Opulent Organics: A Stylish Sustainable Styled Shoot in Somerset

Written by Emma Hla
Images by DHW Photography.
The Barn at Cott Farm is an exclusive use wedding venue on a farm in Somerset.

With a beautiful, renovated vintage wooden barn and plenty of outdoor space, the venue is licensed for outside ceremonies as well as indoors. Couples love to say their vows and then celebrate their special day surrounded by nature and country views at the venue, making it a popular choice for eco-conscious couples.

Becca Seyfried, who owns the venue with her husband Ollie, explains why she organised this beautiful shoot.

Notes from the Venue

Becca says…

We’re keen to help couples make sustainable choices for their wedding. I wanted this styled shoot to inspire people, to show a sustainable wedding doesn’t mean an overly rustic or minimalistic theme. A wedding can be overflowing with organic opulence and entwined with elegance, and still be eco-friendly.

The shoot features an abundance of greenery, dried flowers, recycled props, and lots of gorgeous natural wood. The theme combines sustainable materials to inspire couples with eco-friendly ideas that don’t compromising on style.

An organic sprawl of potted plants, statement ferns and foliage made an eco-friendly alternative to traditional cut flower arrangements in February. Sprigs of sunny yellow mimosa, muted grey silk table runners, elegant candlesticks and sparkling glassware soften and texturise this outdoorsy vibe. A giant foliage ball suspended from the beams enhances the organic opulence of the styling, and creates a striking focal point for the top table. Dried flowers were incorporated into buttonholes, decorations and the bride’s flower crown.

When it came to styling real-life couple Samantha and Matt, Bridal Reloved in Street dressed Samantha in a stunning ivory Christine Dando gown. Matt’s Gaston Sage Tweed three piece suit and champagne-coloured tie, all from local independent menswear shop Suave Owl, beautifully saluted the theme’s balance of heritage and fresh. Samantha’s half-up hair style was created by Brothers & Sisters salon and barber shop using products by luxury eco-friendly brand Kevin Murphy, whilst Naomi Gilmore Makeup Artist created a natural, earthy look with a brown and gold colour palette for the bridal make up.

The entire team involved is based in Somerset. Photographer Daniel Weeks captured the mood, the colours and tone of this theme perfectly. Twigs & Twine Floral Design are amazing wedding florists, who are also very into their potted plants and dried flowers. The wedding cake by The Silver Cake beautifully complements the theme with a simple three-tiered design, dressed with fresh rosemary, touches of wax flower and mimosa to reflect gorgeous styling. The Barn at Cott Farm’s exclusive caterers devised a seasonal, sumptuous course menu. Flick & Flourish, a local calligrapher and designer, supplied the Simply Luxe stationery on recycled paper, whilst Apple & Bramble Events supplied an array of decor, from antique brass candle sticks to the gorgeous grey table runner silks. Local crafts people helped with the finishing touches, including sustainable jewellery designer, Julia Thompson; willow artist Jo Sadler at Forged n Willow; and Echo Candles who hand-make of soya candles with divine scents.

Twigs & Twine Floral Design used potted plants with pops of mimosa for the table decor, and created a statement foliage ball to suspend above the top table from the barn’s original wooden beams. The bridal bouquet was an organic sprawl of fresh and dried flowers and foliage, which was mirrored in miniature by the button holes, whilst the bride’s crown of dried flowers created a beautiful scent as well as look.

How to make sustainable choices

Combine statement seasonal florals with potted plants and foliage

Pick a few statement florals for key items – such as your bouquet – and choose locally grown, seasonal varieties. Dried flowers look and smell divine, and will keep forever, so consider incorporating them into buttonholes, decorations and flower crowns. Think about using some potted plants for decor, and choose a venue with pretty gardens to reduce the amount of outdoor decoration you’ll need.

Shop local

Choosing suppliers local to your venue or home will not only reduce the carbon footprint of your wedding, but also your budget with reduced travel costs. Ask around for recommendations if you need them, but don’t be drawn into accepting a venue’s preferred supplier if examples of their previous work don’t suit your style. If you can’t pick a local supplier, consider whether meetings can take place via video link instead of in person.

Choose locally sourced food + drink

Work with your venue or caterers to devise a seasonal, sumptuous menu with locally-sourced ingredients. This shouldn’t be limited to just food – there are plenty of wonderful drinks produced in the UK too, from spirits to ales.

Choose an appropriate venue

Select an appropriately-sized and located venue for your wedding. A permanent, insulated and furnished venue will reduce deliveries of equipment to limit the carbon-footprint and wastage. Opt for an outdoor ceremony to be lit by natural sunlight and surrounded by nature so needing less decor. If you can have your ceremony within walking distance of your reception, you’ll avoid having guests make two journeys by car. You can further reduce the carbon footprint of your wedding by encouraging guests to travel together.

Reuse and recycle decorations

Many venues, including The Barn at Cott Farm, offer a choice of recycled props from candle holders to table plans for couples to minimise wastage. Hiring additional items from local businesses offers an environmentally (and budget) friendly alternative to buying, as does reusing throughout the day by moving your decor from your ceremony space to the reception.

Avoid single use equipment

Check with your venue on their policy for equipment. If you’re responsible for sourcing your own equipment, hire reusable crockery, cutlery and glasses from a local supplier. Real china, silverware and glasses not only look so much more elegant than their disposable counterparts, they can be re-used over and over again. Look for biodegradable, compostable options where avoiding single use items is not practical.

Choose ethical outfits and beauty products

You don’t need to sacrifice style for the environment when choosing your perfect outfits, and hair and make up. You have plenty of beautiful, more sustainable choices for gowns, suits and beauty products! Shop locally, and consider sample and pre-owned wedding outfits.

Reduced and recyclable stationery/favours

From invitations and RSVPs through to co-ordinated stationery on the day, think which can be replaced with digital versions or removed completely.

Choose ethically sourced and fair-trade rings + jewellery

Choose ethically sourced jewellery from a local fair-trade register jeweller. Choosing an independent jeweller also means being able to see and touch their previous designs, and working with them to create your perfect wedding rings, a definite bonus for something you’ll be wearing and seeing every day!

Use natural confetti

Choose natural dried petals or leaves for your confetti and you can pick your colours and scents (the dried eucalyptus leaves and lavender for this shoot were divine!). It’s very easy to dry your own petals: just ask your friends to keep back any cut flowers then just pop them on a baking tray in a warmish place.

Press Play


Venue + Concept The Barn at Cott Farm

Photography DHW Photography

Videographers Sam + Megan

Flowers + Plants Twigs & Twine Floral Design

Catering Royal Oak Bespoke Catering & Events

Groom’s Suit Suave Owl

Bridalwear Bridal Reloved, Street

Makeup Naomi Gilmore

Hair Brothers & Sisters

Jewellery Julia Thompson

Cake The Silver Cake

Props Apple & Bramble

Stationery Flick & Flourish

Candles Echo Candles

Wheat Straws The Wheat Straws Company

Willow Artist Jo Sadler Willow

With thanks to Models Samantha and Matt

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