 50% off  – making it just £9.99 plus p&p – from 7-29 February by visiting sawdays.co.uk/bookshop/worldwide/wed and entering the code FEB2012 at the checkout. So get clicking to start creating your dream green wedding day!

The Natural Wedding Book by Louise Moon, with a foreword by Jo Wood, is published by Sawday’s (sawdays.co.uk), RRP £19.99.

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Find more tips from wedding planners in our planning section and more styling details in our receptions section…