By Arwa Lodhi
While the focus for wedding attire is usually on the dress (with good reason), we all know that good accessories like bags and shoes can make or break an outfit. But the eco-bride needs much more than these two basics–as do her guests! Here, we’ve picked the very best of five wedding accessory essentials, ranging from something old to something new.
1. The Perfect Clutch
Lipstick? Check. Phone? Yep. Keys? Yes. Compact? Yep. Now, where to put all the essentials for that wedding you’re off to?
A clutch is probably the most elegant solution. They can not only hold all the basics you’ll need for the ceremony and beyond, but they can be made to match your dress, too–whether you’re a bridesmaid, the bride, or a happy guest.
Kayu is one of our favourite bag brands by far, and this eco-chic label uses the most basic of natural materials, including nacre, jute and straw–to fashion some of the most elegant clutches we’ve ever seen.
2. Something Old
We all know brides need something old, as well as something new, making this a great opportunity to go vintage. It’s best to make the occasion especially poignant by sporting an heirloom bag or piece of jewellery passed down through the generations, but if this isn’t possible, Willow Bloom has several elegant clutches from the 30s and 40s that could suit brides and wedding guest alike.
We also love Annina Vogel’s vintage jewellery. The designer refashions old vintage pieces into new, by say, transforming a brooch into a necklace or combining different charms to create a fabulous and absolutely unique piece of jewellery.
3. Dress Embellishments
Sanyukta Shrestha not only creates gorgeous gowns, but she produces eco-friendly accessories, too. Most of these are aimed at further personalising her unique wedding dresses, and include finishing touches such as belts, which can make the dress not only fit better but add texture to plain white designs, and stunning beaded boleros, just in case there’s a chill in the air.
Minna also allows for some personalisation of the wedding dress with lace cardigans and floral capes to go over dresses, but they also sell a customisation kit that contains 30 pieces of adorable one-of-a-kind embellishments, 2 sewing needles, thread and illustrated instruction how to “pimp your dress.”
4. Wedding Shoes
Of course you’re going to need something amazing to wear on your feet, but this is never an easy choice: most leather shoes aren’t eco-friendly, and more often than not, neither is vegan leather! Plus, vegan leather shoes, even when they are sustainably made, aren’t usually very sexy or pretty.
That’s why we’d suggest going with something from Valentino. This couture brand got a big thumbs up from Greenpeace for not contaminating the planet with chemicals when making their leather creations: they use vegetable dyes and tanning processes. For rock star brides, we’d recommend Rockstud shoes, all in white, or for a more romantic look, you really can’t beat these Valentino couture shoes for loveliness!
Of course, for more casual brides, there’s also Stella McCartney, who makes wonderful vegan sandals.
5. Hats and Headpieces
There are always a few people who think a wedding isn’t a wedding without a bit of a hat, and luckily, there are several eco-friendly hatters with grand ideas. The quirky brand Hatastic is perhaps the best known in the UK, and offers headwear for brides, maids and guests.
Que Va also creates lovely headbands that can act as a substitute for a tiara, or perfectly accent a bridal updo.
And what would a bride be without her veil? We rather like this Medieval style one from Minna, below, but the designer also provides more traditional options too.