Eco-Friendly California Wedding by Shannon Leith
January 17, 2011
United States

We definitely have a little soft spot around here for beautiful details but when those beautiful details are also eco-friendly, well, let's just say the result is way beyond your everyday gorgeous wedding. With a limited budget, an eye for crafty projects and a desire to make their event as green as possible, this earth-minded couple crafted one pretty fantastic party all caught on film by Shannon Leith. It's green, it's gorgeous and there's a whole lot more of it in the gallery.

Green Wedding

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see more of this Eco-Friendly shindig here!

Our inspiration was earth-friendly rustic elegance meets fun. With good food. I love nature (my educational background is in environmental issues and I work for a nature NGO), so going as green as we could was imperative. Therefore our colors were green and white, with brown and gold accents (in honor of autumn when we got married- we were a 10.10.10 couple!). We also had a strict budget, so we really worked and researched for weeks to find venders that could give us what we wanted within our price range. We knew early on that we'd be spending a little more of our budget on the photographer and venue/food, so we really looked at ways to cut our costs but didn't sacrifice our style. So, lots of DIY!

Although Megan at MaeMae Paperie did the invitation design (They turned out so well!), it was a very fun DIY process. My husband took over the role of printing the invitations, as doing it ourselves decreased our costs and cut down any emissions inevitably created by having Megan print everything out and then mail it to us from LA. The cutting and putting together of the invitation suite became a fun bonding event for us and it allowed us to really put our own stamp on everything. I also learned calligraphy for the event, which cut down on costs as I did our Save the Dates, place cards, and invitation envelopes by hand, thereby avoiding printing or professional calligrapher costs. I had someone create custom rubber stamps that I used for our Save the Dates, RSVP cards, and envelope flaps. Creating our Save the Dates was a really fun project. Using an example we saw in a Martha Stewart Weddings magazine, we found an old postcard of Healdsburg from the early 1920's, made enough copies to send out to our guests, stamped a message on the front, and then used calligraphy in the back to display the important wedding information. It was a very time consuming project, but the end product turned out beautifully.

For our wedding reception, we created a photo booth with a sheet hung on painted PVC pipes, pirate and clown costume props, and a tripod with a small camera. The pictures turn out really nice, and it was a great way to have guests bond. Whoever came up with this trend, a big thank you! We also gave as our wedding favors succulents that were grown from my stepmom's garden in San Francisco, so each guest got to take home a piece of California with them. Doing the favors ourselves cut down on costs enormously! As well, my husbands father is very handy and actually made our table signs by cutting the names out of sheet metal. Since our wedding reception was at night and outside, the candlelight glowed through the signs and made them really easy to see. We plan on hanging them in our house.

Venue and Food: Barndiva and Studio Barndiva / Photographer: Shannon Leith / Invitations: MaeMae Paperie / Florist: Dragonfly Floral / DJ: DJ Jeremy Productions / Dress: Marisa / Bridesmaids' dresses: J.Crew / Menswear: Men's Wearhouse / Hair and Makeup: JS Makeup Artistry / Videographer: Justin Visual