The following is a true story.
I know of a couple who lived near London but were married at a venue in the South West. When sourcing a caterer for their wedding breakfast they insisted they would only use a local business that used local produce. Beef, vegetables and even beers and wines that were produced in the South West, buy local and reduce food miles, perfect for the local growers/farmers and for the environment.
They then booked a photographer from Manchester, a florist from London and a band from Brighton.
The photographer alone had to travel a round trip of 540 miles. I could have travelled to and from four weddings at the same venue for the same carbon footprint. There is also a florist so local to the venue they could have almost walked there.
So, in this instance their effort to have a green wedding was misjudged. If they had booked local suppliers the carbon footprint would have been greatly reduced
I’ll be honest here, I am being a little facetious quoting this story, I have no moral superiority or green credentials, up until 2018 I had a V8 car in my garage (not my daily driver!) and have no problem taking long haul flights to get some sunshine in Winter. I did find the misplaced morality of this finely planned “low food mile” wedding quite funny though.
The most extreme example of this I have heard is a couple who were married in Devon and flew a photographer from NYC to photograph their wedding, obviously there are no decent photographers in the UK.
If you are planning a green wedding then booking local suppliers is a must, unless they are arriving from London on a push-bike. There are however other reasons why you should consider booking suppliers local to your venue over those hundreds of miles away.
Firstly, a local supplier will likely know your venue and will have worked there before. They will know the layout, the way the venue works, the staff, the owners and how to get the best from your chosen venue.
For example, a local florist will know what works and what doesn’t work at a venue, how high ceilings are, how much space there is in an aisle, what chairs are used and logistics about getting in and out, timings and deliveries. An out of the area florist can’t have this insight, not from looking at photos. They also have the transportation and storage of the flowers to factor in.
A local photographer will also know the best places for photos, how the layout of the ceremony works, what the local registrars’ prerequisites are and will have a (hopefully good) rapport with them. They will know where the best spots for sunsets, low, evening light and where to avoid in the midday glare. They will know the plan if it rains and know the best indoor places for photos.
You don’t want to be aimlessly wandering on your wedding day wondering where to do photos. Even a recce the day before won’t give this much insight into a venue. You will likely have to pay for accommodation and meals for a photographer out of the area. This could be at least two days, the day before the wedding and the day of your wedding. If you are having three different locations for your wedding, getting ready, church and reception, will a photographer from out of the area know the best way to get from A-B-C? And more-so will they be proficient in the lanes we have down here. I once took an out of area photographer with me to a wedding in Cornwall and she thought that the lanes were one way only! You have to know how to navigate, reverse and know where the jams are and how to avoid them. A trip from South Devon to North Devon can take 1 hour 30 in Winter and over 2 hours in the Summer. Logistics shouldn’t be overlooked, I have heard many stories of photographers and videographers getting lost and being late, this is one of many reasons I wouldn’t photograph a wedding in London.
By choosing a venue in Devon, Cornwall or Somerset you are choosing to get married in the beautiful South West, so why not support some of the lovely local suppliers. We have some of the best suppliers in the UK, some of whom it seems are travelling all over the UK and world to shoot weddings; that seems just crazy.
I know of a Saturday back in 2018 when a photographer I know from Derbyshire was travelling to Somerset to shoot a wedding and another photographer from Plymouth was travelling to a venue in the Peak District, both great photographers, both experienced and both around the same price. How crazy is that?!
A lot of couples might take a recommendation from friends who had a supplier in their local area but wouldn’t it make more sense to book someone in the area you are travelling to get married?
A photographer in the area you are getting married in can meet you at the venue and even provide an engagement shoot in the area that you love.
This last 10 months has also proved very difficult for destination photographers and even into 2022 I can see issues with overseas photographers.
I stopped photographing weddings all over the UK in 2010 as the travelling was making me fall out of love with the job. Every area of the UK has stunning venues and a wealth of suppliers just waiting to help you get the best out of your wedding day, give them a chance before bringing suppliers with you!