Sam started Willow & Rust Weddings after planning her own wedding and realising how harmful to the planet the average wedding actually is and that she must help both couples and suppliers make more eco-conscious choices. Sam loves searching for and using vintage pieces in her styling and is constantly upcycling and repurposing items to add to her hire collection. All of this together has evolved into her own unique style, ‘Glamorous Vintage meets Sustainable Elegance’.
Imagine this …
“You dream of a wedding set in a beautiful garden or woodland, dancing under the canvas of a tipi surrounded by fairy lights, or inside an ancient barn with flowers and lights hanging from the beams.
Lines of rustic wooden tables decorated with vintage glassware and candlesticks, are filled with locally sourced food and drink.
A bonfire outside keeps everyone warm. Live music and laughter float in the air until the early hours of the morning, when, exhausted but happy, you and your guests meander back to the manor house, stables or glamp site to sleep and dream of the perfect day that was your wedding…”
These are the types of wedding that Sam creates.
What is an outdoor wedding?
Basically, this can include almost any space that is not a traditional wedding venue, a place where you need to add some kind of structure, like a tipi, a marquee or pagoda. These types of venues Sam calls, ‘from scratch’ venues and are the types of events Sam loves to organise
Outdoor weddings are already more eco-friendly than traditional venues due to their very nature and at Willow and Rust, making weddings more sustainable and protecting the environment are two of the most important things to Sam. To create truly eco-friendly and beautiful weddings Sam believes that sustainability should be considered in every step of the journey, therefore she tries to make sure everything she uses when styling a wedding fit into one of the following criteria and uses carefully selected suppliers, creating as little waste as possible.
We love that as well as offering Style & Design services and Wedding Planning, Sam also offers a Sustainability Kick Start package which includes:
- A 2-hour consultation to discuss your wedding and what you want to achieve and for Sam to give tips and advice on where to start, what to look for in a venue and other suppliers.
- A follow up document with suggested possible venues and suppliers and other ideas to help make your day eco-friendly without compromising on your vision.
Sam understands that outdoor weddings are harder and more complicated to plan. There are a lot more things to think about when your venue potentially has no toilets and no electricity! But Sam also believes they are also the most exciting type of wedding to plan, as the canvas is blank, ‘Your day, Your way!’ you can rewrite the rule book, make your own traditions and have the day you have always wanted.
Sams pledge to the environment…
Décor Items – When sourcing décor items Sam makes sure that they are either second hand; from a charity shop, antique fair, car boot sale or online marketplace, or if she has to purchase something new she will look at where she buys it from, does the retailer have eco credentials, and how many times she will be able to reuse the item.
Linens and Fabrics – All of her linens are handmade from 100% natural fabrics and dyed with eco-friendly machine or natural dyes. The linens are washed and line dried and reused as many times as possible throughout their life. If a runner gets a stain or a burn mark for example, then this will be cut up and repurposed into napkins for another wedding.
Paper Goods – Wherever possible Sam tries to do as much of her marketing and correspondence with couples online. However where printed materials are needed she always uses recycled paper or card stock and eco board for larger items.
Travel – It is of course impossible to avoid travel when planning and styling weddings, however she carries out as few in person meetings before an event as possible, using Zoom or telephone calls instead. She has also just changed her vehicle to a self-charging Hybrid for travelling to and from events and delivering décor items.
Powered by Green Energy – Her studio is at home and her power is provided by Octopus energy, a 100% green energy supplier.
Giving Back – Finding ways to give back to the environment and help reduce her carbon footprint is important to her. Planting trees is an important way to help with reducing carbon emissions, which is why Willow and Rust has chosen to plant 25 trees with Ecologi.com for every couple that books.
Based in Derbyshire with the beautiful Peak District on her doorstep it’s easy to see why Sam loves the outdoors and nature so much. It is where she was born and grew up and she firmly believes there is nothing quite like the English Countryside.
Sam has travelled and seen a lot of the world including spending 7 years living in Sydney Australia which is where she met her husband and her love of the outdoors was cemented further living so close to the ocean.
Her life and style are very much influenced by her time in Australia and is where a lot of her inspiration for beautiful outdoor weddings comes from. A fusion of Australian and English influences coming together to create an eclectic mash up of vintage glamour and sustainable elegance.
In July this year Sam had her very own wedding which was postponed due to Covid and she described it as “so worth the wait”. The weather was perfect in the Derbyshire countryside and she said she could have not asked for more. There are some fantastic photos on her Instagram feed if you want to have a look.
To find out more about Samantha follow her at @willow_and_rust or visit her website at https://www.willowandrustwedding.com
Gallery images by EKR Pictures and Willow and Rust.
Featured image by Helen Rose Photography.