(feature image: Photos By Zoe)

Planning a wedding during the last few years has been incredibly stressful for couples. The pandemic threw up many hurdles and many people have changed plans numerous times, with over 70% postponing their big day in light of Covid-19. Amongst all of this potential stress, it’s easy to lose sight of some other important wedding planning essentials. And recently, one of the key things to consider is the environmental impact of your wedding.

We hear more about how important it is to reduce our impact on the world around us. Weddings might not feel like the obvious place to start, but events do generate waste and have a huge environmental footprint. For eco-conscious couples, planning a sustainable wedding could be a top priority. Here, we look at some top tips for reducing waste on your special day.

Create your own decorations

 

The amount of stuff you can buy for your wedding is incredible. Even just considering decorations, the choices are endless – place settings, table plans, bunting, and more. A lot of these items are only used once – single-use materials are the epitome of today’s throwaway culture.

So why not make your own decorations with recycled materials? Bunting from old clothes, place names on carved wood and homegrown plants as table centrepieces are striking ways to decorate, and are eco-friendly and budget-friendly. This can also add to your personal touch around the byre.

If you’re not feeling that creative, consider hiring decorations rather than buying everything new. We have some amazing stylists on our recommended suppliers list who can help out!

(Iain Mcintosh Photography)

 

Think about the flowers you’re using

 

According to this sustainable wedding guide, exotic flowers are one of the worst offenders at weddings when it comes to having a negative impact on the environment. This is largely down to choosing flowers out of season from far away. You can immediately reduce this by working with a local florist and asking them where they source their flowers. You can then discuss with them what’ll be in season when your wedding is due to be held and plan accordingly.

(Photography by Emilie Gray)

Pre-order your food

 

Think carefully about how many meals (and courses) you’re providing your guests. Food waste is a surprisingly large impact from weddings, with 10% being thrown away. Always get your guests to pre-order what they want during the day and ask your venue what they tend to do with unused food. You could consider donating unused, unopened items.

You should also be careful with your wedding cake – a lot of wedding cakes are thrown away simply because they’re just too big. If you still want the impact of a large cake, many cake makers use false tiers to cut down on waste (and costs). Or, if you’re willing to go smaller, consider cupcakes or a one-tiered cake just for you.

 

(Brown Photography)

Considering scrapping the gift list

 

Historically couples were given many useful household items at their wedding as it would be the start of them living together. Nowadays, many people live together for years before a wedding, so this practice has become a bit outdated.

Think about what you really need or want from your guests. You could consider scrapping the idea of gifts altogether or if you have particularly persistent (and generous) guests, ask for experiences or potentially contributions to your honeymoon. Only create a list of items if there’s actually things you need.

Any efforts you make to reduce waste at your wedding should be applauded. With the right help and support, you can plan a sustainable wedding which only leaves behind happy memories.

 

“Kinkell Byre is an old farm and we are committed to using our land to do as much as possible for the environment and the local community. By rewilding, planting trees, creating wetlands and conservation grazing with our highland cows and ponies, we believe we can enrich our landscape, increase our local biodiversity, absorb more carbon and provide opportunities to the community for participation, education and the enjoyment of nature”
– Rory Fyfe

 

 

At Kinkell, we are committed to using our land to do as much as possible for the environment and the local community. Recently, we have introduced highland cows on the land as a way of conservation grazing and we have also planted trees to increase our local biodiversity and absorb more carbon. Another way that we can help become a more sustainable business is launching our Weddings for the Wild offering.

Weddings for the Wild is for those couples who want a to celebrate their big day but are also conscious on the impact that it has on the planet. The typical wedding ceremony generates tonnes of carbon dioxide in just one day! We are working with Scotland the Big Picture to find a solution to this and show you how you can have an eco friendly wedding.

This brochure, tells you how you can off set your wedding to reduce the carbon that is produced on the day.

 

 

For more information, contact us at info@kinkell.com or Katherine Tubb katherine@scotlandbigpicture.com

 

 

 

 

 

The twin crises of biodiversity loss & climate change

At Kinkell, we are genuinely worried about the impact humanity is having on the natural environment. Around the world, one million animals and plants face extinction. After centuries of intensive farming, construction and industrial expansion, the UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in Europe. Forests are in retreat, wilderness has almost disappeared, more than 40m birds have vanished since the 1970s and 15% of all wildlife in the UK is now threatened with extinction. This loss of biodiversity is another ecological crisis, which is less well publicised than climate change, but could be equally as dangerous for humanity.

What can we do to help repair the natural environment?

By rewilding Kinkell, we believe that we can help tackle the twin environmental crises of biodiversity loss and climate change.

We are blessed at Kinkell with a stunning natural environment and expansive views overlooking St Andrews and the Bay. However, like much of Fife, wildlife has been pushed back by the spread of intensive farming. Historically, Kinkell was a small arable and livestock farm. Although we branched out into the weddings and events business back in 2003, we have retained around 100 acres of land, including 70 acres of grass fields and 30 acres of cliffs, which are designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

By rewilding the land at Kinkell, turning it back over to nature and allowing natural processes to take hold again, we can help reverse the loss of biodiversity, encouraging the return of native plants, insects, bees, birds and larger animals. At the same time, an increase in plantlife will also sequester carbon from the atmosphere.

To press forward with this plan as quickly as possible, we are giving nature a wee bit of a helping hand.

Firstly, we have started a new policy of conservation grazing, using native cows and other large herbivores to graze and manage the land in the way that nature intended. As part of this plan we have, for now, reduced our head of cattle from 12 Aberdeen Angus to 2 Highlanders and we plan to add Highland Ponies and maybe pigs in the future to diversify the styles of grazing.

 

Our new resident Highland Coos at Kinkell

Secondly, we have mowed and bailed the existing grasslands to reduce the nutrient load in the soil and plan to sow yellow rattle seeds to further reduce this load. This will help a greater diversity of plants to compete with the grass that dominates the land as a result of decades of heavy-fertilisation.

 

Cutting and baling grass to reduce nutrients in the soil

Thirdly, last winter we started planting native hedgerows and trees on a small scale. This winter we will be planting about 11 acres of native woodland, hedgerows, orchards and wildflowers which will sequester more than 1500 tonnes of carbon over the next 100 years, equivalent to the annual emissions of 750 petrol cars. In coming months we will also create wetland areas, ponds and scrapes, again to attract a greater diversity of wildlife to the area.

 

Native hedgerow planting at Kinkell

Fourthly, we have joined the Northwoods Rewilding Network, which is part of Scotland the Big Picture (SBP). If you would like to learn more about rewilding, their website is a great place to start. Through SBP we are offering Weddings for the Wild and we hope we can make our weddings more sustainable – you can read more on our blog, how to have an eco-wedding.

Although we are just one small project, we hope that by demonstrating the impact and abundance that can result from rewilding, we will persuade other landowners in the area to turn over some of their land to rewilding. In time, this will hopefully help to rebuild a connected network of rewilded land across Scotland.

As Scotland the Big Picture puts it…

Imagine a country where wild forests teem with life…
where rivers brimming with salmon and trout flow freely…
where wetlands are shaped by beavers and echo to the calls of cranes…
where healthy peatlands regulate carbon and purify water…
where oceans support an abundance of life…
where communities are flourishing in a vibrant nature-based economy.
Now imagine that country is Scotland.

2020 has been a strange year for everyone. However, during this time it has given us the opportunity to focus on the business and change things we have not had the chance to do!

We wanted to make your wedding at Kinkell Byre very personal and offer you as much support as we can. This is why we have introduced the following:

Couples Portal

Our couples have always been our main priority at Kinkell Byre and it is important to us that they get all the support that they need during their planning process.

To help with this we have introduced an online portal which will allow our brides & grooms quick and easy access to their wedding information. It will allow you to make notes for our team, List timings and access to information about suppliers. This way, it gives our couples that extra bit of support and comfort knowing everything is noted in one place and available to pass on to suppliers on the day.

The portal will also include invoices/contracts, useful links and extra information that we know you might need as your date get closer.

Venue Coordinator

Not only will our team give each couple unlimited support throughout their planning journey, we will also be including a Venue Coordinator to support you during the set up day and on the day of your wedding.

The weeks running up to your wedding you will be allocated your venue coordinator who will work behind the scene making sure that we have all of the wedding information needed and will communicate with all of your suppliers so that everything is all set for your special day.  On the day of your wedding the venue coordinator will be there early to liaise with suppliers, do final tidying and finishing tasks, monitor the heating, park guests as they arrives, directs guests into the venue and acts as your go to person on the day!

When the Venue Coordinator finishes up after the first dance, the night assistant will take over, who will be there from first dance until all your guests leave. The night assistant will be in charge of clearing up your items, and tidying the venue ready for collection the next day. We also have a cleaning team who come in and take care of all of the cleaning.

TikTok 

Kinkell Byre is now on TikTok and we will be updating you regularly with real wedding set ups, decor inspiration and other behind the scene videos to make sure that our couples get all the inspiration, tips and help that they need.

 

 

Image by Victoria Photography