When thinking about eco wedding venues, there are a lot of things to consider. The menu, energy usage, plastic-use reduction, tree planting programmes, reusable and recyclable options... The list goes on. Wanting to be sustainable is great, but it's common to not know where to start. Before diving into the world of eco-friendly wedding venues, it's important to consider what exactly venues are doing to up their game. Because the wedding industry produces a ton of waste (not literally - it's far more than a tonne) many venues have been trying to get their green thumbs up. One venue, in particular, happens to be Recommended Supplier Hedsor House.

Hedsor House has launched a luxurious and eco-friendly wedding package for up to 60 guests. Entitled "The Alexander", this wedding package is the whole, well, package. We spoke with Mark Shephard, Managing Director at Hedsor House, about The Alexander. Read on to find out all about it, and why it's a fantastic choice if you want to go green on your big day.

Choosing from all the eco wedding venues can be troublesome - but Hedsor House has made it easier

What is The Alexander?

The Alexander is a luxurious, planet-conscious, carbon-neutral curated wedding package for 60 guests. Talk about a triple threat! The package offers an "authentically sustainable wedding for couples who want a luxurious day without impacting the planet". Sounds like a dream, right? Well, believe it or not, it gets better! Hedsor House has chosen environmentally friendly options and interventions to reduce waste whilst prioritising sustainable practices that reduce the wedding's carbon footprint. It includes exclusive use of the house and grounds, the bridal suite, two-bedroom suites, and a further ten guest bedrooms. Winner! 

Keeping in line with the eco-friendliness, the package offers a three-course vegan sustainable wedding menu. Every little detail within The Alexander was meticulously thought through. The suppliers used pay tribute to this perfectly. Lettice Events, Glo Productions and Love From Lila are all suppliers. The lucky ladies at Recycle My Wedding had the pleasure of trying out Lettice Events' vegan menu, and they confirmed it is 1000% delicious. Rock My Wedding Recommended Supplier Twilight Trees are also one of them. They produce reusable artificial trees designed specifically to decorate luxury events. Putting a strong emphasis on sustainability, each of their trees has been designed to suit many events. This keeps them in rotation, meaning less waste!

Why choose The Alexander from the dozens of eco wedding venues?

Being sustainable is, at times, a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it's getting easier to be eco-friendly thanks to all the resources that are available. On the other, it's sometimes difficult to find people/companies who value saving the planet over monetary reasoning. With Hedsor House and The Alexander, though, it's beneficial for all. The entire team is truly passionate about environmental responsibility. They want Hedsor House to reflect this - and they've done a fantastic job.

The team at Hedsor House are in a position of both privilege and responsibility. Being fortunate enough to have the facilities to influence the wedding venue industry is no easy take-on. Because of the increasing awareness of climate change, people are aware of their ability to help. So, The Alexander had to show what can be done. Especially in an industry that historically has not had the greenest of thumbs. Therefore, they took on extensive research to ensure planet positivity. They have managed to achieve a 55% reduction in carbon footprint compared to the average wedding at Hedsor House. Now that's what we call an INCREDIBLE achievement!

We spoke with Mark Shephard about eco wedding venues and The Alexander.

Why did you choose to launch The Alexander Package?

We have been looking for some time now at how we can evolve as a business in a more sustainable way. As part of this, we commissioned a detailed audit of the carbon impact of our events. This highlighted several areas where we could make a difference. The reaction to our launch of the Alexander wedding has been fantastic. We know many engaged couples are looking to see how they can make a difference with their own wedding. This package, along with our Green Guide, which is full of tips and advice on how to have a planet-friendly wedding, enables them to do just that. We hope that it inspires everyone to consider how weddings can be run without any compromise on luxury, but with full consideration for the carbon footprint.

Do you, as a venue, do anything else to reduce your carbon footprint?

We’re on a continual journey to improve our carbon footprint. In the 1980s we embarked on a long-term rewilding project that saw my father, Alexander Shephard, plant 4,000 trees on the estate, many of which are historic varieties. In 2016 we undertook some significant improvements to the house itself, to make it more eco-efficient and in 2019 we officially became a low-carbon workplace. The launch of the UK’s first carbon-neutral wedding package is another step on our journey and we’re keen to work with others in the events industry to collectively move towards planet-positive choices.

How did you choose the suppliers you have partnered with on the new package?

We spent considerable time choosing the right partners for our carbon-neutral wedding. As a core part of the wedding package, it was essential that they themselves were already some way down the road in terms of their sustainability journey, and were doing all that they could to reduce the impact of their activities. We put together a carefully considered brief and then went out to tender, both to our existing suppliers and to new ones who we had researched as being leaders in their field. Then, we shortlisted the entries. We are delighted with our final partners – Lettice Events, Twilight Trees, Love from Lila and Glo. All four are working really hard to deliver best practices in their respective fields.

Need more information or help with sustainable weddings?

Don't fret, we've got you! As Mark Shephard said, the Green Guide over on the Hedsor House website has a plethora of eco-friendly information. Tips and tricks a-plenty to spruce up your sustainability game! Not only that, they have a whole section dedicated to Recycle My Wedding, so all the more reason to take a look for yourself! Alternatively, you can check out The Alexander page, where you'll find brochures, suppliers and more. Over on Rock My Wedding, we've got a whole round-up of eco weddings. From recycling and low waste to budget weddings and veganism, we're sure you'll find something inspirational. If you want to see some eco-friendliness in action, Hannah & Alistair's gorgeous nature reserve wedding is the one for you. Pre-loved wedding dresses and accessories are a great way to help the planet - so Recycle My Wedding is always a great choice! Finally, for some audio information on sustainability, we've got a whole podcast episode dedicated to just that.

Sasha Kirkham

Written by Sasha Kirkham

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