The only hint that this Los Angeles wedding was eco-friendly, reusing the centerpieces as favors, the aisle as the dance floor, and staging the entire thing outdoors to eliminate electrical waste, was the gorgeous green accent in these amazing photos from Sweet Monday Photography. They sacrificed nothing in the name of style, and nothing in the name of eco-consciousness. But just a fair warning, the gallery may induce another kind of green – envy!

Click here to see the FULL image gallery!

Austin’s best friend and my brother went to UC Berkeley together (Go Bears!). Post-college, Austin would throw epic Halloween parties at his place. My brother took me to a few of them over the years. In 2007, I went to the annual Halloween party, and Austin and I exchanged numbers. One Saturday in early December, after a series of failed attempts to get together, Austin texted me. It was a very casual, seemingly spontaneous text that read, “Hey, what are you up to today?” That Saturday was the “Big Game” between Stanford and Cal, and I had already planned to go to my brother’s place to watch it with some of his friends. I knew Austin’s best friend would be there, and I thought, wow, how perfect! Without thinking, I invited Austin to my brother’s. It was great to see him, and we started dating shortly thereafter. A couple of years later, Austin confessed that he had planned to go to my brother’s all along. He wasn’t sure if I was still interested in him, and had sent that text to me to see if I would invite him! It was all part of his plan.

From the outset of our planning, we called our wedding “eco chic.” The definition of this term evolved, but served as the touchstone for all of our decisions. What it meant for us really was a simple elegance. We wanted to avoid decadence, because so often with decadence comes waste and excess. The concept was to select items and materials that could be used and reused throughout the event. A few examples: our aisle was our dance floor; our Chuppah was our sweetheart table; we opted for candles in glass votives rather than scores of florals; we used succulents for the bouquet and boutonnières; our centerpieces were our favors (potted orchids, which we are told are still in bloom in our friends’ homes, over eight months later); and we held both the ceremony and reception outside to minimize electricity use.

There were other thematic details as well: our invitations were made of birch wood (and were a huge hit!). My gown was specially made by Adele Wechsler from her “eco couture” line, in which she uses organic dyes, remnant fabrics, fair trade labor. Our out-of-town guests received goodies and handcrafted specialty soaps in canvas tote bags that our favorite local “junk free” soap shop, Soaptopia, designed for us.

It was a real comfort to have this concept to return to. I loved planning our wedding, and as the days grew nearer, I knew I had assembled an amazing team of professionals to whom I surrendered control.

As for the day-of, the word I kept hearing from guests was “magical.” We had a little help from the Universe with the most spectacular rainbow engulfing the sky during our cocktail hour. This set the tone for an evening filled with joy, laughter, and so much dancing that even our photographers were stunned.

My husband and I are not overtly environmental, and I can’t imagine that our guests – knowing nothing of our planning – would have been able to articulate that the event was “green.” And that was the point. We wanted it to be effortless and subtle. It was intentional, but undetectable. Never once did we have to sacrifice elegance. Elegance was the result.

Event Planner: Bright Blue Events / Event Designer & Florals: The Woods Exquisite Flowers / Venue & Catering: Skirball Cultural Center / Photographer: Sweet Monday Photography / Lighting: Peterson Event Lighting / Stationery: Woodchick Studios / Rentals: Town & Country Event Rentals / Dance Floor Rental: Palace Party Rentals / Hair: Blush Salon / Make Up: Lindsey Sundy / Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bride’s Dress: Adele Wechsler Ecocouture / Groom’s Suit: Jimmy Au / Ceremony Musicians: Vivace Players

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