It really is no secret that eco-friendly weddings have a big place in my heart. Living sustainable is something my husband and I do on a regular basis, so it just fires me up to see couples incorporating sustainability into their soirees. While, it’s not always easy to do, there are small steps you can take to make it happen. And, when Sara of Eco-Vintage Weddings wanted to share her wedding, I was obviously on board. Her details are beautiful, thoughtful, and in many cases sustainable. Planning an eco-friendly wedding was one of her goals. Plus, she and her husband, Jordan, were wed right here in the Midwest – more brownie points! I hope you enjoy her wedding as much as I did!
From the Bride:
We firmly believe that our wedding day (July 17, 2010) was the warmest day of the summer in Sioux Falls, South Dakota in 2010. We had
ambitious hopes of taking the majority of our photos outside, but we quickly realized that the weather wasn’t conducive to that. Luckily,
my alma mater, Augustana College, where we were married, had many beautiful spots for us to wander around that either were completely
indoors, or we could at least travel through buildings and jump outside for a few minutes to get the shot, and then return to the air conditioning! My dad also kept us hydrated that day by bringing us bottles of water at the perfect time.
Jordan and I spent many a night and weekend designing all of our wedding stationery; we even locked ourselves in Jordan’s one-bedroom
apartment for an entire weekend (in the terrible heat of summer without air conditioning!) to finalize our ceremony programs! We watched the entire “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy that weekend, and to date, it’s one of my fondest memories of wedding planning.
Our reception centerpieces included 1-2 birdhouses (my mother collects birdhouses, so we honored her by incorporating pieces from her
collection. The birdhouses also brought in our nature-inspired, eco-friendly vibe; since she already owned the birdhouses, we didn’t need to purchase centerpieces, thereby reducing our waste impact!), a wedding photo of our relatives, a wooden letter “G” that I painted ivory and distressed, and a sign, explaining our centerpiece choices and our commitment to being eco-friendly. We also made napkins out of fabric that we purchased locally, and folded cootie catchers with trivia about my husband and I as a couple. Lastly, tucked inside the napkins on the tables was a ticket to our Photobooth, encouraging guests to take 5 minutes in the photobooth that we made.
To remain eco-friendly, we chose paper that was made from recycled paper (at least partially). The candles that we utilized at our wedding ceremony were either beeswax or soy, which are better for the environment, as beeswax and soy candles are lead-free, long-burning and made from renewable resources. Our florist purchased flowers from a local flower market, which helped to reduce our carbon footprint, since we did not need to have special blooms shipped in. Many of our details were handmade items from Etsy. While this isn’t necessarily an eco-friendly choice per se, we felt that it was important to support handmade, so it’s included on our list for that reason. By being conscious about where our decor was coming from (either from our homes or from Etsy) and by making super-easy choices regarding paper goods and materials, we were able to put together an event that strived for sustainability, which we felt confident about.
Photography: Creative Kindling | Florist: The Flower Shop | Ceremony Venue: Augustana College Chapel of Reconciliation | Reception Venue: Washington Pavilion of Arts & Science | Wedding Dress: Happily Ever After Bridal Salon | Birdcage Veil: Symphony Bridal | Hair: Salon Ne-Zhoni | Tuxedo: Evelyn’s Floral & Formalware | Guestbook Tree: Lovliday | Etsy sellers: Paloma’s Nest, Oatmeal Lace Design, LeahLeah, The Lucky Button, Y&E Bridal, BPoetic, Nomsa, Whisker Graphics, Whisker Works, galla 15, Earmark, ARemarkYouMade, QACreate, BoutiqueSophia | Wedding Cakes: HyVee Bakery, Sioux Falls, SD