Planning

Choosing an eco-friendly wedding venue does not mean you’ll have to compromise on style or luxury. As proven by Tim and Deana Maw, recommended suppliers and owners of The Oak Barn, Frame Farm. An exclusive wedding venue located in the heart of Kent’s High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. 

Eco-friendly wedding venue - 15 questions to ask 

Couples increasingly want their wedding day to reflect the environmentally conscious way they live their lives. So, a venue that has sustainability ideals as a core value is understandably desirable.  This magnificent venue has just won The Rural Business Awards’ first ever “Sustainability and Environmental Impact Award". Not only for the meticulous restoration but also their long-term commitment to running an ecologically sound business.   

Heritage, character, rural beauty and sustainability all combine in perfect harmony at The Oak Barn, Frame Farm. A recent renovation of the farm’s two reception barns and its cottages saw craftsmen restore the high-vaulted roof of their Grade II listed threshing barn and upcycling horse troughs. This ensured that The Oak Barn was rescued from a state of near dereliction and is now the venue’s stunning centre piece. Sustainability and low environmental impact is at the heart of everything they do at The Oak Barn, Frame Farm. Here, they share tips on assessing a venue’s sustainability and eco-friendly credentials: 

ENERGY & CARBON FOOTPRINT

What are its energy sources?  Does the venue use fossil fuels for heating and hot water. Or, have they switched to renewable energy such as biomass, solar or wind power? Do they have air or ground source heat pumps to increase efficiency? Do they provide surplus energy to the National Grid? 

Ask about the energy-saving measures it employs. Such as low energy appliances and lighting, and more efficient systems such as underfloor heating and heat recovery.  If recently renovated, were high levels of insulation used?   

Is the carbon footprint reduced by its suppliers being local? An added benefit of this is encouraging entrepreneurship and bringing revenue into the local community. 

Does the venue have a green travel plan? Is it easily accessible using public transport and does it encourage car sharing or minibus use?  

CATERING & RECYCLING

If catering is handled in-house, or you choose from a venue’s approved list of caterers, consider how local the caterers are?   

Do venue caterers use locally grown, seasonal, organic produce? This will ensure the food you offer your guests is fresh and delicious. As well as reducing the carbon footprint of your meal making it ethically more palatable too.  

Check that your venue does not charge corkage. This allows you to support local wineries, distilleries and breweries and, in doing so, the local economy. 

Does your venue recycle – glass, plastic, food, cardboard etc?   

Ask the venue and your caterers about their policy regarding single use plastics and use of eco-friendly products. 

ECO-FRIENDLY & ACCESSIBILITY 

If your venue provides your flowers, have they been grown locally? Request that your venue, or florist, avoids using floral foam or even biodegradable floral foam. The green ‘oasis’ that florists used traditionally in displays, it is non-biodegradable and crammed with harmful chemicals; it also crumbles into microplastics that end up in the water system.  

Is the venue designed to be inclusive and accessible for all of your guests irrespective of ability, including wheelchair accessibility? 

Do venues with outside space demonstrate native and bee-friendly planting? Has thought been given to native tree planting and conservation measures to maintain a diverse wildlife haven in venues with significant space? 

Try to get a sense of the management’s general approach, and the importance it places on eco-conscious suppliers. Plus, the business’s eco-credentials!

How is the venue looking to improve its sustainability credentials?  Are they striving to become more sustainable to lessen their impact on the environment?  

Consider the venue itself. How was it built and using what? Is there evidence that it has been sympathetically built within its environment and that any renovations have incorporated upcycling and recycling.   

In choosing an eco-friendly and sustainable wedding venue, you need make no concession to achieving the stylish wedding of your dreams. “We need to recognise we are all part of nature and not apart from nature” urges Sir David Attenborough. Ensuring your wedding venue reflects your green credentials, minimising any detrimental impact on nature, can only be the right way to start your married life.

The Oak Barn, Frame Farm

If an eco-friendly wedding venue is something you are looking for, then don’t forget to head on over to our recommended suppliers! Here you’ll find places like the incredible The Oak Barn, Frame Farm, and many more. 

Written by Ella Turner

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