12th February 2020

How to wed sustainably : Green Wedding Ideas

The biggest day of your life can leave an equally big carbon footprint on the environment for thousands of years to come. So, how do you plan a green wedding that minimises the impact that one day can have on our planet?
Photo by Photography by Bea
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As one of Cambridgeshire’s favourite eco wedding venues, we think it’s only right that we share our top suggestions on how to arrange ethical and eco-friendly celebrations.

It pays to be wise on location

It is widely known that CO2 emissions is the world’s biggest culprit when it comes to our environmental crisis and this cannot be ignored when it comes to weddings.
Weddings can involve a lot of travel, whether it be by road, sea or air, so it’s a good idea to think about how you and your guests will be travelling to the wedding venue.
You can now calculate and offset your wedding’s greenhouse gas emissions by visiting www.carbonfund.org. Simply enter the total number of guests, total miles travelled and the methods on the site’s calculator to work out the total carbon cost and the donation required to offset this. Your donation will contribute towards global projects such as tree planting and reforestation.

For a greener wedding, holding your nuptials and your reception all in the same place removes the need for any transport between the two.
This is possible at South Farm – where there are many beautiful ceremony and reception locations to choose from. You can get married outdoors in our Summerhouse, which seats up to 146, or if you’d prefer to marry inside, you can choose from the Old Dairy, which seats 100, the splendid Tudor Barn seating 146 or the Horse Barn which seats 65. And for more intimate weddings, the Drawing Room is perfect – seating up to 35 guests.

Eco-friendly doesn’t stop at the end of the day – we also offer exciting onsite accommodation in the form of Romany caravans, beautiful B&B rooms and camping options, for the more flexible. No extra travel needed here.
For those who do need to drive, you could suggest car sharing to your guests; reducing transport costs per head and lowering fuel output and carbon emissions. Or, consider hiring a coach or minibus for journeys to and from your venue.

Choose a carbon neutral venue

All venues will operate in different ways – so find out what they are doing to be ethical.
• Food
The farm-to-table ethos is becoming increasing popular, as couples seek home-grown, organic, seasonal and zero miles food. So, it’s worth looking for a venue who grows their own produce.
At South Farm, everyone loves our organic small-holding, where we grow around 250 different varieties of fruit, vegetables and herbs. There’s zero food miles no packaging and lower refrigeration time – all contributing significantly to reducing the carbon footprint.
In addition, our incredible menus are adapted seasonally to reflect what is growing on our Farm. Providing more vegan and vegetarian options, using local seasonal produce, is also a great option for lowering the impact of your menu, as animal agriculture is a major contributor to global warming and deforestation. We offer extensive menus with lots to choose from making the most of the seasonal produce we have growing in our smallholding. Our detailed menu guide will help our couples in making the right choice for them.
Make your menu eco-friendly and the planet (and your palate) will love you for it!

• Green / charity initiatives
There are many other green choices your venue can make. These include recycling, reducing single use plastics, water management, wildlife conservation and community initiatives.
In the UK, 9.7 billion tonnes of food was wasted in 2019 in households alone — a figure which is rising. The majority of wasted food is salvageable, so if you’re conscious of this in your home, there’s no reason not to extend this eco-consciousness to your wedding.
Here, our sustainable ethos extends beyond our homegrown food and even into any leftovers – as we share any surplus produce from our smallholding with local organisations, such as Olio.
We are also committed to continually invest in wildlife planting and have created our very own nature reserve – a green wedding haven, complete with several endangered species (including our resident barn owls). The haven encourages birds, bees and other wildlife while providing an ever-growing, stunning and sustainable habitat.
As well as growing over 250 different types of fruit and veg, our South Farm team also rear poultry and pigs. Our birds and animals are super-popular amongst our guests! And the beautiful natural habitat creates the most wonderful opportunities for photographers!

Did you know? Glitter confetti can take 1,000 years to completely biodegrade on earth. Just think about that for a moment. Here at South Farm, we supply dried rose petals which are 100% biodegradable. Taking this one step further in the Summer months we grow our own gorgeous red roses and dry out the petals just so that your guests can use them as natural confetti.
As much some people love them, balloons and sky lanterns are harmful to the environment and local wildlife. Our world is paying the price for such excessive waste generated and the likes of single use, throwaway décor is contributing to the damage of the environment.
Going plastic-free is a great place to start. We can all take inspiration from Princess Eugenie, who in 2018, insisted on a completely plastic-free mission in her wedding with Jack Brooksbank.
When we meet with our couples, our Eco-friendly team at South Farm are able to answer questions about our sustainable initiatives. We only use bio-degradable paper straws, we do not use plastic shopping bags and all drinking water is provided in glass jugs, Kilner jars or glass bottles.
We also suggest homemade, second hand, or hired decoration like bunting, ribbon and macramé – all of which make the perfect decor alternative. Flower and decoration sharing is also an option.

South Farm – luxury wedding venue without the compromise on the environment
Whilst we’re on the brink of an environmental crisis, it pays to stay mindful of the impact that your wedding day can have on the planet…and we’re here to help.
Our many sustainable and environmentally friendly initiatives at South Farm, are the reason why many eco-conscientious couples choose to spend their special day with us.
We are always striving to be as sustainable as we possibly can and, simply put, if mother nature made wedding venues, we’re sure she’d approve of ours!
To speak with our green, friendly team at South Farm, call us on 01223 2075 81 or email info@south-farm.co.uk.

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