Eco-friendly Wedding Venues in New England

New England is such a beautiful part of the country and the great news is that there are plenty of eco-friendly wedding venues in the region, so why not consider one of these when you’re planning your big day? With such amazing scenery the photos will look fantastic and you will know that you played your part in preventing further damage to the environment.

Sweet Berry Farm

Located in Middletown, Rhode Island, this is actually a working farm. Conservation work is carried out here with the help of the Aquidneck Land Trust and when you’re planning your wedding you can choose to hold the event outdoors in the orchard or there is an indoor barn. The farm produces its own fruit, vegetables and flowers – all of which you can take advantage of for your wedding. With plenty of other local suppliers on hand, none of the produce you need for your wedding will have racked up much of a carbon footprint including the wine. You can even source green wedding favors and gifts locally.

Zukas Hilltop Barn

If you need a wedding location in Massachusetts try the Zukas Hilltop Barn in Spencer. You can opt for both indoor and outdoor weddings here and you can choose produce such as herbs, berries, vegetables and flowers which are all grown on the farm or you can source from local farms nearby. The farm also has a policy of donating left over goods to a food pantry or to local families. Meat and poultry reared on the farm are antibiotic-free and bottled water is not used to reduce plastic waste. The venue also makes sure that all laundry is done on-site so that there is no need to transport it elsewhere.

Stowe Mountain Lodge

Head to Stowe in Vermont for the Stowe Mountain Lodge, a real eco-friendly resort where all of your guests can be accommodated and there are plenty of different options for dining. Facilities at the resort include a golf course and a spa. The resort is committed to being as eco-friendly as possible and has won awards for its environmentally-friendly efforts. The use of greener toilets and showers, eco-friendly light bulbs, a strong recycling program, green cleaning products and motion detectors to regulate heating, lighting and air conditioning. Add to this the fact that much of the furniture, pottery and glass used as decoration have been produced locally and you will find a wedding venue that has very strong green credentials.

These are just a few of the eco-friendly options for a wedding venue in New England but with dramatic backdrops and top quality facilities you can be sure that your big day will stand out in the memories of all your guests for a long time to come.

 

Find your Eco-Friendly Wedding at a Bridal Show

Did you ever consider going along to a bridal show to help plan your wedding? Everyone needs a helping hand from time to time to make sure that their big day goes smoothly and one way to do that is to go along to a wedding fair.

Is a wedding fair eco-friendly?

It could definitely be considered that there are some eco-friendly elements to a wedding fair. After all, you are not going to be spending days driving round visiting bridal gown stores, caterers and stationers – they are all under one roof. You make one journey and all of the suppliers are there for you to meet, assess their products and services and book for your wedding if you want to. You can also save a lot of time doing it this way.

A good tip is to go to a wedding fair in the area where you want to get married. Most people will get married close to where they live but there are plenty of people who want to get married in their partner’s home town, or want to return to their own home town. If you want to make sure you are using local suppliers because they are a more eco-friendly option then this is the best way to do it all in a short space of time.

What eco-friendly services can I expect to find?

Most suppliers going to a wedding fair will be able to explain to you which are the most eco-friendly options. For example, a bridal gown designer or supplier will know if they are able to supply you with a vintage gown or if any of the gowns they supply have been made with eco-friendly fabric. Stationers will be able to tell you about recycled paper options for invitations. Caterers will be able to explain to you where they source their produce and how much of it they have to bring in from other areas.

You may not find suppliers that claim to be completely eco-friendly, but all you have to do is ask and they will do their best to get you exactly what you need, from the transport to the church to the entertainment for your evening reception.

For some wedding fairs you may need to buy a ticket in advance. This could be true of the smaller events where they already know that a lot of people intend to go along, but larger events you may just have to pay an entrance fee when you arrive. There are others where you might not have to pay a fee. All fairs are slightly different but the aim is always the same, to gather a large number of suppliers in one place and promote services that you need for your big day. Wedding fairs are held regularly in most towns, look online to find one in your area.

Eco-Friendly Wedding Venues in New Orleans

The beautiful city of New Orleans is a place you will not forget in a hurry, and even more so if you decide to get married there! The unique and distinctive French quarter makes an amazing backdrop for your photos and the hotel is packed with potential venues for an eco-friendly wedding.

Hotel Monteleone

If you are looking for a wedding venue with a very strong commitment to green issues and sustainability then the Hotel Monteleone is the perfect choice. The hotel ensures that all staff have full training on sustainability and eco-friendly policies are continually reviewed and assessed. Half of the hotel’s lighting is energy efficient and the toilets in the hotel all use less water than standard toilets. All cleaning supplies are eco-friendly and there is a linen and towel re-use program. Paper used at the hotel is recycled and there is a Green Committee to develop the hotel’s environmentally-friendly policies.

If you want to get married at the Hotel Monteleone then you can choose from a rooftop venue or the Queen Anne Ballroom. The hotel prides itself on attention to detail and if you want to have an environmentally-friendly wedding day the staff will do everything it can to ensure that this happens. The French Quarter location is also a big draw for those who want to have a wedding here.

W New Orleans – French Quarter

If you choose to have your wedding at the W New Orleans French Quarter hotel, there is a reward system for any day you do not use the housekeeping service. 500 Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints will be added to your account for you to use off future stays at the hotel chain. You can arrange this when you check in to the hotel. The aim is to reduce the amount of water and energy that is used throughout the hotel.

The hotel offers a number of impressive suites where you can hold your wedding and reception and the staff can help you to organize your big day so that every aspect of it suits you.

Hampton Inn Hotels & Suites New Orleans

Hold your wedding at the very eco-friendly Hampton Inn Hotels & Suites in the city. New environmentally-friendly initiatives are being implemented at the hotel all the time and they currently include a linen reuse program, the use of green cleaning products, a strong recycling program, eco-friendly fixtures and fittings, the use of local produce where possible and a number of energy-saving initiatives.  The hotel’s ballroom can accommodate up to 450 guests and the historic venue means a great backdrop for your photos. There is a wedding coordinator on site and there are discounts on rooms for your guests.

The city of New Orleans is a unique place and it is good to know that getting married there does not mean that you have to compromise on your eco-friendly principles.

Eco-friendly honeymoon on an Indian Houseboat

India is such a beautiful country that already has a number of eco-friendly resorts, so if you want a greener honeymoon you’ve probably already considered it as a potential destination. Something you might not have been aware of is the luxury eco-friendly houseboats that take you along the beautiful waterways of the Kerala region and Kashmir Lakes and which are perfect for a unique honeymoon.

Rudra Houseboats

Your honeymoon is not a time when you should be thinking about cooking and cleaning so it makes sense to opt for a luxury houseboat where there is a crew to look after you. The Rudra houseboats in the Kerala region are generally manned by a Captain, a cook and an oarsman so you don’t have to think about how the boat works or runs – you just relax and enjoy the amazing views.

Staff on the boat can prepare candlelit dinners each day for you to enjoy and you can book this five day houseboat stay as part of a longer trip to the Kerala region. The boat trip will take you to various places in the region to give you the opportunity to do a little sightseeing. The boat features luxury bedrooms and bathrooms as well as a kitchenette for you to use if you need to.

Kerala is known for its green spaces and there is even a nature reserve nearby where you might get to see a tiger or two if you are lucky. There are also beaches where you can relax and you could visit a tea plantation or two as part of your trip.

Kashmir boats

Boats can also be rented on the lakes in the Kashmir region of India. This is relatively inexpensive when it is compared to other luxury accommodations in the region and while most boats are designed to take multiple guests, it is possible to rent the entire vessel.  Try the Royal Houseboats, which are moored overlooking a lotus field on Dal Lake and are close to the region’s popular floating market.

The historic Butt’s Clermont Houseboats are also within relatively easy reach of the floating market and you would be following in the footsteps of celebrities like George Harrison. If you prefer something a little different, head to Gurkha Houseboats on Nagin Lake. Again, the accommodation is luxurious but this destination used to be popular with hippie travellers in the 1970s and 1980s so it has a very laid-back feel to it.

Many of the houseboats use solar power to generate electricity and there are recycling and water conservation measures in place. You can also choose to book your trip through one of the eco-friendly tour operators in the region so they can make sure that every aspect of your stay is a green one!

New Trends for Eco-Friendly Weddings

There are new trends every year for eco-friendly weddings as people find new ways to keep the environmental cost down and still have a spectacular wedding ceremony and reception. Why not consider a few of these ideas?

Reduce, reuse, recycle!

And we are just talking about your ceremony flowers here! Your ceremony flowers can easily be used to decorate your reception room as well. You will save money because you are not having separate flower arrangements for both parts of your big day and as most brides will opt for the same color scheme for both, it makes sense to simply move the flowers. Consider using the smaller bridesmaids bouquets as centerpieces for the tables.

Hire the outfits

Despite the obvious environmental benefits some people are still reluctant to embrace the trend to rent wedding dresses, although it is considered acceptable for the groom and groomsmen to hire tuxes for the day. This year there will be an emphasis on the benefits of renting the perfect outfit and it is a good idea to consider this for the bridesmaids, even if the bride prefers to buy a dress for herself. Bridesmaid dresses are hardly ever worn again, so why not just pay a small amount to use them for the day and then return them when it is all over?

Keep printing to a minimum

These days nobody expects to get to the wedding and find things like printed menus and order of service. Keep the cost of printing (and help the environment) by using decorative chalk boards around the room to inform people about the culinary delights that await them, and have something similar explaining the order of events too. These can then be reused and you may be able to find a party rental company that you can rent them from for the day.

Opt for potted plants

If the idea of floral arrangements is not appealing why not consider using potted plants to decorate your tables?  More and more brides are using potted plants instead for eco-friendly reasons. The plant remains in the pot and when it is removed later it is still living and will keep growing, unlike flowers which start to die off when they are cut. This is something that the bride can sort out herself, growing plants of her choice before the day and simply making sure that they are in suitably decorative pots. The plans will become a permanent reminder of the wedding afterwards as they can be taken home and will last for a long time if cared for properly.

Small potted plants can also be given as wedding favors, so your guests can watch them grow for years after the day.  Opt for terracotta pots to give the tables a rustic look.

These are just a few of the trends that are becoming popular with planners of eco-friendly weddings this year. Adapt to your own style and enjoy a wonderful day!

Wedding Jewelry Trends for 2017

As trends for wedding dresses, themes and gifts come and go, so do those for wedding jewelry, so which trends are set to be big this year?

Vintage

Here at Ecoura we love everything vintage because not only is it eco-friendly, it helps you to connect with the elegant charm of eras such as the 1920s and 1950s. This type of glamour is easy to achieve if you opt for vintage pearls. They suit almost everyone and will not overpower the overall look. If you want to achieve a 1950s style go for a traditional pearl necklace – one strand is perfect for an understated yet polished look.  For the 1920s think Art Deco.  Jewelry in this style will feature silver and platinum much more than gold.  Art Deco costume jewelry features imitation emeralds, sapphires and rubies. You can also check out our line of Modern Vintage engagement rings at Ecoura.

Bohemian

Intricate floral motifs are a feature of the bohemian jewelry look. If you have opted for one of this year’s feminine and flowing wedding gowns then a floral motif will add to the bohemian style. There is a current trend for diamonds and sapphires in jewelry such as cuff bracelets but if the budget doesn’t stretch that far consider costume jewelry. There is a tendency to see bohemian style as simply hippy or ethnic but there is so much more to the trend than that. Having said that, jewelry that features crystals such as rose quartz or amethyst can help to add to the bohemian look.  Again, silver is favored much more than gold.

Go minimal

Simple lines in jewelry are becoming a popular choice with brides all over the world. This is because it is much more important to show off the dress and the event rather than have the jewelry take center stage. However, that does not mean that jewelry can’t make a statement. Rose gold is growing in popularity and it has a very warming feel to it. Try a classic knot pendant, which will go well with column dress styles or strapless gowns. White gold is another option for a statement pendant – choose a dramatic stone for the center. For brides who prefer a more simple look, our Classic line of engagement rings are sure to please.

Renewed jewelry

The most important piece of jewelry you can have on your wedding day is your wedding ring and Ecoura should be your first port of call for renewed gold rings.  Why pay out for a new gold ring when our renewed pieces are just as beautiful and will not leave a stain on the environment?  There is so much jewelry that isn’t worn and it is a shame when it goes to waste.  Ecoura’s eco-friendly outlook includes natural diamonds, so there is no need to worry that you will be compromising on glamour. Take a look at our range to find out more. Join us in our commitment to preserving and protecting the environment. Visit www.ecoura.com for more information.

Eco-friendly Wedding Details for 2017

So you want to plan your eco-friendly wedding this year?  With environmentally friendly products and services becoming much more popular, you might think that it would be easy to do this, but if you want to stay on trend there are a few things to take into consideration that will not damage the planet any further.

Wedding décor

Using recycled materials and locally produced items, you can dramatically reduce the environmental impact of your wedding. Try fresh flowers for decoration – these are biodegradable and can be taken home by guests at the end of the day.  The one thing you really need to avoid are balloons. While most people favor them because they are cheap, cheerful and easy to use, they are not the environment’s best friend. The actual rubber material used to make them is harmful for the environment and can easily end up in the water system where they can be consumed by fish and birds.  You could as an alternative, decorate the room with rented items such as parasols or create your own from recycled paper.

Eco-friendly confetti

While many people still use the less-than green variety of confetti, they love the idea of an environmentally-friendly version. Flower petals are the best choice here – they are biodegradable and let’s face it, they look much better in the wedding photos than tiny pieces of colored and coated paper. The paper version can actually be around much longer than you might think and it is so easy for it to be picked up by birds too.  You could make your own confetti. Why not get your own flower petals, dry them and then crush them so they are in fairly small pieces?  They retain the color and will still look great in the photos. You can mix it with birdseed too if you prefer – the birds will be attracted to the seed so it doesn’t just hang around on the pavements.  Don’t mix the petals with rice – this can be damaging if the birds pick it up.

A bird’s eye view

Up until a couple of years ago if you wanted aerial views of your wedding, you had to hire a helicopter.  Needless to say not many couples chose to go down this route, mainly because of the cost but some people were also mindful of the environmental considerations. However, this year aerial photos are going to be big news at all weddings and this is due mainly to the rise in popularity of the humble drone!  You can get aerial photos of your big day without seeing a spike in your carbon footprint – why not ask one of your guests?  There are a lot of people who own drones these days and the cost should also be fairly low.

Finally – don’t forget that recycled gold and jewelry are big news at the moment.  Ecoura can supply you with renewed gold rings that have not had a dramatic environmental or social impact.  

Green Wedding Trends for 2017

As you plan your 2017 wedding you may already have definite plans in mind for theme and how your big day can stay on the right side of eco-friendly. However, there are those who might just want a few hints and tips on what to expect in 2017 for the latest wedding trends and how to stay as green as possible.

Vintage style

The trend for vintage-style weddings has been around for a while and the good news is that this trend shows no sign of going anywhere anytime soon. Next year vintage style will ooze glamour, so if you want to stay fashionable make it big and bold.  If you opt for true vintage rather than reproduction you will be helping to keep your carbon footprint low.

Location with a twist

The choice of venue is very important if you want your wedding to be an event that your guests never forget and the trend for 2017 is to find a place with a beautiful outdoor setting or a very unique building.  Outdoor weddings can also help you to stay green as you will be making use of natural light, saving on energy consumption.

Get crafty!

One of the trends for the coming year is handcrafted invitations and calligraphy.  This is something that you can easily learn to do yourself and you can then make sure that the materials you use are recycled or at the very least recyclable. In fact, many wedding planners are encouraging couples to incorporate paper into the decorations and theme of the wedding, so paper flowers, for example, could be just one feature to consider.  It is low-cost and eco-friendly, so why not?

Local flavor

Look to your local area to find the flavors and trends for your wedding.  For example, couples in Vermont could be opting for maple syrup flavoring in some of the dishes for their menu, or for weddings in Utah you could feature buffalo on the menu. Staying local for your supplies is one of the easiest ways to stay eco-friendly.

Traditional cake

Recent trends for displays of cupcakes rather than traditional cakes are on the wane a little and now it seems that the traditional, tall, tiered cake is making its way back into fashion. Couples like the traditional style of the tall cake and it is great for making a feature out of your dessert table.  The cake often follows the color scheme of the wedding so consider this when planning how your cake is going to be decorated. Having it made locally will help you to stay as eco-friendly as possible.

These are just a few of the trends that you could consider when planning your 2017 wedding, although there are plenty of others too. Why not talk to a local wedding planner and find out which trends are proving to be most popular in your area?

Tips on Eco-Friendly Wedding Jewelry

ecourabridalGetting eco-friendly wedding jewelry is not as difficult as you might think.  Industry leading eco-friendly jewelry manufacturer Ecoura utilizes renewed gold and other materials to produce beautiful pieces of jewelry that you will be happy to wear forever. There are a few ways to make sure that you get something that is truly ethical and eco-friendly.

Stones

Vintage stones are one option for those who do not want to wear unethical items. Retro jewelry is considered to be very on-trend at the moment and is a great alternative to buying new items.

There are also certification programs that you can check to make sure that the stones that your jeweler is using come from an ethical source. Your jeweler should also be happy to discuss the source of your stones with you too, so if you have any doubts make sure you ask!

Gold

The melting and refining process of renewed gold means that it offers the same quality as new gold. As many gold mines have an open-pit design the damage to the environment can be far more destructive than you think. Not many people realize that up to 30 tons of rock can be destroyed to find enough gold to make one ring.  Ecoura’s renewed gold jewelry is a great option if you prefer to leave the rock where nature intended!

Go a little off-beat

Did you consider wood for your wedding jewelry? Not many people do, but this is a real eco-friendly option. There are designs out there that include strands of braided silver and some eco-friendly diamonds so you do not have to give up on the idea of wearing jewelry that will make an impact on your big day.

Finding your eco-friendly jeweler is actually much easier than you might think.  A few minutes spent with Google will bring you many alternatives in your local area.  Make sure you ask them what they can offer you that is eco-friendly and ask as many questions as you can about their material sources.

Remember that your wedding day jewelry and in particular your wedding ring should last a lifetime. Why compromise with a cheap alternative when you can get quality statement pieces. like those from Ecoura, that are guilt-free and designed to last for years?

Top Eco-Friendly Luxury Hotels

Planning an eco-friendly honeymoon can often be quite difficult, particularly if you do not want to compromise on luxury.  The good news is that some of the world’s top luxury hotels have taken on board their guests’ concerns about the environment and have started to make the changes needed for eco-friendly credentials.

Laguna Lodge

461_6044The jungles of Guatemala are home to the Laguna Lodge hotel.  With views of Mayan ruins, this luxury hotel is now one of the greenest in the region.  Designed using locally produced materials, this hotel generates its own electricity and has a water efficiency program. The menu in the restaurant is vegetarian and the hotel staff are hired from the local indigenous people. The design of the hotel also takes its location into account and minimizes impact of light and noise on the surroundings.

Cleaning agents and other products in the hotel are all vegan-approved, are created with the help of only natural insecticides and are biodegradable. The amount of electricity generated on-site is more than the hotel actually uses and there is a good energy management program in place, although the hotel does not have any official accreditations to show for it yet. You cannot reach the lodge by car, so when you arrive, be prepared for a hike or a boat-ride.

The Scarlet

Head over to the UK for The Scarlet Hotel, located in Cornwall, England.  The cliff-top location of the hotel offers amazing views and every aspect of the hotel has been designed to be as eco-friendly as possible. The building is energy efficient, featuring a green roof along with plenty of insulation to minimize energy consumption.

The restaurant at the hotel has a strong vegetarian menu and guests who want to feel pampered can make the most of the eco-friendly spa.  The two swimming pools are chlorine-free and solar panels are used to heat the water. All cleaning products and toiletries are environmentally friendly, with many of them sourced locally. The hotel has strong links with the local community, working with them on a number of different projects.

The hotel’s roof is made from a native plant known as ‘sea thrift’ and the outdoor pool is filtered naturally with the help of reeds. Maximization of natural light means that there is not as much need for artificial light and there are car charging points for those guests who drive eco-friendly electric cars. Even used candle wax is recycled at this hotel!

No matter which side of the world you want to honeymoon on, there is an eco-friendly hotel that will suit you.  With environmentally-friendly spas, swimming pools and even haute cuisine, there is no need to compromise on luxury at all and you have no need to worry that your honeymoon is going to add to damage being done to the planet.