The Ultimate Eco-Friendly Wedding: Rustic, Upcycled, and Natural

Okay, that’s a lie- this was not the ultimate green wedding, but it’s up there! Let me give you the low down.

For our June 29, 2012 wedding, I wore the same dress as my mother- with a few changes here and there! A friend of my mother’s made the adjustments I requested- and even made the dress convertible so that it could be shortened for dancing! A majority of the photos in the post were taken by the talented photographer, Raye Gillette-Whaley of Gillette Portrait Arts. She was so fantastic, took beautiful shots, and she’s a MICA Alum! My alma mater! I fully recommend her, as well as all the vendors I mention in this post!

Cloisters Castle is a gorgeous old summer home just outside of Baltimore, Maryland. It’s in my hometown (read: a short drive for most guests), is being adaptively re-used, and is nestled in a scenic patch of woods. We held the ceremony in the garden outside to save guests a second trip from ceremony to reception. Our officiant, Natalie Tyler from Weddings Quick and Sweet, performed a great handfasting ceremony for us- a Catholic-raised Pagan and an Atheist! During the ceremony, guests were served Persian Spiced Tea, courtesy of our caterer (credit given below), in compostable cups from Susty Party.

The decor was probably the most exciting element to plan for the wedding! I tried to ensure that all decorations were either recycled/upcycled, reusable, or something natural. Table numbers were made from a slab of wood, stained and painted. They are being donated to the wedding venue for future couples to use.They were situated on the tables alongside an assortment of moss and succulent terrariums. The terrariums have since been gifted, or are decorating my home- still alive. I am so thankful for such great family and friends to help with all my DIY ideas!

As few cut flowers were used as possible. A handful of individual stems were dispersed among a collection of wine and antique bottles. The bouquets used the most, of course, but our florist, Ellen Frost of Local Color Flowers in Baltimore, MD, uses native, local and in-season flowers to create their arrangements. They were absolutely beautiful!

You’ll notice in the photo above that all the bridesmaids were wearing different dresses and shoes. I wanted a range of colors, but more importantly I wanted the girls to pick dresses they’d want to wear again. They all looked so lovely, I hope they will!

The food, which we unfortunately don’t have too many photos of, was phenomenal. Many thanks to Chef Daniel Horwitz, our coordinator Jeannette Edwards, and all the professional and hardworking staff of The Pantry Catering. I can’t even begin to describe how delicious their food is!!! A seasonally inspired menu, consisting of mostly vegetarian items and many local ingredients, provided great nourishment to power the guests for a night of partying! For dessert, Kim Roil, of Roil Cupcakes, baked an absurd amount of yummy little cupcakes- many of them vegan- and a cute cake for my husband and I. We’re surprised it all endured the heat!! And guests could take cupcakes home in little recycled boxes!After eating, drinking, and being married, we all hit the dance floor to dance the night away! Music was DJ’d by Jamaal Botticelli of World Renown Entertainment. But the entertainment was provided by my bridesmaids and I (smirk)!

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