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10 Ways to Plan an Eco-Friendly Wedding

While planning a bepsoke, style centric celebration is at the heart of SMP, so is crafting a wedding that makes the world a better place. Over the years we’ve been inspired by brides who put sustainability at the forefront of their festivities (see some of our faves here + here) and in honor of Earth Day we have Allison Beal of StyleSaint, and Rebekah Carey of A&B Creative here to share their tips for an eco-friendly “I do” from start to finish. Ashley Kelemen captured the bridal beach shoot they crafted with this very sentiment in mind, and there’s more moments to pin in the gallery.

1. FORAGE FLOWERS/GREENS + BUY LOCAL AND IN-SEASON

Foraging for greens to supplement your bouquet and centerpieces is a great way to be sustainable as well as save money. Fields, abandoned lots, and sides of roads are great places to go foraging. Try not to take more than 25% of any particular plant. If you’re buying flowers, farmer’s markets and local flower farms are great places to start. Try to always use what’s local and in season.

2. USE SILK SCRAPS AS FLOWER RIBBON

There is nothing more beautiful or personal that taking the scraps from your dress hem and adding it to your beautiful bouquet. Not only is the quality of fabric the best you could find, but it also adds a personal touch.

3. CHOOSE A REHEARSAL AND SHOWER DRESS YOU’LL WEAR AGAIN

Reserving your “wear once” purchase to only your wedding dress not only reduces wasteful spending but also ups your closet game. 

4. PICK DECOR ITEMS YOU’LL REUSE IN YOUR HOME OR GIFT TO OTHERS

If you aren’t renting, try to purchase used (i.e. vintage candle sticks) or ones that you can use again or give away. If you were to make your napkins for example, a great idea is to give them to friends and family as holiday gifts in packs along with a loaf of bread and jam.

5. CONSIDER LIVING CENTERPIECES THAT CAN BE PLANTED POST-WEDDING

Planted flowers and plants make beautiful centerpieces! In addition to being “green” they can double as favors for your guests and you can even plant some at home after to remember the special day.

6. SERVE LOCALLY SOURCED FOOD

As farm-to-table becomes more and more prominent, catering companies are more likely to have relationships with farms and vendors who can help them create a local, in-season menu for you.

7. ASK YOUR CATERING COMPANY TO COMPOST AND RECYLE

Feeding a group of people at a single time creates a lot of waste, simply having compost and recycling for your catering company can make a big difference.

8. PROVIDE HAND TOWELS IN YOUR BATHROOMS INSTEAD OF PAPER TOWELS

Providing beautiful hand towels for your guests in the bathrooms instead of paper towels not only reduces waste but feels more luxe. 

9. REDUCE PAPER IMPACT

We’re so lucky that today there are beautiful paper options that are also 100% post-consumer recycled. You can use less paper by having your maps, registry information, etc. available on your website as opposed to printed out and included with your invitation. Having a large program at your ceremony and a large menu at your reception also allows your guests to know what’s going on, but eliminates the need to have individual pieces for each of your guests.

10. RENT INSTEAD OF BUY WHEN IT COMES TO DECOR

Vintage rental companies and other niche rental outfits are such an amazing resource for decor. It limits last minute impulse buys and also frees up time that would otherwise be spent scouring Craigslist.

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Photography: Ashley Kelemen | Styling, Coordination And Floral Design: A&B Creative | Brides Dress: StyleSaint – Saint Celine | Bridesmaid Look: StyleSaint – Seafoam Lace | Model – Bride: Brooke Larson | Model – Bridesmaid: Joy Shivers  | Film Lab: Indie Film Lab

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Soft Blue Hawaii Wedding Table Inspiration

If ever there was a day to get completely swept away by the beauty of weddings, today would be the day. This little slice of inspiration heaven sent our way from photographer Wendy Laurel, designers Mandy Grace Designs and Couture Events Maui, is kind of like drifting away on a hammock without a care in the world. Perfectly sweet design elements, a sense of grace built into every detail and a gorgeous bride all wrapped up into inspiration for ANY wedding. And there is more here!

Mandy Grace Designs

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From Wendy LaurelBlue is the color of Hawaii. We have blue oceans and blue skies so designers Mandy Grace (Mandy Grace Designs) and Erica Goldsmith (Couture Events Maui) dreamed up a soft blue wedding inspiration for a fresh take on a Hawaii destination wedding.

They chose an upcountry Maui venue for its wind, sun, fields, and trees. Using hand dyed silk ribbons from Adorn (a new passion of Mandy Grace Designs), blueberries, and loose blue florals, they styled a light airy blue table. Matching in various shades of blue and white Miss B Calligraphy hand-wrote lovely invitations and envelopes with vintage stamps. The classic Audrey Hepburn-style bridal gown and blue shoes added a touch of classic and fun. The pillows were handmade by Couture Events Maui.

Photography: Wendy Laurel | Event Design: Couture Events Maui | Floral Design: Mandy Grace Designs | Hair And Makeup: Soleil Luna Salon - Nikki Guy | Calligraphy: Miss B Calligraphy | Dessert: Maui Sweet Cakes | Hand Dyed Ribbons: Adorn From Mandy Grace Designs | Location: Ka Hale Olinda | Pillows: Couture Events Maui | Rentals: The Collection Maui | Table Top Rentals: Set

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Rustic Glam Maui Wedding

When the blushing Bride is one uber talented event planner herself, you know you’re in for a treat. With her stylish eye and creativity, and with the onsite support of Belle Destination Weddings & Events, she crafted one beautiful bash, full of stunning shades of lavender, purple and pink florals by Mandy Grace Design. AMERIS soaked it all up with their lens and this gallery is truly a feast for the eyes.

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From the beautiful Bride… As a wedding planner, I have been fortunate enough to be a part of countless beautiful weddings and have witnessed more than my fair share of the joy and love that occurs at them. Being on the other side of things, as the Bride, was an experience I couldn’t have prepared for though, and it was truly the time of my life!

Nick and I first met back in 2006, through a mutual friend, one night out at a local bar. Within weeks, we became inseparable, and have spent the last eight years together sharing in life’s big and small moments, creating a home, building our businesses together, enjoying mornings, soaking in sunshine, and oh yeah…traveling to Maui. We love Maui more than any other spot in the world. And after six straight years of traveling there together, it has become our home away from home.

When we first got engaged, the thought of planning our wedding locally was overwhelming to me, as I knew that it would just feel too much like work. I wanted the weeks leading up to our wedding to be fun and relaxing for both of us, and we both wanted the spot where we said our “I do’s” to be special to “us.” So, the decision to host our wedding in Maui was a no-brainer, and one that did not surprise any of our friends and family! We wanted to design a wedding that showcased what we love about Hawaii, create a relaxed atmosphere filled with high-end details for all our guests who traveled so far, and spend the day surrounded by our nearest and dearest. Nick and I love to host parties, and so infusing our personal laid-back, fun, and stylish style, came very naturally.

On our yearly trip to Maui, in 2013, we were able to meet up with the lovely ladies of Belle Destination, who I knew would be the perfect allies in planning our dream wedding. They helped us find the perfect venue, and shared with me all their top vendor recommendations. From their tips, I set to work building our A-team of vendors, and designing our perfect day! The best decision we made though was to bring the power duo, AMERIS, down from Victoria with us. I have had the pleasure of working alongside them many times, and the talent and instincts that they possess is ridiculous! And they are just as much fun as they are talented, and so having them a part of our day was so special. When we look through our photos, we know that we will forever remember not just how our day looked, but how we felt during those moments. And that is something that I will always be grateful for! So, to all you Brides out there… do NOT skimp on a photographer! The morning and afternoon, spent with our wedding party and photographers was a total blast, and one of my favorite memories is being carried over a fence by the groomsmen, to get to Nick for our First Look! Hilarious!

Our wedding ceremony, was special to us for so many reasons. It was such an intimate group of family and friends who were there with us, and getting to share that moment with them was amazing! We asked one of our best friends to perform our ceremony, and he made the whole experience incredible. He also managed to get ordained, and so was able to legally marry us, which was the cherry on top. My favorite moment of the ceremony would have to be split up into two: walking with my Dad towards everyone, and laughing as we stumbled through our vows.

Food and drink were really high on our priority list, and we couldn’t have been more thrilled with the quality that both Aloha Events Catering and Garnish Events supplied. Our friends constantly make fun of us for being self-acclaimed “mixologists,” and so getting to work with Steph and her amazing team at Garnish, was a dream come true! Not only are their drinks so tasty, but the level of attention to detail that they put into everything, is a wedding planners dream! My favorite drink we served, the “Rose-jito”, literally had a pink garden rose garnished on each one! Amazing!

Trying to narrow down my other favorite details is near impossible, but I will try. The florals by Mandy Grace completely exceeded my expectations! She perfectly infused the jewel tones of our palette (navy, purples, pinks, and white), and I couldn’t have dreamed up a more perfect bouquet! The chair garlands, our ceremony archway, and the fact that she was able to find peonies in October…incredible! Being able to dine al fresco, was a big priority as well! Back home, it is near impossible to host a reception outside without a tent. We took a big risk not renting one for our own wedding, but the gamble totally paid off, and we were treated to the perfect Maui evening. With the lights strung between the trees, candles lit on the table, and the stars above, it was picture perfect.

Creating the perfect guest experience was also really important to us, as we were so appreciative that so many of our friends and family would travel so far for us! We organized a few outings for everyone (snorkel tour, picnic lunch etc.), which allowed us to spend time with everyone! And on the actual wedding day, all of our guests hopped on a bus and were whisked away to the “secret” wedding venue. This was one thing that we had SO much fun with while planning, and it really built up the excitement for our guests! We managed to keep our wedding venue a total secret to everyone, and so they were driven along a windy coast-line, and towards the lava fields of South Maui, with no idea of where they were going! Once they arrived at the spot, they were greeted with custom cocktails, acoustic guitar music provided by the seriously talented David Wolf, and a million dollar view. The rest of the day/evening, was filled with lots of music, drinks, food, and laughs! As the night came to a close, and Nick and I were whisked off to our ride, we could hear them chanting “Newlyweds! One more song! Newlyweds! One more song!” The perfect end, to the perfect day!

Photography: AMERIS | Event Planning: French Kiss Events | Floral Design: Mandy Grace Design | Wedding Dress: Mikaella Bridal | Cake: Maui Sweet Cakes | Catering: Aloha Events Catering | Hair & Makeup: Maui Makeup Artistry | Lighting: Signature Boutique Event Rentals | Groom's Attire: Paul Smith | Wedding Venue: Sugarman Estate | Bar Service: Garnish Events | Bridal Jewelry: Haute Bride | Bridesmaid Dress Boutique : Blush Bridal Boutique | Bridesmaids Jewelry: Sophie Grace Maui | Day Of Coordination: Belle Destination Weddings And Events | Furniture Rentals: Opihi Love Wedding Coordination & Event Design | Musician: David Wolf | Paper Goods: French Kiss Events | Signage: Miss B Calligraphy

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
Colorful Hotel Wailea Wedding

I’ve said it before in one form or another, and I’ll say it again: Wendy Laurel makes me all sorts of happy with the bursting-with-color tropical soirees she sends our way. Dashes of lush green and pops of hot coral set the stage at the hands of Mandy Grace Design and Belle Destination Weddings & Events for this beauty. I promise, you’ll walk away feeling full of cheer after peeking at this one.

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From Wendy LaurelDaria and Chris are head over heels in love, with each other and with travel. They are both from Canada but love to travel the world together. In their first 18 months together, they traveled to more than 4 different countries.

So it was an easy decision for them to have a destination wedding. They got to narrow down their guest list to who was up for a trip to Hawaii—and there were plenty of close friends and family who were. Plus they could have their Hawaiian honeymoon traveling among the different islands and having a range of experiences.

From the beautiful Bride… Chris and I met in July 2012 when we were matched on a dating site within minutes of Chris signing up. I knew right away there was something special about him when I read his profile and he seemed so sweet, kind and genuine. We had a great first date at a local food-tasting festival and from that day on we were inseparable. After an amazing year dating and traveling the world together, Chris proposed to me under the stars, just after our first anniversary. I couldn’t believe it and shouted YES with so much happiness!

As travel-addicts and romantics, we knew right away we wanted a destination wedding and Maui just seemed to be the most beautiful and romantic place in the world to get married. The warm weather, tropical colors, stunning foliage and ocean views were exactly what we were dreaming of. When our wedding planner Lena showed us photos of the Hotel Wailea as a venue option, we were so excited and instantly knew it was the one. Nestled up on the hills in Wailea overlooking the ocean, the boutique hotel has stunning grounds, impeccable service, and absolutely unbelievably delicious food. Our ceremony was held on the Sunset Lawn, and our favorite moment of the day was when we got to read our personal vows to each other – they were so heartfelt and with our family and friends around us, there was not a dry eye in the crowd. The cocktail reception we planned for our guests was a hit, and the entire dinner reception blew everyone away. The food portions were huge and our guests are still reminiscing about the Teriyaki Beef Short Ribs! We will be forever thankful to everyone who played a part in making our day so special – it was truly a dream come true from start to finish, and a day we will cherish forever!

Photography: Wendy Laurel Photography | Videography: 10th Letter Media | Event Planning: Belle Destination Weddings & Events | Floral Design: Mandy Grace Design | Wedding Dress: Allure Bridals | Cake: Maui Sweet Cakes | Stationery: Ginger Creative | Reception Venue: Hotel Wailea | Shoes: Michael Kors | Bracelet: Kate Ketzal | Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew | Make Up: Maui Make Up Artistry | DJ: Maui Wedding Dj | Favors: Honolulu Cookie Company | Officiant: Pia Aluli | Bridesmaid Robes: Plum Pretty Sugar | Cake Topper: BHLDN | Music: Marvin Tevega | Photography Assistance: Ashley Kelemen | Rentals: Pacific Island Rentals | Signage: Miss B Calligraphy

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Destination Vow Renewal on the Shores of Hawaii

A 10 year celebration of love, marriage and 4 beautiful babies is such a good reason to pack up and head to Hawaii. This couple, who started their relationship on the pretty beaches of Hawaii returned for a vow renewal that could double for a wildly gorgeous vacation. It’s a two-for-one captured by Ifloyd Photography. From pineapple signage by Maggie Allen Calligraphy to pretty beach dining and a stunning ocean view, there’s so much more in the gallery to pore through

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From the beautiful Mrs… Celebrating 10 years is a pretty special feat for any couple. Keeping the romance and adventure in every marriage is important to keeping a lasting one. For the both of us, living in Hawaii years ago was definitely an amazing start to our lives together. But, when we planned our wedding 10 years ago, we had decided to keep it close to home and brought hawaii to all of our family and friends, but promising each other we would make it back. Ten years later, after living in 5 different cities, the births of our four sweet daughters, starting careers, just life, and saving tons of pennies, we returned to hawaii and in front of the ocean, the Hawaiian mountains, and a few friends, we renewed the vows we shared ten years ago.

We had so much fun planning this! We chose Kualoa because it is a beautiful secluded part of this hawaiian island. Most visitors get to oahu and get stuck in honolulu, which is so fun and busy and a full on amazing city. But, the other side of the island is where you get a true taste of hawaiian life and culture. We were so thankful to our three sweet friends who made the trek across the country to join us, and loved getting to share with them our favorite place on earth.

A friend and talented calligrapher made for us custom designed welcome letters, place cards, and menus. Custom “He’s my pineapple and She’s my pineapple” cards for our freshly picked from dole plantation pineapples and a pineapple for each of our guests. Decorated our table with driftwood, freshly picked flowers, and tableware.

We had a piece made that included the words to our favorite song (Jason Mraz, I won’t give up) that we felt spoke to our marriage. A conk shell with written calligraphy. Alea created the watercolor pineapple headers, because really who doest just love a pineapple. Flowers came from the island, and alea watched a few DIY’s to make her bouquet and floral crown.

Going to Hawaii was certainly a trip of a lifetime, and with helicopter tours, sailing with the dolphins off the coast of the napali, jumping off cliffs, eating spam and eggs, paddle boarding with sea turtles, it made celebrating ten years epic. The best part was telling each other how much we loved waking up to each other these last 3,650 mornings. That even in knowing the different seasons a marriage can take you, that we are in this forever and we commit to making sure love wins!

Photography: Ifloyd Photography | Dress: Donna Morgan | Calligraphy: Maggie Allen Calligraphy | Mens Attire: Banana Republic | Beach: Kualoa, HI | Dinnerware/pillow Seating: Pier One | He's My Pineapple, She's My Pineapple: Maggie Allen Calligraphy | Menu And Welcome Paperie: Alea Moore