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Interview: Kate Haines, the brains behind the Eco Chic Wedding & Home Show

By AbiSilvester on January 14th, 2009 0 comments yet. Be the First

eco-chic-wedding.jpgIf you’re planning a green wedding, or simply hoping to make a few decisions in planning your event that will help to make it more earth-friendly, you’re probably already looking forward to the inaugural Eco Chic Wedding & Home Show in March. And being a hippy at heart, I was delighted to speak Kate Haines, who co-founded the event along with Katie Fewings and Michelle Berhardi-Toner.

I started by asking Kate why she thought a wedding show for environmentally conscious couples would be so popular right now – particularly at a time when keeping costs down is also a priority for most people.

Read on after the jump for her answers.

Related: Date for your diaries: the Eco Chic Wedding & Home Show

kate-haines.jpgBW: So why is your event generating such a buzz among brides-to-be just now? Aren’t they mostly just worrying about their wallets?

KG: ‘Although the ethical Wedding industry is growing there don’t seem to be any events dedicated to this area so we thought it was the perfect time to get the ball rolling and organise one ourselves. Brides and grooms wanting an environmentally friendly wedding would find it quite difficult to track down a wedding fair that caters for their needs, but hopefully with this show they will be able to meet and talk to a wide range of green wedding suppliers and be able to source exactly what they are looking for’.

BW: Do you think green issues are a concern to most brides to be?

KG: There is definitely a growing trend with Brides wanting their wedding to be more of a low impact affair. Both financially and on the environment. And you can cover both areas with an eco wedding

BW: If you want a green wedding, what would you say are your main obstacles?

KG: When we were searching for venues to hold the fair in, the first one we approached had a ban on outside catering and tutted when we mentioned that we wanted to provide organic food, then gave us the ‘ooooh thats gonna cost you’ spiel. Sadly, some wedding venues still have that attitude.

Then, there’s also the issue of gifts, and relatives’ attitudes towards them in particular. Many couples now prefer charity, plant and tree gifts rather than the traditional toaster and kettle, and I know from friends’ experiences that relatives will sometimes say ‘but we have to buy you something’! One friend’s auntie was dead set on buying a present for them and quite put out that they just wanted donations to a charity instead.

BW: Have you been to any ‘green’ weddings recently? What were you most impressed by?

KG: My friend tried to make her wedding a bit greener in 2007: she used local food, had the event all in one place and did the decorations herself. Friends and family all commented on how they enjoyed the more personal touch these things brought to the event.

BW: what trends have you seen in green weddings in the past year or so?

KG: Charity gift lists are far more prevalent now and some mainstream companies are trying to provide an eco wedding option for couples. For example, we have been approached by an events company that usually plan traditional weddings but due to all the intersest in eco-friendly weddings are keen to offer a green option to couples now.

BW: What can visitors to the show expect to find?

KG: We’ve decided to combine the green home element with the wedding show, as we believe that whether couples are living together already or setting up home for the first time, most see their wedding as marking a new beginning — the chance to make some changes. Visiting the home exhibitors at the show means they can think beyond ‘the big day’ to how they can make a more eco-friendly married life together – and save money in the process with all those energy-saving gadgets!

As well as a wide range of exhibitors, experts will be on hand to share their top tips, and a bridalwear catwalk fashion show will also be taking place. We think prospective brides and grooms will enjoy the event and hope that local people wishing to make their home greener will pop along too and see the fabulous organic homewares and interiors on offer. The organic pamper area will also be popular with natural beauty treatments on offer.

The botanical gardens, where the show is taking place, are certainly what I’d call a hidden gem: 12 acres of beautiful gardens in the sprawling of metropolis of Birmingham, and the scenery is beautiful. Tickets to the show will include entry to the gardens so it will be the perfect spring day out for any green minded folk.

Info on how to get tickets to the the Eco Chic Wedding & Home show can be found here.

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