Planning a Sustainable Wedding at RSA House

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By MeMo Agency

Steeped in history, with its graceful Georgian architecture, stunning interiors and stylish spaces, RSA House is the perfect venue for a quintessential London wedding. A short walk from the River Thames, Covent Garden and Trafalgar Square, it is an unrivalled location in the heart of Central London. RSA House boasts 11 unique event spaces, all different in style and size and offers exclusive use of the entire House for weekend weddings, allowing guests to be transported from room to room on a journey throughout their wedding day.

To share the ultimate wedding day inspiration, on 28th March 2023 The Royal Society of Arts (RSA House) welcomed some of the UK’s leading wedding industry professionals to the event, ‘Weddings without Compromise’, an afternoon designed to showcase how weddings can be more sustainable. There was an opportunity to see how this can be applied to catering, sharing insight into what recommended suppliers are doing to help reduce their carbon footprint and promote sustainability in the industry.

Guests were greeted with local English sparkling wine sourced by Ellis Wines and the smooth sounds of live jazz by Black Tie Jazz, a Blank Canvas entertainment band. As guests mingled with industry friends in the Benjamin Franklin room they feasted on delectable plant-based canapés designed by in-house Executive Chef Darren Archer from RSA House’s catering partner, Company of Cooks, which included:

  • Jersey royal potato, pea cream, tarragon cress
  • Cauliflower bhaji, mint chutney, spring onion
  • Sweet potato falafel, crispy fried onion, chilli veganaise

A full list of suppliers from the event can be seen at the end of the blog.

For the main event, a panel of industry professionals took to the stage to give their insight and discuss how beautiful weddings come to life without compromising the planet or vision. The panel included Zeleka Nadine Hall (Founder of The Wedding Day Coordinators), Michelle Miles (Founder of The Sustainable Wedding Alliance), Clare Clark (Head of Sustainability at CH&CO) & Simon Powys Maurice (Business Development Manager at Ellis Wines) and was hosted by RSA House’s resident Wedding Executive, Amanda Azarian.

Increased wedding ceremonies at RSA House comes with a responsibility to encourage the couples to do what they can to reduce the carbon footprint of their wedding. This is why they have launched their Sustainable Wedding Package, which targets one of the largest contributors of greenhouse gas emissions (which cause climate change) – the food. The package offers a range of seasonal, locally sourced, organic produce to create from plant-based, vegetarian, or more sustainable meat and dairy menu options. Providing in-house catering from our catering partner, Company of Cooks, is one of the key ways we can make a difference.

The events industry and weddings in particular generate a huge amount of waste each year, and according to The Sustainable Wedding Alliance, this averages nearly 1/3 of a metric tonne of solid waste produced and 14.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide emitted per wedding. RSA House are paving the way in promoting sustainability in the weddings and events industry, and are taking some big steps in 2023 and beyond to tackle the issue.

Another way RSA House are integrating sustainability, is by ensuring that all recommended suppliers share the same values and practices. The team are working on compiling top tips for couples to think about when they are planning their special day, which comes from years of great advice that we have gained over the years. Some of our most recent advice comes from our ‘Weddings without Compromise’ panellists. Check out our 5 top tips from some of the speakers from the event:

  1. Go plant based – Clare Clark
  2. Look for catering companies with certifications from an independent party who have verified the company’s data to avoid greenwashing – Clare Clark
  3. Your digital footprint matters when it comes to reducing your carbon footprint. If the internet were a country, it would be the 7th largest carbon emissions emitter in the world. Start thinking about what you put on the internet and into the cloud and ensure that your website and emails are being hosted on servers using renewable energy – Michelle Miles
  4. There are just as good sustainable wines as there are not sustainable wines, so there is no reason to not choose sustainable – Simon Powys Maurice
  5. Encourage couples to consolidate their suppliers. Look for companies that offer variety instead of using multiple suppliers for one element of the wedding – Zeleka Nadine Hall

At RSA House, you are guaranteed to get the expertise, guidance and knowledge from a wedding venue coordinator who will be your point of contact throughout the planning process to help with all venue and catering-related questions. The venue coordinator will also be there on the day to coordinate the wedding and make sure everything runs smoothly. For more details around hiring RSA House and to learn more about how you can contribute to being sustainable on our special day, reach out to a member of our team here.

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