Washington State Style

Kassie and Andy kept the flowers for their wedding simple and local. "We also got our flowers from a dahlia farm - I think I got about 50 dozen for $200. We used them to decorate the tables and the bridesmaids' bouquets and the cake - everything. The room where we had dinner was huge, and dahlias are so brilliant and multicolored that they really made it look great!" (The flowers also looked beautiful with the navy blue dresses!) Their caterer used local flowers in the salad, and served other local foods as well. With a wedding in Kitsap Memorial State Park in Washington state, that meant seafood - including local oyster appetizers and salmon for dinner.

Something Blue

Instead of asking them to buy new dresses, Kassie and Andy asked all of the bridesmaids to wear a navy blue dress of their choice. Kassie chose navy not because it was her favorite color, but because she knew it would allow her maids to recycle previously worn gowns:

"It's not that I care so much about navy blue, but two years prior, our friend Anna had been married and two of my sisters and I had been her bridesmaids and she chose navy blue. Then my third sister Molly, who got married last year, just used the same color so we could wear the same dresses, so I did the same thing again." Because Molly didn't have a blue dress to wear, "she bought a white one for $15 and dyed it!"

Choosing one color is a great way to create a unified look while saving your bridesmaids money and decreasing the impact of your wedding on the environment. You can also offer a color pallet for a more diversified look.


Back to Nature

Okay - so it took us more than 7 months to do it, but Barry and I finally returned the rocks from our centerpieces back from whence they came! If you do use natural elements in your wedding, whether shells from a beach or pine cones from the woods be sure to put them back so nature can continue on its course - relatively undisturbed.

Remember it is never too late to recycle anything from your wedding!


A Traditional Belgian Veil

Kathleen (Kassie) Goforth, pictured below with husband Andy Perry, wore an original wedding veil from Kristen Elizabeth. Kassie said "the veil was absolutely my FAVORITE thing about my wedding (other than my husband, of course!). It was just gorgeous and made me feel like a princess." She chose the intricate cotton Belgian lace veil because she wanted to continue "an artisan tradition that has been so important for centuries. Since I have Belgian heritage, it was so meaningful to me to have a Belgian lace veil. The idea that so many women throughout history have worn veils like it made it even more special." By choosing this piece, Kassie not only honored her ancestry, but she also acquired "an heirloom to be passed down to my own sisters, daughters, nieces, etc." In fact, she was so taken with it she decided to take a lace making class this summer, when she and her husband will travel to Belgium for a family reunion. What a lovely way to honor her family line.

2 Opportunities

This Blog is dedicated to stories and pictures from real green weddings - so I rarely add in entries that are not directly connected to a couple who has contacted me. However, every once in a while an opportunity or contest comes along that I want to share. Now I offer one of each:

The Opportunity: If you are looking for a recycled dress for either your wedding or the night before, Gems & Jewels is donating 25% of their sales from the Spring 2008 Regal Collection to support Sister Study. The owner's sister has breast cancer and the sister study "is the only long-term study of women aged 35-74 whose sister had breast cancer." Definitely a worthy cause!

The Contest: The workers for Men's Wearhouse (tuxedo rental shop) factory in Canada are trying to keep their jobs. To help get the word out they are having a contest with a $500 prize. To enter you have to "Create a video, song, drawing, essay, or photograph which describes how your wedding will be eco-friendly and fair trade and send it to the Our Jobs Matter Bridal Contest!" The contest runs until July 1 - so start preparing your entries now!


Virginia Visions

Molly Muir Brooke and George Dana Becker, who are getting married this August in Virginia, are already cooking up plans for a green meal. "We are working with a caterer to design a meal that highlights local, fresh, in-season, and mainly vegetarian and organic foods. Fortunately, this is easy to do in August in Virginia when all the gardens are in full production!" Their guests can "expect to see fruits and vegetables from local sources like Dave Matthew’s cooperative, Best of What's Around Farm, and local tofu from the local Twin Oaks Community." They also let their guests know about their green choices on their website so guests will "appreciate getting a real, local experience and food [they] really want to eat!" We can't wait to see the menu and the pictures!


Recycle Your Wedding

After our wedding, when I had donated my dress, returned my mother's hall rug, and put away the family and heirloom items we used - I was surprised to find we still had a lot of miscellaneous wedding STUFF sitting around in our basement. We listed some of it on Craig's list and sold a few things off on eBay, but then I was introduced to the new Recycle Your Wedding site.

As CEO Rob Bailey notes, "Every bride wants a fairytale wedding, but not every bride can afford to spend $30,000 on their wedding. That's why it's so important to provide economical alternatives to expensive bridal and retail stores.The bridal community is a tight one, and new brides understand the struggles that future brides face. And when they can share their ideas, suggestions, and even products, it gives everyone a chance to enjoy the possibility of a fantasy wedding come true."

It also saves closet and landfills space, and helps offset the cost of your wedding. Also, unlike eBay, listing is free - which I highly approve of!

I like the idea of a wedding-centered marketplace - where couples can buy, sell, and trade wedding items (and bid on services). My husband and I listed glassware, candle holders and even the pump mechanisms we used in our table fountain centerpieces. Here's to another great way to keep things out of the waste stream! Recycle you wedding!


Wedding Website Wonders

Suzanne Parmet & Michael Whelan, who are getting married next month in D.C., have used their wedding website (created with Wedding Windows) to help spread their green message. In addition to providing guests with the usual information - how to get there, where to stay, etc. - they have also added a detailed list of the green choices they made for the wedding along with things their guests can do, both at the wedding and in their daily lives, to be more sustainable. To see the text from their website click here.

Adding a "green choices" page to your website is a great way to let guests know about your eco-friendly efforts and get them excited about attending a sustainable event.


Another cool thing Jessica Fichtner did for her wedding was incorporate her love of beading: Her bouquet included vintage button accents... She made all of the jewelry for her bridal party using natural pearls... ...and she made each guest a reusable napkin ring. A Herculean endeavor to be sure - but what beautiful results!

To find vintage glass beads for your own wedding project click here.

Spring Fling

Jessica and Edward Fichtner got married a few weekends ago in San Diego. They had the wedding in Balboa Park, and the reception at the Prado, a historic mansion. To celebrate spring, they chose an orange, pink and green pallet and hired Sharon at Organic Elements to create vibrant displays using green hydrangea, bright pink hyacinth, orange tulips, orange ranunculus, pink freesia and green hanging amaranthus - all of which were in season and available locally. Sharon used the same flowers to top their lemon cake with buttercream frosting and instead of having favors Jessica and Edward set up a candy buffet to match. It was a huge success: "People loved it. They ate every piece so nothing went to waste!" To create the candy buffet, they bought bulk sweets and placed them in apothecary jars which they plan to resell (considering the fact that several friends have already expressed interest in reusing for their weddings it should not be hard!). What a fun and tasty way to celebrate the season. Photographs courtesy of Meurer Image Photography.


Cooking-Moons (Culinary Travel)

One of my favorite parts of traveling abroad is enjoying the local cuisine, so when my husband and I decided to take our honeymoon in Morocco, I was very excited (I heart tajine!). In addition to exploring the shuks and smelling and tasting spices, vegetables and meats, we decided to take a one day cooking class at La Maison Arabe. It was awesome! In addition to being fun and interesting, it was one of the best meals we had while we were abroad. I highly recommend taking a cooking classes on your honeymoon if you are gastronomically inclined. In addition to one day workshops you can now find week long cooking holidays or skip the cooking entirely and just take a tasting tour. Click here to see more options.